4 UST students top 2021 New York Young Performers Prize

July 19, 2021 People's Tonight 478 views

FOUR students from the University of Santo Tomas (UST) Conservatory of Music earned recognitions in the 2021 New York Young Performers Prize (NYYPP) Competition held on April 18, 2021.

Michael Valenciano, a student under the Bachelor of Music in Performance, major in Piano program, bagged the first prize in the Lucy Boyan Balakian Awards category, College division. He performed C. Debussy’s “No. 5 ‘Les collines d’Anacapri’ from Preludes, Book 1” and Chopin’s “Polonaise No. 6 in A-flat Major, Op. 53 ‘Heroic.’” Valenciano is a student of Assoc. Prof Najib M. Ismail, a renowned pianist and chamber musician.

In another category, Anyah Therese De Guzman, a student under the Bachelor of Music, major in Music Theater program, received the first prize in the Olly H. Kukepuu Vocal Awards, College – Musical Theatre division. Her rendition of “Ich gehör nur mir” (from Elisabeth) by Sylvester Levay and “Those Palace Walls” (from Aladdin) by Alan Menken earned her the top prize. Voice and Music Theater Department Coordinator Asst. Prof. Randy Gilongo, tenor, is her mentor.

For strings, Violin major Alain de Asis performed Bach’s “Partita in E major BWV 1006 (Gigue)” and Tchaikovsky’s “Violin Concerto in D Major, Op 35 1st Mvt.” This won him the 2nd prize in the Aaron Rosand Memorial Prizes Category, College division.

Fellow Violin major Victor Jan Luigi Torres received the Honorable Mention distinction in the same category for playing Paganini’s “Caprice 21,” and Prokofiev’s “Concerto No. 2 in G minor, Op. 63, 1stMvt.” Both de Asis and Torres are under the tutelage of Manila Symphony Orchestra concertmaster-violinist and faculty member, Ms. Melchora Regina Medina-Perez, who also serves as the Conservatory’s Symphonic Instruments and Performance Department Coordinator.

The NYYPP is an international competition organized by the Associated Music Teachers League (AMTL), founded in New York City in 1925.

The winners earned cash prizes. Their performances can be viewed on NYYPP’s final round video playlist: