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Taiwanese teenage violinist eyes top prize at renowned contest

2012/05/16 20:14:51

Brussels, May 16 (CNA) A teenage Taiwanese musical talent has made it into the final round of a renowned international competition in Belgium and is scheduled to perform on stage next week to compete for the top prize.

Tseng Yu-chien, 17, and 11 violinists outshone the 66 other candidates after two weeks in the Queen Elisabeth Competition, which is recognized by the music world as the Nobel Prize for violinists.

David Y.L. Lin, Taiwan's representative to the European Union and Belgium, congratulated Tseng on reaching the final round of the competition and wished him well in the upcoming challenge.

According to the competition's website, Tseng began studying violin at the age of three, and has won several worldwide competitions. He has also performed as a soloist with orchestras around the world including the Taipei Symphony Orchestra, the Philadelphia Orchestra, Spain's Orquesta Sinfonica de Navarra and the National Symphony Orchestra of Taiwan.

The Taipei-born talent, who will obtain his high school diploma from the Curtis Institute of Music in the United States this June, is often encouraged by his father to focus on his responsibilities as a student even though his musical talent has received great attention on the global stage.

Aside from Tseng, Taiwanese young talents Li Chi and Richard Lin also participated in the competition, but did not make it through to the final round.

The final 12 contestants will start practicing May 18 on their assignments for the final round, which is scheduled to kick off May 21. Based on the rules, they will not be allowed to have any contact with the outside world or receive any instruction until their final performances have ended.

The Queen Elisabeth Competition, established in 1937, is considered to be one of the world's most prestigious musical competitions, and one that provides a stage for young music talents to showcase their skills.

Two Taiwan-born violinists have earned the top prize in the competition's history -- Hu Nai-yuan won in 1985 at the age of 24 and Taiwanese Australian Ray Chen won in 2009 when he was 20 years old.

(By Tsao Yu-fan and Nell Shen)