2018 Winner: Emily Sun
New South Wales
Emily was named the winner after her masterful performance of Beethoven’s monumental Violin Concerto in D accompanied by the Sydney Symphony Orchestra conducted by Nicholas Milton. The concert also included thrilling performances from two other Finalists, Oliver Shermacher (NSW) performing the Weber Clarinet Concerto No. 1 in F minor and Kevin Chow (VIC) performing Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No. 2.
The ABC Young Performer of the Year wins:
Emily also won:
The Sydney Symphony Orchestra Prize – a professional engagement for a performance with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra
The Melbourne Symphony Orchestra Prize – a professional engagement for a performance wIth the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra
The Adelaide Symphony Orchestra Prize – An opportunity for a professional engagement with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra
The Melbourne Recital Centre Prize – An opportunity for a finalist to appear at the Melbourne Recital Centre in 2018 or 2019
The UKARIA Recital Prize – an opportunity to perform a recital in the UKARIA Cultural Centre, Adelaide Hills
The City Recital Hall Prize – An opportunity to perform a solo recital as part of City Recital Hall’s A Little Lunch Music Series
The YMF Award for Best Recital – a total award of $25,000 for best Recital at the Semi Finals
Kevin Chow was awarded the Triffit Bequest for runner-up and the Australian Festival of Chamber Music Prize, an opportunity to perform at the 2020 Australian Festival of Chamber Music
Oliver Shermacher was awarded the Triffit Bequest for runner-up; the Willoughby Symphony Orchestra Prize, a professional engagement with the Willoughby Symphony Orchestra; and, the Kitty Fischer Audience Choice Prize, $2,500 for the performer chosen as the audience favourite.
‘Possessed of a superb talent’ (The Advertiser), with ‘a perfect balance of expressivity and formidable strength’ (The Australian), violinist Emily Sun is in demand internationally for her compelling and captivating interpretations of both new and classic repertoire. Her impressive versatility as soloist, chamber musician and recitalist and genuine connection with her audiences allows Emily to perform with leading orchestras and festivals across Europe, the USA, Asia and Australasia.
A multi international prize winner, Emily was awarded the Tagore Gold Medal from the Royal College of Music, presented to her by HRH Prince of Wales. She won the 2018 ABC Young Performers Award (Australia), and the 2016 Royal Overseas League Commonwealth Musician of the Year (UK), and international competition prizes at Brahms International Violin Competition (Austria), Yampolsky International Violin Competition (Russia), Bromsgrove International Music Competition (UK), and Lipizer International Violin Competition (Italy). She was a Young Concert Artist for the Tillett Trust, The Worshipful Company of Musicians and City Music Foundation.
Emily has performed in major concert venues including Sydney Opera House, Wigmore Hall, Royal Albert Hall, Bridgewater Hall Manchester, Tchaikovsky Great Hall Moscow, Auditorium du Louvre Paris, and Flagey Brussels. She was invited to perform at Buckingham Palace alongside Maxim Vengerov in Bach’s Double Violin Concerto at the Royal Gala in the presence of HRH Prince of Wales, and at the Royal Palace of Brussels in the presence of the King and Queen of Belgium.
As a concerto soloist, Emily has appeared with orchestras worldwide including the Sydney Symphony, Melbourne Symphony, Tasmanian Symphony, Queensland Symphony and Canberra Symphony Orchestras in Australia; Arlington Symphony, Arizona Symphony and Garland Symphony Orchestras in USA; Shanghai Youth Orchestra and Qingdao Symphony Orchestra in China; European Union Chamber Orchestra, Orchestre de Royal Wallonie and Orchestre de Chambre Namur in Europe.
An active chamber musician, Emily has collaborated with musicians such as Maxim Vengerov, Gary Hoffman, Miguel da Silva, Marc Coppey, Danny Driver, Gemma Rosefield and is regularly invited to perform at music festivals across Europe.
As a teen, Emily shot to national fame after being featured in the acclaimed award-winning Australian documentary ‘Mrs Carey’s Concert’. Her media presence continues as the ABC Artist-in-Residence, BBC Introducing Artist, with regular broadcast on Classic FM, BBC Three (UK), Kol Hamusica (Israel), WXQR (USA), and Musiq 3 (Belgium).
Emily studied with Dr Robin Wilson at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, Itzhak Rashkovsky at the Royal College of Music, London, Augustin Dumay at Chapelle Musicale Reine Elisabeth, Belgium, and received further mentoring from Pinchas Zukerman, Maxim Vengerov and Ivry Gitlis. She currently teaches at the Royal College of Music, London.
Emily plays a 1760 Nicolo Gagliano violin, kindly loaned to her through the Beare’s International Violin Society.
*bio updated 2020.
After the 12 Semi-Finalists performed in 6 concerts staged at the City Recital Hall over 2 days, 16 & 17 July, 3 Finalists were chosen.
Pianist Kevin Chow, clarinettist Oliver Shermacher, and violinist Emily Sun.
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.
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.
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. 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.
Adjudicators were impressed by the high standard overall, and the exceptional technical ability and maturity displayed by these young musicians.