13 Finalists Announced Today for 2014 Award

To be recognised as the nation’s best, up and coming classical pianist is a title that many performers would relish - and this year 13 finalists are preparing to own it.

On behalf of the Governor of Victoria, the Lieutenant Governor of Victoria, The Honourable Chief Justice Marilyn Warren AC, today announced the finalists in the biennial 2014 Australian National Piano Award (ANPA) launch at Government House.

Aged between 21 and 35 years, the 13 young pianists from all over Australia will compete in front of live audiences for the top honour, along with national recognition, concert engagements and $65,000 in cash and prizes in total.

The Australian National Piano Award started in 1992 with a Steinway, a stage and a small but passionate arts community in the regional Victorian city of Shepparton. Held every two years, the Award is now considered the nation's premier classical piano competition. It attracts musicians of the highest calibre, the services of international judges, and a dedicated group of high-profile patrons and supporters, including the support by the Greater Shepparton City Council and music fans rolling out the red carpet when the musicians arrive.

The event runs for a week in Shepparton and is welcomed by the community and appreciative audiences which creates a thrilling and empowering atmosphere for the competitors and audiences alike.

This year's finalists hail from NSW, Victoria, and Queensland:


  • Ben Austin (23 yrs)
  • Berta Brozgul (24 yrs)
  • William Schmidt (27 yrs)
  • Yiyun Gu (28 yrs)
  • David Soo (21 yrs)
  • Natasha Lin (29 yrs)
  • Daniel Le (21 yrs)


  • Aaron Liu (21 yrs)
  • Alex Raineri (21 yrs)
  • John Fisher (29 yrs)

New South Wales

  • Anne Veinberg (27 yrs)
  • Nadia Koudasheva (21 yrs)
  • Adam Herd (29 yrs)

The competition requires the musicians to perform up to four recitals, to be judged on technical mastery, style, emotional and intellectual interpretations.

The repertoire includes works by Beethoven, Bach, Schubert and Debussy and covers Baroque, Classical, 19th Century Romantic and French Impressionist music styles, as well as contemporary works and an Australian composition.

All 13 will compete from Monday 8th to Thursday 11th; the semi-final is contested on the Friday; the judges select three to compete in the final on Saturday 13th September which is recorded and broadcast on ABC Classic FM nationally.

This year the judges are internationally respected pianists and adjudicators Paul Badura-Skoda from Austria, Murray McLachlan from the United Kingdom and Wendy Lorenz from Australia.  Artistic Director for the 2014 Award is Professor Max Cooke OAM.

New President, Mr Darryl Coote, said this internationally recognised Award gave Australian pianists a unique opportunity to launch their reputation and concert career.

"This Award challenges pianists to perform to their absolute best each time they take the stage," Mr Coote said.

"It's an extraordinary opportunity for them to showcase their playing prowess under intense performance conditions, and the Award propels them into a career on the stage."

Many past ANPA winners are fulltime musicians, performing the globe today - including 2006 winner, Amir Farid from Melbourne, the 2008 winner, 30 year-old Jayson Gillham from Queensland. Jayson has worked on stage consistently since winning the Award, and is now considered a sensation in London and Europe.  Plus recent Award winners who are very well known overseas and in Australia - Jocelyn Ho and 2012 Winner, Daniel de Borah.

Australian National Piano Award
Daily piano recitals afternoon and evening.
Monday 8 September – Saturday 13 September, 2014
Eastbank Centre, Shepparton, Victoria
$30 Adults, $20 concession, $10 students
Book tickets and packages at Riverlinks
Call (03) 5832 9511 or order online.

For media interviews with the pianists please contact: Nicola Archer, Nicola Archer Communications on 0419 002 769 / nicola@nicolaarcher.com