Introducing the WNPC 2015 Contestants
Modi Deng, eighteen years old, is in her first year at The University of Auckland, studying with Rae de Lisle, and working towards a conjoint Bachelor of Music and English on a full academic scholarship. Modi studied piano under the guidance of Tom McGrath in Dunedin, and has recently performed Rachmaninoff’s Concerto No. 1 under Nicholas Braithwaite at the Dunedin Town Hall.
She received second prize in the 2014 New Zealand National Young Performer of the Year Award, and was a semi-finalist in the Christchurch National Concerto Competition.
A keen chamber musician, Modi has attended the Adam Summer School and the International Akaroa Music Festival with Diedre Irons and Michael Endres.
Twenty-three year old Grace Francis began learning the piano at the age of four.Last year she completed her Bachelor of Music (Honours) in Classical Performance under the guidance of Rae de Lisle at The University of Auckland. She is now undertaking a Masters Degree in Musicology with Dr Davinia Caddy.
In 2012, Grace made two professional concerto debuts, playing piano with Bach Musica and harpsichord with the Age of Discovery Orchestra. She has performed with eight orchestras around New Zealand.Grace was the 2010 National Young Performer of the Year and a National Concerto Competition finalist. More recently, she was a semi-finalist in the 2013 Wallace National Piano Competition, and in 2014 won the University of Auckland’s Drake Medal for outstanding academic writing.
Grace has a strong love for collaborative music, which currently manifests in her work as a musical coach for four school choirs, Opera Factory, and as Assistant Musical Director of the Auckland Youth Choir.
At the start of this year, twenty-two year old Eddie Giffney completed his Masters of Music, majoring in Performance Piano, under the tutelage of Rae de Lisle - with whom he has been learning since the age of eight.
Eddie learns harpsichord and fortepiano from James Tibbles and piano accordion with Stephanie Poole. In September 2015, he will commence further studies at the Royal College of Music, London with Professor Ashley Wass.
Eddie has achieved considerable success on three instruments: piano,accordion and harpsichord. Recent highlights include performances of Beethoven’s Concerto No. 1 with Bach Musica, J.S. Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 5 with St. Matthews Chamber Orchestra and the Chaikin Accordion Cocerto at the New Zealand Accordion Championships.
Inah (Tina) Kim
Inah (Tina) Kim was born in South Korea in 1992. She has been under the tutelage of Rae de Lisle since the age of twelve and has completed her Master’s Degree in Performance Piano at The University of Auckland.
In 2010 Tina was a finalist in the National Piano Concerto Competition and in the following year gained first prize at the Auckland University’s Gala Concerto Competition. She also received first prize at the 2012 National Young Performer Awards. In 2013 Tina, as the pianist of the Trinity Trio, was the winner of the Royal Overseas League/Pettman Scholarship.
Tina is looking forward to furthering her studies at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama later this year.
Jane Nayoung Koo
Jane Nayoung Koo is studying for the Degree of Master of Music in Piano Performance at the New England Conservatory in Boston, where she is under the guidance of Bruce Brubaker. Last year she completed her Master of Music with First Class Honours at The University of Auckland, where she studied under Qu Yong. Jane was the recipient of both the Anne Bellam and Patricia Pratt Scholarships.
In 2012 she was the winner of The University of Auckland Graduation Gala Concerto Competition, and was awarded second prize in the PACANZ National Young Performer of the Year Awards. In 2013 Jane was awarded fourth prize in the inaugural Wallace National Piano Competition, and the Prize for the best performance of Mozart at the Lev Vlasseno International Piano Competition in Brisbane.
Joyce Lee is twenty years old and has been learning the piano since she was six. She is currently studying for the Degree of Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance at The University of Auckland, under the guidance of Rae de Lisle.
Joyce attended the Diocesan School for Girls. She was taught by Matteo Napoli and won the Diocesan Piano Concerto Contest. She also participated in the Ronisch Secondary Schools Piano Competition and The University of Auckland Concerto Competition.
Joyce enjoys teaching the piano on a part-time basis.
Kee Hee Lee
Kee Hee Lee was born in South Korea twenty-three years ago and, began her piano studies at the age of eight. Before coming toThe University of Auckland she was under the tuition of Tatiana
In 2012 Kee Hee won the Jan Yardley Mozart prize at the Te Awamutu Competitions and, after placing second in the Hamilton Recital Competition, she was eligible to compete at the National Young Performer Awards in Invercargill. She received the Margaret Doone Memorial Scholarship as the winner of IRMT’s 2013 Sonata Competition.
Kee Hee is currently completing her Master of Music in Piano Performance at The University of Auckland, under the guidance of Stephen De Pledge.
Moon Su (Arnold) Lee
Born in New Zealand in 1996, Arnold is currently a second-year Bachelor of Music student at The University of Auckland, under the tutelage of Qu Yong.
From 2009 until 2013 Arnold attended King's College on a five year music scholarship. Highlights include receiving the Auckland Centenary Scholarship from the IRMT and winning the 2013 Ronisch
Secondary Schools Piano Competition, as well as multiple awards in local competitions. He also participated in the national finals of the 2013 NZCT Chamber Music Competition.
Last year, he undertook master-classes from Chenyin Li and Christopher Elton at the Wallace National Piano Festival and later competed in the Christchurch National Concerto Competition where he was one of the six semi-finalists. Later this year, Arnold will perform a solo recital in the Lewis Eady Emerging Artist's Series.
Now sixteen years old, Delvan was born in Auckland and is currently a year 12 student at King’s College. He began piano lessons at the age of six and studies with Dr Rae de Lisle.
