Lee Jae Phang from Malaysia made his concerto debut with the WCS Symphony Orchestra last night under the baton of distinguished conductor Christopher Adey. In turns virtuosic and poetic his reading of Liszt’s first piano concerto drew prolonged applause from the capacity audience. Earlier this year Lee Jae was awarded scholarships by the Royal College of Music, the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and the Royal Northern College of Music. He has been a pupil of John’s for the last five years.
Singaporean Ning Hui See has won second prize in this year’s Moray International Piano Competition, held in Scotland in November. Ning is a second year undergraduate student at the Royal College of Music and earlier in the year was awarded second place in the EPTA piano competition. She is the third pupil of John Byrne’s to win either first or second place in the Moray competition in the last four years.
Four of John’s pupils – Nurry Lee, Ed Creed, Zacharus Ong and Ning Hui See- have reached the finals of this year’s EPTA piano competition. Over four hundred pupils from across the UK entered the 2013 competition and Ning Hui See went on to win the second prize. She will be presented in a London recital at St Martin’s in the Fields in the autumn.
The first prize in the 2012 European Piano Teachers’ Competition has been awarded to 14 year old Wells pianist Cyrus Cheng. Over four hundred pianists entered this prestigious competition and Cyrus is one of the youngest winners in the the competition’s history. As part of his prize Cyrus was invited to give a London recital at St Martins in the Fields.
David Secchi has been awarded a Master’s degree with distinction by the Royal College of Music. David studied at Wells for five years and was a piano finalist in the BBC Young Musician Competition in 2006 as well as winning first prize in the Intercollegiate Beethoven competition. At the RCM David won the Beethoven competition and was a finalist in the Chapell Medal competition.
Daniel Evans, who has studied with John Byrne for the last five years, has been awarded major scholarships to three leading UK conservatoires. The Royal College of Music, Guildhall School of Music and Drama and the Royal Northern College of Music all made the awards earlier this year. Dan has been a prizewinner in several competitions including, ETPA, Sevenoaks and the WCS concerto competition.
Of the 110 pianists who entered the 2014 BBC Young Musician competition just 30 now remain. Two of these are John’s pupils – Ning Hui See, who is a second year undergraduate pupil at the Royal College of Music, and Nurry Lee who is in her final year at Wells Cathedral School. Earlier this year Ning was a prize-winner in the European Piano Teachers’ competition and Nurry was one of the two winners of the WCS concerto competition. The BBC semi-finals will be held in Cardiff in December. Good luck to both!