23 Young Musicians Recognised for Outstanding Talent at the 2013 National Piano and Violin Competition


Singapore, 8 December 2013 – Following nine days of intense competition, the National Arts Council (NAC) is pleased to congratulate the 23 winners of the 2013 National Piano and Violin Competition. These young talents were selected from a pool of 280 participants, a 16% increase from the previous edition. Winners received their awards at the Prize Winners’ Concert and Prize Presentation Ceremony held this evening at the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music, where selected winners had the opportunity to perform alongside the Metropolitan Festival Orchestra.


2          Organised by NAC, this biennial competition attests to the highest standards of piano and violin in Singapore, motivating competitors to strive for high levels of artistic excellence. The 9th edition of the competition saw the return of the Goh Soon Tioe Outstanding Performer Award in its second installment. The winner of the award was 8-year-old Samuel Tan Yek Hee, who also won 2nd prize in the Violin (Junior) Category. The judges were impressed by the excellence in his craft as well as the determination and focus shown at his tender age.


3          Ms Vivien Goh, donor of the Goh Soon Tioe Outstanding Performer Award and 1983 Cultural Medallion recipient for Music, said,  "My father, Goh Soon Tioe, Singapore's pioneer violinist and conductor, recognised the generosity of those who nurtured him as a musician. As a teacher, he gave his time and energy to mentor young musicians, who in turn continue to shape the musical life of Singapore today. I hope this award will enable Samuel to nurture his craft and reach greater heights to enrich the cultural life of Singapore.”


4          In the other categories, 18-year-old Ms Koh Serene and 13-year-old Ms Tsai Qi Yun, Shalynn clinched top honours in the Piano (Senior) and Violin (Intermediate) categories respectively. Ms Koh and Ms Tsai are not newcomers to this competition and were previously a finalist and semi-finalist in the same categories in 2011.


5          Winners in the Piano and Violin (Artist) Category performed original works written by Singapore composers Eric James Watson and Chen Zhangyi. Other compositions by Terrence Wong and Er Yenn Chwen were also featured throughout the competition as set pieces. These performances were showcased in front of renowned international musicians who were the judges of this year’s competition. They include Gennady Dzyubenko, Dean Kramer, Ick Choo Moon, David Cerone, Markus Gundermann and Jun Yi Ma.


6          Mr Ick Choo Moon, an adjudicator for the Piano category, said, “I have been involved as a member of the jury in several international competitions and it has been such a joy to listen to so many young talents in Singapore. Through their performances, all participants have shown their passion and commitment to music, which are key facets of any musician’s journey. I look forward to hearing them again in future, and I am sure I will.”


7          Mr David Cerone, an adjudicator for the Violin category, said, “Over the past few days I have felt the participants’ energy and determination, and it brings back fond memories of my younger days as a soloist and chamber musician. Performing live in a national competition is a new experience for many of these young violinists, and I hope that our feedback and advice will encourage them to continue working hard as they progress in their musical careers.”


8          Elaine Ng, Director for Sector Development (Performing Arts), NAC, added, “For more than 15 years, this competition has discovered and nurtured talented musicians and composers. Performing before an international panel of judges exposes them to the challenges of solo recitals, and we hope this will spur them to better their craft. As we celebrate the achievements of our winners, we will also continue our efforts in growing Singapore’s music scene holistically.”


9          For a full list of winners, please refer to the Appendix below.