Piano Extravaganza Performers Friday May 17, 2024- Chilliwack Cultural Centre
Evan Zhang is 10 years old and started learning piano at age 5. Since the early stage, he has shown his love for music and emerged as a brilliant young musician.
Evan has won numerous awards, such as the Overall Award (age 7-9) at the 2023 Steinway Piano Competition, first prize in both the 2023 SPG and Kiwanis competitions, second prize at the CYO Competition (age 14 and under). In 2021 and 2022, he won the first prize at the German CLAVIS Piano Competition.
Evan made his orchestral debut at the 2023 Music Festival Perugia in Italy. He has also participated in masterclasses with renowned pianists like Jerome Lowenthal, Ursula Oppens, Ian Jones, John Perry, and Alexandre Moutouzkine. Evan is currently under the tutelage of Dr. Corey Hamm and Prof. Ilana Vered. His former instructor was Dr. Boris Konovalov. Dedicated to honing his piano skills and musicality, Evan aspires to grow as a well-rounded musician and continue to share his passion for music with others.
Beyond the love for piano, Evan has a wide range of interests, such as playing cello, chess, badminton, soccer, debate, traveling, and swimming. He won championships in freestyle, backstroke, and breaststroke at the Private School League Swimming Competitions.
Lainey Mi is a 14-year-old aspiring pianist from Coquitlam, Canada. She embarked upon her piano journey at the age of six, guided by her knowledgeable piano teacher, Angelina Lee. Ever since then, she fell in love with piano and gained more discipline, which helped her to achieve some of her goals; she has won numerous places and scholarships from music festivals such as VKMF, CDMF, VAYA, RMFS, and Crescendo International Music Competition. Along with festivals, she has attended some music camps to enrich her musical abilities, such as PCMA, VIMA, and ISEP. While Lainey cherishes any solo opportunities, after collaborating with other instrumentalists in the form of trios, duets, violin trio and piano, piano duets, and six hands piano trio, she became a fan of chamber music as well. As such, Lainey is very thrilled for this opportunity to play with the Chilliwack Orchestra. Outside of improving her artistic capabilities, Lainey loves reading, writing, and attending concerts!
Come back for Bio
Janette Wood is a 64 yr old pianist who began her interest in piano at age 11 .
Originally from Oakville Ontario Janette studied piano and accomplished her level 8 Royal Conservatory exam. During her high school years Janette also competed in Track & Field earning a spot on the Canadian National Track Team which allowed her to compete internationally. Janette then went on to University and was awarded a full athletic scholarship to Florida State University . As priorities shifted Janette stopped her piano ambitions for Athletics and did not return until age 51. Currently Janette studies piano with Colleen Denoni and has worked her way up to the ARCT level. For the last 8 years Janette has participated in the Chilliwack Lions Club Music and Dance festival and won the Serena MacDonald Trophy several times for Outstanding Performance in the Adult Classes.
Janette is working towards her ARCT Performer’s exam and hopes to continue learning for many years to come.
“Amber Au is 6 years old, was born in Hong Kong and moved to Vancouver last year.
Inspired and encouraged by her mother, a piano enthusiast and aunt, a Chinese-Australian professional pianist. Amber has been immersed in music since a very young age. She had her first public performance in Hong Kong at the age of four, and has been performing regularly ever since.
Guided and supervised by Mr. Clinton Denoni, Amber’s journey of piano becomes very fruitful. She is expanding her musical prowess and developing a strong foundation of music theory, also gaining lots of confidence in performing music on stage.
Amber is excited for the opportunity to play with Chilliwack Symphony Orchestra, and will strive her best endeavours on stage.”
11-year-old pianist Shanti Lin is a top prize winner in the Vancouver Kiwanis Music Festival, the VAYA International Festival, and the Pacific International Youth Music Society competitions. She has also won prizes as a violinist.
