8 June 2011

Six students and one graduate from the Sydney Conservatorium of Music (SCM) are among the 12 semi-finalists in the 2011 ABC Young Performers Awards who are competing this month for a place in the televised Grand Final in September.

Third year BMus (Performance) student, Nicholas Young a student of Daniel Herscovitch, won the Keyboards Final at the Perth Concert Hall on Thursday 9 June with his brilliant performance of the Bartok Piano Concerto No. 2 with the West Australian Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Vladimir Verbitsky. Nicholas will take part in the Grand Final in Queensland on Saturday 3 September.

Heralded young pianist York Yu, who studies under Natalia Sheludiakova in the Conservatorium Open Academy's Rising Stars program, delighted the audience with his performance of the Grieg Piano Concerto in the same Final in Perth. As he is only 13-years-old, York will have many more opportunities to enter the competition, which is open to musicians up to the age of 30.

Saxophonist, Nicholas Russoniello, who graduated from the Conservatorium with First Class Honours in 2006, has won a place in the Other Instruments final, which will take place at 7:30pm on Friday 24 June in the Adelaide Town HallNicholas will perform the Yoshimatsu Saxophone Concerto 'Cyber-bird' with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra conducted by Arvo Volmer.

And SCM students have secured all four places in the Strings Final, with performances to take place on Thursday 30 June at the Federation Concert Hall in Hobart with the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra.

The Strings finalists are:

  • Rebecca Chan will perform the Brahms Violin Concerto

  • Anna Da Silva Chen will perform the Saint-Saens Violin Concerto No. 3

  • Lillian So will perform the Stravinsky Violin Concerto

  • Emily Sun will perform the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto


Emily and Anna study under Robin Wilson and Rebecca and Lillian under Associate Professor Alice Waten, who also taught the 2009 ABC Young Performer of the Year Ji Won Kim.

"These nominations are a stunning endorsement of the performance quality of our students and the ability of our teachers to inspire and prepare students to achieve magnificent results," said Professor Kim Walker, Dean and Principal of the SCM.

"Most importantly, this competition provides our outstanding young talents with the opportunity to play with some of Australia's major orchestras and further enhance their skills."

Now in its 67th year, the ABC Young Performers Awards is a prestigious annual competition that encourages the professional development of young Australian instrumentalists under the age of 30.

Originally called the Concerto and Vocal Competition, the Awards have provided a springboard for a number of our finest classical performers, including Geoffrey Parsons, Roger Woodward, Vernon Hill, Nathan Waks, Diana Doherty and Adele Anthony.

The winners of each of the three semi-finals will advance to the Grand Final at 2pm on Saturday 3 September in the Concert Hall of the Queensland Performing Arts Centre.

Contact: Mick Le Moignan

Phone: 02 9351 1385

Email: 0e0c3923740f23173e2d053822412f581e5345203e181d3645052a13