Young pianist to compete in nationwide competition

Burnside High School student Roy Zhang.
Burnside High School student Roy Zhang.
Christchurch year 10 student Roy Zhang has been selected as one of 16 pianists to participate in a nationwide classical piano competition.

The NZ Junior Piano Competition is a biennial national competition for pre-tertiary pianists in New Zealand, competing for a total prize pool of over $4000.

NZJPC received over 40 entries this year from across the country.

Only 16 pianists aged between 10 to 18 were selected as semi-finalists, including Roy.

“I was very surprised as this was my first time entering a big competition, but also extremely glad to be progressing to the next round,” he said.

Roy is currently a year 10 student at Burnside High School and began his musical journey at 4-years-old, learning piano from Neville Baird.

Baird is a prominent figure in the Christchurch music scene, having taught talented pianists including Lixin Zhang who won both the junior and senior piano competitions in 2016 and 2018 respectively.

Roy now receives lessons from internationally renowned German pianist, Michael Endres, and also learns violin from Dr Robert Tait.

Performing in public may sound like a daunting task for some, but it is a joy and thrill for Roy.

He particularly enjoys accompanying other musicians on the piano and now accompanies “Aurora Voice”, one of the junior choirs at his school known for producing award-winning choral ensembles.

The next few months will be a busy but fruitful one for Roy. He is due to sit his Grade 7 Violin examination later this month, before travelling to Auckland to compete in the NZ Junior Piano Competition in October.

Also in October, he will be sitting his LTCL piano diploma, which is equivalent in standard to the final year recital of a university undergraduate degree.

“I am looking forward to meeting other young, talented pianists who I can learn from, and also improving my playing during this packed week,” said Roy.

“I’m also very excited to meet Richard Mapp and learn from him in the masterclasses as well as the Multi-Piano Open.”

The NZ Junior Piano Competition is presented by the Lewis Eady Charitable Trust and will take place on October 1 to 5 at Lewis Eady, the home of Steinway pianos in New Zealand.

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- By Gemma Lee






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