2018 Winner: Emily Sun

Violin
New South Wales

The Grand Final of the ABC Young Performers Awards was held on 24 July 2018 in the Concert Hall of the Sydney Opera House.

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:

  • $50,000 AETT Scholarship: A scholarship to study overseas presented by the Australian Elizabethan Theatre Trust
  • $30,000 Sheila Walker Scholarship: a cash grant to assist with a programme of study or musical activity sponsored by Mr David Walker
  • They also become the ABC Classic FM Artist in Residence and will have the opportunity to record an album at the ABC, guided by the expertise of its specialist music production team; and
  • A limited-edition Drago Marin Cherina bronze trophy. Presented by Music & Opera Singers Trust.

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.

Emily Sun

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.






2018 YPA FINALISTS

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.

Kevin Chow Pianist

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 Clarinettist

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 Violinist

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. 











Finalists

Our finalists demonstrate the promising future and continued excellence of Australian music.

Adjudicators were impressed by the high standard overall, and the exceptional technical ability and maturity displayed by these young musicians.






Previous Winners & Finalists
2010 - 2014
2015
  • Winner - Lloyd Van't Hoff, Clarinet, QLD
  • Finalist - Chris Cartlidge, Viola, VIC
  • Finalist - Lily Higson-Spence, Violin, QLD
2014
  • Winner - Grace Clifford, Violin, NSW
  • Finalist - Anna Da Silva Chen, Violin NSW
  • Finalist - Andrew Kawai, Obeo, VIC
2014 Australia Cello Awards
  • Winner - Yelian He
  • Finalist - Edward King
  • Finalist - Ruben Palma
2013
  • Winner - Hoang Pham, Piano, VIC
  • Finalist - Stephain Cassomenos, Pianist, VIC
  • Finalist - Andrew Kawai, Obeo, VIC
2012
  • Winner - Katerina Nazarova, Violin, TAS
  • Finalist - Young Kwon Choi, Piano, NSW
  • Finalist - Som Howie, Clarinet, NSW
2011
  • Winner - Nicholas Russoniello, Saxophone, NSW
  • Finalist - Nicholas Young, Piano, NSW
  • Finalist - Emily Sun, Violin, NSW
2010
  • Winner - Oliver She, Piano, QLD
  • Finalist - Richard Pollett, Violin, QLD
  • Finalist - Ashley William Smith, Clarinet, WA
2000 - 2009
2009
  • Winner - Ji Won Kim, Violin, NSW
  • Finalist - David Papp, Obeo, NSW
  • Finalist - Bo An Lu, Piano, NSW
2008
  • Winner - Maxwell Foster, Piano, QLD
  • Finalist - Rebecca Chan, Violin, VIC
  • Finalist Jessica Foot, Oboe, VIC
2007
  • Winner - Shaun Lee Chen, Violin, WA
  • Finalist - Benjamin Kopp, Piano, NSW
  • Finalist - Tristan Williams, Trumpet, VIC
2006
  • Winner - Cameron Hill, Violin, VIC
  • Finalist - Brieley Cutting, Piano, QLD
  • Finalist - Shefali Pryor, Oboe, NSW
