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3.00pm Wallace National Piano Competition 2019 - Programme 1

WNPC 2019 finalists: Henry Meng, Siyu Sun, Tony Yan Tong Chen, Frank Chen

WNPC 2019 finalists: Henry Meng, Siyu Sun, Tony Yan Tong Chen, Frank Chen Photo: Kelley Eady, used with permission

This is the fourth Wallace competition – they are held every second year. The previous winners are Jason Bae, Delvan Lin and Lixin Zhang. This year the adjudicator was British pianist Charles Owen, who’s Professor of Piano at the Guildhall School in London.

Each of the four finalists is required to play a 45-minute recital.

Today we’ve got selected performances from Henry Meng and Siyu Sun.

Henry Meng was a student at Westlake Boys’ High School in Auckland at the time of the competition and studying the piano with Rae de Lisle and Stephen De Pledge. He’s also a keen composer and he performed one of his own works in his recital.

Siyu Sun was one of the oldest and most experienced competitors at the age of 22. She’s been playing the piano since she was four and currently studies at the University of Auckland with Rae de Lisle. She’s had the opportunity to appear as soloist with the Queensland Symphony, the New Zealand Symphony and the Auckland Philharmonia orchestras. And she’s won a host of prizes including the first prize at the 2017 National Concerto Competition.

8.00pm Toronto Children's Chorus

Toronto Children's Chorus (blue) and Cantare (red) with directors Elise Bradley (right) and Fiona Wilson (left)

Toronto Children's Chorus (blue) and Cantare (red) with directors Elise Bradley (right) and Fiona Wilson (left) Photo: RNZ/Tim Dodd

The Toronto Children's Chorus has been in existence for over 40 years and it’s recognised as one of the best children’s choirs in the world. For the last 12 years, its artistic director has been New Zealander Elise Bradley.

Most years, the choir undertakes an international tour and this year, 2019, they came to New Zealand and Australia. It’s the third time the choir has come here, but the first since Elise has been at the helm.

In her welcome note in the programme, she writes of her passion for the art of choral music and for children’s music education. She says:

“Singing together in a choir develops important musical, intellectual, social and life skills, fosters self-discipline and teamwork, and creates aesthetic awareness and enjoyment though the study and performance of diverse repertoire. The repertoire which the […] Chorus is performing reflects my philosophy that choristers should study and perform works form different eras, musical genres and world cultures.”

In this performance in Auckland's St Matthew's-in-the-City, they are joined by Cantare from Westlake Girls’ High School, where Elise Bradley used to teach before taking up the Toronto position.

The two choirs perform separately and together. And alumni members of her old choir there, Key Cygnetures, also joined in for some massed items at the end of the concert.

Special guest, the New Zealand soprano Natasha Wilson is the soloist in a number of items.

Wallace National Piano Competition 2019 Programme

Henry Meng –
RAVEL: Une barque sur l'océan, from Miroirs
MENG: Piano Sonata Op 235, 1st movement
LISZT: Hungarian Rhapsody No 2 in C# minor S244

Siyu Sun –
SCHUMANN: Kreisleriana Op 16, excerpts
RAVEL: Noctuelles, from Miroirs
HAMELIN: Etude No 6 in D minor, 'Omaggio a Domenico Scarlatti'

Recorded by RNZ Concert in Raye Freedman Arts Centre, Auckland, 21 July 2019
Producer: Tim Dodd; Sound engineer: Rangi Powick

Toronto Children's Chorus Programme

DOLLOFF: Arctic Lights – Toronto Children's Chorus/Elise Bradley
BACH: Et exsultavit spiritus meus, – Toronto Children's Chorus/Elise Bradley
ELBERDIN: Lord, make me an instrument of your peace – Toronto Children's Chorus/Elise Bradley
HOLMES: The Estuary – Toronto Children's Chorus/Elise Bradley
DEBUSSY: Salut Printemps – Natasha Wilson (sop), Toronto Children's Chorus/Elise Bradley
TRAD arr RAPANA: Si manu la'iti'iti – Toronto Children's Chorus/Elise Bradley
HAMILTON: Icelandic Nights – Cantare/Fiona Wilson
POULENC: La petite fille sage; Le chien perdu; Le hérisson, from Petites Voix – Cantare/Fiona Wilson
TRAD arr OGURA: Hotaru Koi – Cantare/Fiona Wilson
CHILCOTT: Lullaby in Blue – Cantare/Fiona Wilson
RHEINBERGER: Wie lieblich sind deine Wohnungen Op 35 – Toronto Children's Chorus, Cantare/Elise Bradley
WALKER: Orestias – Toronto Children's Chorus, Cantare/Fiona Wilson
HAMILTON: Ave maris stella – Toronto Children's Chorus/Elise Bradley
WALLACE: Journey – Toronto Children's Chorus/Elise Bradley
RYAN: Lux aeterna – Toronto Children's Chorus/Elise Bradley
FAURÉ: Le Ruisseau – Natasha Wilson (sop), Toronto Children's Chorus/Elise Bradley
HAMILTON: The Silent Voices – Natasha Wilson (sop), Toronto Children's Chorus, Cantare, Key Cygnetures Reunion Choir/Elise Bradley
WEHI WHANAU: Wairua Tapu – Toronto Children's Chorus, Cantare, Key Cygnetures Reunion Choir/Elise Bradley
TRAD arr DOY: A te tarakihi – Natasha Wilson (sop), Toronto Children's Chorus, Cantare, Key Cygnetures Reunion Choir/Fiona Wilson

Recorded by RNZ Concert in the Church of St Matthew-in-the-City, Auckland, 3 July 2019
Producer: Tim Dodd; Sound Engineer: Adrian Hollay