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Meet Peoria's 7-Year-Old Piano Virtuoso

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Courtesy Gina Guo

Seven-year-old Amelia Ly is perhaps Peoria's youngest piano virtuoso. But she's also a voracious reader and a lover of science.

Amelia was born in Peoria. At age 3, she began playing piano. Her musical talent has taken her around the world - literally.

"I've been to Carnegie Hall, and I will go there a third time this year. And I've been to Vienna, Austria; and Chicago," she said.

Beginning at age 5, Amelia has placed first in numerous national and international competitions. That's earned her invites to play on some of the world's most prestigious stages, including the Royal Albert Hall in London and the Amphitheater Paris Philharmonie in Paris.

Amelia said she practices one to two hours a day, on average.

But she also performs solo concerts on smaller stages around Peoria, including local retirement homes.

"I really love them all," she said.

Amelia most enjoys playing pieces by Frédéric Chopin, the 19th century Polish composer and pianist. She also enjoys sight-reading a piece, which involves playing a piece the player has never heard or played before.

That's not to say this seven-year-old doesn't have interests outside of music. She also enjoys ping pong, swimming, chess, tennis, and practicing her Spanish-speaking skills.

She also enjoys reading. Her favorite book is "Reaching for the Moon," the autobiography of NASA mathematician Katherine Johnson.

Amelia's future dreams involves her loves for both outer space and music.

"I'd like to be the first pianist and scientist to play piano on the moon and Mars, and maybe even Jupiter," she said.

Her other dreams lie in politics:

"I'm going to give equality to everybody and everything. For the ocean animals, for the plants, grass, trees, mushrooms, and poison ivy and poison oak," she said.

Amelia's next local performances are at Independence Village on Sept. 7, Lutheran Hillside Village on Sept. 20, the Peoria Art Guild Fine Art Fair on Sept. 25-26, and the Betty Jayne Center for the Performing Arts on Oct. 29.

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