Taiwanese first at Jacques Lancelot International Clarinet Competition

10/24/2021 02:58 PM
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Taiwanese clarinetist Julien Chun-yen Lai (center, in red). Photo courtesy of Lai
Taiwanese clarinetist Julien Chun-yen Lai (center, in red). Photo courtesy of Lai

Taipei, Oct. 24 (CNA) Julien Chun-yen Lai (賴俊諺) of Taiwan's National Symphony Orchestra (NSO) took home first prize at the prestigious Jacques Lancelot International Clarinet Competition, which took place Oct. 19-23 in Rouen, France.

The 28-year-old Lai, who also took home the competition's Prize of the Public, said he was very happy to finish in top spot at the biennial contest. He told CNA Sunday that he was still filled with excitement after "being able to stay in the contest until the end."

Currently the NSO's associate principal of clarinet, Lai advanced to the competition's round of 16 on June 10.

The competition featured a total of 143 musicians from 33 countries, with the three contestants in the final round vying for the judges approval with performances of Mozart's Clarinet Concerto in A major, KV. 622 and a Nicolas Bacri piece specially commissioned by the Opera de Rouen Normandie Orchestra.

In a press release Sunday, the NSO lauded Lai's "solid skills and brilliant performance technique" in Saturday's final, where the Taiwanese musician won out against Spain's Luz Sedeño and Hector Noriega of Mexico.

Lai studied music in France and Switzerland before acquiring a diploma in clarinet from the Conservatoire National Supérieur Musique et Danse de Lyon (National High Conservatory of Music And Dance of Lyon) in 2019.

The Jacques Lancelot International Clarinet Competition is held every two years with the aim of unearthing the talents of young musicians, in memory of the late French classical clarinetist Jacques Lancelot (1920-2009).

The competition is hosted alternately between France and Japan, and is open to candidates of all nationalities aged 18-35.

(By Chao Ching-yu and Elizabeth Hsu)

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