Shanti Lin is currently studying piano with Clare Yuan, who is part of the Meeks Duo, with her husband Scott Meek. With the help of her teachers’ inspiration, Shanti’s music continues to become more colourful, as she strives to deepen her knowledge of the musical language. In her spare time, Shanti likes reading or listening to audiobooks, and also playing with her (super adorable) cat, Meowchi. Meowchi makes practicing more enjoyable too, as she sticks around while Shanti is practicing and it is believed that she likes Shanti’s music. Shanti is a big cat and animal lover and hopes to play music for animal’s enjoyment. She would like to improve in piano and inspire people and animals alike to appreciate the wonders of music.
Lucas Wu, is a 13-year-old pianist whose journey with the piano began at the tender age of 6, when his parents, recognizing his innate talent and boundless enthusiasm, wasted no time in enrolling him in piano lessons. From then on, Lucas’s life has been an extraordinary journey of musical discovery and accomplishment.
Music has always been a family affair for Lucas. He cherishes family outings to concerts, where they collectively savor the magic of live performances. At home, classic music CDs fill the air, creating a harmonious backdrop to his daily life. This shared love for music has deepened the bonds within the Wu family and continues to be a source of inspiration for Lucas.
Not only is he a piano virtuoso, but he also showcases his musical prowess as a saxophone player in his school band. Beyond music, Lucas is a competitive swimmer, a math enthusiast, and a lover of games.
Hailing from the vibrant musical city of Shanghai, Lucas has earned numerous awards that highlight his exceptional musical abilities. His dedication to practice and a profound connection with his instruments have been recognized from prestigious music competitions and festivals in Shanghai.
As a newcomer for Vancouver, Lucas Wu achieved a significant milestone by securing a silver standing at the Chilliwack Music & Dance Festival in 2023, a testament to his remarkable talent and commitment to musical excellence. This accomplishment marks just one of many milestones on his musical journey.
Madison Brecht is a 17 year old aspiring concert pianist from Chilliwack, B.C. For nine of the eleven years she participated in the Chilliwack Lions Club Music and Dance Festival, she was chosen as the piano champion, and has represented her community four times in the Provincial Festival.
She took her ARCT Performer’s exam during the summer of 2023, and has also completed her Elementary Pedagogy certification with a First Class Honours with Distinction.
Currently, she is in her first year of a Bachelor of Music Degree at the University of Victoria, intending to pursue teaching and performing further after graduation.
Miles Graham began piano studies at age five and only recently rediscovered his passion for music, studying under Clinton Giovanni Denoni. He has competed in the Chilliwack Music & Dance Festival numerous times and received top marks. He recently completed his RCM Grade 10 practical and is eager to work towards his ARCT. Additionally, he completed his RCM Grade 8 theory and received first-class honours with distinction in the fall of 2023. Mr. Graham uses his talents to play with his school chapel and annual concerts at the VSO school.
Outside of his musical interests, Mr. Graham enjoys long-distance running for the Valley Royals Track Club, where he has ranked well in provincial races. He enjoys skiing, mountain biking and values his academic studies. Mr. Graham relishes the opportunity to perform with the Chilliwack Symphony Orchestra as a soloist.
Hong Kong-born pianist, and violinist and composer Vivian Kwok is known for her versatility and involvement with new music across Canada. As a performer, Vivian has premiered over 40 works and collaborated with no fewer than 20 composers. Her most recent achievements include prizes from the Canadian Music Competition (2023), the Piano Scholarship Competition (2023) by the Vancouver Westcoast Music Society, and the University of Toronto Winds Concerto Competition (2021). As a composer, she was named a winner of the Young Canadian Composer Awards (2022) by the SOCAN Foundation, as well as winner of the Edmonton Composers Competition (2022) by the Edmonton Pops Orchestra. Currently published by Éditions Plamondon, her music has been performed internationally by the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, UofT Opera, Bedford Trio, Concreamus Chamber Choir, many emerging soloists, and herself. Vivian received her Bachelor of Music (Piano Performance and Composition) at the University of Toronto, studying with Jamie Parker and Abigail Richardson-Schulte. She is grateful to be awarded the W.O. Forsyth Graduating Scholarship in 2022. Vivian is currently pursuing her graduate studies in piano at the University of British Columbia, studying with Corey Hamm.
