Saturday, February 18, 2023 » 8pm
PROGRAM: Concerto Competition Finalists
See the tabs above for bios of these talented musicians.
Haydn • Cello Concerto No. 2 – Lily Jinglin Yuan
Saint-Saëns • Cello Concerto No. 1 – Claire Mindell
Dvořák • Violin Concerto – Melissa Du
Bruch • Violin Concerto No. 1 – Norah Mix
~ Intermission ~
Beethoven • Piano Concerto No. 2 – Rachel Wei
Chopin • Piano Concerto No. 2 – Austin Ng
Mendelssohn • Hebrides Overture (Fingal’s Cave)
The Vancouver Philharmonic Orchestra will play Mendelssohn while the judges deliberate to select the first, second, and third place winners. Awards will be presented at the conclusion of the overture.
$20 – Adults
$15 – Seniors
$10 – Students
Free – Kids 12 and under
Purchase tickets at the door (cash or cheque only) or online through Eventbrite.
Shaughnessy Heights United Church
1550 West 33rd Avenue
Free street parking is available on West 33rd and on the side streets near the church.
Haydn – Cello Concerto No. 2 feat. Lily Jinglin Yuan
Lily Jinglin Yuan is a grade 11 student at Handsworth Secondary School. She started playing the cello at seven and has been studying with Mr. Bo Peng since she moved to Vancouver in grade 4. Lily completed her Grade 10 RCM exam at the age of 13 and is currently pursuing her ARCT diploma.
At a very young age, Lily began participating in various international music festivals, including the Casalmaggiore International Music Festival in Italy and Musiktage am Rhein in Germany, where she performed as a soloist, chamber musician, and orchestra member. Lily is actively involved in orchestra and chamber. She played with the VSO SoM orchestras for many years and in 2021, she joined the Vancouver Youth Symphony Orchestra and has been the co-principal cellist for the past two seasons. She has also been the principal cellist at her school’s senior orchestra since grade eight. As an avid chamber musician, Lily is a member of Cellissimo, a chamber group of 8-18 cellists. She also played and performed in string quartets and piano trios.
Lily has won numerous awards and scholarships, including the KPU International Music Festival Outstanding Performance Award, 1st prize and several gold and silver medals from the Kiwanis Music Festival, Long & McQuade Outstanding Performance Award and Gold standings in the Intermediate Strings Provincials class from the VAYA International music festival. She was also invited to perform at the VSOSoM strings festival celebration recital. Outside of music, Lily is part of her school’s basketball team and recently competed in the 2022 BC junior girls provincials. She also enjoys snowboarding and shopping during her spare time.
Saint-Saëns – Cello Concerto No. 1 feat. Claire Mindell
Claire Mindell, currently studying with Helena Jung in Courtenay B.C., started playing with Dr. Janelle Ragno in Vancouver at age 9. Throughout her journey as an emerging artist, Claire has participated in many summer programs such as the Victoria Conservatory Summer Intensive, the Sea to Sky Chamberfest at the Vancouver Academy of Music and the Comox Valley Youth Music Centre summer program. Since the age of 12, Claire has been a member of the Strathcona Symphony Orchestra (SSO) where she currently sits as principal cellist. Last year, she performed Haydn’s Cello Concerto in C Major with the SSO as the featured soloist.
Claire’s love for chamber music has led her to organize and perform a variety of charity concerts, raising funds for Ukranian Refugees through the Red Cross, BC Children’s Hospital, BCSPCA, and the SSO. Most recently, Claire founded the Mulberry Piano Trio and organized a concert so they could share their music with the community. At present, she is working on level 10 RCM. Claire also plays clarinet and piano and pursues occasional non-musical interests such as reading, basketball, squash and cross-stitching, all while maintaining Principal’s Honour Roll standing as a Grade 10 student.
Dvořák – Violin Concerto feat. Melissa Du
Melissa Du began her violin studies when she was 6 years old and currently studies with Simon James. Melissa has been awarded numerous gold medals and scholarships at local festivals in both Vancouver and Seattle and was a finalist in the VSOSoM Concerto Competition.
An avid orchestral and chamber musician, Melissa has been the concertmaster of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra School of Music’s Junior String Orchestra and enjoys participating in string quartets. Melissa has appeared at summer camps such as the Sounding Point Academy and has been fortunate to have performed in masterclasses led by Augustin Hadelich, Mimi Zweig, and Ray Chen, among others.
