Nacogdoches pianist competes in international festival virtually

Nacogdoches pianist competes in international festival virtually

NACOGDOCHES, Texas (KLTV) - The summer music concert and festival season has been interrupted by the impact of COVID-19, but it’s not keeping musicians from live performances. Live streaming is the answer.

Nacogdoches pianist Antonio “Nio” Ajero worked hard to receive an invitation to the Aspen Music Festival in Colorado. Its cancellation brought disappointment but led to a new opportunity.

“Without this pandemic, we actually wouldn’t have found this festival,” Antonio Ajero said.

Nio was referring to the Philadelphia Young Pianists Academy Festival led by master pianists. They’re helping young artists from around the world achieve their dreams.

From the Cole Concert Hall at Stephen F. Austin State University, Antonio Ajero has been taking streaming masterclasses with the likes of Grammy Award-winner Ursula Oppens.

On Sunday, the Nacogdoches High School junior will perform virtually before judges and viewers worldwide. He’s hoping for a home concert hall advantage.

“In a different concert hall, pianos are obviously different, but like now, we’re with pianos we’re more used to playing, and we can actually get a better feel of how to play and perform,” Antonio Ajero explained.

Ajero’s teachers Andrew and Linda Parr and his dad, Mario Ajero, an SFA piano professor, view technology as a perfect tool during a pandemic.

“This isn’t going to get in the way of what is actually, I think, a really important cause, which is making music and making art,” Mario Ajero said.

Performance is something Antonio Ajero has done since the age of three. East Texas News first put him before a camera at age 8 for his uncommon ability to perform a solo recital. Competing is nothing new. Having a worldwide audience is.

He’s counting on viewers from East Texas.

“There’s also an audience choice award where people access a google form where they select whoever they think is the best,” Antonio Ajero said.

We hope East Texas audiences will know the obvious choice.

Tune in live at 9 a.m Sunday for Antonio Ajero’s performance at

Voting takes place between 8:30 and 9 p.m. Sunday. It’s the only time votes count so set a reminder.

WEBXTRA: Nacogdoches piano prodigy to compete in virtual festival in Philadelphia

Copyright 2020 KLTV. All rights reserved.