Maria Im is boundless energy with eyes that send messages louder than words.
She loves sharing her music. She says when she plays, she’s holding out her hand inviting you to come and join the experience.
She’s a New Yorker. When you speak with her, the pace is quick and concise. I wondered if I could ever find her sitting still.
She started learning to play the piano because her parents wanted her to. Her perspective on music and performance was completely changed during a small concert in Manhattan, transforming what had begun as duty into passion.
Maria graduated from Juilliard a year ago. She’s making a living playing the violin. She will scoff at you if you suggest musicians can’t make a living doing what they love.
She’s coming to Kansas.
Maria is part of a tour called American Fusion: Into the Sun. Eight Juilliard artists sharing their interpretation of A True Account of Talking to the Sun on Fire Island by American poet, Frank O'Hara, in a completely innovative way.
Here are her words:
From my first bite of Kansas City BBQ to the first ten minutes in the Antique Mall in Lawrence, my preconceived notions of what Kansas would look, smell or taste like were shattered. I fell in love with the huge hearts of Kristen's family members, the drive around Lake Quivira, the intense enthusiasm of the audiences whom Kristen and I performed for this past summer, and so many other small yet powerful experiences. To be able to return not to only Kansas City, but also to Garden City where Kristen is from is a huge honor.
What I look forward to the most is being able to perform again for one of the most loving and supportive audiences I've ever encountered. The ability to work with students who are just realizing their passions for the performing arts is just another overwhelming bonus to what I know will be an artistically enriching and personally fulfilling week.
The tour starts in Garden City on Tuesday, September 2, at the Garden City High School, continues in Lawrence on Thursday, September 4, and ending on Saturday, September 6, in Kansas City.
More about the project, the tour, and the performers can be found online at Arts Fusion Initiative.