Left to right: Piano major Michael Angelo Valenciano, voice major Anyah Therese De Guzman and violin majors Alain Cabanes De Asis and Victor Jan Luigi Torres

FOUR STUDENTS from the Conservatory of Music bagged awards in the New York Young Performers Prize (NYYPP) in April.

Piano major Michael Angelo Valenciano, student of Assoc. Prof. Najib Ismail, won first prize in the college division of the Lucy Boyan Balakian Awards.

Valenciano performed Piano Sonata No. 31 in A Flat Major, Op. 110 by Ludwig van Beethoven, No. 5 “Les collines d’Anacapri” from Preludes, Book 1 by Claude Debussy and Polonaise No. 6 in A Flat Major, Op. 53 “Heroic” by Frédéric Chopin.

Voice major Anyah Therese De Guzman won first place in the college musical theater division of the Olly H. Kukepuu Vocal Awards with her renditions of “Ich gehör nur mir” from “Elisabeth” by Sylvester Levay and “Those Palace Walls” from “Aladdin” by Alan Menken. 

De Guzman was mentored by Asst. Prof. Randy Gilongo, a tenor and professor from the Conservatory.

Violin majors Alain Cabanes De Asis and Victor Jan Luigi Torres, students of Manila Symphony Orchestra concertmaster-violinist and faculty member Melchora Regina Medina-Perez, won awards in the college division of the Aaron Rosand Memorial Prizes. 

Torres received an honorable mention for performing Paganini’s “Caprice 21,” Johann Sebastian Bach’s Partita No. 2 in D minor, BWV 1004, and Sergei Prokofiev’s Concerto No. 2 in G minor, Op. 63, first movement. 

De Asis won second place for his performances of Bach’s Partita in E major BWV 1006 and Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto in D major, Op.35, first movement. 

Due to the pandemic, the competition was held online and all contestants had to submit videos of their performances. 

“It is somewhat an advantage because we cannot easily join international competitions abroad before the pandemic,” de Asis told the Varsitarian

De Asis said the Covid-19 pandemic has made gigs and concerts difficult for musicians, but allowed them to take advantage of online competitions.

NYYPP is a music competition that promotes classical music and discovers talents around the world.

The winners received cash prizes amounting from $100 to $1,000. 

The competition was organized by the Associated Music Teachers League (AMTL), a non-profit organization in New York founded in 1925. 

Performances from the final round can still be viewed on the NYYPP Final Round Playlist in AMTL’s YouTube channel.


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