Virtual International Music Competition Breaks Boundaries

The first virtual music competition held in collaboration between Sunway University and the Persatuan Chopin Malaysia (The Chopin Society of Malaysia) saw participants from every corner of the globe.

The Virtual International Music Competition Malaysia 2020 was carried out successfully in a collaboration between Sunway University and the Chopin Society Malaysia. Although originally planned as a live event, the pandemic had made global travel almost impossible, and thus came about the biggest ever virtually held classical music competition in the world. It garnered an overwhelming response with 600 young talents participating from 40 countries, and an international jury comprising of 36 prominent music personalities from 16 countries, including maestros and music professors who specialise in classical music.

The move to bring a typically physical event onto a virtual platform involved immense planning, preparation and execution, spearheaded by Sunway University, under the direction of Professor Snezana Panovska. The organising team took charge of the mammoth task of compiling the recordings of the participants and sending them to the jury for adjudication, after which decisions were confirmed. The results were then posted on the website of the Chopin Society of Malaysia.

The success of the virtual competition opened up an avenue for members of the classical music community from all over the world to connect with one another. It opened doors for participants to be recognised and acknowledged for their talent by esteemed professors and maestros in the classical music industry. Some winners received invitations to perform for international events, one such being from the Vladimir Spivakov International Charity Foundation in Russia. Through this foundation, two Malaysian cellists who were winners in the ‘Young Talents’ and ‘Senior School’ categories, Tan Sebastian Poe-Ryu and Yap Sin Jo, were invited to perform live in the Virtual International Concert for Children & Youth in Need, Isolation, and with Disabilities concert in February and March 2021 respectively.

Through its support of various activities in the arts, Sunway University has established itself as a venue for art and cultural activities in the Klang Valley. Professor Graeme Wilkinson, Vice Chancellor of Sunway University mentioned that Sunway University has supported and collaborated with the Chopin Society of Malaysia by hosting many concerts and music festivals, for a multitude of young talents, both local as well as internationally acclaimed artistes in addition to organising the 7th ASEAN International Chopin Piano Competition in 2018. Through this virtual competition, Sunway University was introduced in five continents as a supporter of musical culture and education, opening a new chapter for the University as an international cultural and educational destination.

This article was adapted from Blaze (Issue 55).