Georgia Lazaridou, an award-winning pianist, has a strong background and passion for music. She is a first-year transfer student at Kutztown University and one of five recipients of the President's International Piano and String Quintet Scholarship.
Lazaridou attributes much of her passion for music to her family.
"My grandfather was a very famous conductor in Greece and my mother is also a pianist. She teaches in Greece in the Conservatoire. She always wanted to have a life like mine, being able to study abroad and play the piano. She could not do that because of the time in which she grew up. She helped me a lot with everything and she is the reason that I am here now. She is my hero, she is the reason that I do everything on my own. She has always been next to me all of these years since I was five years old."
For the past four years, Lazaridou visited Kutztown University annually for the Chamber Music Festival, which happens over the summer from late June to early July
"So many talented musicians and teachers come from all around the world. The Chamber Music Festival is my favorite time of the year."
This past summer when visiting, she was offered a full scholarship to study with Dr. Maria Asteriadou, a professor at Kutztown University. She has a very close relationship with Dr. Asteriadou, who is from Lazaridou's hometown, Thessaloniki, Greece.
"I have known her since I was very young, around the age of seven," Lazaridou said. "Growing up she lived five minutes away from me. I could never imagine that she would be my professor. To me she is the best professor I could ever have. She inspires me every day, in every single lesson. She is the best teacher and the best person that I know."
Lazaridou has found more than just a rich educational experience at Kutztown University-she has found a home away from home.
"I really enjoy my time here. It is my favorite place. The music department is amazing. We have great faculty, the teachers are very talented and all of the students are too. Kutztown University is an all Steinway school. I practice every day on these amazing pianos. It has always been a dream to play on a Steinway. I never imagined that I would play on a Steinway every day."
In the time that she spends at Kutztown, Lazaridou hopes to learn everything that she can from her professors so that she will be ready to accomplish her goals when she graduates. In the future, she hopes to continue with music as a concert pianist.
My biggest accomplishment is being able to perform, so if I get the opportunity to be on stage I love it. I love playing with other people too. Every time I perform I want to express my feelings and make the audience inspired from what I am doing on stage. I have been playing music since I was five and that is what I want to do for the rest of my life."
For more information on the Kutztown University Department of Music, an All-Steinway School, visit www.kutztown.edu/music.