Pianist, Zhang Minjing, Proves “Being in Minor Can Take You So Many Places”
Pianist, Zhang Minjing, came into the spotlight
in June 2021 when she entranced her audience
with her emotional performance of Minor Story.
Months after her extraordinary show at Boston
Pickman Hall, Minjing prepares for a future of
emotionally-driven music as her popularity and
artistic abilities grow.
“Spread Music and Spread Art”
“I have always believed that music has power.
I think, as a pianist, my most basic job is to
spread music and spread art,” Minjing says of
the influence of the craft. “I love classical music
very much and I want to convey classical music
Though one of Minjing’s goals is to share classical
works with the public, she knows music is an art
that goes beyond what the audience can hear. She
believes music touches every one of the senses
and she finds it “her duty” to give Baroque period
works a second chance in modern day.
“Mozart created countless works throughout
his life and, for me, every one is a classic,”
says Minjing. “I’ve met many piano teachers
who think Mozart is very simple. I think, on
the contrary, Mozart’s works are detailed and
exquisite. They take time to figure out.”
These classical elements inspired Minjing
to create Minor Story, making it into the
phenomenal performance – experience – it was.
Minor Story: Classical Music
for the Modern Day
Showcasing different moods and emotions
brought forth through music, Minor Story
highlights more than passive emotions popular
to the era. Though Minjing wanted to pay
homage to these Romantic era classics, she
also wanted to bring a variety of feelings to the
audience – including joy and excitement.
“This concert included compositions from
the Baroque through the Romantic period, all
in minor key,” explains Minjing. “I think you
will hear that being in the minor key can have
many different moods and many different
messages ranging from sadness and drama
to outright joy.”
Mozart and Bach were not the only inspirations
behind Minor Story. 19th Century musician,
Fanny Mendelssohn, was a major influence
behind Minjing’s musical lineup for June’s
performance. However, she still wanted to
recognize as many classical artists as possible
and Minor Story absolutely did just that.
“The first movement is full of energy, vigor,
and spirt while some of the other movements –
like Sarabande – do have deep sadness,” states
Minjing of Minor Story’s emotional diversity.
“This helps show how being in minor can take
you so many places.”
The positive feedback from Minjing’s June
performance has not only made her ecstatic
about the performances ahead of her, but the
public is anxiously awaiting what will be next.
Minor Story captured the emotional beauty of
the classical era and there is no question Minjing
will enlighten every audience who experiences
her future performances.
Pregnant Doctor Contracts COVID and Decides to Run for Office
I’ve been a doctor for almost
20 years. Working as
a pain physician, I’ve heard
thousands of stories of pain
and suffering. I’ve fought bureaucracy,
backward laws, and
tedious protocols on behalf of
veterans, victims of violence
and trauma, rape victims, survivors
of domestic abuse, the
disabled, the medically fragile,
refugees and the homeless,
but my entire life changed in
the past year; I lost everything
that mattered to me – temporarily.
When the lockdown
came in March 2020, my child’s
daycare closed. I had to decide
whether to stay home with my
toddler or to keep my practice
open and help my patients.
If I didn’t treat my patients,
they would have to go to the
ER, which would have been a
death sentence for them. Many
of my patients struggle with
cancer, HIV, and other major
medical problems. So I sent
my child, who I love, upstate to
live with my parents. I thought
she would be away for two long
weeks. I didn’t see her again
for 8 months.
My practice rapidly accumulated
debt while the
City ignored us – providing
relief only to facilities treating
patients with COVID – as
though patients with medical
problems did not exist. We
could not even obtain masks
or gloves from our suppliers.
I used my life savings to fund
my private practice so I could
provide care for the patients. I
lost a fortune but I thought it
was worth it to help our city.
I asked my employees, my
friends, to come back to work
alongside me. We all risked
our safety on the subways with
crime and COVID on the rise.
Meanwhile, the City launched
a surprise inspection on my
practice. There were no violations.
However, it struck me
that rather than asking us how
they could help, while we were
short-staffed and struggling to
get medical supplies, the City
tried to rack up fines.
When my toddler returned
back to us, I was 8 months
pregnant and getting ready
for a scheduled C-section. I
had preeclampsia with my
first delivery. This time, my
family was infected with the
COVID-19 virus. Because of
this, I had to skip the last few
weeks of obstetrics visits because
we were all in isolation.
Then one day, I called 911
because my husband was hallucinating
from low oxygen.
He was hospitalized and put
on high-flow nasal oxygen. I
thought he would die. Soon after,
when I felt short of breath
and experienced contractions,
I thought my unborn baby and
I would die. I was worried for
my toddler. This was before
the vaccine was available. I
couldn’t give her to anyone
else because she was also infected
with COVID. When I
asked the City for help, I was
told that if I couldn’t maintain
a “safe” environment for my
child, that the City would take
her from me. It made me question
the whole purpose of the
government. Was it to help us
– or to make things more difficult
for us? This was very discouraging.
I realized I would
have to figure out a solution on
my own. Ultimately, I roamed
around the perimeter of a massive
hospital complex in active
labor, short of breath perhaps
from COVID, in the freezing
cold of winter, by myself. Miraculously,
my baby was born
with COVID antibodies and
immunity to the deadly virus.
We were immediately transferred
to an isolation room
that we shared. And inside
that room, I resumed telemedicine
visits within hours after
my C-section because I understood
we were still in the midst
of a crises.
I know that I am not alone
with these experiences. We
need a real change in leadership
in our city. So I decided to
run for NYC Public Advocate.
Schneps Media October 28, 2021 9