Yii Ying Tan selected to compete at the Kingsburg International Piano Competition


Monash University Music and Commerce Student Yii Ying Tan has been selected to compete in the prestigious Kingsburg International Piano Competition held in Yantai, China on 6th to 8th November.

Playing in front a world-class jury, Yii Ying will compete in both the young artist category and the open category. She will be the only competitor to do so.

Yii Ying will perform Arno Babajanian’s 'Poem for Piano' in the young artist category, as well as a 30 minute program in the open category, which will consist of Mozart, Chopin, Berg, Prokofiev and a commissioned piece by Ian Goh.

The process of selection required applicants to either attend a live audition in a city around Asia or upload YouTube videos.

Yii Ying said that she was surprised upon learning of her selection in the competition.

She joked that there were a lot of conflicting emotions running through her mind, as she was having a bad day up until she received the good news.

“I literally just walked out of my piano lesson when I read the email and I wasn’t sure whether I should go back and ring my teacher’s doorbell,” said Yii Ying.

“So, I just stood there for a few minutes.”

Yii Ying competing at the East Coast International Competition. 
Lincoln Centre, NYC. 2017. Photo: Yii Ying Tan.

Although it was a relatively modest reaction, there is no doubt Yii Ying should be very proud.

Only a select few were chosen to compete, with the winner of the Open category receiving a scholarship or a weeklong masterclass with the Royal Irish Academy of Music.

With the lure of an opportunity of a lifetime, Yii Ying has been working hard for months.

“Usually, I try to practice at least 3-4 hours a day, but when you enjoy it, it doesn’t feel that long.”

Yii Ying is hoping that her efforts will help her get into the Royal College of Music in England – the ultimate goal.

Interestingly, she did not intend on studying music at university, rather she planned on going down a completely different path.

Intent on studying commerce and specialising in accounting, Yii Ying changed her mind last minute to include music and commerce in a double degree, realising that music made her happy.

Something six-year-old Yii Ying would not agree with.
Yii Ying competing at the East Coast International
Competition. Lincoln Centre, NYC. 2017.
Photo: Yii Ying Tan.

After beginning piano lessons as a child, Yii Ying recited that she disliked piano because the teachers just made her play the c note over and over again in the first couple lessons.

“I remember thinking: ‘oh no, piano is so boring.’”

Thankfully, Yii Ying changed her tune and is using her talent on the international stage.

When asked about her expectations for the competition Yii Ying said:

“I just hope that I play well and everything goes smooth.

“I’m also preparing for a recital which is coming up in Malaysia next January, which is 50 minutes long.”

We are sure that you’ll do great Yii Ying.

Monash University is right behind you! #monashpride

Written by: James Oana
Media Coordinator

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