The 10th National Piano and Violin Competition - Prize Winners' Concert 2015

Sunday, December 13, 2015

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Simply Lambchops attends NPVC 2015


It was curiosity that prompted me to attend the 10th National Piano and Violin Competition Prize Winners' Concert & Prize Presentation Ceremony at the Victoria Concert Hall on Sunday. I am no expert listener, and can't tell the difference between great works of Beethoven or Mozart, but I was curious about the performing standards of the prize winners and I was itching for some good classical music that weekend. It has been a long time since I attended a concert too. 

My other (secret) agenda was to expose Ch and L to more classical music and hopefully, be able to appreciate why they learn to play the piano and gain some inspiration to be more diligent in their own music-making journey. 

A biennial event, the National Piano and Violin Competition is jointly organised by the National Arts Council (NAC) and the Singapore Symphony Orchestra (SSO). It serves as a talent development platform to discover and nurture young musicians to artistic excellence, and provide opportunities to perform before renowned international adjudicators like Mr Charles Castleman (violin adjudicator) and Ms Anna Jastrzebska-Quinn (piano adjudicator). A total of 25 winners emerged from among 159 participants, and I saw two familiar faces among the group of proud parents that evening. 

Simply Lambchops attends NPVC 2015


This year's edition saw a special commission by local composer and 2003 Young Artist Award recipient Dr Zechariah Goh Toh Chai. His pieces - Quinquagenerian celebration and Quinquagenerian Jubilation for piano, Ondeh Ondeh variations and Two Sketches for violin - were used as competition pieces and performed at the Prize Winners' Concert. 

Ronan Lim Ziming, 1st Prize Winner of the Violin Senior Category, also bagged the final edition of the Goh Soon Tioe Outstanding Performer Award of $10,000 for his outstanding performing qualities in Ondeh Ondeh and Lutoslawki's Subito (1992). 

Luiyi Retallick, 1st Prize Winner of Violin Artist Category

As anticipated, the concert was indeed a spectacular showcase of the top prize winners of all categories who displayed the highest standards of classical music. The concert opened with performances by winners of the Piano and Violin Artist categories, accompanied by the Metropolitan Festival Orchestra conducted by Maestro Chan Tze Law. The two winners played well, but I wasn't particularly impressed for some reasons. 

We were very much more impressed with the younger ones. From their performances, the dedication and passion towards excellence in the classical music scene exude strongly from each prize winner. I was most impressed and captivated by Jordan Alexandra JunYi Hadrill's vivacious performance of Wieniawski's Variations on an Original Theme Op. 15. 

Jordan Alexandra JunYi Hadrill receiving her prize from
Guest-of-Honour Mr Ng Chee Meng, Acting Minister for Education (Schools)

It was interesting to observe Ch and L throughout the concert - one sat through most parts with an intent gaze, seemingly appreciating the display of talents, while the other fidgeted in the seat and wished to be out of the concert hall. This certainly has to do with the amount of exposure to such concerts, and I hope there will be more of such family outings. It was also the littlest's first exposure to classical music in a formal setting, and she had to be whisked out of the concert hall after the first performance because she talked too much (apologies!). 

When asked to name a performer who left the deepest impression that evening, the three kids replied:
"My favourite performer is Wang Huang Hao Jia because he plays the piano very smoothly and his posture when playing is good. He does not slouch like some players when they are playing softly." said Ch. 
Wang Huang Hao Jia, 1st Prize Winner (Piano Intermediate Category)

"The best performer in my eyes is Tricia Ng En Lin, [as] the song that she performed was very attractive and lively. She could move her fingers so quickly on the finger board." mentioned Eu, classmate of Ch.
Tricia Ng En Lin, 1st Prize Winner (Violin Junior Category)

Said L, "... favourite performer is Ronan because Ronan got an award and his piece is well-played and nice." 
Ronan Lim Ziming, 1st Prize Winner (Violin Senior Category)
& Winner of Goh Soon Tioe Outstanding Performer Award

Well, I do hope they have rubbed off some passion from these prize winners. 

The next edition of the competition will be in December 2017. Watch out for it and I would recommend bringing your child along if he is learning either of the musical instruments. 

Do hop over to Pianomania for his detailed review of the event if you want to find out more. 

Disclaimer: All photos are provided by the National Arts Council, unless otherwise stated. 

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