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Debut with the New Mexico Philharmonic! - New Mexico Philharmonic image3 image2FullSizeRender image1 Umi performed with the New Mexico Philharmonic in February, 2015 after receiving the first Mastroianni Award. This performance was dedicated to the late Dr. Thomas Mastroianni who was a great pianist, teacher and the co-founder of the Amalfi Coast Music Festival in Italy. Umi had participated in the festival twice in the past, and was very grateful for receiving this honorable award. Special thanks to Mr. Sasha Katsnelson and Mrs. Leslie Hyde of the Amalfi Coast Music Festival for this opportunity. The review of Umi's performance was described as below in the Albuquerque Journal:

As part of the Protégé Series, 13-year-old American pianist Umi Garrett, a soloist recipient of the Mastroianni Founders Award, thrilled those in attendance playing the Chopin Piano Concerto No. 1, conducted by Bradley Ellingboe. Had one listened blindfolded, one could have easily concluded this was a seasoned professional. Indeed, she played with a grace and sensitivity far beyond her years, well deserving of the honor Young Steinway Artist.

Getting all the right notes in place (no easy feat in itself) is only the beginning. With Chopin especially, the challenge is to turn what is technically a percussion instrument into a vehicle of singing lyric beauty and allow the poetry to soar.

The middle Romance-Larghetto glowed with a sympathetic tenderness. She also had power when she needed it, from the stentorian chords that introduce the piano. The stretto leading to the recapitulation in the Allegro maestoso was an electric fury of perfectly-articulated runs. Finally the Rondo sparkled like freshly-opened champagne joyfully free of its confines.

It was followed by the most boisterous standing ovation, bringing Garrett back for an encore, Chopin’s Nocturne Op. Posth No. 20 in C Sharp Minor.