When conductor Allan R. Scott first met Claire Huangci, the ten-year-old pianist from Philadelphia was a contestant in a major piano competition, and Scott was president of the competition's jury. Huangci won, and she and Scott performed with six different orchestras all over the U.S.
Seventeen years later, Huangci is a noted recording artist and internationally-touring concert pianist, and Scott is the musical director of the Helena Symphony. After she performed the Grieg Piano Concerto with the HSO a couple of years ago, the audience, says Scott, "went crazy - multiple bows and encores. So we had to bring her back."
Pianist Claire Huangci returns to the Symphony's Masterworks series at the Helena Civic Center on Saturday, January 30, 7:30 p.m., performing Prokofiev’s fiery Third Piano Concerto. Rimsky-Korsakov’s "Scheherazade" completes the program.
"I think we look at each other and can read each other's minds," says Scott. "Sometimes, if I say something, she'll immediately say, "Oh, okay, I'll do it that way," and I have to remind myself - and her - that she probably knows more about many of these works than I do, because she embodies them."