Our Rising Superstars!

At just 17 years old Delvan Lin has charted a course as one of the rising superstars of the classical NZ community, winning the Wallace National Junior Piano Competition and the Senior Competition on successive years. If all the calls to our showroom inquiring about this recital are any indication, then it’s clear he’s already making a name for himself.

Now a first year University of Auckland music student, it seemed only a natural progression that he was given the privilege of closing the Wallace International Piano festival. With Boris Giltburg’s superhuman opener on Thursday and Read Gainsford’s expressive and varied recital Friday, any normal performer might feel a little bit of pressure at having to follow them.

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Not so for Lin, who sauntered to the piano with confidence and without any hesitation erupted into the opening chords of the famous Waldstein Sonata at an ambitious speed. The heavier action of a modern piano compared to a 19th century instrument makes it even more technically challenging, yet Lin brought out the colours and harmonic innovations of the piece with a clarity that advanced performers would struggle with.

His recital was comprised of “serious” piano literature – a Beethoven Sonata, Albéniz’s Iberia book 1 and Chopin’s Polonaise-Fantaisie, but there was nothing stuffy or overserious about Lin’s playing. He played with liveliness and energy, fingers gliding over the keys of the Steinway, the instrument brought out to its full potential by a pianist with skill beyond his years.

The rapturous applause of the audience led to an encore, the flowing melody and virtuosity of Liszt’s Un Sospiro a perfect end to the recital and to the festival. As the prize giving and festivities ended people came out to the bitter Auckland cold, hearts warmed by wondrous music and good cheer.

Many thanks must go to The University of Auckland's School of Music for hosting the events, the Lewis Eady Charitable Trust, Sir James Wallace (Wallace Arts Trust) and of course all who performed and competed in the festival. And to all of you who came out to see the events, we hope to see you next year...