La Scena Musicale

Saturday, 7 July 2012

13 year old RCM student Wins Gina Bachauer Silver Medal

13 year old Chinese-Canadian RCM piano student Tony Yike Yang receiving the Silver Medal at the 2012 Gina Bachauer Junior and Young Artists International Piano Competition on July 5. 

Below is a reproduction of the Royal Conservatory of Music News and Features Blog Entry on the event:

The 2012 Gina Bachauer Junior and Young Artists International Piano Competitions wrapped up over the Canada Day long weekend, and several Canadian students of The Royal Conservatory stood out among the dozens of young artists who traveled to Salt Lake City, Utah, for the prestigious event.
Toronto's Tony Yike Yang, 13, finished second overall in the Junior division, and was awarded the Gina Bachauer Silver Medal, The Thomas and Holly Holst and Chevron Humankind Second Prize, and $5,000 US. He performed Chopin’s Concerto No. 1 in E Minor in the final round.
Waterloo’s Marko Pejanovic, 12, and Toronto’s Yang (pictured) and Annie Zhou, 14 – all students of The Royal Conservatory’s Young Artists Performance Academy – were among the 65 pianists, representing 13 different countries, selected to this year’s competitions. Annie was the only 14-year-old, and the youngest competitor, among the 34 performers in the Young Artists division.
The competition began last December with live auditions of over 300 pianists held in 10 cities around the world. Thirty-one young performers aged 11-13, including Tony and Marko, were invited to compete in the Junior division.
After competing in two additional rounds, six Junior pianists were selected to the final Concerto round, held Saturday, June 23.Tony was the only Canadian finalist, and one of only two from North America.
The Gina Bachauer International Junior Piano Competition for ages 11-13 and the International Young Artists Piano Competition for ages 14-18 offer a combined total of $50,000, medals, and CD recordings as prizes.
Past winners of these competitions have been named laureates of the Bachauer International Young Artists and Junior Competitions, and are now enjoying worldwide attention for their artistry and developing careers. 
The Royal Conservatory’s Young Artists Performance Academy provides a nurturing environment for gifted classical musicians aged 9 to 18. Working together with exceptional faculty and acclaimed guest artists, students of The Academy perfect their performance skills, musicality, and artistic excellence. Alumni of The Academy include pianists Stewart Goodyear and Jan Lisiecki, as well as violinist Martin Beaver.
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Monday, 2 July 2012

In Memoriam: Evelyn Lear (Jan 8 1926 - July 1 2012)

Evelyn Lear (Jan. 8 1926 - July 1 2012)

by Joseph So

With the passing of American soprano Evelyn Lear, the opera world has lost one of its most esteemed artists. According to a report in the Washington Post, Lear died earlier today (July 1) at the Brooke Grove Nursing Center in Sandy Spring at the age of 86. Her passing was confirmed by her son, Jan Stewart. Born in Brooklyn, New York, Lear attended Hunter College and the Juilliard School, later at the Berliner Hochschule fur Musik on a Fulbright Scholarship, studying voice with soprano Maria Ivogun, who was also the teacher of Elisabeth Schwarzkopf.  According to her official website < >, Lear's career spanned five decades and she sang a staggering 7,500 opera and concert performances.  She was renowned for her interpretation of the works of Mozart (Pamina, Donna Elvira, Contessa, Cherubino, Fiordiligi), Strauss (Ariadne, Komponist, Marschallin, Octavian), Mahler, and Alban Berg (Lulu, Marie), as well as contemporary composers the likes of Marvin David Levy, Leonard Bernstein, and Thomas Pasatieri. She created the role of Lavinia in Levy's Mourning Becomes Electra, a role that marked her debut at the Metropolitan Opera in 1967. Her silvery soprano and her musical intelligence were praised by audience and critics alike. She worked with many great conductors throughout her career, including Karl Bohm, who was instrumental in her career. She sang for many seasons at the Met, and made her farewell there as the Marschallin in 1985.  She sang in Toronto on a number of occasions, as Giulietta in Tales of Hoffmann and Countess Geschwitz in Lulu, and as soloist with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. She also taught masterclasses at the Canadian Opera Company Ensemble Studio.  She married her second husband, bass-baritone Thomas Stewart in 1955 until his death in 2006.  After her retirement, Lear became a highly sought after teacher and jury panelist in competitions.  To remember this wonderful artist, here is a Youtube clip of her singing Richard Strauss' Morgen.