The light-hearted six-minute piece is marked with a multitude of rapid trills and sweeping glissandos which Madden mastered with preternatural dexterity, enthusiasm, and grace.
Madden spent three months arduously rehearsing the 11-page piece. She said, “It was a fun piece, more of a gypsy piece which I haven’t done. Liszt is very challenging. There are a lot of notes and big chords. The melody is hidden, and you need to bring it out and play the notes cleanly. That’s what makes it so hard.” One of the joys of playing the piece, Madden said, is the repetition of the themes in the music that expand and become more complex as the piece progresses.
An old “hand” at piano, Madden began her piano career as a six-year-old at the Hartt Community Division in Hartford. Not many young musicians, never mind adults, can claim to have played at Carnegie Hall, but Madden is no ordinary musician. By nine years old, she played at the storied venue in the Weill Recital Hall in both a piano and violin competition. She said that due to her age she had less apprehension performing in the storied venue, perhaps not comprehending how remarkable a feat it was for someone her tender age. “People were amping it up,” she said, “but I thought, “I’m just going to do it and see how it goes.”
Madden loves and pursues both the piano and violin equally, much to the frustration of music teachers. Some of her instructors have advised her that she should commit to one instrument to excel in her field. She said, “I’m going to keep up both instruments as much as I can. I just don’t know how long that will be.” To master her craft, Madden assiduously practices piano during her study halls throughout the school day. She gets in an hour of practice time in the morning by waking up at 5:00 a.m. At night, she practices the violin.
Throughout her career, Madden has amassed several accolades. In the summer of 2016 she was chosen by audition to perform with Orchestra Giovanile Napolinova in Italy for three weeks. While in Italy she played with an orchestra, prepared a concerto which was the first time she played as a soloist with an orchestra. Additionally, in the summer of 2015, she was invited to participate in master classes and perform in concert at the XXI International Chopin Festival, Poland.
At 13 years of age, Prairwaa won the first place in the Danbury 15th Concerto Competition and performed with the Danbury Symphony in January 2017. She also won the CT Youth Symphony (CYS) Concerto Competition 2016, playing with the orchestra in March 2017. Of that competition, she humbly deflected said, “I had no intention of making it. There were 16 people, and many of them were a lot older. I was only middle schooler and somehow managed to win.”
“I just love classical music as whole,” Madden said. She especially gravitates towards music from the romantic period because of the emotion that is imbued in the work. “Music is a universal thing. There’s a lot of hidden beauty that I try to bring out so other people can hear it. That is really special and really difficult. I do it because it’s beautiful. It’s fun for me, but there’s a lot of diligence required, too.”