The Canadian pianist Tony Siqi Yun has just been announced as winner of the China International Music Competition, with a first prize of US $150,000. He won over the jury with a virtuosic performance of Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 1 with the Philadelphia Orchestra conducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin.
Second prize of US$75,000 went to the Russian Alexander Malofeev, 17, who performed Prokofiev Piano Concerto No 3. Third prize of US$30,000 was taken by the US pianist MacKenzie Melemed, 24, who played Rachmaninov Rhapsody on a Theme by Paganini.
Tony Siqi Yun made his orchestral debut in 2014 with the China Philharmonic Orchestra in Beijing and Shanghai. Yun has toured Ireland, Spain, China, the US and Paris. He has performed the Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto in B-flat minor with the Cleveland Orchestra inSeverance Hall. He was engaged by the China Philharmonic Orchestra in its 2018–2019 season and took part in filming the 2019 CCTV New Year’s Concert. Yun is currently enrolled in Juilliard’s Pre-College Division. Previously, he was enrolled in Dulwich College, Beijing.
Yoheved Kaplinsky, jury chair, commented: ‘Tony exhibited professionalism, musicianship, poise and an incredible ability to integrate himself with the orchestra. He was the most sensitive in his interaction with the orchestra and conductor. It was incredibly close between all three as all of them were consistent to the end. What made me particularly happy was that they were all as good as they were different.’
Tony Siqi Yun said: ‘Words cannot express how I feel to have been awarded the Gold Medal of the China International Music Competition. It has been an extraordinary time in Beijing, and I am so grateful to the jury and everyone here who have been such great colleagues.’
UPDATE: Not everyone’s happy