On December 7th of 2013, when most students were spending their last month of holiday relaxing at home, Meldy Tanako, a first year student of UCSIU enrolled in the Bachelor in Music (Classical) program accomplished something worth mentioning that did her family as well as the School of Music proud. She took home first prize for the Intermediate D category from the Indonesia Open Piano Competition that was held in Amadeus Hall, The Piano Institute located in Surabaya, Indonesia.
A panel of two brilliant musicians, Henoch Kristianto of Indonesia and Vatche Jambazian of London judged the competition. They are both graduates of Sydney Conservatorium of Music, Australia. Meldy, who was competed in the Intermediate D category performed two remarkable pieces by Gabriel Faure, Impromptu No.3 in A flat major, op.34 and Frederic Chopin, Nocturne No.1 in E minor, op.72. Not only did she win first prize for her category, she also took home first prize for “Advanced B” category, which is the highest scorer of Advanced Category. She was awarded with a scholarship by The Piano Institute to participate in a piano masterclass conducted by Mr. Vatche Jambazian himself.
When asked of the competition among the participants, Meldy said, “This competition is quite intense as all participants are highly skilled and prepared. I remembered listening to a 13 year-old girl playing Bartok’s Allegro Barbaro, an LTCL standard piece. The participants played so equally well that you can sit at the competition venue for the whole day, mesmerized by their performance.”
If Meldy was to sum up the new experience that she learned through this competition would be perseverance, appreciation and respect. To explain on perseverance, she quoted her piano teacher from some time ago who told her, “Pianists are human after all. Sometimes, we do make mistakes or slips during our performance. It is important that we do not get disheartened through these minor flaws and always strive for the best.” As for appreciation, she said it is important to appreciate the different understanding and approach of all musicians to the music that they are performing in which we can also learn new things by looking at different perspectives. This automatically leads to respect, where it is important to show a sign of respect to fellow contestant without being judgmental of their understanding in music that might be different from our own perspectives.
Meldy also mentioned how the School of Music helped her in preparing for the event. She gained her confidence through her participation in the School of Music’s lunchtime student recital as well as through never ending encouragement and moral support given by her major lecturer, Dr. Christine Tan. Also, she learned to manage her time efficiently through her university life where she needs to spend enough time between completing her academic works and assignments with spending time polishing her skills as pianist.
Aside from winning this competition, Meldy’s past achievements include being a Judge Assistant for Malaysia Youth Music Festival and being one of the semifinalists of The 3rd International Mozart Piano Competition in Bangkok. She was also selected to play for a masterclass by Dr. Ji Hye Gyung in UCSI University.
Click to enlarge
This article was written by Nur Izwani Ismail, 3rd year student of the B. Music Classical program.