National Piano & Violin Competition 2019: Adjudicators

Piano: Mei Yi Foo

Winner of the 2013 BBC Music Magazine’s Best Newcomer award, Mei Yi Foo is recognised internationally as an innovative pianist with a diverse and eclectic repertoire. A prolific concert soloist, Mei Yi has appeared with the English Chamber Orchestra, Fort Worth Symphony, Helsinki Philharmonic, Iceland Symphony, London Chamber Orchestra, Malaysian Philharmonic, National Taiwan Symphony Orchestra, Philharmonia Orchestra, Remix Ensemble and the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra, garnering rave reviews from The Times, Independent, Neue Zurcher Zeitung, SRF broadcast, Guardian and Klassik magazine.

As an avid new music advocate, Mei Yi works actively with living composers and performs at the world’s most eminent festivals including the Lucerne Festival, Ultraschall Festival Berlin, Huddersfield Festival and the Punkt Festival in Norway. She was also the featured artist at Southbank Centre’s ‘Music of Today’ series in 2017.

A native of Malaysia, Mei Yi resides in the UK after completing her studies at the Royal College and Royal Academy of Music in London with Yonty Solomon, Chris Elton and Alexander Satz. Currently she holds a teaching position at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama. Mei Yi was also awarded the medal of Setiawan Tuanku Muhriz for her contribution towards art and music in her home country.

Piano: Alexey Lebedev

Alexey Lebedev is one of the most interesting pianists of his generation, having won numerous awards at international piano competitions including the G. B. Viotti Competition in Vercelli, the legendary Feruccio Busoni Competition in Bolzano, the Maria Canals International Competition in Barcelona, and the Jose Iturbi Competition in Valencia.

Lebedev was born in 1980 in St Petersburg, Russia, to a musical family – his father was a conductor. At the age of 14, Lebedev made his orchestral debut playing Rachmaninoff's Second Piano Concerto in St Petersburg. Since 1998, he has won 15 first prizes in competitions in Spain, Italy, France, Portugal, Germany, the Netherlands and Bulgaria.

Lebedev studied with Tatiana Kravchenko and Tatiana Zagorovskaya at the St Petersburg State Conservatory. He also studied at the University of Music and Drama in Hanover with Mi-Kyung Kim, Matti Raekallio, and Einar Steen-Nøkleberg.

From 2009 to 2012, Alexey Lebedev was a lecturer in the Piano Department of the University of Music and Drama in Hanover, Germany. Since 2012, Alexey Lebedev has been Professor of Piano at the Kyungsung University in Busan, South Korea and since 2014, he is Artistic Director of the Kyungsung International Piano Academy and Competition. Lebedev has been a Jury member in major international piano competitions including the Maria Canals (Barcelona), G. B. Viotti (Vercelli) and the Ferruccio Busoni (Bolzano).

Piano: Uta Weyand

German born pianist Uta Weyand comes from a musical family. The daughter of a choir conductor and an organist, she grew up with choir music and the organ repertoire. During her childhood she expressed her extraordinary musical talent not only at the piano, she also played the violin, received voice classes and composed with great success.

After her studies in Freiburg, Germany; Baltimore,USA and Madrid,Spain with Elza Kolodin, Vitaly Margulis, Leon Fleisher and Joaquín Soriano, Uta Weyand has had great international success giving numerous piano recitals and appearing with orchestras in most European countries, in Russia, Brazil, Cuba and the United States.

After several scholarships granted by the German Government Uta Weyand won First Prize in the Steinway Piano Competition in Berlin and in 1996 First Prize in the José Iturbi International Piano Competition in Valencia with two special prizes: one for the best interpretation of Spanish music and the other for Spanish contemporary music.

Since then Uta Weyand has greatly widened her repertoire. Having lived in Spain for more than ten years, Uta Weyand is a passionate interpreter of the Spanish piano repertoire. Uta Weyand received worldwide press reviews with her recordings for Hänssler Classics with music by Schumann, Mozart, Debussy, Montsalvatge, Granados and the Complete Works for Piano Solo by Manuel de Falla.

In 2000 she became a professor at the Conservatorio Superior de Musica in Castellon/Spain. Since 2002 she has been teaching at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Madrid. Uta Weyand is the founder and managing director both of the PIANALE International Academy and Competition for pianists between 18 and 30 and the PIANALE JUNIOR for young pianists between 14 and 17.

