13 September 2010

Jocelyn Ho
Jocelyn Ho

Con Alumni, Jocelyn Ho, turned to a background in pure mathematics to guide her decision to parley a third position two years ago to a first placing in the 2010 Australian National Piano Award on the weekend.

The 28-year-old from Kingsgrove in Sydney was declared the best pianist in the country on Saturday night in finishing ahead of 10 other contenders for the prestigious prize, which is held biennially in Shepparton, Victoria.

Ho, who studied under Gerard Willems for her Masters of Music at the Sydney Conservatorium last year, placed third in the $43,000 competition in 2008 - a result that might well have discouraged her from re-entering the fray.

"This is a splendid result for Jocelyn, and very brave on her part," commented Dr Paul Rickard-Ford, the Chair of The Con's Keyboard Unit.

"Having placed third previously, it would be considered by many to be risky to try again, bearing in mind that in such a high-powered competition finishing lower than before is always a chance.

"But Jocelyn came back from America especially for this event, paying her own way, so she obviously was focused on moving up the ladder - and she has done it.

"It is a crowning glory, and we here at The Con are very chuffed, especially Gerard Willems."

Ho studied the piano rolls of Debussy for her Master's thesis.

She is currently undertaking a doctorate at Stony Brook University in New York. Her love of mathematics was spelled out in a paper co-published recently in the American Mathematical Monthly.

"For me, music represents all aspects of life - from the emotional, physical, intellectual and spiritual," she commented.

The award adds to Ho's long list of achievements, including the Clara Rolland Prize, the Sydney Conservatorium Concerto Competition, and the Kawai Award. She has appeared in concerts in Europe and the US.

Con honours student, Vatche Jambazian, 23, of Castle Hill, made the semi-finals of the competition.

He also won a special prize for the best performance of a work by Chopin.

Contact: Mick Le Moignan

Phone: 02 9351 1385

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