Bellevue teen to play with Philharmonic

A select group of young Eastside musicians will showcase their talent on stage during the 5th Annual Young Artists Debut with the Bellevue Philharmonic Orchestra this month.

  • Monday, June 2, 2008 4:17pm
  • Life

Jila Dabestani will perform the Liszt Piano Concerto No. 1 in Eb Major at the concert.

A select group of young Eastside musicians will showcase their talent on stage during the 5th Annual Young Artists Debut with the Bellevue Philharmonic Orchestra this month.

Bellevue’s Jila Dabestani, one of the five who will perform with the orchestra, was selected out of more than 30 young musicians who submitted applications and recordings.

Jila, 15, will perform a solo piece, Liszt Piano Concerto No. 1 in Eb Major, the most sophisticated piece to play for someone her age. The performance, led by Maestro Kajima, will be held at the Meydenbauer in Bellevue on April 26.

Dabestani, a 10th grader at Newport High School began playing the piano at age three. She was named the winner of Seattle Young Artists and will be playing as a soloist with Philharmonia Northwest on May 10, 2008.

“I’ve been playing piano for 12 years now. My sister began taking lessons when she was four-years-old and I would sit and watch her play. Eventually, I asked my Mom to sign me up,” Jila explained.

She now practices two to three hours a day, seven days a week. Her hobby is composition, often composing romantic pieces. Over the years, she has performed in many competitions, displaying her dedication and musical talent.

“Performing is really fun,” Jila said. “My love for music is expressed to the audience and afterwards they’re happy and that’s really rewarding.”

Jila received honorable mention by the Music Teachers National Association for Washington, placed second for Sammamish Symphony and a finalist for the Performing Arts Festival Eastside. In 2005 Jila performed Chopin Concerto No.1 in 2006 she played Weber Koncertstuck Concerto with the symphony orchestra at the Chiang Kai-Shek National Hall in Taipei, Taiwan. She also played in Seoul, Korea at the Pan Pacific & Asia International Conference in 2001 and at Benaroya Hall in Seattle in 1998.

Beyond her musical talents, she is also on honor role with a 4.0 grade point average and takes several AP classes. Though she works hard to stay disciplined with her music, Jila still finds the time to participate on Newport High School’s Drill Team and hang out with friends.

“It was a little overwhelming trying to balance everything at first,” Jila said, “but then I got use to the schedule and it helped me manage my time.”

Looking forward to college, she hopes to attend a school such as Julliard or New England Conservatory of Music on the East Coast.

“I would like to become a professional pianist,” Jila said, “It (playing the piano) has already shaped my life so much by teaching me discipline. It brings me a lot of joy.”

Bellevue Philharmonic Young Artists Debut Concert will be a 6 p.m. April 26. Single ticket prices are: adult $36; senior $29.50; student $12.25.

Lindsay Larin can be reached at or 425-453-4602.

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