Top Row (L-R): Madeleine Xiao, Damon Herlihy-O’Brien, Annie Ye, Shuan Liu
Botton Row (L-R): Catherine Chang, Lorna Zhang, Yuzhang Wu
Auditions for the 2021 Chiron Charitable Trust scholarships took place on Sunday 11 October.
The jury consisted of Chiron’s Dr Rae de Lisle (Head of Piano) and Stephen Larsen (Artistic Director), and New Zealand Symphony Orchestra’s Donald Armstrong (Associate Concertmaster) and Bridget Douglas (Section Principal, Flute).
From twenty auditions, the jury selected seven talented musicians to receive the scholarships. The jury members found the experience “nothing short of inspirational” and were all “highly impressed by the level of music-making, the technical level, and the assurance of the performances”.
“It was quite simply a pleasure to be involved, and all of us came away feeling excited by what we had heard, and optimistic about the future of every single one of you.”
– Stephen Larsen | Artistic Director
The Chiron Charitable Trust (CCT) was established in 2019 to encourage and support talented and deserving music students in New Zealand who are committed to their musical education. Each funding year, CCT offers up to 10 scholarships and appoints up to 2 Young Artists as well as focused training opportunities and guidance from visiting international artists.
Yuzhang Wu – Piano
Talented pianist and cellist, Yuzhang Wu has a string of national and international competition successes, including 1st Prize at the Piano Concerto Competition in Hamilton and 1st Prize at the 2019 International Mozart Competition for Young Musicians. She was invited to perform in the inaugural international junior piano showcase as part of 2021 Concours musical international de Montréal in Canada. Also an avid debater, Yuzhang recently participated in the finals of the Auckland Schools Debating Competition.
Annie Ye – Piano
Annie Ye loves music and likes to play the piano every day. Recent competition successes include 2nd Prize in her age category for piano at the 2020 MingClassics International Music Competition and Very Highly Commended in the Piano Solo Junior Category at the 2019 North Shore Performing Arts Competition. Annie received a CCT scholarship in 2019 and currently learns piano from Richard Liu.
Catherine Chang – Piano
Catherine is a talented multi-instrumentalist (piano, flute, violin, viola, singing) with a particular passion in piano. She is actively involved in music groups Saint Kentigern College, including section leader of the Symphony and Chamber Orchestras and Concert Band, Kentoris choir leader, and member of the Performing Arts Council. Catherine has received a plethora of awards from music competitions in New Zealand, most recently the 2nd Prize and the Best Performance of a Classical Sonata at the 2020 NZ Junior Piano Competition.
Damon Herlihy-O’Brien – Cello
For Damon Herlihy-O’Brien, the cello is a key part of his identity. Notable and recent music accomplishments include reaching the national semi-finals of the 2020 NZCT Chamber Music Contest and placing 2nd in the senior cello section of the 2020 Pacific International Youth Music Competition. Damon is actively involved in musical groups at Glendowie High School, including the string orchestra (cello), concert band (percussion, double bass, timpani), and rock band ‘Ragaire’ (drummer and co-composer).
Shuan Liu – Piano
Shuan describes herself as a determined, resilient and confident performer who is always up for a challenge. This year alone, Shuan received 1st Place (Piano Class C) in the 2020 Pacific International Music Competition for Youths, 3rd Prize and the Best Performance of a New Zealand Work at the NZ Junior Piano Competition, and performed in the Utzon Room of the Sydney Opera House. Shuan is on a full scholarship at Pinehill School and hopes to study music after high school.
Madeleine Xiao – Piano
Carmel College student, Madeleine Xiao strives to become a stronger musician by expanding her musical knowledge and experience. She has successfully participated in national competitions including the 2020 NZ Junior Piano Competition (receiving the Encouragement Prize), NZCT Chamber Music Contest and the Rönisch Auckland Secondary Schools Piano Competition. In 2019, Madeleine received her LTCL Diploma in Piano which is equivalent to the final year of tertiary study. She spends her spare time volunteering at Fairview Care.
Lorna Zhang – Violin
Lorna Zhang’s dream is to become a professional violinist. She expressed that being part of the Chiron community has deeply inspired her journey as a young, developing musician. Lorna’s musical achievements include the 2019 CCT Senior Scholarship, the 2019 South Auckland Performing Arts Competitions Intermediate String Championship, and the 2019 Macleans College Special Award for Music. Lorna also has barbershop singing experience.