Every night, Anna Gong ’18 plays scales to warm up her fingers for 10 minutes. She flips through her music looking for her solo piece, and plays through the piece from beginning to end, replaying the challenging parts.
Gong is a third-generation violinist. Her grandparents were violin professors during the Cultural Revolution in China. Fleeing the Communist Party’s oppression of teachers, they emigrated to the United States. Her grandmother began giving her violin lessons when she was five years old.
Having grown up with a mother who is the Associate Concertmaster of the Los Angeles Philharmonic and a father who plays cello and piano, her life is filled with music.
“[My mother and grandparents] all had students at one point, and I would go to my grandparents’ house, and I would just hear music,” she said. “My grandma had a student at the same time my grandpa had a student playing, and it was a lot of music, so I guess that it’s part of me.”
Gong said she started taking violin seriously in seventh grade. She has been a member of the Glendale Youth Orchestra and has been Concertmaster since 2014. She was Concertmaster of the Harvard-Westlake Middle School Symphony from 2014 to 2015 but was unable to join the Upper School Symphony this year, due to extracurricular activities.
At age 12, Gong began participating in violin competitions. Playing in front of small panels of judges at these competitions can be stressful, she said.
Her friends regularly praise her passion for violin.
“She exudes confidence and effortlessly conveys emotion during her performances. Anna is a true musician and artist,” said her friend Vivian Lu ’18.
Her mother Bing Wang considers Gong to be “technically virtuosic.”
“She has developed a love of music-making and a sense of pride in what she does,” Wang said.