Piano awards in September

By T Whitsed

Some of Australia’s highest-calibre pianists will converge on Shepparton for the Australian National Piano Award in September.

The prestigious classical piano competition is staged every two years in Shepparton at the Eastbank Centre.

The 14 finalists, aged between 21 and 30 years, have been selected by international adjudicators Lance Coburn (Ireland), Joanna MacGregor (London) and Gerard Willems (Sydney).

NSW entrants Vatche Jambazian, 30, James Guan, 27, Enrico-Sergio Mainas, 21, Robbin Reza, 23, Hank Xiang, 26, Alexander Yau, 22, and Jeremy So, 27; Victorians Berta Brozgul, 28, Timothy Chiang, 30, Joshua Hooke, 25, and David Soo, 25; and Queensland’s Longjie (Roger) Cui, 29, Oliver She, 27, and Rachael Shipard, 21 were selected as this year’s pianists.

With up to $68000 up for grabs in cash and prizes, the 14 finalists will battle it out during 33 recitals across rounds one and two and the semi-finals, right up to the grand final on September 8.

Award president Darryl Coote said the ANPA was conceived 26 years ago.

‘‘This award has since grown in stature and is now considered one of the nation’s premier classical piano competitions,’’ he said.

‘‘Recent winners Tony Lee (2016), Alex Raineri (2014), Daniel de Borah (2012), Jocelyn Ho (2010) and Jayson Gilham (2008) continue to enjoy sold-out concerts — solo recitals, chamber music and in concerto appearances — here and overseas, including releasing their own CDs.’’

Recital times

●Monday, September 3 — 1pm to 3.30pm and 7.30pm to 10.30pm;

●Tuesday, September 4 — 1pm to 3.30pm and 7.30pm to 10.30pm;

●Wednesday, September 5 — 1pm to 3.30pm and 7.30pm to 10.30pm;

●Thursday, September 6 — 1pm to 3.30pm and 7.30pm to 10.30pm;

●Friday, September 7, semi-finals — noon to 5pm (five finalists perform);

●Saturday, September 8, grand finals — 8pm to 11pm (three finalists perform).

Tickets for Monday to Friday are $10 a session and for the Saturday grand final are adults $30, concession $20 and students $10. Available from Riverlinks Box Office, phone 58329511. Visit www.australianpianoaward.com.au for more information.