An eye- and “earwitness”’ account of Tiffany Poon’s stunning piano recital to celebrate Heart’s Home’s 20th anniversary. When music serves compassion...
For Heart’s Home members, friends and many others, January 12 ended in a piano recital at the American Bible Society. Not a very conventional way to end any Thursday. Neither was it a regular piano recital. This was something extraordinary. Tiffany Poon was to play. She was promoting compassion, of all things, with her music. How strange that may seem:to gather close to two hundred people at this place for a concert concerning piano music and compassion… But why not celebrate Heart’s Home’s 20th anniversary in such a way? To me it is beautiful! The beauty of compassion. The beauty of music. And the beauty of bringing friends together to celebrate.
Tiffany’s grace and talent to support Heart’s Home
Being a former volunteer with Heart’s Home (in Chile, from August 2008 to November 2009), I was asked to help prepare the concert room. I had heard about the upcoming event even before I arrived back from Chile, but had never expected it to be so amazing! After many months of promotion: flyers, phone calls, tickets, and other dedicated organization by the members and interns at Heart’s Home, we had arrived at the big day. As I stepped into the large room at the American Bible Society (near Columbus Circle, on 60th St.) where it was to be held, I was greeted by a cascade of notes and scales, delicately and passionately rendered from a Steinway grand piano at the front of the conference room. I should have expected a great and seasoned player to appear as the notes trailed off, but it was a twelve-year old who strutted up the aisle in her jeans, her preteen attitude and boredom evident, as if she was just finishing her daily middle school music practice. I was astounded by Tiffany’s grace and talent, from what appeared to be just a flurry of exercises and hands idly playing with the keys.
Instead, Tiffany turned it into a magnificent sound! But, she doesn’t study music in any ordinary twelve year old’s class. Tiffany has been a student at the prestigious Julliard School, since she was 8 years old. Tiffany is originally from Hong Kong, but has traveled widely already, for various concerts and events where she has performed. She has won numerous awards including the Salon de Virtuosi (she is the youngest recipient in the past 21 years!), and this is not hard to understand.
A heart-warming and enjoyable way to benefit
Tiffany played incredibly-composers such as Haydn, Mozart, Chopin and Beethoven. And the almost two hour performance flew by. The listeners were thoroughly impressed and gave Tiffany several standing ovations, eliciting a lovely encore. The room was nearly full, with many familiar faces and others new to me. The French community of New York was well represented, as Heart’s Home is originally from France. But I also was glad to see a mixture of Americans and other nationalities there to benefit this cause. As always, Heart’s Home brought together people from all social, economic and cultural backgrounds; in this case, to celebrate compassion through this beautiful art form, piano. For some, it was a first and impressive encounter with the Heart’s Home organization. But for those who were already friends, I think it was a heart-warming and enjoyable way to benefit its ongoing work of compassion. For me it was an affirmation of the blessing of such a dynamic movement striving not only for hope for the most wounded of the world, but that beauty may be revealed and celebrated hand in hand with this work of compassion.
Thank you to all those who organized, supported and attended this event. May it be the beginning of many to come.
- The American Bible Society Concert Hall, nearly full, with almost 200 people listening to Tiffany’s performance