Message from the Head of Jury

“Greetings everyone! We are pleased to announce our 2019 series of piano competitions, and this year we look forward to hearing aspiring young pianists perform in Penang, Kuantan, Sarawak, Negeri Sembilan, Johor Bahru and Kuala Lumpur. There has really never been a more exciting time for young budding musicians here in Malaysia, with plenty of performing opportunities for them to hone their skills. Outstanding performers from the regional rounds will be invited to then participate in the national finals, during which we expect to see polished, commanding performances in all the categories.

It has been most encouraging so far, with improving standards through the years, and it is hoped that this year will yield some of the best levels yet. We will be looking out for musicians who not only have impressive technical skills, but can fully employ their technique to communicate their musical intentions clearly, with great sensitivity, character and flair.

These competitions provide wonderful opportunities for young pianists to listen and learn from each other’s performances, and also a great occasion to meet fellow musicians and make new friends.

Teachers and parents have often enquired if the choice of repertoire matters, in the sense of the ‘difficulty’ of the piece chosen. The reality of the matter is, choosing what many perceive as ‘impressive’, or ‘difficult’ pieces does not automatically score extra points. Whether we choose to play a simple little Minuet or the greatest competition ‘warhorses’ of the piano repertoire, we undertake the responsibility to convey the musical character and details vividly, tastefully and sensitively. In performing platforms such as these competitions we should naturally challenge ourselves, but at the same time one needs to know one’s capability, and play to one’s strengths.

I would like to take this opportunity to laud all these young musicians for their sheer determination and commitment. These young musicians are also supported by their parents, teachers and friends, without whom the journey would have been much more difficult or even impossible.

Finally, best of luck to all the performers, and most importantly, enjoy the music!

Loo Bang Hean
Festival Director

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