By MB Online
Three pianists representing the Philippines at the international grand finals round of the 2019 Pearl River – Kayserburg International Youth Piano Competition win top awards.
Zion P. Montebon, placed 4th out of 72 contestants in the ages 13-16 Amateur Category; Michael Angelo N. Valenciano, 5th place out of 46 contestants in the ages 18-32 Professional Category; and Hansel Harel L. Ang, Merit Awardee at the ages 14-17 Professional Category. The awarding ceremony took place at the Xinghai Conservatory of Music Concert Hall in Guangzhou, China.
On top of winning 5th place, Valenciano is also the first foreigner to ever place in the professional category. This is the Philippines’ first year at the competition.
Montebon is a Grade 8 student at the Philippine High School for the Arts in Mt. Makiling, Laguna, under the tutelage of Prof. Anthony Yu Say.
This is his first international piano competition. It was also his first local piano competition when he was selected as a national finalist.
His competition repertoire comprised of M. Moszkowski – Etude de Virtuosité, Op. 72 No. 5; W. A. Mozart – Piano Sonata in A-major, Andante Grazioso; and E. Grieg – Lyric Piece Op. 65 No. 6 “Wedding Day at Troldhaugen”.
Valenciano is a third year piano performance student at the University of Santo Tomas Conservatory of Music, under the tutelage of Prof. Najib M. Ismail.
His competition repertoire comprised of C. Debussy – Etude No. 11 “Pour les Arpèges composés”; J. Haydn – Sonata in C Major Hob. XVI: 50; and F. Chopin – Polonaise in A-flat major, Op. 53. He was also the second prize winner of the 2018 National Competition for Young Artists (NAMCYA) Junior Category.
Ang is a college preparatory student and is trained in piano performance under the tutelage of Prof. Carmencita G. Arambulo. His competition repertoire comprised of F. Liszt – Grande Etudes De Paganini No. 3 “La Campanella”; W. A. Mozart – Sonata No. 10 in C-major, K330; and F. Chopin – Ballade No. 1 in G-minor, Op. 23. He was also the grand prize winner of both the 2018 Steinway & Sons Junior Piano Competition and the 2018 National Competition for Young Artists (NAMCYA) Junior Category.
Montebon, Valenciano, and Ang, respectively, were the finalists and first place winners of Categories A (13-16 years old Amateur Category), B (18-32 years old Professional Category), and C (14-17 years old Professional Category) of the Philippine audition round, held on September 26, 2019, and the Philippine semi-finals round, held on October 4, 2019, at the Abelardo Hall, University of the Philippines College of Music.
The Pearl River – Kayserburg International Youth Piano Competition is the biennial international youth piano competition jointly organized by the Guangzhou Pearl River Kayserburg Piano Group Co. Ltd., the China Committee for Promoting Art Education, and Xinghai Conservatory of Music.
Held from November 8 to 11, 2019, a total of 360 youths consisting of both local Chinese and foreign participants, gathered at the Xinghai Conservatory of Music to individually practice their repertoires at least a day before the competition proper, both inside the competition rooms and inside any of the designated piano practice rooms of the conservatory’s sizeable five-story practice building.
All competition venues were provided with 9-feet grand pianos. (With a report from Serina Mara D. Alonzo)