Anna Wang is a precocious 6 year old pianist who studies at the Chilliwack Academy of Music.
She began piano at age four and is currently working at level 4 piano.
Anna is an exceptionally hard worker and she enjoys her piano very much!
In her free time, her extracurricular activities include skating, swimming, reading and dancing.
Anna is really excited to perform with the Chilliwack Symphony Orchestra!
Paul Wang is 16 years old, a dedicated and compassionate young pianist and a young piano teacher of The Royal Conservatory of Music in North Vancouver, BC, Canada.
Paul began formal piano lessons at 4 years old, and currently studies with UBC professor Dr. Corey Hamm as well as Steinway artist/Concert Pianist Ilana Vered.
Paul has had a number of notable performance and accomplishments in his young career, including performing at Carnegie Hall when he was 6 and 7 years old. He has also performed with many orchestras from Europe and North America.
Furthermore, Paul has represented local Kiwanis festivals, CDMF festival and Vaya International Music festival at Provincials numerous times. When he was 9 years old, Paul won the First Prize at the Canadian Music Competition in the 10 years-old category. Paul is a youngest winner at 2019 Seattle Young Artists Music Festival Concerto Competition in US. Recently, Paul secured the both Overall Awards winner at the 2023 Steinway Piano competition and Steinway Spirio/r Concerto Competition. In April of the same year, Paul garnered the Best Performance Prize of the required commissioned Work and Second Prize in Advanced Level in the Dixieme Concours International de Piano d’Orleans Junior “Brin d’herbe” in France , and was a laureate at the international competition Piano Neuchâtel Val de Travers 2023 in Switzerland.
As a young pianist, Paul has been actively giving back to the community through charitable events and fundraisers. Apart from music, Paul has a wide range of various interests. he enjoys reading, history and Rowing.
Adam Sun is currently based in Vancouver as a student of the University of British Columbia, studying piano performance with professor Corey Hamm. Under his guidance and that of previous teachers, such as Irina Faletski and Sergei Saratovsky, Adam has pursued many performance opportunities, earning awards and placements at festivals and competitions such as the Canadian Music Competition, Vancouver Kiwanis Festival, and the VSO School of Music Concerto Competition. Recently, Adam received an opportunity to play for two concerts with the VSO, being one of two student pianists performing Saint-Saëns’ Carnival of the Animals and Carnival of Our Animals, a composition composed by William Rowson based on three animals of Coast Salish nations. Adam aims to teach his piano students with the same enthusiasm as the mentors that led him to pursue music professionally, and continues to perform as a solo and collaborative pianist.
Named by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) as one of “30 Hot Canadian Classical Musicians Under 30”, Hamilton Lau is establishing himself as a promising, energetic, and dedicated musician. Born and raised in Vancouver, British Columbia, he began his piano studies at the age of four, and he currently studies with Corey Hamm at the University of British Columbia.
He has achieved awards from numerous competitions at the international, national, provincial, and local level. He won the UBC Concerto Competition in 2022, the Canadian Music Competition in 2021 and 2019, and the Performing Arts BC Provincial Festival in 2022 and 2018. Additionally, he received Second Prize and the Paul J. Bourret Memorial Award for Best Performance of the Test Piece (Du und Du by Strauss Jr/Dohnányi) at the 2022 Shean Piano Competition. He also achieved first place at the Kay Meek Competition, the Phyllis Salter Piano Competition, and at the Bjorn and Lori Hareid Senior Secondary Competition, earned Bronze Prize and the prize for the Best Performance of a Canadian Composition (18-35 years old) at the Vancouver International Music Competition, was selected as a semi-finalist at the 2022 OSM Competition, and received trophies and scholarships from many music festivals and competitions such as the Architecture of Music Competition, VWMS Bursary Competition, Vancouver Kiwanis Music Festival, Kiwanis Fraser Valley International Music Festival, CDMF Performing Arts Festival, BCCM Music Festival, and the Pacific Youth Piano Festival.
