The Happy Pianist Festival

The Gathering Of Singapore’s Promising and Passionate Pianists

No concerts, No examinations, No worries!

We understand that the recent outbreak has put a stop to many events pianists look forward to. Concerts cancelled. Examinations postponed. However, that does not mean we have to stop performing!

To promote and encourage the spirit of performance, we are proud to announce our first ever virtual piano competition…

The Happy Pianist Festival 2020

Choose

Classical or Pop? You decide! Find out more about the criteria and eligibility of each category below.

Submit

Send us your performance for evaluation by our panel of judges. Top performers progress to the Grand Finals.

Win

All contestants will receive a gift with a Certificate Of Recognition. Winners will be awarded with trophies and cash prizes too!

Choose Your Category

*Little Stars (7 Years Old & Below)*

Age

7 years old and below, as of 7th August 2020

Duration: No more than 2 minutes
Repertoire: Any music piece. Contestant can perform 1 piece, or 2 pieces of music, as long as overall duration is within 2 minutes.
Submission Deadline: 30th October 2020

*Little Stars category will only have 1 round of performance.

Classical Junior (12 Years Old & Below)

Age

12 years old and below, as of 7th August 2020

Semi Final:

Duration: No more than 4 minutes
Repertoire: Any fast movement from the Köhler Sonatina album
Submission Deadline: 30th October 2020

Grand Final:

Duration: No more than 5 minutes
Repertoire: Any piece from the Baroque, Romantic or 20th Century. Perform only 1 piece. Jazz influenced classically structured pieces are allowed (eg Gershwin, Kapustin). Prepared Piano is not allowed.
Submission Deadline: 11th December 2020

Classical Senior (13 Years Old to 18 Years Old)

Age

13 years old to 18 years old, as of 7th August 2020

Semi Final:

Duration: No more than 8 minutes
Repertoire: Any fast movement from a Classical Sonata by Clementi, Dussek, CPE Bach, Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, or Schubert (any Sonata before D845).
Submission Deadline: 30th October 2020

Grand Final:

Duration: No more than 9 minutes
Repertoire: Any piece from the Baroque, Romantic or 20th Century. Prepared Piano is not allowed. Jazz-influenced classically-structured pieces are allowed (eg Gershwin, Kapustin) 
Submission Deadline: 11th December 2020

Pop (No Age Limit, Teachers Are Welcome!)

Age

No age limit. Teachers are welcome too!

Semi Final:

Duration: No more than 6 minutes
Repertoire: Pop, Jazz, Anime, J-Pop, K-Pop, Oldies, Ragtime, Blues, Arrangements, Movies, Improvisation. Perform 1 piece only
Submission Deadline: 30th October 2020

Grand Final:

Duration: No more than 6 minutes
Repertoire: You may perform the same piece as the Semi Final, or a different one. Perform 1 piece only.
Submission Deadline: 11th December 2020

Submit Your Performance

Perform a piece based on your selected category, within the stipulated duration.

Record performance from the beginning to the end with no interruption.

Submit raw video file for evaluation.

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Full step-by-step instructions will be given to every contestant to assist them on the video recording and submission process.

Win The Prizes

Category Awards

Little Shining Star Award: Trophy + $100

Best Classical Pianist (Junior): Trophy + $150

Best Classical Pianist (Senior): Trophy + $150

Best Pop Pianist: Trophy + $150

Special Awards

Little Rising Star Award: Trophy + $75

Most Promising Award: Trophy + $100

Best Musicality Award:Trophy + $100

Best Presentation Award: Trophy + $100

Schedule Of Festival

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Registration

Now to 7th August 2020.

Semi Final Submission

Submit by 30th October 2020

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Announcement Of Finalists

On 12th November 2020

Grand Final Submission

Submit by 11th December 2020

Announcement Of Winners

On 18th December 2020

Adjudicators

Ms Vivian Reiko Chan

Mr Takahito Eguchi

Ms Nemoto Miyuki

Ms Karen Lee

Ms Aletheia Chua

Mr Marc Yeo

Mr Hubert Lo

Ms Vivian Reiko Chan

Nemoto concert 2018 at Yumeria hall, Tokyo

Ms Vivian graduated from Tokyo Conservatoire Shobi with a Bachelor Degree in Music, majoring in Performance and Composition. She also obtained a Full Diploma (practical and theory) from the Trinity College of Music London. She has studied under Endo sensei (Performance), Maruyama sensei (classical training) and Shiokawa sensei (Composition). She also had electone training with the famous Saezaki Kenichi sensei .

Since the age of 5, Ms Vivian has started performing, and is no stranger to recitals and concerts. She specialises in piano performance and composition and has won numerous piano and electone competitions, Yamaha piano competitions, and Yamaha Electone Festivals.

She also bagged 2nd prize for Best Animation Composition in the prestigious Shobi competition held in Shobi Conservatoire Tokyo. She was invited to hold a solo concert in YWCA Tokyo and was invited to perform in Nemoto Concert at the Yumeria Hall Tokyo.

She wrote 2 books: Piano “Blue without you” and Electone top hits which was used for exam purposes. She was also invited as a judge for Piara Piano Competition 2018.

With over 20 years of teaching experience, Ms Vivian has trained students from beginner to Diploma levels, with some of her students became piano teachers too.

Piano Potpourri Concert 2019 at Japanese Association

She also trains students for competitions, with some of them emerged top winners in various piano competitions, such as the Singapore National Piano Competition, Singapore Asia Youth Piano Festival, and more. 