2005
  • Winner - Suyeon Kang, Violin, VIC
  • Finalist - Oliver Le Mang She, Piano, QLD
  • Finalist - Mark Gaydon, Bassoon, SA
2004
  • Winner - Amy Dickson, Saxophone, NSW
  • Finalist - Chen Gu, Violin, NSW
  • Finalist - Edward Neeman, Piano, ACT
2003
  • Winner - Richard Haynes, Clarinet, QLD
  • Finalist - Olivia Sham, Piano, NSW
  • Finalist - Nicole Vasilakis, Violin, NSW
2002
  • Winner - David Fung, Piano, NSW
  • Finalist - Jamie Adam, Marimba, SA
  • Finalist - Kristian Winther, Violin, ACT
2001
  • Winner - Pei-Jee Ng, Cello, QLD
  • Finalist - Kristian Chong, Piano, VIC
  • Finalist - Emma Scholl, Flute, NSW
  • Finalist - Caitlin Hulcup, Mezzo-soprano, WA
2000
  • Winner - Sophie Rowell, Violin, NSW
  • Finalist - Grace Kim, Piano, NSW
  • Finalist - Meg Sterling, Flute, ACT
1990 - 1999
1999
  • Winner - Claire Edwardes, Percussion, NSW
  • Finalist - Andrea Lam, Piano, NSW
  • Finalist - Alexandra Osborne, Violin, NSW
  • Finalist - Göknur Ray, Soprano, NSW
1998
  • Winner - Simon Tedeschi, Piano, NSW
  • Finalist - Sarita Kwon, Violin, NSW
  • Finalist - Nicole King, Bassoon, VIC
  • Finalist - Caroline Chown, Soprano, QLD
1997
  • Winner - Philip Arkinstall, Clarinet, NSW
  • Finalist - Kirsten Le Strange, Violin, NSW
  • Finalist - Fabian Russell, Tuba, VIC
  • Finalist - Lance Coburn, Piano, QLD
  • Finalist - Mezzo-soprano, VIC
1996
  • Winner - Andrew Day, Flute, VIC
  • Finalist - Lachlan Redd, Piano, ACT
  • Finalist - Susie Park, Violin, NSW
  • Finalist - Catherine Carby, Mezzo-soprano, VIC
1995
  • Winner - Alison Eddington, Percussion, NSW
  • Finalist - David Tong, Piano, VIC
  • Finalist - Sally Cooper, Violin, SA
  • Finalist - Leanne Kenneally, Soprano, QLD
1994
  • Winner - Elowyn Leonard, Clarinet, ACT
  • Finalist - Margot Lee, Bassoon, SA
  • Finalist - Shan Deng, Piano, QLD
  • Finalist - Fiona Campbell, Mezzo-soprano, WA
1993
  • Winner - Liwei Qin, Cello, VIC
  • Finalist - Rebecca Chambers, Piano, VIC
  • Finalist - Sarah Warner, Bassoon, WA
  • Finalist - Emma Lysons, Soprano, WA
1992
  • Winner - Natalie Chee, Violin, NSW
  • Finalist - Caroline Almonte, Piano, VIC
  • Finalist - Steve Rossé, Tuba, NSW
  • Finalist - Lisa Brown, Soprano, WA
1991
  • Winner - Tamara-Anna Cislowska, Piano, NSW
  • Finalist - Zoë Black, Violin, VIC
  • Finalist - Kathryn McCuster, Soprano, WA
1990
  • Winner - Clemens Leske Jr, Piano, SA
  • Finalist - Anna McMichael, Violin, SA
  • Finalist - Markus Lutz, Percussion, QLD
  • Finalist - Andrew Collis, Bass-baritone, QLD
1980 - 1989
1989
  • Winner - Antony Chesterman, Oboe, NSW
  • Winner - Duncan Gifford, Piano, NSW
  • Finalist - Melissa Barnard, Cello, NSW
  • Finalist - Louise Page, Soprano, ACT
1988
  • Winner - Virginia Taylor, Flute, ACT
  • Finalist - Julian Smiles, Cello, ACT
  • Finalist - Yanghee Kim, Piano, NSW
  • Finalist - Ian Vayne, Bass-baritone, QLD
