Singapore, 7 December 2015 – 159 participants, 10 days of intense competition, 25 winners – the 10th edition of the National Piano and Violin Competition ended on a high note, with Guest-of-Honour Mr Ng Chee Meng, Acting Minister for Education (Schools), presenting awards at the Prize Winners’ Concert & Prize Presentation Ceremony held last evening at the Victoria Concert Hall. The highlight of the concert was the virtuostic performances by selected winners who had the privilege to be accompanied by the Metropolitan Festival Orchestra conducted by Maestro Chan Tze Law, Associate Director (Ensemble & Professional Development) at the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music, National University of Singapore.
2 The biennial Competition organised by the National Arts Council (NAC) and Singapore Symphony Orchestra (SSO) is one Singapore’s signature talent development platforms that recognises young music aspirants with the highest standards of classical music. Ms Kathy Lai, Chief Executive Officer, NAC said, “I would like to commend all the participants for inspiring us with their passionate music-making through this Competition. I congratulate the winners, as they join the ranks of many musicians who have started and nurtured their careers on the stage of the Victoria Concert Hall. I am also delighted with our partnership with the SSO for this competition, and look forward to the SSO paving the way for the growth of our young musicians.”
3 Mr Chng Hak-Peng, Chief Executive Officer of the Singapore Symphonia Company Limited added, “Congratulations to all the winners and participants of the Competition for an impressive performance this year! As Singapore’s national symphony orchestra, the SSO is excited to be part of this Competition. We believe music has a transformative effect on young people, and witnessing a new generation of young musicians bloom into their performing lives has motivated us. Through this Competition, we believe that Singapore’s classical music scene is set to continue growing.”
EMBRACING EMERGING TALENTS
4 As part of the SG50 celebrations, the NAC and SSO commissioned 2003 Young Artist Award recipient Dr Zechariah Goh, to compose an original set of locally-inspired works. The pieces - Quinquagenarian Celebration, Quinquagenarian Jubilation, Ondeh Variations and Two Sketches for Violin Solo - were used as set competition pieces for the Senior and Artist category participants and performed at the Prize Winners’ Concert.
5 This year’s edition also saw the third and final installment of the Goh Soon Tioe Outstanding Performance Award. The winner of the award is Ronan Lim Ziming, who also won top honours in the Violin (Senior) Category. The judges were impressed by his extraordinary display of talent through his captivating performance.
6 Commenting on his win this year at the competition, Ronan said, “I am very excited to be one of the selected winners performing and thankful for the recognition by Ms Vivien Goh for the Goh Soon Tioe Outstanding Performer Award. The competition has been an inspiring journey for me as I learnt so much from both the adjudicators and other participants. I hope I can continue on my journey to improving my skills as a musician and achieve my dreams.”
PITCHING AGAINST INTERNATIONAL STANDARDS
7 Participants performed in front of a panel of renowned international adjudicators who are highly regarded in their respective fields. The 2015 panel comprised six music luminaries who include piano adjudicators Ms Anna Jastrzebska-Quinn, Ms Kiai Nara, Mr Tamás Ungár and violin adjudicators Mr Charles Castleman, Mr Daniel Garlitsky and Mr Goetz Richter.
8 Said Mr Charles Castleman, “Such competitions play an important role in one’s learning journey as a musician. I would like to commend the participants for setting such high standards for themselves and putting in their best for the Competition. I believe they have gained invaluable knowledge and experience in the process.”
9 Ms Anna Jastrzebska-Quinn added, “In addition to theoretical development and good compositions, competitions are also essential drivers of the overall classical music scene. The International Chopin Piano Competition – one of the oldest and most prestigious music competition – produced a pool of renowned musicians such as Maurizio Pollini, Martha Argerich and Krystian Zimerman, whose contributions to the scene have influenced many generations of pianists. I believe that this Competition will help grow Singapore’s classical music scene.”
10 Since its launch in 1997, several prominent Singaporean musicians and music groups such as Singapore’s premier string quartet T’ang Quartet, have come through the National Piano and Violin Competition. Look out for the next classical music breakthrough at the next edition of the competition, taking place in December 2017.
11 For a full list of winners, please refer to Annex