Violin: Ning Kam

Hailed by Strad magazine as a “strong artistic personality”, Singaporean violinist, Ning Kam has gone on to perform all over the world both as soloist and chamber musician. She was the Second Prizewinner at the Queen Elisabeth Competition in 2001 and was praised by Belgium’s De Standaard as “manifestly the best violinist of the competition”. She also won the Flemish Radio and Television Audience Prize in that year. She has performed under the batons of conductors such as Yehudi Menuhin, Lorin Maazel, Okko Kamu, Lan Shui, Louis Langree and Eri Klas with orchestras such as the Cleveland Orchestra, Singapore Symphony, Malaysian Philharmonic, City of London Sinfonia, National Orchestra of Belgium, Staatsoperorchester Rheinische Philharmonie and the Phoenix and Tucson Symphony Orchestras.

Ning performed at the inauguration of the Concert Hall at Esplanade Theatres on the Bay in 2002, in the presence of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. She was the winner of the Young Artist Award in 2000, presented by the National Arts Council of Singapore.

Between 2010 and 2017, Ning was the Artistic Director of Het Kamerorkest Brugge, a conductorless chamber orchestra with a focus on 20th and 21st century music. She has also been invited to guest lead and direct the strings of the Rheinische Philharmonie Koblenz and has returned there every season since 2016.

Since September 2017, Ning has been on the faculty of the Conservatoire Royal de Bruxelles as Professor of Violin. She has also joined the violin faculty of the Yehudi Menuhin School from November 2019.

Ning plays on a 1668 Nicolas Amati on generous loan from the Rin Collection, Singapore.

Violin: Sasha Rozhdestvensky

Sasha Rozhdestvensky is considered to be one of today’s finest Russian violinists. Yehudi Menuhin pronounced him to be “one of the most talented and refined violinists of his generation”.

He has appeared internationally with leading ensembles such as the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra of Europe, Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra of “La Scala” and the Mariinsky Orchestra. Among the conductors with whom Sasha Rozhdestvensky has worked are Vladimir Ashkenazy, Jean Claude Casadesus, Valery Gergiev, Theodor Guschlbauer, Vernon Handley, Gennady Rozhdestvensky, Giuseppe Sinopoli, Gerard Schwartz and Vladimir Jurowski.

Sasha's recordings include the Concerto Grosso No.6 by Alfred Schnittke with the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic (Chandos). He premiered this concerto, which was written especially for him and Viktoria Postnikova in 1994. He subsequently recorded Shostakovich Violin Concerto No. 1 and Glazunov's Concerto with Gennady Rozhdestvensky and the State Symphony Capella of Russia (Nimbus).

Sasha Rozhdestvensky’s dedication to contemporary music is highlighted through close contacts with several eminent composers, such as Alfred Schnittke, Sofia Gubaidulina, Giya Kancheli, Arvo Pärt and Ian Venables.

Sasha studied at the Central Music School in Moscow, the Moscow Conservatory, the Paris Conservatoire and the Royal College of Music in London. Sasha Rozhdestvensky is a professor at the Royal College of Music in London and the Haute école de musique de Genève.

Violin: Tianwa Yang

Winner of the prestigious ECHO Klassik Instrumentalist of the Year ( Violin ) 2015 for her Naxos recording Ysaÿe’s 6 Sonatas for Solo Violin, the Best Up-and-Coming Artist 2014 and the Annual Prize of the German Record Critics 2014 for her Naxos recordings of the Mendelssohn Violin Concertos and Complete Music for Violin by Sarasate, Tianwa Yang is referred to as “an unquestioned master of the violin” by American Record Guide who “rises above her competition” (Fanfare). She performs with such major orchestras as the Detroit, Seattle and Baltimore Symphonies Orchestras and the London, Dresden, BBC, Deutsche Radio and Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestras.

As a critically acclaimed recording artist for Naxos, Ms. Yang’s most recent releases include Brahms’ Violin Concerto and Double Concerto with DSO Berlin Antoni Witt and cellist Gabriel Schwabe.

Raised in the Chinese capital city of Bejing, Ms. Yang began studying violin at the age of four. Demonstrating unquestionable ability, Ms. Yang won six competitions as a young child. At the age of ten she was accepted to study at the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing as a student of Lin Yaoji. Ms. Yang recorded the 24 Paganini Caprices at the age of thirteen, making her the youngest artist to release the works.

Ms. Yang has won several awards during her career including the Volkswagen Foundation prize “Star of Tomorrow” by Seiji Ozawa and the 2006 “Prix Montblanc.” She is Professor of Violin at the University of the Arts, Bern, Switzerland. She performs on a Guarneri del Gesu ( 1730 ) on kind loan from the Rin Collection in Singapore.