Published on 08 December 2019

Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Culture, Community and Youth & Transport Baey Yam Keng and the top category winners and adjudicators at the National Piano & Violin Competition 2019 Artist Finals and the Prize Winners' Concert

Results from National Piano & Violin Competition 2019

The 2019 National Piano & Violin Competition (全国钢琴与小提琴比赛) unveiled its top prize winners this evening.

Singapore’s oldest and most prestigious music competition, the biennial National Piano & Violin Competition was established by the National Arts Council in 1997. Since 2017, it has been organised by the Singapore Symphony Group. The Competition celebrates music excellence and is a unique platform to develop the performing skills of young musicians, improve music standards, and identify potential musical talent.

This year, in its 12th edition, around 170 applicants entered the competition's four categories: Junior (11 years and below), Senior (15 years and below), Intermediate (21 years and below), and Artist (25 years and below).

For the semi-finals and finals, participants performed for a panel of renowned international adjudicators that comprised world-class musicians: Mei Yi Foo, Alexey Lebedev and Uta Weyand (for piano); and Ning Kam, Sasha Rozhdestvensky and Tianwa Yang (for violin).

For piano adjudicator and German pianist Uta Weyand: “There is a wonderful variety of personalities and therefore it is never boring to listen to the competitors. From the Junior to the Artist categories I can find almost perfect technical skills. This competition gives us a great opportunity to follow the changes and progression between pianists of different age categories. I think all competitors did a great effort and will notice that the experience of the competition made them develop in many senses.” Weyand is a professor at the Conservatorio Superior de Musica in Castellon, Spain. She also teaches at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Madrid.

For violin adjudicator and Singaporean violinist Ning Kam: “As far as technical skill is concerned, it’s just phenomenal. It is always astonishing to see how younger and younger people are able to play with such high technical skill. I’m also happy to hear truly moving playing by a few individuals, with real depth and moving quality that reaches the audience. The Junior contestants are especially bold and musical, and I hope to hear them again when they’re older.” Kam is concurrently Professor of Violin at the Conservatoire Royal de Bruxelles and violin faculty at the Yehudi Menuhin School.

Participants in the Artist and Senior categories also performed a set piece from newly commissioned works by Singaporean composer Wang Chenwei, in addition to their full solo programme. Final rounds required them to play a full concerto, accompanied by the National Piano & Violin Competition Orchestra.

Wang’s competition set pieces were titled Thaipusam, Hari Raya, Mid-Autumn Festival and National Day.

On the participants’ performances, Wang said: “It is not often that Western classical musicians play in Chinese, Malay and Indian musical styles, and the contestants made a genuine effort to discover and bring out the intricacies in my compositions. I was delighted to hear a variety of interpretations and was very impressed by the depth of artistry exhibited at the National Piano & Violin Competition, especially by young pianists and violinists in their teens.”

Baey Yam Keng, Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Culture, Community and Youth & Transport was Guest-of-Honour at the Prize Winners’ Concert on 8 December.

He said: “The competition introduces not only upcoming musicians but also new works from local composers. The competition has launched the careers of young talent like violinist Chloe Chua, pianists Tay Wan Ni Nicole and Serene Koh. It is a wonderful way to showcase and support the next generation of classical musicians and local composers.”

The top three winners in each category received trophies, certificates and cash prizes of up to $5,000. The winners of the four categories and honourable mentions are:

Piano categories

Junior (11 years & below)
First prize winner: Casey Li WeiXi (cash prize $800)
Second prize winner: Joshuanne Yeh Su En (cash prize $400)
Third prize winner: Keong Zhi Ling Sophie (cash prize $200)

Intermediate (15 years & below)
First prize winner: Justin Low Renkai (cash prize $1,000)
Second prize winner: Xu Ruojin (cash prize $800)
Third prize winner: Tang Zhi Feng Adrian (cash prize $400)
Honourable Mention: Michelle Chen Dan Hua (cash prize $100)

Senior (21 years & below)
First prize winner: Wang Huang Hao Jia (cash prize $2,500)
Second prize winner: Lim Shi Han (cash prize $1,000)
Third prize winner: Pualina Lim Mei En (cash prize $800)
Honourable Mention: Zhang Yifan Jem (cash prize $100)

Artist (25 years & below)
First prize winner: Tew Jing Jong (cash prize $5,000)
Second prize winner: Zheng Mingen (cash prize $3,500)
Third prize winner: Seth Tan Xun Yu (cash prize $2,000)

Violin categories

Junior (11 years & below)
First prize winner: Cheng Wang Hoi, Jacob Reuben (cash prize $800)
Second prize winner: Kaleb Toh Yi Chao (cash prize $400)
Third prize winners: Loke E-Jay Reuben & Low Peng Yang (cash prize $200, shared)

Intermediate (15 years & below)
First prize winner: Not Awarded
Second prize winner: Javan See Kaiyi (cash prize $800)
Third prize winners: Isabelle Ong Li Xin & Soh Yunci Kaelyn (cash prize $400, shared)
Honourable Mention: Xu Shi Yun (cash prize $100)

Senior (21 years & below)
First prize winner: Not Awarded
Second prize winner: Dai Ailin (cash prize $1,000)
Third prize winner: Madeline Goh Anyi (cash prize $800)
Honourable Mention: Alayna Lee Le-en (cash prize $100)

Artist (25 years & below)
First prize winner: Not Awarded
Second prize winner: Yuchen Zhang (cash prize $3,500)
Third prize winners: Tan Mun Hon and Lau Joey (cash prize $2,000, shared)

See full competition results:

See selected photos here

Organised by
Singapore Symphony Group
The Singapore Symphony Group manages the Singapore Symphony Orchestra (SSO), the Singapore National Youth Orchestra, various choral programmes, and concerts at Victoria Concert Hall, Home of the SSO since 1979.

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