Scholar 2008 -2013
Jess Larsen started playing piano at age three and composing at age six. By the time he was ten years old, he had composed an ASCAP award-winning symphony, had his orchestral debut, released an album of Bach’s Well Tempered Clavier Book I, and been selected as one of the first three scholars of the Lang Lang International Music Foundation. Under the auspices of this life-changing foundation, Jess has been featured in extensive performances and outreach events all over the country, including at Carnegie Hall in New York, Millenium Park in Chicago, and on the Oprah Winfrey Show. He has also performed at the National Aquatics Center (also known as the “Water Cube”) in Beijing and on National Public Radio’s From The Top. Above all, Jess is passionate about the recording studio, having finished his mission to record both books 1 and 2 of Bach’s Well Tempered Clavier by the age of 12. Jess’ most recent album (released in 2015), Boundless, features Liszt’s Sonata in B minor and Chopin’s complete Etudes Op. 25.
Having discovered great happiness and success in both areas, Jess aspires to have a career consisting of both piano and composition. His piano playing has been acclaimed by critics nationwide, and his compositions have won the Massachusetts state division of the MTNA Composition Competition for the past seven years in a row, as well as third prize (2013) and second prize (2014) at the aforementioned competition’s national level. Additionally, he finds it extremely rewarding to pass on his knowledge of music to younger students and would love to start a studio where he could teach his own pupils someday. In the meantime, Jess is content with his life at Needham High School, where he loves math class especially; he also benefits greatly from his weekly piano lessons with Professor Alexander Korsantia and composition lessons with Martin Boykan and would like to thank them (and all former teachers as well!) for their continued mentorship and support.