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Taiwanese musician ecstatic at winning guitar competition in Poland

2018/11/10 22:01:40

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Brussels, Nov. 10 (CNA) Taiwanese Lin Chia-wei (林家瑋), a 29-year-old classical guitarist from Kaohsiung, expressed joy Saturday at his achievement of winning one of Europe's most prestigious guitar competitions last month.

"It was a tough contest, and I'm thrilled to have walked away with that honor," Lin told CNA.

The Jan Edmund Jurkowski Memorial Guitar Competition, an annual contest that is now in its 17th year, took place in the Polish city of Tychy from Oct. 21-27.

"What I admire most about Polish people is that they understand how to appreciate good music," he said.

In the preliminary round, Lin said, he had to record a 15-minute sonata and send the video to the organizers.

The 25 people who were shortlisted from that round were then required to travel to Poland to play a 30-35 minute sonata in the second stage of the competition, Lin said.

In the final round, six guitarists were chosen to play a concerto, he said.

While in Poland, Lin said he met with contestants from all over Europe, including Serbia, Bosnia, Italy, Czech Republic, Portugal and Switzerland.

The prizes in competition included 5,000 euros (US$5,669) and a concert guitar made by Gabriele Lodi.

The winner will also be invited to give recitals at international guitar festivals across Europe, including in the Czech city of Kutna Hora in 2019 and in Bratislava in Slovakia, according to the competition website.

Lin, who grew up in Kaohsiung's Fengshan District and went abroad at the age of 20 to study, has also received awards in Taiwan, including a youth award for excellence and a Presidential Education Award.

(By Tang Pei-chun and Ko Lin)