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Rediscovering music was an unexpected, but exciting journey for this Kansas City teen

Pianist and composer Christian Won
Sam Wisman
Pianist and composer Christian Won

Christian Won is a talented pianist and composer from Grandview, MO. Christly L'Esperance speaks with Christian about his musical inspirations, finding balance between practice and teenage fun, his next steps and more.

Pianist and composer Christian Won of Grandview, MO started in music at age six, but wasn't immediately drawn to it.

"I really didn't like it as a kid and I paused music for the next five or six years, no contact at all," he admitted.

When he went to summer camp at twelve, however, his love of music was reignited.

"I saw some older teens playing the keyboard who really inspired me," says Won. "I was like, 'ok, I have to learn piano now.'"

This new passion for music and playing the piano was unexpected, but invigorating.

"Having been disconnected from music for six years, hearing it again from a fresh perspective, kind of brought some new inspirations that I haven't thought of before," says Won. "This time it clicked with me."

While he was having fun playing, his mom encouraged him to work harder and see what he could accomplish.

"I didn't want to do anything too serious, but it was my mom that initially pushed me," says Won, "I wanted to practice more. I wanted to learn more difficult pieces, new composers - it was a new spark."

In addition to his piano playing prowess, Christian composes music, taking inspiration from the greats: "I try to think for example, 'what was Chopin trying to say when he wrote this passage' or 'why did he write with this note?'"

"That really changed my perspective when I play. It made me see the notes less as just notes, but that it's the composer trying to convey his message through the music."

As Christian continues to grow as a musician and a person, he is thankful for his family. "I'm blessed, they're really supportive of my journey."

"That also motivates me and also I just love music."

Hear our full conversation with Christian via the audio player above.

Kansas City native Christy L’Esperance (pronounced “LESS-per-ahns") started listening to classical music on the Snoopy radio she got for her 4th birthday. Today, as Classical KC’s Community Engagement Specialist and On-Air Host, she enjoys classical music through much better speakers. You can reach Christy at She would love to hear about the ways you keep music in your life.
Sam Wisman is a Senior Producer for 91.9 Classical KC and a backup announcer for KCUR 89.3. Email him at