Finale Episode: Jun Gardiner, Sophia Shaw, and Amanda Pang

We are delighted to announce our three finalists for Season 2 of 2022! Throughout the heat episodes, these three performers stood out to our mentors and they will perform again on Tuesday night before being placed into 1st, 2nd, and 3rd prize.

We welcome to the programme guest mentor conductor Nicolette Fraillon who joins our season mentor Dean Sky-Lucas.

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 or tune into our Facebook live video stream.

Scroll down to find out more about about Jun, Sophia, and Jun.

Cellist Jun Gardiner

Cellist Jun Gardiner

Jun Gardiner was born in Melbourne in 2010 and showed great interest in music from an early age. He began learning the cello with Suzuki music teacher Takao Mizushima in Sydney at the age of 5. Jun currently studies under Michael Dahlenburg, who is the cellist in the Australian String Quartet. Jun was awarded AMEB AMusA with Distinction at age 11.  

Jun has won a number of local and international competitions. Most recently he was awarded 1st Prize and Category Winner, Prize of Mayor of the city of Jihlava for the best competitor under 15years of age and Prize for the interpretation of a composition by Samuel Barber in Gustav Mahler Prize Cello Competition 2022. He also won first prize Cello Category 1 in the New Zealand International Young Talent Music Competition 2020/21 (age of 10).

In 2022 at age 12 Jun won 1st place Musical Society of Victoria String Solo 18 yrs and under (having won the ‘15 and under’ section in 2020 and the ‘12 and under’ section in 2019). He was a finalist in the Melbourne Recital Centre 2022 Bach Competition and winner of the Encouragement Award (having also been a finalist in 2021). Recently Jun won 1st place in Boroondara Eisteddfod 2022 String Solo Open section.  

Jun performed as a soloist with Melbourne Chamber Orchestra at the Melbourne Recital Centre in 2019. Jun appeared in the 2021 3MBS The Talent and received the Audience Prize.

Jun is an active member of the Scotch College Symphony Orchestra and regularly performs at Musical Society of Victoria concerts.

Jun enjoys playing Bach pieces on both the cello and piano. Aside from playing cello and piano, Jun is an avid reader and keen sportsman.

Jun performed on Episode 3 of this season. His finale performance will be of Haydn’s Concerto in D Major, Op.101: Mvt. 1.

Violinist Sophia Shaw

Violinist Sophia Shaw
Photo credit: Daniel Spellman

Sophia is the violinist in the Esplanade Trio. They were formed in 2021 and have received an outstanding grade for their VCE Music Performance. In the Strike A Chord Finals they were awarded the Sutherland Trio Mentorship, 3MBS and the Australian Music Prize. The Esplanade Trio are active performers, at the Athenaeum Club, Music Matinee at Scot’s Church, at school events and chamber competitions. As a piano trio, they participated in the 2021 Melbourne Conservatorium for Young Artist Academy (MCYAA). Sophia was a member of the ACO academy and has been featured on Arts Weekly at 3MBS. She is a recipient of the Robert Stolz Viennese Music Society Inc. 

Sophia performed on Episode 7 of this season. Her finale performance will be of Britten’s Suite for Violin and Piano, Op.6: Mvt.5, and Gershwin’s It Ain’t Necessarily So.

Pianist Amanda Pang

Pianist Amanda Pang
Photo credit: Daniel Spellman

The earliest career aspiration that Amanda can remember having was to cook like her father. As a child, she would play culinary make-believe in her mother’s asian grocery shop using a concoction of water, tapioca starch, and shredded paper. Fortunately, she found a less messy outlet for her imagination when she was introduced to the piano.

Originally from sunny Queensland, Amanda is a pianist now based in Melbourne. She completed her Bachelor of Music with first-class honours (2018) at the University of Queensland as a student of the late Dr Max Olding. During her studies, Amanda won several solo and collaborative piano awards including the Donald Tugby Piano Prize, the Burnett William Wendorff Piano Prize, the 4MBS Musica Viva Chamber Music Prize, and the Accompanists’ Guild Prize. She was also awarded the Music Honours Prize and a University Medal for outstanding achievement upon graduating. In 2021, Amanda completed her training at the Australian National Academy of Music (ANAM) with Timothy Young and was awarded the prize for ‘Most Outstanding Program’ for her final recital. She also had the privilege of working with Brett Dean for the ANAM Set commissioning project and premiered his piece in May as part of the ANAM Festival. 

Currently, Amanda is active as a soloist, collaborative pianist and teacher. When not at the piano, Amanda stays active through Chinese Lion Dancing. She loves the celebratory nature of the art form and seeing the joy and excitement it brings to people of all ages.

Amanda performed on Episode 8 of this season. Her finale performance will be of Rameau’s Le Rappel des Oiseaux from Suite in E minor, and Szymanowski’s L’île des Sirènes from Métopes, Op. 29.


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