2018 Semi-Finalists

After two vigorous rounds of adjudication, the twelve 2018 Semi-Finalists were named by a panel of internationally-recognised musicians.

Kevin Chow Piano

Perth-born 21 year-old Kevin Chow began piano studies at age five. He has just completed his Bachelor of Music (Hons) degree at the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music in Australia where he studied piano with Glenn Riddle. Prizes in Australia include the Hephzibah Menuhin Memorial Award, 3 MBS Young Performer of the Year, John Allison Scholarship, and MCM Concerto Prize. Internationally Kevin has been a finalist in the Thailand International Piano Competition and semi-finalist in both the Virginia Waring and Suzhou Jinji Lake International Piano Competitions. Kevin has given recitals in the USA, China, Hong Kong, Thailand, New Zealand and Indonesia, and performed for HRH Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwell. He has performed concertos by Beethoven, Liszt, Brahms, Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninoff and Prokofiev with orchestras that include the Thailand Philharmonic, Fremantle Symphony, Zelman Symphony, Frankston Symphony, Preston Symphony, Maroondah Symphony and Melbourne Conservatorium of Music Symphony Orchestras.

Stefanie Farrands Viola

Violist Stefanie Farrands has been Principal Violist with the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra since 2015. She studied with Tabea Zimmermann in Berlin, and prior to Berlin she was the recipient of the Georgina Grosvenor Scholarship at ANAM studying with Roger Bennedict and Alice Waten in Melbourne.

Stefanie has performed extensively throughout Europe, America, Asia and Australia both as a chamber musician and orchestral player, including playing with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe and Camerata Salzburg. She is a regular guest of the Berlin Philharmonic and has also been Guest Principal with the Strasbourg Philharmonic and Amsterdam Sinfonietta. In Australia she has been guest principal Viola with the Australian Chamber Orchestra, guest Principal Viola of the Australian World Orchestra, and has been a regular guest with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and Melbourne Chamber Orchestra.

Waynne (Woo Seok) Kwon Cello

Waynne currently studies under Hannah Roberts with a full bursary at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, UK, generously supported by the Haworth Trust and the Dorothea Stone Award. He is also supported by The Tait Memorial Trust as a Higgins Family Scholar, and is the recipient of the 2017 Guy Parsons Award from the Australian Music Foundation (donated by the Portland House Foundation). He is the winner of the 2018 Muriel Taylor Cello Scholarship, Finalist of the 2017 Bromsgrove International Music competition, winner of the 2017 RNCM Concerto Competition and the 2016 Sir John Barbirolli Cello Prize. Waynne has had masterclasses with Miklos Perenyi, Heinrich Schiff, Ralph Kirshbaum, Frans Helmerson, Karine Georgian, David Geringas and Claudius Popp. Waynne currently performs on a cello made by Francesco Ruggieri in 1694, generously on loan from the RNCM.

Andrey Lebedev Classical Guitar

Andrey Lebedev is an acclaimed classical guitarist with an insatiable curiosity. He is the laureate of top international competitions including the 2017 ARD and GFA Competitions. In 2014, he was the first young guitarist invited by Julian Bream to perform for Julian Bream Trust, premiering commissions by Harrison Birtwistle and Leo Brouwer in London. Acclaimed interpreter of contemporary music, he has had new works written for him by Brett Dean, Leo Brouwer and Peter Sculthorpe. Equally at home with early repertoire, he was awarded First Prize and special Bach Prize at the Gisborne International Music Competition for his transcription of J.S. Bach’s D Minor Violin Partita.

Shuan Hern Lee Piano

15 year old Shuan Hern Lee started piano lessons at 2 and half with his dad, Yoon Sen Lee. At the age of 14, he obtained the Fellowship of Music of Australia diploma (AMEB) and was accepted into the University of Western Australia. Shuan Hern is also a student of International Piano Academy of Imola, Italy, studying with Yoon Sen Lee and Ingrid Fliter.

Shuan Hern has won many top prizes at international piano competitions including International Tchaikovsky Competition for Young Musicians in Russia, International Piano Competition for Young Musicians in The Netherlands, International Junior E-Piano Competition in USA and many others. Shuan Hern has performed with various orchestras including the National Symphonic Orchestra of Ukraine, the State Symphony Orchestra of Moscow, WA Symphony Orchestra and the Minnesota Symphony Orchestra.

Tony Lee Piano

Sydney born pianist, Tony Lee, has gained a reputation as one of Australia's finest young pianists, who seeks to transmit the essence of music and his understanding of it through his playing. Tony was soloist in residence at the Chapelle Musicale Reine Elisabeth in Belgium from 2014 to 2016 and continues to work with the renowned pianist, Maria-João Pires.

Tony has performed across the Asia Pacific, Europe, the USA and has appeared as soloist with the Brussels Philharmonic Orchestra, BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, Shanghai Philharmonic Orchestra, Samara Philharmonic Orchestra, Queensland Symphony Orchestra, Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, and New Zealand Symphony Orchestra.

