Alexander Yau, winner of the 2018 Sydney Eisteddfod Piano Scholarship. Photo: WinkiPoP Media
Sydney Eisteddfod congratulates Alexander Yau on winning The Sydney Eisteddfod John Allison & Kawai Piano Scholarship in 2018, after a captivating performance on the Recital Hall West stage at Sydney Conservatorium of Music.
Alexander performed a well-rehearsed and moving rendition of Liszt's Sonata in B minor, leading to him being awarded the $10,000 Scholarship and $2,000 cash.
Always interested in music, Alexander started playing the piano at the age of six, and in 2006 at the age of 11, he began studying seriously with Elizabeth Powell. In 2008, he made his Sydney Eisteddfod debut and finished a proud third in the Chopin Piano event for players aged 15 and under. Since then, he has competed on its stages every year, having never departed without a prize.
Adjudicator Dr Katie Zhukov stresses the importance of this opportunity for emerging pianists.
"This piano scholarship is one of very few remaining opportunities for young Australian pianists to fund their further study, as seen by the increased number of participants this year, some travelling back from overseas to compete," said Katie.
"Performing in the Finals is a wonderful opportunity for young pianists to play in a great recital hall on a beautiful instrument in front of a very supportive audience. Win or lose, it might lead to future invitations and new contacts to further their careers," she said.
This opportunity for emerging pianists would not be possible without the generous support of sponsors Kawai Australia and The Estate of the Late John Allison who funded the scholarship. Kawai Australia also provided a magnificent Shigeru Kawai SKEK Concert Grand piano for the performances at the Final.
Adjudicator Gerard Willems AM praised the level of talent in this year's Final.
"The finalists were chosen from the excellent standard of the amazing talent that came from eastern Australia. It was an inspirational level of talent, " Gerard said.
"We were looking for fine musical taste, solid technical foundation and the X factor that projects the spiritual content of the music. Each of the finalists had this in abundance," he said.
Sydney Eisteddfod congratulates Oscar-Shoyo Wong, Rio Xiang and Nicholas Kennedy on their brilliant performances in the the Final. It is clear the level of skill and sheer talent amongst this next generation of aspiring Australian pianists is incredibly high as every finalist presented practiced, entertaining pieces and should be very proud of their achievements.
Once again, pianists from The Sydney Eisteddfod John Allison & Kawai Piano Scholarship aged 30 years & under and reside in NSW, were chosen to compete in the Fine Music Young Virtuoso State Award Final. The pianist chosen for the 2018 Final was Nicholas Kennedy.
Sydney Eisteddfod looks forward to hearing about Alexander's future accomplishments and the various opportunities that arise as a result of this achievement.