Melbourne Recital Centre’s Bach Competition is dedicated to young musicians passionate about playing J.S. Bach and Baroque music. On Sunday 25 June, fifteen talented young finalists took to the Elisabeth Murdoch Hall stage to compete for a range of cash prizes and learning opportunities.
Grace Wu won the $2000 Richard Mills first prize while the two encouragement awards were awarded to Dindin Wang and Henry Say. The $500 Australian Bach Society Award went to Dandan Wang, and Emma Amery was presented with the Newsboys Foundation Regional Music Award which includes a series of exclusive music experiences and learning opportunities worth up to $5000.
RICHARD MILLS PRIZE Grace Wu, violin
ENCOURAGEMENT AWARDS Dindin Wang, violin Henry Say, cello
AUSTRALIAN BACH SOCIETY AWARD Dandan Wang, violin
NEWSBOYS FOUNDATION REGIONAL MUSIC AWARD Emma Amery, violin
RICHARD MILLS PRIZE WINNER Grace Wu (age 13) has been playing violin since she was six years old and is currently studying with Dr Robin Wilson. She obtained her AMusA diploma at the age of 11 in 2015, and her LMusA the following year. Grace participated in the Brisbane International Music Festival Competition in 2012, and has also participated in two of ANAM’s orchestral weeks, as well as the ACO Academy program.
ENCOURAGEMENT AWARD WINNERS Dindin Wang, (age 11), began learning the violin at the age of three. Dindin has already been a prize winner in several awards including 2016 Melbourne Recital Centre’s Bach Competition Australia Bach Society award, the string section of Hephzibah Menuhin Award (2016) and the open section of the Boroondara eisteddfod string solo (2016). Dindin has been a student of Fintan Murphy since 2014 and has been a member of the Melbourne String Ensemble since 2015.
Henry Say, (age 14), has been learning Cello since he was 5 years old. A student of Josephine Vains, he is in year 9 at the Victorian College of the Arts Secondary School. A love of Bach motivates Henry to play the Cello suites for busking, assessments and performances. A member of the Melbourne String Ensemble, Henry also enjoys chamber music and solo performance opportunities. He has twice been a place getter in the Musical Society of Victoria Awards.
AUSTRALIAN BACH SOCIETY AWARD WINNER Dandan Wang, (age 11), commenced her violin study at the age of 3 and since 2014 has learned from Fintan Murphy. Dandan was a finalist in the 2016 Melbourne Recital Center Bach Competition. Dandan has been a member of the Melbourne String Ensemble since 2015 and has played solo Mozart Concerto with the Melbourne String Ensemble at its annual Concerto Concert in 2016. Dandan also enjoys playing chamber music.
NEWSBOYS FOUNDATION REGIONAL MUSIC AWARD WINNER Emma Amery, (age 18) lives on a farm in rural North-East Victoria. She began learning violin at the age of 6 in Wangaratta, and since then has played in numerous community concerts and local productions in the region. Emma has been travelling to Melbourne each Saturday since 2014 to participate in the Melbourne Youth Orchestras program, and this year holds the position of Assistant Concertmaster with the Melbourne Youth Orchestra. Emma is currently a student of Isin Cakmakcioglu.
The Newsboys Foundation Regional Music Award seeks to address some of the issues affecting music students living in regional areas, including working in isolation and the added challenges associated with accessing learning opportunities. The award involves travel and one week’s accommodation for the student and a parent/guardian in Melbourne and a daily per diem; lessons with a top teacher on the relevant instrument; complimentary tickets to concerts at Melbourne Recital Centre during that week; mentoring/shadowing opportunities with Melbourne Recital Centre’s artistic and production staff; and the opportunity to go ‘behind-the-scenes’ with direct contact to industry professionals.
The 2017 Bach Competition is supported by Richard Mills AM, Vivienne Ritchie, the Australian Bach Society, the Newsboys Foundation and Melbourne Recital Centre.