Yolande Cardinal, Canadian Music Competition president with pianist Tina Chong, 2010 Stepping Stone First Prize. Photo: Imacom, Frédéric Côté.
Last Tuesday evening the curtain fell on the Stepping Stone 2010, the “elite” part of the Canadian Music Competition (CMC), for which the country’s finest young talents assembled for ten days in Sherbrooke. Pianist Tina Chong of Banff, Alberta won the $8,000 first prize. Second prize ($4,000) went to the Joliette pianist Charles Richard-Hamelin and third ($2,000) went to the clarinetist Dominic Desautels from Granby.
“I want to thank all the Stepping Stone 2010 candidates, with special congratulations going to the winners,” said Geneviève Cartier, President of the Sherbrooke chapter of the CMC at the official awards ceremony. “Over the past few days, you have given us performances worthy of the masters, and of this you can be very proud.” Madeleine Tremblay, coordinator of the Stepping Stone committee, was also delighted with the high level of the performances: “It was remarkable; some of the playing could have been recorded directly onto disc, it was so perfect.”
Julie Lebel, Executive Director of the CMC, thanked all the volunteers of the Sherbrooke chapter of the CMC for their work while calling attention to the outstanding efforts of the participants, as well as the jury, and to the contributions made by various cultural and financial partners.
Journalist Steve Bergeron of La Tribune was in attendance at the Granada Theater Tuesday evening. Immediately following announcement of the results, he spoke with Tina Chong, who said: “Everyone played so well! It was impossible to anticipate who would win… This was not my first competition at this level but it was surely the most demanding; one had to remember so much.”
Twenty-five-year-old Canadian pianist Tina Chong already has an impressive travel record to her name. She has given numerous concerts and recitals in Canada, the United States and Mexico. She studied piano with Ann Davidson, President of the Calgary chapter of the CMC, then at the Oberlin Conservatory in Ohio with Angela Cheng. She is currently working with the well-known pianist Arnaldo Cohen at Indiana University.
The national finals 2010
The Canadian Music Competition continues this Monday, June 21 with the national finals, which take place this year in Edmonton. Nearly two hundred young musicians aged seven to thirty from seven provinces will participate in this final stage of the competition. The jury will consist of mezzo-soprano Marcia Swanston, flutist Susan Palma-Nidel, cellist Igor Gefter and pianists Andrew J. Kwan and Stephan Sylvestre.
Results will be announced on July 4. A gala concert will be held on July 5, with the CMC Orchestra led by Alexei Kornienko accompanying the winners. The public is cordially invited to attend to lend their support to the candidates.