1987 (Name changes to ABC Young Performers Award)
  • Winner - Bernadette Harvey, Piano, NSW
  • Finalist - Amanda Parsons, Horn, WA
  • Finalist - Patricia Ayling, Cello, NSW
  • Finalist - Karen Robertson, Mezzo-soprano, VIC
1986 (Name changed to ABC Young Performers’ Competition. State finals converted to four category finals. Young Performer of the Year receives extra cash and minimum of three concert performance with ABC orchestras.)
  • Winner - Alison Lazaroff, Violin, NSW
  • Finalist - Philip Mayers, Piano, QLD
  • Finalist - Frances Barzyk, Tuba, VIC
  • Finalist - Anna Connolly, Soprano, QLD
1985
  • Winner - Diana Doherty, Oboe, VIC
  • Finalist - Cameron Retchford, Cello, QLD
  • Finalist - Yasuko Toba, Piano, WA
  • Finalist - Miriam Gormley, Soprano, QLD
1984
  • Winner - Adele Anthony, Violin, SA
  • Finalist - Katrina Brown, Piano, SA
  • Finalist - Warwick Tyrrell, Trombone, NSW
  • Finalist - Susan Dunn, Soprano, QLD
1983
  • Winner - Joan Qiong Shih, Violin, TAS
  • Finalist - Deborah de Graaff, Clarinet, NSW
  • Finalist - Paul Ford, Piano, VIC
  • Finalist - Margaret Schindler, Soprano, QLD
1982
  • Winner - Ian Munro, Piano, VIC
  • Finalist - Ivan James, Cello, NSW
  • Finalist - Geoffrey Payne, Trumpet, VIC
1981 (Award for most outstanding competitor introduced)
  • Winner - Jolanta Nagajek, Mezzo-soprano, WA
  • Finalist - John White, Marimba, SA
  • Finalist - Brett Dean, Viola, QLD
  • Finalist - Robert Zocchi, Piano, ACT
1980
  • Sue-Ellen Paulsen, Cello, QLD
  • Stephen Emmerson, Piano, QLD
  • Claire Primrose, Soprano, VIC
  • Michael Mulcahy, Trombone, VIC
1970 - 1979
1979
  • Keith Birchley, Piano, QLD
  • Liza Cheshire, Flute, NSW
  • Adele Nisbet, Soprano, QLD
  • Howard Penny, Cello, ACT
1978 (Four categories introduced: Vocal, Orchestral Strings, Keyboard, Other Instrumental)
  • Amelia Fonte, Mezzo-soprano, QLD
  • Laurien Kennedy, Cello, VIC
  • Victor Sangiorgio, Piano, VIC
  • Peter Veale, Oboe, SA
1977
  • Susan Blake, Cello, NSW
  • Robyn Cantle, Soprano, NSW
  • Jenni Flemming, Piano, QLD
1976
  • Anthony Halliday, Piano, VIC
  • Rosamund Illing, Soprano, SA
  • Peta Lowe, Violin, SA
1975
  • Graham Godfrey, Tenor, QLD
  • Alan Vivian, Clarinet, VIC
  • Lesley Young, Piano, QLD
1974
  • Virginia Inkratas, Piano, NSW
  • Wendy Verco, Mezzo-soprano, NSW
  • Michele Walsh, Violin, SA
1973
  • Jeffrey Crellin, Oboe, SA
  • Jonathan Summers, Baritone, VIC
  • Renate Turrini, Piano, SA
1972
  • Andrew Peter Bowman, Male alto, QLD
  • Keith Crellin, Viola, TAS
  • Rosalie Myers, Piano, WA
1971
  • Rodney Lowe, Trumpet, VIC
  • Margot Wall, Soprano, VIC
  • Ormsby Wilkins, Piano, VIC
1970
  • Anthony Newcombe, Piano, SA
  • Julie Raines, Harp, VIC
1960 - 1969
1969
  • Gustave Fenyö, Piano, NSW
  • Margaret Garrett, Soprano, NSW
  • Tanya Hunt, Cello, VIC
