On Sunday 27 August 2017, Ashfield based pianist Jennifer Hou won the 2017 Fine Music Young Virtuoso State Final with her brilliant performances of Ross Edwards' Piano Sonata, Mvt 1 and Chopin's Ballade No 1, Op. 23.
Jennifer's performance in The John Allison & Sydney Eisteddfod Piano Scholarship caught the attention of Fine Music officials and she was selected as a finalist for the NSW Young Virtuoso Award.
The award for musicians and singers 25 years & under, provides career boosting broadcast opportunities as well as cash prizes.
"Winning the YVA state final means a great deal to me. It is one of my biggest achievements so far. It has invested me with confidence and strengthened my devotion to the piano. It has also enabled me to meet other young and talented musicians with whom I hope to play in the future. It is a fantastic event, and I am honoured to have taken part."
Winning the state final qualifies Jennifer for the YVA National Final at 2pm on Sunday 26 November 2017, where she will represent NSW.
"I hope to repeat my success at the National Final by preparing carefully with my wonderful teacher Dr Bernadette Harvey" she said.
"Beyond that, I am looking forward to my Honours year in 2018! It will be a year where I can really focus on piano and even practise every day! New and challenging repertoire awaits!" she said.
Jennifer says that opportunities provided by Sydney Eisteddfod and Fine Music Young Virtuoso Award allow emerging artists to grow and develop in a supportive environment.
"Playing for an audience in competitions like these is important to me because it tests my nerves and improves my temperament as a performer. It also provides me with an opportunity to receive helpful feedback from distinguished Australian musicians. The supportive environments which these competitions offer also motivates me: the organisers and volunteers are so kind and encouraging!" she said.
Second prize was awarded to Jessica Harper who, earlier in 2017, place 2nd in the Sydney Eisteddfod Opera Scholarship and won the Opera & Arts Support Group Vocal Scholarship.
The other talented finalists who were selected from the Sydney Eisteddfod Opera Scholarship, NSW Doctors Orchestra Sydney Eisteddfod Instrumental Scholarship and The John Allison & Sydney Eisteddfod Piano Scholarship were: Imogen-Faith Malfitano (Wollongong, NSW), Enrico-Sergio Mainas (Maroubra, NSW), Rachel Thompson (Oatley, NSW) and Jamie McCarthy (Croydon Park, NSW).
Sydney Eisteddfod was delighted to be able to partner with Fine Music in 2017 to provide these opportunities for emerging performers.