The Sydney Eisteddfod Alf & Pearl Pollard Memorial Awards for Performance Excellence is awarded to a junior instrumentalist who has demonstrated exceptional talent on Sydney Eisteddfod stages. The competition is judged by audience vote and this year, the outstanding 16-year-old violinist Lily Higson-Spence emerged triumphant.
Lily, who lives in Brisbane and flies to Sydney regularly to take lessons with Robin Wilson, won over the audience playing the Carmen Fantasy Op. 25 by Pablo de Sarasate with great sensitivity and style.
The 2014 Sydney Eisteddfod Alf & Pearl Pollard Memorial Awards for Performance Excellence finalists. From left: Lily Higson-Spence, Joshua Han, Sam Lambert (back), Daniel Shao, Ben Close (back), Kenneth Tong (front), Andrew Liang, Conor Hingerty, Airi Fujisaki and Kimble Zhang (back). Photo: WinkiPoP Media
Lily shared the stage at Lane Cove-Mowbray Anglican Church, with 9 other finalists and the standard of performance was truly magnificent. Sam Lambert, a brilliant 16-year-old oboist, finished in second place, while the amazingly talented 12-year-old pianist Joshua Han came third. The remaining finalists Ben Close (trumpet), Airi Fujisaki (flute), Conor Hingerty (classical guitar), Andrew Liang (violin), Daniel Shao (violin), Kenneth Tong (piano) and Kimble Zhang (piano) all performed outstandingly.
Alex Chorley, winner of 5 gold medals in the 2014 McDonald's Sydney Eisteddfod. Photo: WinkiPoP Media
Sydney Eisteddfod thanks the inimitable 13-year-old singer and actor Alex Chorley who entertained in the guest spot. Alex made his own mark at the 2014 McDonald's Sydney Eisteddfod by winning of 5 gold medals.
The Sydney Eisteddfod Alf & Pearl Pollard Memorial Awards for Performance Excellence are sponsored by the family of Emeritus Professor Alfred Pollard of Macquarie University who served as chairman of Sydney Eisteddfod from 1995 until his death in 2000.
Hosted by Lane Cove Music, this final featured the top 10 junior musicians from the recent festival, and brings the 2014 McDonald’s Sydney Eisteddfod to an end. Entries to the 2015 McDonald’s Sydney Eisteddfod open in January 2015.
Sydney Eisteddfod provides a variety of performance opportunities for young musicians and in the 2014 Festival offered 39 piano events and 24 solo instrumental events for string, woodwind and brass players, and 17 group instrumental events for bands, orchestras and ensembles.