7 July 2011

Two of Robin Wilson's violin students, Emily Sun and Grace Clifford, have won the major prizes in the ABC Young Performer of the Year (String Section) and the Ku-Ring-Gai Philharmonic Orchestra NSW Concerto Competition.

Emily Sun is a second year BMus student who won many hearts in the currently screening film "Mrs Carey's Concert" by Bob Connolly and Sophie Raymond. In the Strings Final of the ABC Symphony Australia Young Performer Awards (YPA) on Friday 30 June at the Federation Concert Hall in Hobart, Emily gave a wonderful performance of the first movement of the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto with the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra conducted by Vladimir Verbitsky.

All four string finalists study at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. Emily Sun and Anna Da Silva Chen, who performed the Saint-Saens Violin Concerto No. 3, are pupils of Robin Wilson. Rebecca Chan, (Brahms Violin Concerto), and Lillian So, (Stravinsky Violin Concerto), study with the Conservatorium's Chair of Strings, Associate Professor Alice Waten, who also taught the 2009 ABC Young Performer of the Year, Ji Won Kim.

The three Stage III YPA Finals will be repeated on ABC Classic-FM in the lead-up to the Grand Final. Details are as follows:

  • Keyboards Final on Wednesday 31 August at 8.00pm EST

  • Strings Final on Thursday 1 September at 8.00pm EST

  • Other Instruments Final on Friday 2 September at 8.00pm EST

  • The Grand Final will be broadcast live on ABC-TV from Brisbane on Saturday 3 September


All three YPA finalists are from the Sydney Conservatorium of Music: Nicholas Young, a third year BMus Piano (Performance) student of Daniel Herscovitch, won the Keyboards Final in Perth. Saxophonist, Nicholas Russoniello, who graduated with first Class honours in 2006, won the Other Instruments Final in Adelaide. Emily Sun's victory in the Strings Final completes a clean sweep for The Con.

In the Ku-Ring-Gai Philharmonic Orchestra NSW Concerto Competition, Grace Clifford (Violin), a 12 year old Rising Stars student of Robin Wilson, excelled to be declared Overall Winner for 2011. Rachel Siu (Cello), a student of Susan Blake, won the Junior Section and Cindy Chau (Violin), also a student of Robin Wilson, was a finalist in the Senior Section.

Since 1944, many Sydney Conservatorium students and graduates, including Roger Woodward, Simon Tedeschi and Claire Edwardes, have achieved the accolade of becoming the ABC Symphony Australia Young Performer of the Year, on their way to highly successful careers in classical music on the international stage.

The Dean & Principal of the Conservatorium, Professor Kim Walker, congratulated all the participants and commented: "We are very proud and supportive of our young players who already demonstrate exemplary levels of accomplishment and inspiration. I look forward to hearing them now and for many years to come. It is fantastic to see the Sydney Conservatorium so prominent in the Finals. Their teachers are also to be congratulated and acknowledged for all they bring to culture and education in Australia."

Contact: Mick Le Moignan

Phone: 02 9351 1385

Email: 1a502919581a2f0a0d285f1b531739473d081b570b58523c05742038