Robbin Reza Piano

Australian Pianist Robbin Reza (23 Years) completed his Bachelor of Music in 2016 with First Class Honours at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, studying with Daniel Herscovitch. From 2017, Robbin commenced a Masters Degree with Claudio Martinez-Mehner at the Hochschule für Musik und Tanz Köln in Germany. Robbin gave his first public recital at the age of 11 for the launch of the 9th Sydney International Piano Competition and has been awarded prizes in the Ku-Ring-Gai Philharmonic Orchestra’s Secondary Schools Concerto Competition, Sydney Conservatorium Concerto Competition, Allison and Henderson Scholarship Sydney Eisteddfod and the ABC Symphony Australia Young Performers Awards.

Oliver Shermacher Clarinet

Oliver Shermacher completed his Bachelor of Music at the Sydney Conservatorium in 2017 studying under Francesco Celata, having also studied at the Freiburg Hochschule für Musik in Germany. Oliver plays regularly with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra. He placed 2nd in the Gisborne International Music Competition in 2017, won the Sydney Conservatorium Clarinet Concerto Competition and was recipient of the Sydney Conservatorium Association Clarinet Award. Oliver regularly composes and arranges, plays chalumeau and period clarinet, and is the Co-Founder of the social media page: “The Clari Boys” which produces light hearted and entertaining videos and media about classical music.

Riley Skevington Violin

Riley is an Alumnus of the Advanced Performance Program at the Australian National Academy of Music and continues to study under Dr Robin Wilson. He performs as a member of the ACO Collective and last year shared the first desk with Daniel Dodds in the 2017 Australian World Orchestra season. Recent solo performances have include a performance of the Brahms Violin Concerto with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra in collaboration with the Melbourne International Film Festival and 'Spring' from Vivaldi's Four Seasons with the Australian Chamber Orchestra Collective. Other more recent awards include National Winner of the Australian Youth Classical Music Competition (2017) and the Kendall National Violin Competition (2017). His trio (Clarendon Trio) is the sole Australian-based group selected to compete in the 2018 Melbourne International Chamber Music Competition held in July. Riley has achieved a position as a scholar of the Karajan Akademie, Berliner Philharmoniker, commencing later this year.
Riley plays an 1849 Pressenda made available to ANAM through the generosity of Janet Holmes à Court AC.

Emily Sun Violin

Emily Sun was the Strings winner of the 2011 YPA and prizewinner in numerous international violin competitions such as the Royal-Overseas-League Gold Medal (UK), Yampolsky (Russia), Brahms (Austria) and Lipizer (Italy). Emily has appeared as soloist with Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra, Tasmania and Queensland Symphony Orchestras, and is a regular guest soloist with orchestras in USA, Europe and Asia.
Emily is a BBC Introducing Artist, and in 2019 will be premiering Tan Dun’s new violin concerto across China. She performed Bach’s Double Violin Concerto with Maxim Vengerov at the 2017 Royal Gala hosted by HRH Prince of Wales in Buckingham Palace.
Emily studied at the Sydney Conservatorium with Dr Robin Wilson and is currently at the Royal College of Music, studying with Itzhak Rashkovsky. She is also Artist-in-Residence at Chapelle Musicale Reine Elisabeth, mentored by Augustin Dumay. She was supported by the AMF Nora Goodridge award. Emily plays a 1947 A.E. Smith violin, made in Sydney. 

Benett Tsai Cello

Benett Tsai, 14, has been learning the cello with his uncle Thomas Tsai since the age of 5, with Susan Blake since 2013 and Li Wei Qin since 2015. Benett’s musical influences also include David Pereira, Laszlo Kiss and his pianist father Joshua Tsai. He has played for Steven Isserlis, Nicolas Altstaedt and Gavriel Lipkind. Since winning the 2016 Fine Music National Young Virtuoso Award, Benett has had his mainstage debut at the 2017 Musica Viva Huntington Estate Music Festival and solo appearances with the Willoughby and North Sydney Symphony Orchestras. His performances have been broadcasted live by ABC Classic FM and FM 102.5. In 2018/19, he will perform with the ACO Academy, Willoughby and Penrith Symphony Orchestras, Ku-ring-gai Philharmonic Orchestra and present a recital at the Shanghai Oriental Arts Centre. Currently Benett is a Year 9 student at the Sydney Grammar School on a full music scholarship. Aside from music, he enjoys playing tennis and football.

Victoria Wong Violin

Victoria is undergoing her Bachelor’s degree at the Hochschule für Musik Hanns Eisler Berlin with Prof. Ulf Wallin. She started learning the violin with Rachel Miller and continued under Prof. Goetz Richter until she moved to Germany in 2013, where she attended the Landesgymnasium für Musik in Dresden and studied under Jörg Fassmann. She has participated in masterclasses with Nora Chastain, Cheng Shen, Donald Weilerstein, Silvia Simionescu, Louise Hopkins, and Tim Kliphuis. Victoria is a current recipient of the Australian Music Foundation Award. She is the winner of the 25thGyarfas Competition Berlin and a prizewinner at the International Max Rostal Competition and the International Arthur Grumiaux Competition. She has appeared as a soloist with the JSO Dresden, JSO Berlin and the Youth Classics Orchestra.