October 5, 2016
Three young instrumentalists from The Hills were huge crowd pleasers, claiming first, second and third place at the Sydney Eisteddfod Alf & Pearl Pollard Memorial Instrumental Awards for Performance Excellence last night (October 4) at the Lane Cove-Mowbray Anglican Church.
Cellist John Wu, from Castle Hill, impressed the audience by playing Hungarian Rhapsody, Op 68 by composer David Popper with accompanist Julia Brimo. As one of the youngest of the 10 finalists, 11-year-old John won a prize of $1000 for his efforts.
His father Gang Wu said the whole family was incredibly excited and couldn’t sleep after the win last night.
“It was a big surprise for us because he is one of the youngest competitors,” Mr Wu said.
“We are very lucky that he has very good teachers and that he really loves music. You really feel that he loves it from the bottom of his heart. We don’t push him to practice. We just let him feel the music and enjoy other interests.”
Junior instrumentalists who shine in their other events on the Sydney Eisteddfod stage are invited to participate in the prestigious Sydney Eisteddfod Alf & Pearl Pollard Memorial Instrumental Awards for Performance Excellence (for 11 to 15 year olds). This is the last event in the Sydney Eisteddfod’s annual calendar and is the only event in which the winners are chosen solely by audience vote.
Second place went to North Rocks’ Anna Chung, 13, who played Carnival of Venice for Clarinet and Piano, by Alamiro Giampieri on her clarinet with accompanist Katherine Kumju Shin. She received a prize of $750.
Beaumont Hills’ pianist Joshua Han, 14, won bronze and $500 with two pieces: Variations of Happy Birthday by Cyprien Katsaris and Variations of a theme of Carmen, by Vladimir Horowitz.
The awards are a legacy left by the late Alf and Pearl Pollard, who were lovers of music and the arts and keenly aware of the joy that music brings to an audience. Both were members of the Lane Voce Music Club for more than 50 years. The funds for these awards were donated to Sydney Eisteddfod in 2001.
The other finalists received $300 each. They were:
- Leroy Ma, piano (Hurstville)
- Madison Au, oboe (Kurraba Point)
- Andrew Wang, violin (Stanmore)
- Jeremy Sun, piano (Chapel Hill, QLD)
- Nikolas Rejto, classical guitar (Curl Curl)
- Thomas Bootes, trumpet (Killarney Heights)
- Michael Chang, oboe (Woolwich)
- Entered 3 Sydney Eisteddfod events in 2016 – he won the Viola, Cello or Double Bass event (12/u) and placed second in the Viola, Cello or Double Bass event (19/u)
- Entered 4 events this year. She won the Clarinet (19/u) event, was Highly Commended in the Woodwind Instrument (15/u) and didn’t place in the Woodwind Instrument (19/u) event.
- In 2015 Anna also entered 4 events. She won the Woodwind Instrument (15/u) and was a finalist in the Sydney Eisteddfod Alf & Pearl Pollard Memorial Instrumental Awards for Performance Excellence.
- Entered 6 events this year. He won 4 [Russian Piano (any age), Chopin Piano (17/u), 20th or 21st Century Piano (15/u) and Recital Awards (13/14yrs)], placed second in the Chopin Piano (15/u) and third in the Pollard Awards.
- In 2015 Joshua entered 7 events and placed in 6 of them, including a second place win in the Pollard Awards. He won the Recital Award (13/14yrs) and Chopin Piano (15/u).
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