Thomasian wins first prize in international piano competition

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(Photo grabbed from Jaypee Maristaza/ The Varsitarian)

PIANO major Michael Angelo Valenciano bagged first prize in the Kayserburg International Youth Piano Competition Category B last Oct. 4 at the Nicanor Abelardo Hall of the University of the Philippines Diliman.

Valenciano bested seven other contestants in the elimination round and four others in the semi-final round, including fellow piano major Denzel Abarquez, who won the 3rd prize in the same category.

He played “Haydn Sonata in C Major, Hob XVI: 60,” “Debussy Etude No. 11 ‘Pour les Arpeges Composes’” and “Chopin Polonaise No. 6 in A flat Major Op. 53 ‘Heroic’” in both rounds.

Valenciano, who started playing the piano at 5 years old, won silver last year in the junior category of the National Music Competition for Young Artists in Piano. He also bagged the 3rd prize in the Philippine Teacher Guilds of the Philippines Foundation, Inc. Romantic and Kasilag Piano Competition last April.

“If you enter in the conservatory, you are talented, but your talent is not enough, you really have to work hard for it in order to make good music,” Valenciano told the Varsitarian.

Peter Porticos, a member of the conservatory faculty and one of the panelists of the Kayserburg International Youth Piano Competition, told the Varsitarian the contest seeks to raise the local standards of piano playing.

“There aren’t many piano competitions in the Philippines,” Porticos said.

Valenciano has been a student of Assoc. Prof. Najib Ismail since his first year in the Conservatory.

He will be the Philippines’ representative to the final leg of the competition to be held in Guangzhou, China in Nov. 8-12, 2019.

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