Mike Wang’s music triumph

Ten year-old Mike Wang

Pianist Mike Wang, 10, of Strand, took top honours at the 29th SAMRO Hubert van der Spuy National Music Competition, held at the Hugo Lambrechts Theatre in Parow on Friday September 29.

Mike is a Grade 5 pupil at Hendrik Louw Primary School in Strand.

Mike, one of five young Boland musicians (“Young musicians reach for the stars”, Bolander August 2) who made it through the audition round to the final week of the competition, was one of 51 contestants, who performed a Baroque, a classical and a South African work in the first two rounds, with 23 contestants progressing to round three.

Eight finalists went through to perform on the final gala evening, including Mike, pianists Ga-Young Moon of Stellenbosch and Madison le Roux, of Franschhoek. Mike racked up an impressive series of wins in the first three rounds: best performance of a Baroque work in the 1st round, 10 years and younger; best performance of a classical work in the 2nd round, 10 years and younger; and best performance of a romantic work in the 3rd round.

He also won the audience prize, the category prize for piano, most promising candidate of 10 years and younger, best performance of a South African composition, the Leon Hartshorne Prize for the highest achieving candidate of South African Society of Music Teachers (SASMT) members, and first prize overall, the Johanna van der Spuy Memorial Prize.

Mike has been invited to perform as soloist at the Hugo Lambrechts Concerto Festival in 2018, and also at the Oude Libertas Theatre in Stellenbosch.

Following his impressive win, Mike said: “My favourite subject is maths, and I love playing chess and watching movies. My dream is to become a concert pianist when I grow up.”

Ga-Young Moon, 12, won the runner-up prize in the piano category, and 10 year-old Madison le Roux won the runner-up prize for most promising candidate, 10 years and younger.

The SAMRO Hubert van der Spuy National Music Competition caters for classical music students to the age of 13. It is hosted by the Tygerberg branch of the SASMT and sponsored by the SAMRO Foundation..