Yuzhang Wu has won the $1,000 DMMF Alice Cole Piano Scholarship for 2022 with Madeleine Xiao the runner-up.
The scholarship, funded by a legacy from the late Alice Cole, is awarded annually by the DMMF Auckland & Waikato Committee to a young pianist of outstanding ability from region.
Adjudicator Yun-Pai Hsu says she was immensely impressed by the depth of talent displayed by the competitors.
“There was quite a wide range of abilities and aspirations, but it is apparent that all performers are passionate about their music and musical studies. The two winners this year are undoubtedly of the highest calibre in terms of ability, musicianship and promise.”
She says the winner Yuzhang is a phenomenal pianist: highly trained and way beyond her years in her musical performance and understanding.
“She is a seasoned performer and musician, having already won numerous awards at such a tender age. She is obviously a very confident young woman who knows what she is capable of and aspires to achieve in her musical future. I am certain that if she continues with her studies the way she has, she will be make New Zealand proud someday soon on the world stage.”
Fifteen-year-old Yuzhang Wu is a year 11 student at Pinehurst School who began studying piano at the age of five. She is a frequent soloist with local and international orchestras and winner of international and local music competitions and scholarships, including winning first prize at the 2019 Zhuhai International Mozart Competition for Young Musicians in China, giving her a chance to perform Mozart Piano Concerto KV 414 with the Salzburg Chamber Soloists. Most recently, she performed Beethoven’s Piano Concerto no.3 with the NZSO at the Young Artists Showcase 2022.
Madeleine Xiao is a 17-year-old and first-year music student at the University of Auckland who has achieved numerous top awards and scholarships regionally and nationally. This year, she was the winner of the Auckland Youth Orchestra Piano Concerto Competition and in early October, she became the youngest ever winner of the University of Auckland School of Music Concerto Competition playing Chopin Piano Concerto No.1 in E minor.
Adjudicator Yun-Pai Hsu says Madeleine is also an inspiring young woman who is very much committed to her musical career.
“She has immersed herself in all types of musical activities, both as a solo pianist and as a chamber musician. I believe she will also go far in the music field.”