ABC and Symphony Australia have announced the three Grand Finalists in the 2013 Young Performers Awards. They are 28 year old pianist Stefan Cassomenos, 15 year old oboeist Andrew Kawai, and pianist Hoang Pham also 28. All three finalists are from Victoria. Each contestant will perform a concerto of their choice with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra conducted by Christopher Seaman.
The three grand finalists were announced after the 12 finalists performed in recital and chamber music rounds this week. In the final concerto round, Stefan Cassomenos will play Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No.3 in C, opus 26, Hoang Pham will play Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No.1, opus 23 and Andrew Kawai will play the Concerto for Oboe and Orchestra by Richard Strauss.
Stefan Cassomenos has performed internationally since he was 10. A finalist in the 2012 Rhodes International Piano Competition held bi-ennially in Greece, he also won second prize and the best recital prize in the 2013 Lev Vlassenko Piano Competition, held bi-ennially in Brisbane.
Andrew Kawai won first prize in the Junior section of 2010 Australasian Double Reed Competition and 2nd prize in the senior section in 2011 and 2013. Proficient in the piano and cello as well, he has been playing the oboe for just four years!
Hoang Pham has appeared as a soloist with the Melbourne, Queensland and Tasmanian Symphony Orchestras, won the Lev Vlassenko Piano Competition in 2005 and was awarded Best Australian Pianist at the Sydney International Piano Competition in 2008.
The grand final is open to the public, will be broadcast live on ABC Classic FM at 8 pm on Saturday 12th October and will be filmed by ABC TV for future broadcast.