CMC piano student Rebecca Portnoy performs at Carnegie Hall

“Playing at Carnegie Hall was a once in a lifetime experience that I really enjoyed. Although I was really nervous before the recital, after performing my piece, I felt a great rush of relief. Everyone performing there supported each other and I got to make some new friends from other countries.” Rebecca Portnoy



Rebecca Portnoy, piano student of Juliet McComas, has reached a milestone few musical performers reach. She performed at Carnegie Hall, by the age of thirteen no less!

In December 2017, Rebecca auditioned to be part of the Elite International Music Competition for 6-21 year-olds. The auditions were open to students from all over the world including Russia, Canada, Ukraine, China and South Korea. Rebecca’s teacher Juliet helped create a video of Rebecca playing Chopin’s Waltz in Em for her submission. She received second place in the audition.

“I had entered the competition for fun,” said Rebecca. “I never expected to get second place. It was very exciting and nerve-racking.”

It was nerve-racking because all first and second place winners in the audition got to perform in at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall on Feb 5, 2018.

“I felt happy, but very nervous,” Rebecca shared about finding out she was going to play at Carnegie Hall.

At the beginning of February, Rebecca, along with her mother and Juliet flew to New York. When she first walked into Carnegie Hall, she was amazed.

“It was a really beautiful recital hall, and it felt good to play in a place where so many great musicians performed music.”

Understandably, Rebecca was very nervous about the imminent moment of performing in the hall. Luckily, her musical training supported her through the experience.

“When I sat down at the piano on stage, I relaxed a little. My performance went well. I didn’t make any mistakes,” Rebecca reflected.

In thinking about what this moment will mean to her throughout her life, Rebecca shared, “I never expected this moment. I was happy to take the chance and to do it. It’s an experience, I’ll never forget.”