3 August 2018
On Friday 20July 2018 Alexander Yau from Epping won The Sydney Eisteddfod John Allison & Kawai Piano Scholarship (16-25 years), worth $12,000, performing Liszt's Sonata in B minor at Sydney Conservatorium of Music.
Alexander has played the piano since the age of six and performed in numerous Sydney Eisteddfod competitions and was awarded for his efforts on multiple occasions.
The pianist’s success may also be attributed to his attitude as a performer.
“I always tell myself that, “you are enough,” which always allows me to stay cool before a performance, and be myself, not do anything extra, and above all, be honest,” Alexander said.
Dr Katie Zhukov, one of the adjudicators, emphasises the significance of this event for young pianists like Alexander, who plans to complete his masters of piano overseas and continue to perform in front of large and critical audiences.
"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 Dr Zhukov.
"Win or lose, it might lead to future invitations and new contacts to further their careers," she said.
Gerard Willems AM, also judging the event, explains that there were many factors considered in the decision-making process and that there was difficulty in nominating a winner.
"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," Mr Willems said.
This scholarship would not have been possible if it wasn’t for the generous support of sponsors Kawai Australia and The Estate of the Late John Allison, and in particular for the stunning Shigeru Kawai SKEK Concert Grand piano supplied by Kawai.
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