Fine Music 102.5 will continue broadcasts of the 17 semi-finalists in the 2016 Young Virtuoso Awards throughout May. There will be four performers featured in this month’s program including Benett Tsai, Sandra Ismail, Pavle Cajic and Brian Kim.
On offer are cash prizes, live-to-air broadcasts and a chance to perform with the North Sydney Symphony Orchestra and the North Sydney Youth Symphony.
Benett Tsai – Cello
Twelve year old Benett Tsai, who has been learning the cello since age five, has won many awards and prizes nationally and has appeared in recital as a soloist in Canberra. In 2015, Tsai obtained his AMEB AMusA with Distinction and is a Year 7 student. Apart from music, he has an interest in history and sports.
Tsai says learning and playing the cello has definitely broadened his experience and made his Primary School life colourful and exciting especially the past couple of years. Some of the highlights to date have been close up encounters with great cellists who inspire him.
“I entered the Young Virtuoso Award as this presents an opportunity to perform and get valuable feedback. Being selected as a semifinalist means that I will be able to record a 50-minute recital program for broadcast. There is no doubt I will learn so much more through this process,” said Tsai.
“The cello is a marvelous instrument. I always try to make my cello sing and tell the story from the music scores.”
Sandra Ismail – Clarinet
Sandra Ismail, 23, completed her Bachelor of Music Performance in 2014 at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. She has been a member of many prestigious Australian youth orchestras, and has attended the Australian International Symphony Orchestra Institute. In 2015, Ismail became a member of the NSW Police Band and additionally took up a position as SSO clarinet fellow.
“My main highlights would be being able to perform with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra in the Opera House as a guest musician. I have also attended many music camps which have really helped me grow as a musician and performer,” she says.
“I am entering the YVA because having a recital/performance/audition to work towards means I can set goals and schedule practice efficiently.
“It feels great to be selected as being able to perform a recital on radio is a privilege that not many musicians get,” said Ismail.
Pavle Cajic – Piano
Pavle Cajic, 21, studies piano at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music and was twice selected to attend the Conservatorium’s newly established Estivo Chamber Music Summer School in Verona, Italy. In addition to performing, Cajic is also a composer and arranger and plans to pursue postgraduate studies in performance and composition in Europe.
Pavle says highlights have been his participation in three international music festivals in Italy especially the most recent where he performed with his newly formed trio the St Veaux Trio, as well as a solo recital in New Zealand.
“I am entering this competition in order to gain experience in auditioning, recording long recitals and performing. I am especially excited to be recording one of my own arrangements for broadcast,” said Cajic.
“The YVA allows me to share my ideas on the music I am playing through my performance and to showcase my abilities as an arranger.”
Brian Kim – Flute
Brian Kim, 16, is a Year 10 student on an academic and full music scholarship. He began flute studies at age 10 and has had multiple broadcasts on Fine Music 102.5 including as a finalist in the 2014 YVA. He has also played as a soloist and as a member of chamber music groups and orchestras.
Kim believes the YVA is an “amazing competition” especially the opportunity it provides to broadcast an individual program.
“When performing a piece of music, the music always draws upon the intentions and interpretation of the performer.
“The synergetic selection of my program as well as my interpretation will bring a unique and different contribution to the program,” said Kim.
– Judy Deacon