“Words cannot express how I feel to have been awarded the Gold Medal of the China International Music Competition. It has been an extraordinary time in Beijing, and I am so grateful to the jury and everyone here who have been such great colleagues,” says Tony Siqi Yun, a Canadian pianist who won first prize at the inaugural China International Music Competition.
The 18-year-old also received an unprecedented prize of $150,000 with representation of Opus 3 Artists in the United States and Europe, and Amstrong Music and Arts in China. Yun, combined with Opus 3 Artists, will coordinate three years of international concert tours. The China International Music Competition is now established as one of the world’s most prestigious music competitions.
In 2014, Yun premiered with the China Philharmonic Orchestra in Beijing. Later in his career he performed with the orchestra again in Shanghai. With his immense talent in piano, he has toured within various places such as Ireland, Spain, China, and the United States, as well as performed in Paris’s Salle Cortot and at the Heidelberger Frühling Music Festival. In addition, he has collaborated with the Cleveland Orchestra in Severance Hall and performed the Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto in B-flat minor. Early this year, Yun played a role in the filming of the 2019 CCTV New Year’s concert and worked with the China Philharmonic Orchestra for its 2018-2019 season. He is currently studying composition and conducting along with his skills in piano at Juilliard Pre-College Division.
Many professional and quite famous directors commented on behalf of Yun’s triumphant winnings:
“In a well-run competition with a good jury, cream is allowed to rise to the top. I sincerely believe that from an artistic and administrative view the cream did in fact rise. In the old-fashioned milk bottles, there was a thin line between cream and the milk, but within the cream there are no lines. Only time and good fortune will tell who will enjoy the big careers, but we are committed to offering them every support through the engagement of top international management and support,” said Richard Rodzinski, General Director of the China International Music Competition.
Chairman of the jury and Artistic Director of the China International Music Competition Yoheved Kaplinsky says: “Tony exhibited professionalism, musicianship, poise and an incredible ability to integrate himself with the orchestra. He was the most sensitive in his interaction with the orchestra and conductor. It was incredibly close between all three as all of them were consistent to the end. What made me particularly happy was that they were all as good as they were different.”
Finally, Li-guang Wang, President of the China International Music Competition, Chairman of the Global Music Education League, and President of the China Conservatory of Music, responds: “Music unites people and it has been the most incredible experience for everyone concerned at the China Conservatory of Music and Global Music Education League to present 20 great young musicians from around the world. They have shown that great music making is a powerful way of forming relationships that will continue to grow for many years to come. We look forward to welcoming the world to Beijing next year for the second China International Music Competition.”
Other noteworthy winnings went to Alexander Malofeev from Russia, the youngest performer at the competition at 17 years old, who performed Prokofiev Piano Concerto No. 3 in C major, Op. 26 to earn second place prize of $75,000. Third place went to pianist MacKenzie Melemed from the United States, who performed Rachmaninoff Rhapsody on a Theme by Paganini, Op. 4 and won a prize of $30,000.
The China International Music Competition is held every year, with next year’s competition being committed to the violin. This year, members of the jury included: Li-guang Wang, President of the China International Music Competition, chairman of the Global Music Education League, and president of the China Conservatory of Music; Yoheved Kaplinsky, Chairman of the jury and Artistic Director of the Competition; Dmitri Alexeev; Jan Jiracek von Arnim; Lydia Artymiw; Boris Berman; Michel Béroff; Ronan O’Hora; Warren Jones; Katarzyna Popowa-Zydroń; and Arie Vardi.
The competition was broadcast by medici.tv with earlier visuals by Amadeus.TV and on Youku.com in China.