15 December 2021 –Singapore piano’s scene is set to see a first with the launch of the sixth edition of the Steinway Youth Piano Competition (SYPC) 2022 this December.
This coming year, SYPC will feature a new category for pianists aged 35 and above within its Amateur Class. While most piano competitions in Singapore to date have focused only on young talents below the age of 25, SYPC 2022 will be one of the firsts to include a wider participant age range.
Called “Youth-at-Heart”, this category is open to anyone aged 35 and above whose main source of livelihood is not that of piano performance or pedagogy, but who enjoys playing the piano and to be recognized for their technical and musical abilities.
The SYPC, first launched in 2012, focuses primarily on young musicians aged 17 and below and comprises two classes. The first is, the Professional Class, where the winner of the Grand Finals will represent Singapore in The Regionals Finals where he or she will compete for the honor of representing Southeast Asia as a performer at the International Steinway Festival. Next is the Amateur Class, launched in 2020, for students who enjoy playing the piano for leisure but wish to be formally recognized in their progress on their musical journey.
In 2020, the competition was held entirely online, being one of the first piano competitions to be held online in Singapore and despite the pandemic, attracted a total of 152 participants in both classes combined.
Celine Goh, General Manager of Steinway Gallery Singapore and Steinway Boutique Manila says: “Over the years, we have noticed there are many adults who are working in various professions but are themselves great music lovers and wonderful amateur pianists. There are not many opportunities for these amateurs to showcase their talent and their love for the piano and music. Hence our creating this category specially for those who are 35 and above.
“We hope that this category will encourage those who love playing the piano to continue to do so despite their work schedule. This group of music lovers and amateur pianists are an important group for they form a core audience for music and are a vital part of the scene. Of equal important is that it has long been recognize that music making contributes greatly to our mental, emotional and physical well-being. We want this category to remind ourselves that we are all youths and young at heart!”
SYPC 2022 will also see new features to the competition such as masterclasses and panel discussion that aims to help students prepare for a competition as well as piano pedagogy in general. Judges for the competition will include well-known pianists and educators in the scene such as Steinway Artist Benjamin Loh, Lena Ching, Albert Tiu, Lim Yan and Kseniia Vokhmianina.
Juries of the Grand Finals
Vice Dean, School of Music at NAFA
Professor of Piano at the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music
Senior Lecturer, Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music; Artistic Director, Singapore International Piano Festival
Recitalist, Soloist, Chamber musician
SYPC 2022 will begin with the taped auditions, while heats for both classes will be held in mid-March 2022 and culminate in the Grand Finals on June 18 and June 19 for the Professional and Amateur Class respectively.
About International Steinway Festival
Since 1987, the much-anticipated International Steinway Festival takes place every two years in Hamburg, Germany. Young pianists from different countries come together for a musical congregation, also known as a “Laeiszhalle”. Programs such as harbor tour or an exclusive dinner at the Steinway Factory would be amongst the many highlights of the Steinway Festival; where an important aspect of the festival is for these young talents to experience the culture of performing on stage, without having competition pressure.
The competition seeks to identify, encourage and promote young aspiring pianists in the development stages of their careers. In the national competitions, local Steinway dealers will administer countrywide auditions in the following Asian countries: Indonesia, Korea, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam (Auditions for China and Japan are managed under separate auspices).
The Amateur Class
Launched in 2020, the Amateur Class is for students who enjoy playing the piano for leisure but wish to have a formal recognition of their progress in their musical journey. Here the competition requirements are more flexible with no compulsory work required hence students have the freedom to choose pieces that would best represent their musical development.