And with that realization, Grace’s life changed directions. She went to college – but didn’t major in music. Instead, she followed another passion that had begun in high school. “[A teacher] taught me that history was so fascinating because in understanding our collective pasts as human beings, we would be able to better understand ourselves, each other, and our way forward into the future.” Grace chose to study European history at Columbia University in New York, specializing in the modern period, post-French Revolution. She believes our current forms of democratic government began then, and when the concepts of individuality and identity developed. She has a strong sense of humanity and the common threads that hold it together: “We are all part of this fabric that is human civilization, and we all, in our own way, contribute to the movement and direction of its course.”
Grace has lived in Hawaii, New York, Holland, and Spain. She still considers New York home because it’s where she became an adult, where she discovered her life path, where she met individuals who strongly influenced her and where she learned more about herself in becoming who she is today. But throughout her extensive global experiences, she’s discovered a reality few do: “…no matter where I go in the world, the essence of human nature is the same. We may have different mores and languages and cultural identities, but we all also have dreams, hopes, struggles, and challenges that define us as being a part of the human race.”
And while she continues to astound the world with her love affair with the keyboard, she also continues to follow other passions. She loves to cook and particularly likes French, Spanish, and Italian cuisines. The one thing Grace doesn’t like to do is dishes (like many people!). She loves animals and until recently had two dogs, Millie and Angel. Millie lost her battle with cancer last year, but Angel continues to greet Grace at the happily at the door. There’s another passion Grace shares with many others: chocolate. She admits to sometimes indulging just before going onstage!
What does Grace think about her life? “I feel everyday of my life is like a dream, because I am able to do what I love more than anything in this world, and I feel as though I am contributing in some way to society and humanity.”
More than a rising star, this pianist is a formidable artist who believes in using her talents to contribute to the world – a well-rounded, personable and delightful woman. She is driven to make the world a better place, and that drive, combined with her pursuit of excellence, makes her an inspirational and impressive role model.
Interview and article by: Kathryn Savyannah
Heartfelt concern for those devastated in Chile and hoping my dearest family and friends are all staying safe in Hawaii... 2010-02-27» more updates