The Hottest Piano Contest in Australia

ANPA Shepparton 2016 AAR editorialThe Australian National Piano Award is a world-class competition, where the best young pianists in Australia make beautiful classical music over a week, striving to win $65,000 in cash and prizes.

Set in regional Victoria at the Eastbank Centre, Shepparton – the musicians battle it out day and night, covering masterworks by Chopin, Beethoven, Bach, Schubert, Debussy and many others.  Their repertoire is filled with variety as they approach with the pinnacles of the Baroque, Classical, 19thCentury Romantic French Impressionist eras, as well as music written after 1950.

The performers have their hearts set on winning the massive prize money, applause and international recognition – performing 33 recitals (Rounds one, two and semi-finals) leading up to the Grand Finals on Saturday 10 September. The artists competing in this fast-paced and inspirational series are:

New South Wales
Peter de Jager (26yrs)
Tony Lee (24yrs)
Nicholas Young (25yrs – residing in Melbourne)

Aaron Liu (23yrs)
Oliver She (25yrs – residing in U.K. + QLD)

South Australia
Mekhla Kumar (27yrs)

Ben Austin (25yrs –residing in Melbourne)

Berta Brozgul (26yrs)
Timothy Chiang (28yrs)
Kathy Chow (22yrs)
Joshua Hooke (23yrs)
Michael Li (22yrs)

The three adjudicators listening intently to every performance and taking score are:  Rolfe Plagge from Austria, Diana Weekes and Clemens Leske from Australia.

“The 2016 Australian National Piano Award showcases the pianists’ passion, talent and charisma on stage,” said President of the Australian National Piano Award, Mr Darryl Coote. “The audiences are engaged and can get involved by voting for their favourite pianist leading up to the Grand Finals, and it is recorded by ABC Classic FM and aired nationally.”

The Australian National Piano Award (ANPA) started in 1992 with a Steinway, a stage and a small, but passionate arts community in Shepparton (regional Victoria) who believed in showcasing and supporting the careers of rising musicians.

Held every two years, the Award has grown in stature and is now considered one of the nation’s premier classical piano competition.  It is like no other in this country, attracting young musicians of the highest calibre, the services of international judges and a dedicated group of high profile patrons and supporters, including the Greater Shepparton City Council and the Governor of Victoria.

“ANPA is proud that recent winners Alex Raineri (2014), Daniel de Borah (2012), Jocelyn Ho (2010) and Jayson Gilham (2008) continue to enjoy sold out concerts – solo recitals, chamber music and in concerto appearances here and overseas, including releasing their own CDs,” said Mr Coote. “The philosophy of ANPA is to provide Australian pianists with a professional platform to help propel their careers and become world-class artists.”

From start to finish, the musicians are given a warm country welcome, synonymous with the people of Shepparton, who are very proud to host this hot contest and major event every two years. The Australian National Piano Award takes place: 5 – 10 September 2016.

For more information, including performance schedule and bookings, visit: for details.

Image: courtesy of the Australian National Piano Award