Scarlett and Evan Kaplan Perform at Carnegie Hall
After each winning a piano competition in 2019, Scarlett and Evan Kaplan, at last, performed in their recital at Carnegie Hall on December 4, 2021. The performance was delayed for nearly two years by Covid closures and delays, forcing Scarlett, Evan, and the other participants to either change the pieces they performed (such was the case for Evan), or retain and practice their piece for the two years leading up to the performance (such was the case for Scarlett). Scarlett age 15 and Evan age 12 both began playing piano at age five, learning from Natalia Budyonny of Pelham Piano School. The two Kaplan performers entered a competition called American Protégé International Piano & Strings Competition by submitting a video of their chosen pieces. Their performances were then judged by a panel among many other international entrants. Scarlett performed Chopin’s Waltz in C Sharp Minor Op. 64 No. 2 while Evan performed the Allegro movement of Beethoven’s Piano Sonata No. 1. Both of these pieces are treasures of the classical piano repertoire.
The American Protégé Competition is designed for young musicians on the path to a successful musical career. It is the largest international competition with the goal of inspiring and advancing the talent and careers of young musicians. Many of the winners attend full time music schools. First established in 2008, the competition has grown to attract talent from the United States as well as 63 other countries hailing from every corner of the world. Winners of the competition later went on to be featured on America’s Got Talent, Ellen, Little Big Shots. In one case a participant in American Protégé would go on to become champion of the Menuhin Competition, possibly the world’s most prestigious competition for musical prodigies. This was Evan’s first win in the International Piano and Strings competition. While it was Scarlett’s second win in the competition, having first performed as an eight-year old in 2014, ironically also with another Chopin piece for piano. In addition to playing the piano, Evan and Scarlett are active violists and violinists respectively in their school orchestras, while also pursuing other academic and athletic pursuits (Evan being a competitive year-round swimmer and Scarlett a competitive year-round diver).
The Kaplan children practice daily without fail and break down their pieces into manageable sections to slowly commit them to memory before their recitals. Their piano at home originally belonged to their maternal great grandmother and has been played by four generations of the family.