Community choir members became a second family for young Hanul Lee when he arrived in Canberra from Korea five years ago, and he credits them with his success as a pianist.
Hanul, also known as Linus, began to play the piano at the age of seven. He is a frequent accompanist for community choirs including the Canberra Austrian Choir, Harmonie German Choir, Sing Australia and other singing groups.
Now 22, Linus, of O’Connor, has won the ACT Young Virtuoso Award competition held at community radio station ArtSound FM’s Manuka studio on the weekend.
“The community choirs were my main network when I came to Canberra,” Linus said. “Accompanying them gave me opportunities as a solo pianist and made me a better musician. The choir work inspired me to go on and study music at a high level.”
Linus is in his second year of a Bachelor of Music at the Australian National University and has won several scholarships and prizes. Earlier he gained an arts degree at ANU, majoring in international relations.
“I very much enjoy living in Canberra,” he said. “The easy-going lifestyle and being close to nature is very different from Seoul.”
The two-hour live broadcast of the award on Canberra’s fine music and arts radio station last Sunday was presented by Annabel Wheeler. Three other young musicians also performed – guitarist Owen Elliott, double bass player Hayley Manning and flautist Ev Ramadan.
The adjudication panel, led by Canberra composer and pianist Sally Greenaway, commented that Linus’s performance of pieces by Chopin and Liszt was remarkably mature.
As this year’s local winner Linus wins an ArtSound recording session worth $500, and will represent the ACT at the national finals in Sydney at the end of November where the winner receives a $10,000 cash prize.
The Young Virtuoso Award is open to aspiring classical instrumentalists under 25 and singers under 30. The national award is sponsored by Freemasons Victoria and participating Fine Music Network stations Artsound FM, 3MBS Melbourne, 4MBS Brisbane, 5MBS Adelaide and Fine Music 102.5 Sydney.
Canberra has produced two national winners in the past five years, Andrey Lebedev and Stephanie Jones. Both are classical guitarists and are now furthering their careers.
Media contact: Susanne Roberts on 0414 805 456.