Press Release: Local pianist triumphs in Piano Scholarship at McDonald’s Sydney Eisteddfod

2 September 2014

On Sunday, 19-year-old Ayesha Gough of Tweed Heads South out-played three male rivals and emerged triumphant in the prestigious Sydney Eisteddfod Allison/Henderson Piano Scholarship. Adjudicators Max Olding AM, Roger Heagney OAM and Duncan Gifford were impressed by the high standard performances of the four pianists who competed in the final, but unanimously agreed that with her expressive playing and fine technique, Aysha finished with an edge on the rest.

As the youngest and only female finalist, Ayesha was both surprised and delighted by her victory, as her three rivals were had all successfully participated in international competitions. Ayesha received a $2,000 cash prize, plus a $10,000 scholarship while the other three finalists receive $500 each. 

Born in Darwin, Ayesha, who is studying for a Bachelor of Music degree at the Queensland Conservatorium with the Oleg Stepanov, has already enjoyed considerable success. She has competed twice in the Lev Vlassenko Piano Competition that is held every two years in Brisbane. At the age of 16 in 2011, she finished a proud fourth, and last year finished in Third place. On both occasions, she won the award for the Best Performance on an Australian Composition, and in 2013 added the People’s Choice Award to her laurels.

Aysha has performed at many venues in Brisbane and northern New South Wales. She particularly enjoys participating in the local Tyalgum Festival of Classical Music and earlier this year claimed third in the Kerikeri International Piano Competition in New Zealand.

Her promise is clearly unmistakable and her success in this prestigious scholarship further confirms her talent.

Jennie Lees, PhD
Media Liaison & Public Information