1968 (Preliminary recital stage introduced. Instrumental categories divided into Keyboard and ‘Other’. Name changed to Instrumental and Vocal competition.)
  • Tom Pommerel, Piano, QLD
  • Nathan Waks, Cello, NSW
  • James Whitbread, Baritone, VIC
1967
  • Robert Davidovici, Violin, NSW
  • Glenys Fowles, Soprano, WA
  • Ian Morgan, Clarinet, VIC
  • Thomas Ungar, Piano, NSW
1966
  • Margaret Crawford, Flute, SA
  • Elizabeth Drake, Piano, VIC
  • Janice Taylor, Soprano, VIC
1965
  • Pamela Bryce, Violin, QLD
  • Vernon Hill, Flute, QLD
  • Janet Lasscock, Soprano, SA
  • Elizabeth Leslie, Piano, NSW
1964
  • Paul Curtis, Flute, NSW
  • Brian Hanly, Violin, WA
  • Elizabeth Tippett, Mezzo-soprano, VIC
  • Roger Woodward, Piano, NSW
1963
  • Althea Bridges, Soprano, NSW
  • Geoffrey Madge, Piano, SA
  • Phillip Miechel, Clarinet, VIC
  • Kerry Smith, Violin, QLD
1962
  • Charmian Gadd, Violin, NSW
  • Janet Gare, Piano, TAS
  • Janice Hearne, Soprano, SA
1961
  • Ruth Gurner, Soprano, SA
  • Rodney Sigston, Piano, VIC
  • Michael Wentzell, Organ, VIC
1960
  • Nance Grant, Soprano, VIC
  • Stephen McIntyre, Piano, VIC
1950 - 1959
1959
  • Gloria McDonall, Soprano, VIC
  • Irene Pang, Piano, NSW
1958
  • Lynette Howieson, Soprano, WA
  • Geoffrey Michaels, Violin, WA
1957
  • Patricia Connop, Soprano, WA
  • Stanley Ritchie, Violin, NSW
1956
  • Russell Cooper, bass-baritone, NSW
  • Janette Hamilton, Piano, NSW
1955
  • Barbara Hoad, Clarinet, QLD
  • Neil Warren-Smith, Bass-baritone, VIC
1954
  • Donald Thornton, Piano, WA
  • Patricia Wyatt, Soprano, WA
1953
  • Lynette Kierce, Soprano, VIC
  • Donald Westlake, Clarinet, VIC
1952
  • Marjorie Conley, Soprano, NSW
  • Max Olding, Piano, VIC
1951
  • Kevin Miller, Tenor, SA
  • Audrey White, Piano, SA
1950 (Awards inaugurated for singers and instrumentalists. Name changed to ABC Concerto and Vocal Competition.)
  • Commonwealth Winner - Ronald Price, Piano, VIC
  • Trevor Lewis, Baritone, NSW
  • Elise Longwill, Soprano, WA
  • Leslie Miers, Piano, VIC
  • Kevin Miller, Tenor, SA
  • Enid Strong, Piano, NSW
1944 - 1949
1949 (Commonwealth Finals first held)
  • Commonwealth Winner - Donald Weekes, Violin, VIC
  • Sylvia Biddle, Soprano, QLD
  • Lyall Duke, Piano, TAS
  • Pamela Flower, Soprano, WA
  • Ronald Jackson, Bass, NSW
  • Pamela Main, Piano, SA
  • Helen McKinnon, Contralto, QLD
1948
  • Juilliard Scholarship Winner - Frances Moran, Piano, WA
  • Norma Cornelius, Soprano, QLD
  • Laurence Davis, Piano, NSW
  • Berenice Lehmann, Piano, SA
1947
  • Juilliard Scholarship Winner - Dallas Haslam, Piano, VIC
1946
  • Juilliard Scholarship Winner - Manfred Clynes, Piano, VIC
  • British Council Scholarship Winner - Beryl Kimber, Violin, NSW
  • Juilliard Scholarship Winner - Sybil Willey, Contralto, QLD
1945
  • No winner selected
1944 (An annual state based competition was organised)
  • Richard Farrell, Piano, NSW
  • Betty Munro George, Piano, WA
  • Audrey White, Piano, SA