Thursday 4 August 2022





Lee Foundation Theatre

Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts

Thursday (4 August 2022)

Ever wondered what all these piano prodigies get up to during their school vacations? Attend summer piano academies or festivals, where they get more piano lessons, attend lectures and workshops guided by a host of international teachers, and also play for a live audience. This is how performing artists of the future get a start and taste of concert life, while preparing themselves for the rigours of academic and conservatory studies. Piano academies take place all over the world, and the Nanyang International Piano Academy (NIPA), organised by the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts, is one of these.

The four-day NIPA 2022 opened with a gala recital, featuring two of its faculty and some very promising young piano talents. The hour-long recital was attended by a sizeable and lively audience with many young people (median age guesstimated to be about 12 years old!) who were as attentive as they were well-behaved. Here are some photos of the performers and what they performed.

NIPA Chairperson Nellie Seng,
also Head of Piano Studies of NAFA greeted
all the attendees, only after she had performed.

The opening work was the first movement of
Carl Vine's Piano Sonata No.1, given a stunningly
kinetic and sonorous reading by Nellie Seng.

Alexander Tienroth fully understands the
gentle rocking rhythm of Faur√©'s
Barcarolle No.1
and its ornamental figurations.

Using a pedal extension, Joston Liew
puts the shine on Haydn's Sonata in D major
Hob.XVI:37 with no little wit and humour. 

Serial competition winner Casey Li
gave a sparkling performance of
Debussy's Les Collines d'Anacapri,
filled with Mediterranean sunshine and colour.

Even if Joshua Loh's reading of 
Haydn's Sonata in F major Hob.XVI:23
was a tad metronomic, it was totally
apt for Kabalevsky's Sonatina Op.13 No.1.

Ben Choong Startup received the loudest cheers
from the audience, and he rewarded them with a 
lyrical performance of Liszt's Petrarch Sonnet No.104.

The recital closed with Melody Quah,
piano professor at Penn State University, performing
Zhou Long's vibrant and dance-like Wu Kui,
with shades of Bartok and Ginastera
dressed up in Chinese characteristics.

Concert pianists of the future,
take a bow!

Watch the full concert here:

NIPA 2022 - Opening Gala Concert - YouTube

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