Taiwanese pianist wins young artist competition

Fan-Ya Lin, 21, a junior at Weber State University in Ogden, Utah, plays Mozart’s “Piano Concerto No. 23 in A Major” to win the Grand Junction Symphony Orchestra’s 2010-11 Young Artist Competition on Sunday in Recital Hall at Mesa State College.

The power of the piano was unleashed Sunday.

With styles that were equally aggressive and enchanting, the three finalists in the annual Grand Junction Symphony Orchestra Young Artist Competition wowed an audience — and judges — with precision and pizazz.

Ultimately, the panel of three judges selected Weber State University junior Fan-Ya Lin, 21, as the winner of the $1,500 prize and chance to perform with the symphony next season.

Judge Larry Graham, who studied at the world-renowned Juilliard School in New York City, credited Lin’s polish and performance-ready technique for separating herself from the other finalists.

University of Utah student Isabella Campos and Utah State University’s Chenggang Wang were the other finalists.

Originally from Taipei, Taiwan, Lin first moved to the U.S. three years ago for the chance to study abroad, experience another culture and perform in more professional circles.

“In Taiwan, there are three main orchestras,” Lin said. “In the States, there are orchestras in every state.”

With her eyes set on one day becoming a concert pianist, Lin moved one step closer Sunday by securing the chance to perform with the Grand Junction symphony.

Her winning piece was “Piano Concerto No. 23 in A Major” by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, a three-movement piece composed for piano and orchestra that begins and ends lightning fast with a much slower middle movement in F-sharp minor. It is the only piece Mozart ever composed in that key.

“This Mozart is very special to me,” Lin said Sunday before returning to Ogden, Utah, where she now studies. The second movement “is so beautiful and so sensitive. Every note.”

Lin and Graham turned to an impromptu lesson after the competition. The young pianist soaked in all of his words and plugged his e-mail into her cell phone for any future consultations.

Lin first got the Mozart concerto one year ago and has been perfecting it since. A pianist since she was 4, Lin admittedly has gotten frustrated with the piano at times, but has never quit.

How Lin used the pedals, her projection on the stage and her precision hitting the allegro scales in the first and final movements helped her win the competition.

When Lin will perform with next year’s symphony will be announced at a later date.


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