Bruch – Violin Concerto No. 1, feat. Norah Mix
Norah Mix is a 17-year-old Canadian violinist. As the daughter of two professional musicians, she began playing the violin at the age of 4 and currently studies with Nancy DiNovo, a former member of the St. Louis, Boston, and Toronto Symphony Orchestras. Her past teachers have included Andrew Dawes, the first violinist of the Orford String Quartet, and Taras Gabora, a frequent jury member of the Tchaikovsky and Paganini International Competitions.
Norah has won prizes in numerous competitions, including selection as the Under-23 Provincial Representative and Most Outstanding Talent in the 2022 Vancouver Kiwanis Music Festival, and first prize for Best Beethoven Performance in the 2021 Great Composers Competition. As a founding member of the Cedar String Quartet, Norah recently participated in the Youth Quartet Program in the Banff International String Quartet Competition, and has performed numerous times for Vancouver’s Music on Main concert series, including the Canadian Premiere of Drop. After Drop, composed by Maxim Shalygin in response to the war in Ukraine.
Norah is also a first desk member of the Vancouver Academy of Music Symphony Orchestra and a student in the Vancouver Academy of Music’s Young Artist Collegiate Program.
Beethoven – Piano Concerto No. 2 feat. Rachel Wei
Fourteen-year-old Rachel Wei is a pianist, violinist and flutist in Vancouver, Canada. She has garnered a great deal of performing experience from an early age as a child prodigy. She has won numerous national and international awards. Her recent achievements include: third place at the BC Piano Competition, third place at the fourteen-year-old category 2022 Canadian Music Competition National Finals, Runner-Up in both the Intermediate Piano and Intermediate Canadian Piano categories with the Performing Arts BC Association of Regional Festivals, playing in the finals of the 2021 International e-Piano Competition, the National Gold Medal for the Royal Conservatory of Music Level 10 piano in 2021, Overall Award in the Steinway Competition Canada in 2021, first prize in the Bellagrande International Music Competition in 2020, first prize and top prize in the Steinway Competition Canada in 2020 and 2019, and second place in the Junior B piano category in the Performing Arts BC in 2019. The same year, Rachel was selected to compete at the Virginia Waring International Piano Competition. Rachel’s musical activities extend far beyond the concert stage.
She actively serves the community with her gift of music. At a young age, she already has a profound understanding that music goes beyond the notes: music is about love and sharing, and it connects our hearts and transcends our differences. In 2016, Rachel started the “Good Life Music Club”. The club performs monthly concerts for Maple Residence Senior Village. Since 2019, she has held fundraising concerts for Canuck Place Children’s Hospice, raising CA $7,810. She will be hosting her third Charity Concert in March of 2022. In 2019 she was awarded Canadian Young Artist by Tom Lee Music Canada for this.
Rachel attends 10th grade at Crofton House School, and she currently studies piano with Dr. Wayne Weng. She loves reading, math, and field hockey.
Chopin – Piano Concerto No. 2, feat. Austin Ng
Austin Ng, 15, started learning piano at the age of five. He has had the great privilege of being a student of Dr. Libby Yu. Austin made his orchestral debut at age 9 as a soloist with the Richmond Orchestra at the 2017 Rising Stars Concert after winning the Concerto Challenge 11 & under category. In 2018, he performed with the Vancouver Metropolitan Orchestra after winning their Concerto Competition and played in two concerts as a soloist with the Chilliwack Symphony Orchestra. Austin has consistently been recognized and awarded top prizes at local music festivals where he has been further selected to represent the festival at the provincial level. In 2016, he represented the Vancouver Kiwanis Music Festival and was subsequently awarded First Place in the Junior A Piano category at the 2016 Performing Arts Provincial Festival.
Nationally and internationally, Austin has captured top prizes at competitions, such as the Bronze Medal at the Vancouver International Music Competition in 2017, 2nd place nationally at the 2019 Canadian Music Competition in the 11 years-old and under category held in Calgary, Alberta, and a Gold Medal in the 2020 Virtuoso Artists – Seattle International Piano Festival in the 13 years-old category. In 2019, Austin performed a solo recital at Westbank Corp’s Unwritten Exhibition in Vancouver. In 2020, he received the prestigious Regional Gold Medal for his ARCT in Piano Performance from the Royal Conservatory of Toronto. In 2021, he was awarded the “Award of Special Promise” from the Oakridge Park International Piano Competition. Most recently, in 2022, he was chosen to represent Performing Arts BC at the Canada West Performing Arts Festival and placed second in the Piano 17 years and under category.
Apart from his passion for music, Austin also actively partakes in debate and enjoys playing basketball and golf.