Besides competing, Hamilton has a wide range of experience in performing, both as a soloist and as a collaborative pianist. He played Edvard Grieg’s Piano Concerto in A Minor at the Orpheum Theatre with the VAM Symphony Orchestra (VAMSO) in 2018 and Sergei Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 1 in F-sharp Minor at the Chan Center with the UBC Symphony Orchestra in 2022. His chamber music experiences consist of performing at the Ent Center for the Arts, the Roy Barnett Recital Hall, and the Windermere Care Centre. As an ardent learner, Hamilton has participated in masterclasses with Ilana Vered, Charles Richard-Hamelin, Lydia Artymiw, Rachel Naomi Kudo, Stephen Drury, Stéphane Lemelin, Stéphan Sylvestre, Lucas Wong, Tomislav Baynov, Noel McRobbie, and Ian Parker, as well as taking part in a piano trio with Joseph Elworthy and Andrew Dawes as the coaches. He received the British Columbia Registered Music Teacher’s Association Excellence Award in 2015, and in 2016, he obtained the Associate Diploma of the Royal Conservatory of Music (ARCT), Piano Performance.
Piano Extravaganza Performers Friday May 24, 2024- Christ Church Cathedral
Ethan Yichun Wang
Ethan Wang is an 11-year-old boy at St. George’s Junior School. He began learning piano at the age of 5 and is currently working on his ARCT. In the past 6 years, Ethan has won numerous gold medals, trophies, and scholarships in different music festivals and competitions such as CDMF, RMFS, PIYMS, Kiwanis, KPU, SPG, SIPF, PABC, VIMC, and others. He currently studies piano with Corey Hamm. His former teacher was Ronald Morgan.
Most notably, Ethan has recently won first place at the 2023 SPG festival, first place and the Sunny Byun Trophy at the 2023 CDMF festival; the first place at the 2023 Kiwanis Music Festival, and the Gold Prize at the 2023 KPU Festival. He achieved the Excellent Performance award at the IPPA Conero Piano Competition, the highest average mark of Grade 10 piano and the second place of Concerto Class at the 2023 BCCM festival. He also received the BCRMTA scholarship for Highest Score of RCM Level 9 Piano. Ethan won first place at the 2022 White Rock and Surrey Music Festival in which he was invited to perform at the Gala Concert. Ethan devotes his spare time to reading, drawing, and exercise. He enjoys studying science. He also plays the violin and the French horn, and he is an avid composer for the piano.
Aaron Miao, started his journey with the piano at the tender age of 6, and now at 13, he has reached an impressive Level 9. With 7 years of dedicated practice, Aaron possesses an unwavering passion for the piano, pouring his heart and soul into every note he plays. His piano performances are characterized by intense emotion and a deep connection to the music, which captivates his audience. This emotional depth in his playing sets him apart, making his music resonate on a profound level. Over the years, Aaron has achieved recognition for his exceptional talent, earning accolades and prizes in various music festivals. His ability to convey emotion through his music has consistently placed him among the top performers. Currently, Aaron is eagerly looking forward to his upcoming performance with the Chilliwack Symphony Orchestra, where he will undoubtedly bring his signature emotional depth to the stage, leaving the audience enthralled.
Come back for photo and bio
XU, August, 10 years old, started to play piano since he was 5 and violin since 7. He has shown a great passion for music and enjoys practicing piano and violin every day. August has participated in many international piano competitions and won multiple awards. Outside of his music world, August enjoys all sorts of sports, such as swimming, skiing and sailing, and he is also a very skilled young tennis player.
