Whether in sickness or health, the single event one must not miss is the National Piano & Violin Competition (NPVC) finals and prize presentation ceremony, organised by the National Arts Council (NAC). The future of classical music in Singapore is neatly showcased in this slick event of genuine music-making and often astounding virtuosity.
I had been following the NPVC since 2001, and its prescience in unearthing true musical talents like violinists Grace Lee, Tang Tee Khoon, Lim Hui, Selina Tang, Ike See, Lee Shi Mei, Alan Choo and pianists Khor Shan Jin, Shaun Choo, Azariah Tan and Clarence Lee (just to name only the Singaporeans) has been totally canny.
If you want to see who will figure large in the local classical music scene in the future, just attend the NPVC to view the crystal ball. The last five editions have also produced winners in foreign talents (from China, Taiwan, Korea, Indonesia, Philippines, Ukraine, Uzbekistan et cetera) studying in our local musical institutions (YST and NAFA) and they have given Singaporeans a run for their money. The overall result has been an great improvement in the standards of playing and our musical scene has been the beneficiary. Whether the NPVC continues in this present form, it is undeniable that the Competition has totally enriched our musical landscape.
|1sr prizewinner of the Violin Artist category Shi Xiaoxuan|
impressed in Saint-Saëns's Third Violin Concerto,
accompanied by the Metropolitan Festival Orchestra
conducted by Chan Tze Law.
It should be noted that Camille Saint-Saëns had a great year, as both First Prizewinners of the Piano and Violin Artist Categories won with the Frenchman's concertos. Earlier in the ceremony, Elaine Yap Sin Yee gave a swashbuckling account of the Presto finale from Saint-Saëns's Second Piano Concerto. Froth is good, when played with such flair and abandon!
|The winner of the Goh Soon Tioe Outstanding Performer Award|
was Samuel Tan Yek Hee, who received the biggest bounty
of SGD10,000! Here he meets the Ag.Minister Lawrence Wong
and Goh Soon Tioe's daughter Vivien Goh.
|All the proud winners line up.|
|Newly commissioned work Varyations II by Terrence Wong|
was played completely from memory
by Jonathan Chua Yujing.
|Serene Koh (1st Prize, Piano Senior Category) |
gave a stylish account of
Rachmaninov's Humoresque Op.10 No.5
|More virtuosity from Shalynn Tsai (1st Prize, |
Violin Intermediate Category) with
Chen Gang's Sunshine Over Tashkurgan.
She was accompanied by pianist Lim Yan.
|Liew Ai Xin (1st Prize, Piano Intermediate Category)|
was all fluency and flair in Fauré's Third Impromptu.
|Kennis Ang (1st Prize, Piano Junior Category) brought out|
the orchestral colour in
Turina's Exaltacion from Danzas Fantasticas.
|Kimberly Lo (1st Prize, Violin Junior Category)|
impressed with stunning prestidigitation
in Sinding's Suite in A minor (1st movement).
Lim Yan makes sure he doesn't miss a note too.
|Jonathan Shin (3rd Prize, Piano Artist Category)|
reunited with his first teacher Madam Fang Yuan.
|Kennis Ang with her family and teacher Lena Ching (left),|
who was a prize-winning pianist herself.
|The Albert Tiu studio does it again: three first-prize |
winners in three consecutive NPVCs.
Latest winner Elaine Yap Sin Yee (centre in all white)
and 2011 winner Victor Ye (white tee-shirt) flank
their proud and happy teacher.
|The masked bandit brigade!|
PianoManiac meets MahlerManiac Tan Chan Boon.