Delvan has won many piano competitions since the age of eight. In 2010, he won the APPA Music Competition and gave a solo piano performance in the Auckland Town Hall. Since 2011, Delvan has won many competitive scholarships from the IRMT. In 2012 Delvan scooped four 1st prizes and won the Piano Concerto Competition at the NSPACS and in the same year he became the youngest winner of Ronisch Secondary Schools Piano Competition,aged just thirteen. Delvan was the winner of the inaugural Wallace National Junior Piano Competition in 2014.
He has always had a great interest in chamber music and began to play in a piano trio at the age of eleven. Delvan won the National Secondary Schools Chamber Music Competition in both 2013 and 2014 and his winning piano trio group, ‘L’arc en Ciel’ has given many performances following its competitive success. Delvan also competed in the biennial Christchurch National Piano Concerto Competition in December 2014 and received the award for the most promising pianist.
Linda was born twenty-four years ago in China where she received several awards at national and local piano competitions in Hong Kong, Beijing and Hainan. In 2000 Linda attended music school in Beijing and had the opportunity to learn from Professor Jin at the Central Conservatory.
Linda emigrated to New Zealand in 2002. Her secondary school studies took place at Auckland Girls’ Grammar School where she received the ‘Outstanding Performance’ award each year since 2006.
Linda is currently working towards the completion of her Masters Degree in Piano Performance under the tutelage of Stephen De Pledge and Rae de Lisle.
Cherry Ngan is twenty-one years old and studies piano with Bryan Sayer. She is currently a student at The University of Auckland, studying Law and Applied Mathematics. She began learning the piano at five and gained her Fellowship Diploma from Trinity College, London at the age of seventeen.
Cherry has performed as a soloist with the Trust Waikato Symphony Orchestra, as well as the Aotea Youth Orchestra. She was one of the 16 pianists selected to compete in the inaugural Wallace National Piano Competition in 2013.
She also has a strong interest in chamber music, participating in the chamber music programme at the Waikato Conservatorium of Music for the past two years. In both years her group was selected to compete in the Royal Overseas League Pettman Scholarship auditions.
Ji-Hyun (Jane) Sohn
Ji-Hyun (Jane) Sohn is currently studying at The University of Auckland under the tutelage of Stephen De Pledge. She is twenty-four years old.
South Korean born, Jane began her piano study at the age of seven. In Korea she won first prize in various piano competitions including the Han-kuk ilbo Piano Competition, Eum-ak Journal, National Teenager Concours, Kyung-gi University Piano Competition, and the National Ministry Music Competition in Seoul.
Jane first came to New Zealand in 2002 and attended the specialist Corelli music school. She performed as both recitalist and concerto soloist. Her debut concerto performance with the West Auckland Orchestra in 2003 resulted from her winning the West Auckland Competitions Concerto Prize. She has also performed a Mozart piano concerto with the Auckland Youth Orchestra.
Jane is the 2015 Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra’s Piano Scholar and one of this year’s Lewis Eady Charitable Trust Emerging Artists.
Siyu Sun was born in 1997. She is a first -year student at The University of Auckland, studying for a Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance with Dr Rae de Lisle.
In Christchurch, before coming to Auckland, she was named Young Musician of the Year, held the Irene Lassen Exhibition and, last year, was the winner of the Ruby Hay Pianoforte Scholarship. She
also gained third place in the PACANZ Young Performer of the Year Award, and was a finalist in the Wallace Junior National Piano Competition as well as the NZCT Chamber Music Contest. She holds a DipABRSM.
In her spare time, Siyu enjoys playing the French Horn as a second instrument and was a member of the 2014 NZSO National Youth Orchestra.
Nineteen year-old Nicole Ting began learning the piano at the age of four. She participated in the New Zealand School of Music Young Musician’s Programme (formerly known as the Academy) from
2008-2012 and also achieved both her DipABRSM and ATCL exams in piano performance in 2012 while studying under Judith Clark.
She is currently undertaking her third year of study at Te Koki New Zealand School of Music studying Classical Performance Piano with Dr Jian Liu. She was awarded the NZSM Director’s Scholarship in 2013 and the Expressions Piano Trust Prize this year. She will also be performing in October this
year at the Lewis Eady Emerging Artist’s Series.
Nicole has performed in masterclasses with nationally and internationally -acclaimed pianists including Read Gainsford, Michael Houstoun, Michael Endres, Janos Cegledy, Katherine Austin, Konstanze Eickhorst, Marian Sobula, and Xiang Zou.
Bradley Wood, from Christchurch, is twenty-one years old and is an Honours student at The University of Auckland majoring in Piano Performance under the guidance of Rae de Lisle. He studied with Maurice Till from 2009 – 2011, gaining both the ATCL and LTCL Diplomas with Distinction.
Bradley has performed with several orchestras including the Christchurch Symphony, Nelson Symphony and the Auckland Philharmonia.
In 2013 he was awarded Auckland University's Janetta McStay Prize for Pianists. Bradley was the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra’s Piano Scholar in 2014 and was a semi-finalist in both the Wallace National Piano Competition and the Kerikeri International Piano Competition. In 2015 he was awarded 1st Prize in the Christchurch National Concerto Competition also winning the Audience Award.
Lucy Zeng is twenty-two years old and recently completed her Masters Degree in Piano Performance at The Auckland University School of Music under the guidance of Rae de Lisle.
Prizes won at competitions include second placing in the 2008 New Zealand Mazda Foundation National Young Performer Awards, third place and sonata prize at the Kerikeri International Piano Competition, the Lewis Eady Charitable Trust’s Emerging Artist Award, as well as semi-finalist and encouragement prize in the 1st International Chopin Competition in Australia.