Come back for photo and bio
Isaac Liu, twelve-year-old, is a passionate multi-instrument enthusiast. His musical enlightenment came from the classical guitar at the age of seven. And much of his stage experience was as a violist in the school symphony orchestra. However, after two and a half years of studying, the piano became the main theme of his life dramatically. With his admiration for the piano, he made rapid progress on the path of learning the piano, and won the first place in the Mastery School of Music Concerto Competition Early Intermediate and Late Intermediate for two consecutive years. He has also participated in numerous competitions and achieved good results in Kawanis Festival, BCCM, Chilliwack Music and Dance Festival, Shanghai International Youth Piano Competition. He always reminds himself to match his love of music with enough efforts , come on!
Come back for photo and bio
Felicia Jingru Ma
Felicia Jingru Ma is 12 years old and has been studying piano with Ingrid Henderson at the Victoria Conservatory of Music since the age of 9. Felicia performed as a piano soloist with the Cowichan Consort Orchestra in 2023 to a standing ovation and is honored to perform with the Chilliwack Symphony Orchestra in 2024. She has been invited to perform at the Final round of the Vancouver International Music Competition in October 2023.
In July 2023, Felicia performed at the Steinway Young Artists Vancouver Club concert at Tom Lee Music in Victoria. She has won numerous awards including 1st place in the National Federal Canadian Music Festival, Developing Artist and 1st place in the British Columbia Provincial Performing Arts Festival, Junior Piano; winner of the Greater Victoria Performing Arts Festival Senior Piano Trophy and Award for Outstanding Musicianship, including the Senior Classical and Canadian awards. She received 2nd prize in the Don Chrysler Sooke Philharmonic Orchestra concerto competition performing all 3 movements of the Mozart Concerto No.23, K488 and 2nd prize in the BC Provincial Performing Arts Festival, Junior Canadian Piano category.
Felicia is especially fond of collaborating with other musicians particularly with her Trio and violin instructor, Tatiana Kostour, at the Victoria Conservatory of Music, and has been the recipient of several Conservatory Piano Scholarship awards for the past 3 years.
Judah Williams is a 16-year-old pianist and composer from Vancouver, Canada. He is enrolled in the Young Artist Collegiate Program at the Vancouver Academy of Music, where he studies piano performance with Ian Parker and composition with Edward Top. Judah has also studied the cello, is the principal cellist of his high school orchestra and enjoys playing the piano and cello in chamber groups.
From a young age, Judah has been an active performer and award winner at music festivals, competitions, and events in BC, including the Performing Arts BC Provincial Festival. In 2023, he was invited to perform at the Steinway Piano Competition Canada Winners Concert at Carnegie Hall and the Cremona International Music Academy and Festival, where he performed as a piano soloist and chamber musician and received a modern work award for performance of his composition for solo piano, Spearheaded Pines.
Judah is an avid composer and has received several awards, including a Canadian Music Centre Barbara Pentland Outstanding Composition Award. His work has been performed by the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra (Cosmic Abyss, Jean Coulthard Readings 2023), Standing Wave Ensemble (Within the Summits, 2023; Gallery Gone Wrong, 2022), and soprano, Robyn Driedger-Klassen (Too Cold for Me, 2023). This year Judah was invited to join the Victoria Symphony vsNEW Composer Program 2023/2024 and his orchestral suite, Cosmic Abyss, will be premiered in concert by the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra at the Winnipeg New Music Festival 2024.
Judah is honoured to perform his composition for piano and orchestra with the Chilliwack Symphony Orchestra (CSO) at the CSO Piano Extravaganza 2024.
Come back for photo and bio
Owen Yisu Wang
Hailed as a “remarkable young pianist” by the New York Concert Review, 16-year-old Owen Yisu Wang started studying piano at the age of 5. He has since won numerous awards at various competitions, most notably first place at the 7th Rosalyn Tureck International Bach Competition, first place in the 2021 Canadian Music Competition 13-year-old category, first
place in the 2023 Conero International Music Competition, the Gala Trophy in the 2021 Pacific International Youth Music Competition, first place in the Youth Category at the 2022 Architecture of Music Competition, and the Audience Favorite Prize in the 2022 Seattle International Piano Competition. Other accolades include second place in the Intermediate Piano category at the 2023 Performing Arts BC provincial competition, second place at the Philadelphia International Concerto Competition, Concerto Class winner at the 2022 Pacific International Youth Music Competition, and the Overall Winner Award in the 2020 Steinway Canadian Young Artist Piano Competition. Owen currently studies piano with Corey Hamm. His former teacher was Ronald Morgan.
