BIO

Sylvia Jen

Sylvia Jen

Taiwanese-born South African pianist Sylvia Sze-hua Jen (1986*) began piano lessons at the age of 4, appearing for the first time in public at the age of 6. By the time she was 10, Sylvia had debuted her first concerto performance with the Johannesburg Symphony Orchestra (JSO) and won her first prize at a national music competition.

Since then, Sylvia has participated in numerous national and international competitions claiming many prizes and awards. She has also travelled extensively around the world for concerts and masterclasses including USA, Switzerland, Germany, Poland and the United Kingdom.

Sylvia’s teachers are Dr. Ella Fourie from the University of Pretoria and Fali Pavri from the RSAMD. She has also had the pleasure of studying/having masterclasses with Aaron Shorr (Head of Keyboard at RSAMD), Jonathan Plowright, John Thwaites, Graeme McNaught, Susan Tomes, Lionel Bowman, Konstantin Scherbakov, Homero Francesch, Eckhart Heiligers, Steven Osborne, Jean-Philip Collard and Gergely Boganyi.

Sylvia is also very privileged to have compositions written specially for her by two acclaimed South African Composers Stefans Grové and Hendrik Hofmeyr, and Polish Composer Marek Pasieczny. Sylvia recorded for the CD ‘Piano Brat Pack’ by Salon Music and also recorded several times for TV shows on Kyknet including one for the CD previously mentioned.

Competitions:

2009 – Bamber/Galloway Piano Competition (RSAMD, UK) 1st prize

2006 – Pretoria University Beethoven Competition (RSA) 2nd prize

2005 – UNISA South African Music Scholarship Competition (RSA) 2nd prize

2004 – ABSA National Youth Music Competition (RSA) 1st prize (piano)

2002 – ABSA National Youth Music Competition (RSA) 1st prize (piano)

Beeld Eisteddfod Senior Section (RSA) 1st prize

2000 – ABSA National Youth Music Competition (RSA) 1st prize (piano)

1998 – Beeld Eisteddfod Junior Section (RSA) 1st prize

1997 – Sanlam National Music Competition for Primary School Learners (RSA) 2nd prize

1996 – Sanlam National Music Competition for Primary School Learners (RSA) 1st prize (10 and under)

Awards:

2009 – Governor’s Recital prize for Piano (RSAMD, UK), Highly Commended

2006 – Stellenbosch International Piano Symposium (RSA), Most Promising National Participant Award

2005 – Grade 8 UNISA exams (RSA), Distinction

SAMRO best interpretation of a South African composition (RSA)

UNISA South African Music Scholarship Competition (RSA), Best Baroque Prize

2002 – ABSA National Youth Music Competition (RSA), best Baroque Prize

2001 – ABSA National Youth Music Competition (RSA), best Romantic and Classical Prize

2000 – Hennie Joubert National Piano Competition (RSA), best performance of a South African composition

ABSA National Youth Music Competition (RSA), best Romantic and Classical Prize

1999 – ABSA National Youth Music Competition (RSA), Most Promising Candidate

1997 – Beeld Eisteddfod Junior Section (RSA), Best Concerto Prize


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