Episode 10: percussionist Jasmine Lai and pianist Nicholas Feng

L-R: percussionist Jasmine Lai and pianist Nicholas Feng

It’s the final heat episode for Season 1 of The Talent 2022! Joining us tonight for Episode 10 is percussionist Jasmine Lai, who will be performing on the marimba, and pianist Nicholas Feng. You’ll hear them perform live to air a wonderful programme with works including Carl Vine’s Threnody, Bach’s Prelude from Cello Suite no.5, and an exciting self-composed work by Jasmine Lai, followed by immediate on air feedback from professional industry mentors.

Want to listen? Make sure to tune in every Tuesday night at 7pm to 103.5FM 3MBS Fine Music Melbourne. You can also stream the live broadcast at 3mbs.org.au or catch up later on our podcast! Just search for “The Talent 3MBS in your favourite podcast app and subscribe.

Scroll down to find out more about Jasmine and Nicholas, and more details about what they’ll be performing.

Percussionist Jasmine Lai

Percussionist Jasmine Lai
Photo credit: Daniel Spellman

Jasmine is a young composer, marimbist and pianist. She is currently a year 10 student in Victorian College of the Arts Secondary School (VCASS). She is studying composition from a renowned Australian Composer Tony Gould, marimba from Sergei Golovko at Australian Percussion Academy and piano from Glenn Riddle at VCASS.

She started learning percussion when she was 9 years old. She was prize winners in Australian Percussion Eisteddfod and obtained an Exhibition Award from Trinity College London in Tuned Percussion examination in 2016. In 2019, she participated in Australian Marimba Competition and was 1st place winner in Australian and New Zealand Student Category. She was awarded an Associate Diploma in Orchestral Percussion from Trinity College London (ATCL Orchestral Percussion) in 2020. She is currently a percussionist in Melbourne Youth Orchestra.

Her other major music achievement includes award of Licentiate Diploma in Music performance (Piano) from Australian Music Examinations Board (LMusA Piano) in 2022, first place winners in Music Society Victoria Piano Competition (DES Stevenson Award for 12 years and under in 2016 and EDA Schurmann Memorial Award for 15 years and under in 2020), winner of 2021 Sydney Eisteddfod Junior Pianoforte Scholarship, awards of Artology Fanfare Composers in 2019 and 2021, and recipient of the most prestigious David Henkels Composition Award from Music Society Victoria for her String quintet with percussion ensemble composition in 2021. Internationally, she was first prize winners for 6 years in Golden Key International Piano Composition Competition. In 2016, she performed her winning piece “Waltz in C major” in a World Composer Recital in Vienna Erhbar Hall.

Jasmine will perform:

  • J.S.Bach: Prelude from Cello Suite no.5
  • J.Lai: Cityscape
  • E.Sammut: Libertango

Pianist Nicholas Feng

Pianist Nicholas Feng
Photo credit: Daniel Spellman

Nicholas Feng, 11 years old, is studying piano with Dr. Kenji Fujimura. When Nicholas was very little, he fell in love with the beauty of classical music and was able to sing his favourite melodies from memory. Nicholas started his piano journey at the age of 4 and achieved all A+ for his AMEB piano exams. In 2021 and 2022, Nicholas achieved the Distinction award for the Associate diploma of Royal School of Music, London, and High Distinction for the Associate diploma of Con Brio Examinations. In recent years, he received masterclasses from Professor Andrew Zolinsky, Konstantin Shamray, Eugene Mursky, Glenn Riddle, Tamara Smolyar, Rita Reichman, and Quang Hong Luu. His current goal is to improve piano performance by exploring more different styles of music.

Nicholas thinks music performance is interesting because music is as creative as storytelling – there is always a message in each piece that different performers might deliver differently, and music brings people together by sharing feelings and healing souls. Nicholas’s recent achievements include 1st place in the 2022 National Sauter Piano Competition, 2nd place in the 2020 Prokofiev International Music Competition, and 2nd place in the 2020 Melbourne International Piano and Strings Competition U13 category as well as multi awards from the local eisteddfods. He has performed in various gala concerts, charity concerts, and MSV concerts. 

Nicholas also enjoys playing the violin in school ensembles, MYO, and the State Music Camp. One of the greatest encouragements for his violin study was winning the Stella Nemet Award for 2022 Strings Competition 12 years and under, awarded by the Musical Society of Victoria. Apart from this, Nicholas was also a former chorister at the National Boys Choir of Australia. During his spare time, Nicholas loves reading, movies, soccer, tennis, food, and studying robotics. 

Nicholas will perform:

  • J.Haydn: Variations in F minor Hob XVII:6
  • Carl Vine: Five Bagatelles no.5 “Threnody”

Tune in to The Talent every Tuesday night at 7pm to 103.5FM 3MBS Fine Music Melbourne. You can also stream the live broadcast at 3mbs.org.au or catch up later on our podcast! Just search for “The Talent 3MBS in your favourite podcast app and subscribe.

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