In 2022, Owen played Gershwin’s Concerto in F, first movement, with the Vancouver Chamber Orchestra, conducted by Maestro Bujar Llapaj, at Vancouver’s Chan Centre. Most recently, he played the same concerto with the West Coast Symphony Orchestra at the Christ Church Cathedral, once again under the baton of Maestro Llapaj. Owen is the Gold Medal recipient of Canada’s Royal Conservatory of Music for Level 8 and Level 10 piano examinations. In June 2022, he received his RCM Piano ARCT Diploma with First Class Honors with Distinction.
Jiaying (Sunny) Li
Jiaying (Sunny) Li began learning piano at the age of six. Over the years, she has participated in an array of music festivals and competitions, and has received several distinctions. In 2020, Ms. Li received the Canadian Steinway Young Artist Standards of Excellence Award. In 2022, she completed her ARCT practical and theory examinations, receiving First-Class Honours and thus becoming an RCM graduate. In February 2023, Ms. Li won first place in the Crescendo International Music Competition and performed at Carnegie Hall. In March of 2023, she held her first solo piano recital. In May 2023, Ms. Li won the Gold Medal in both solo and concerto divisions in the Steinway Competition. She also studies chamber music at VAM and has attended many masterclasses with world-renowned professors and pianists.
In addition to piano, Ms. Li studies the flute and percussion. She completed her RCM Level 9 flute exam and is currently studying Level 10. Ms. Li is also the founder of the “Flute Club” at her high school and frequently organizes duet and trio performances.
Ms. Li dreams of studying classical piano performance and showcasing her passion for music to audiences on the stage.
Jonathan Weng, born in 2008, has won numerous awards, grand prizes, and scholarships in various Canadian music festivals and international piano competitions. He made his solo piano debut at the age of 7 at Carnegie Hall in New York. Furthermore, at the age of 9, he had his orchestral debut, performing with the Orchestra of Musicfest Perugia in Italy under the direction of Ilana Vered. Jonathan also had the honor of performing with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra at the Orpheum Theatre in Vancouver and collaborated with the VSO as a guest artist (one of two VSO student pianists), performing “Carnival of the Animals” and “Carnival of Our Animals” for two seasons during 2021-2022. Moreover, Jonathan obtained his Associate Diploma (ARCT) in piano performance at the Royal Conservatory of Music in 2019 when he was just 11 years old. He continues to receive piano lessons under the guidance of Ian Parker, whom he considers a mentor.
Clinton Denoni, Guest Artist
Come back for photo and bio
Ian Parker, Guest Conductor
In addition to his work at the keyboard, Ian Parker is currently in his second season as music director and principal conductor of the VAM Symphony Orchestra at the Vancouver Academy of Music. Working with some of Canada’s most promising young orchestral players, Mr. Parker programs and conducts four concerts per season in Vancouver’s historic Orpheum Theatre. In July 2020 he will lead the orchestra in a 50th anniversary tour throughout China. He is also artistic director of the Resonate chamber music series at the Kay Meek Centre in North Vancouver.
Paula DeWit, Artistic Director
With a lifelong passion for her art, she brings energy and vitality to all she works with. Core to her belief is that learning is a two way street, and that musicians thrive by working collaboratively whatever their background is.
After obtaining her conducting credentials at Capilano University, maestra DeWit continues her conducting studies at international workshops in Canada and the United States. With an enterprising drive she has worked tirelessly to create many new opportunities for musicians.
Paula was recently nominated for the prestigious Canadian Heinz Unger Conductor Award as well as the Orchestras Canada Betty Webster Award. Paula is a proud Rotarian and is an Honorary Paul Harris fellow.