The Kendall National Violin Competition has been won by some of Australia’s foremost professional violinists and, this year, first prize has been awarded to Meriden student, Teresa Yang. Teresa joins the likes of international soloist, Ray Chen, as winner of this prestigious competition open to young musicians across the country.
The grand prize, a concert violin crafted in Germany by Master Luthier Michal Prokop, is made from Australian timbers in memory of visionary instrument designer, Graham Caldersmith OAM.
Following rounds of online and live performances, Teresa, Year 9, entered the finals alongside two competitors, both of whom are Year 12 students.
“The final performance was the first time I have had the opportunity to perform as a soloist with an accompanying ensemble,” Teresa said.
“It was an honour to perform the Haydn Violin Concerto No.1 with the King Solomon Academy String Orchestra, a chamber orchestra of twenty professional string players. I also played the virtuoso piece, ‘Carmen Fantaisie Brillante’ accompanied by a pianist, which was technically challenging and exciting,” she said.
“Performing at the finals reminded me of the reason I dedicate my time and energy to the violin – it is my love of the music it creates. It was also wonderful to meet my fellow competitors who share my passion for the instrument.”
Teresa, who is a member of Meriden’s Amadeus Program for exceptional musicians, has been playing the violin since the age of five.
“My parents introduced me to the violin because they believed a music education benefits a child’s brain development,” she said.
“They are not musicians and they did not expect me to become one but as my skill with the instrument developed, so did my love for it. Now, it is my dream to become a professional violinist!”
Teresa said she enjoys experimenting with the range of sound available to a violinist.
“Tilting the bow through the right hand by a few degrees or varying the amount of vibrato through the left hand can make a huge difference in the sound produced; from fast, light and cheerful to heavy, dark and sorrowful. There are never-ending possibilities in experimentation with the violin which is what I think is so special about the instrument. This also allows me to add more of my own personal flavour or interpretation to the music,” Teresa said.
“I enjoy exploring a wide variety of repertoire, including solo works as well as works for an ensemble. I love to play with my fellow musicians, in school orchestras or quartets, and outside of school. But most of all, no matter what I am playing, I love music and enjoy creating it through my own hands and heart. I hope to have the ability to share my love for beautiful music with others well into the future.”