Ms Vivian believes performing motivates one to practise and to seek deeper in music. And the more you understand music, the more you will fall in love with it. 

Ms Vivian is the Chief Judge of The Happy Pianist Festival.

Mr Takahito Eguchi

Mr Eguchi conducting

Mr Takahito Eguchi is a highly regarded Japanese video game composer, arranger and orchestrator.

He is best known numerous soundtracks, most notably The Bouncer and Final Fantasy X-2. Other of his famous works include soundtracks for video game music and Japanese anime such as Racing Lagoon, Trinity Blood, DN Angel and Rental Magica. 

Born in Nagasaki Prefecture. He started playing the piano and electronic organ at the age of 6 and earned a bachelor’s degree in music from Shobi Tokyo Conservatory of Music. Employed at Square Enix from 1998 to 2003, Eguchi is currently working at SEGA.

Mr Eguchi at the piano accompanied by the orchestra

Mr Eguchi created mostly electronic music in the early part of his career, but now almost exclusively focuses on orchestral composition and arrangement, along with performing keyboards for various other musicians. A versatile composer, he writes all kinds of genre, classical to jazz and modern music.

As a professional pianist, he often uses the piano for composition. He cites Igor Stravinsky, Ryuichi Sakamoto and Miles Davis as influences in his music. He is still very active in writing game music and plans to release another song in September 2020.

Mr Eguchi will judge the Grand Finals of The Happy Pianist Festival.

Ms Nemoto Miyuki

Ms Nemoto Miyuki is one of the highly-sought-after pianist  and piano teacher in Tokyo, Japan.

She holds a Masters Of Music (First Degree Honours) from the Toho College of Music. She has performed at the Tokyo Metropolitan Theatre, Asahi-Seimei Concert Hall, Shinjuku Culture Hall in Japan.

She also performs at college annual concerts and The Yomiuri New Artist Concert.

With over 30 years of teaching experience, she has produced many students who became winners of prestigious regional and international piano competitions such as the PITINA Piano Competition, Osaka International Piano Competition, and many more.

Currently, she is teaching full time, and organises and performs in her students’ concert, now in its 32nd year. 

Ms Miyuki will judge the Grand Finals of The Happy Pianist Festival.

Ms Karen Lee

Ms Karen Lee is a full-time piano teacher with 23 years of professional experience. She hold three Licentiate Diplomas (LTCL) in Piano Performance, Solo Piano Teaching (LTCL) and Music Theory & Literature (LMusTCL) from the Trinity College of London. During her early years, she attended Nanyang Technological University, graduating with a second upper Honours Degree in Journalism and Publishing. She also obtained Distinction in ‘A ‘ Level Music from her days at Raffles Junior College.

Ms Karen Lee have studied with Professor Pan Yi Ming, Ms Josephine Koh and Mr Rickie Oui. With Ms Josephine Koh, a well-known pianist/ author, she is part of the publishing team that produced the popular “Practice in Music Theory” books. An avid writer, her articles have also been published in the Nanyang Chronicle and The Straits Times.

In recent years, Ms Karen’s students have also won awards and scholarships on the international and national fronts.

Some of them include:

  • First Prize at Junior Piano Category of Golden Classical Internaional Music Competition, New York (2019)
  • Second Prize at International Grand Prize Virtuoso Music Competition (Below 12 age group), Vienna (2019)
  • Second Prize at Singapore International Piano Competition Children Class (2020)
  • Integrated Programme (IP) DSA and Music Elective Scholarship to Raffles Girls’ Secondary (2019)
  • International Baccalaureate (IB) Music Elective Scholarship at Anglo-Chinese Junior College (2018)
  • Ministry of Education (MOE) Overseas Teaching Scholarship to King’s College, UK (2010).

Ms Karen has also held warmly-received student recitals entitled, “A Journey for the Young” at the Esplanade Recital Studio, with her students in 2013 and 2016. They were memorable music-making events featuring students not just on the piano, but also the violin, viola, flute and guzheng.

Several of her students are active performers. Events that they have participated in include the Steinway Youth Piano Competition (2020), Singapore Music Teachers’ Association Music Platform Recital (2019), Singapore Performers Festival (2018), Double Time Orchestral Programme at Yong Siew Toh Conservatory, NUS (2018-19) and the Vivace Piano Duet Competition for MEP students (2018).

Beyond awards and high-profile events, Ms Lee believes in developing every child of all ages and abilities their fullest potential as a teacher. She is most heartened when she witnesses students choosing to make music an important part of their lives, or making it their career path.

Ms Aletheia Chua

Aletheia has been blessed with perfect pitch and the ability to play by ear since young. As a teenager, out of her passion for the piano, she decided to pursue full-time studies at the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts where she graduated with Bachelor Degree of Music Performance (Hons) conferred by the Royal College of Music, London in 2014
 
For the 4 years after graduation, Aletheia taught in an established Music School and as a private piano teacher simultaneously. During this period, she taught both in group and individual settings hundreds of students, and won the confidence of many who stayed on with her from the beginning till her sabbatical leave in 2018.
 
In 2018, Aletheia left Singapore to further her studies in Southern Illinois University (Carbondale), where she also took on an Accompaniment Graduate Assistant position in the university. During her two years in the US, she made full use of the opportunity to hone her skills in piano performance and accompaniment, and deepened her knowledge in piano pedagogy.

As an Accompanist, her versatility was put to the test as she accompanied with excellence a wide range of genres including classical, musical theatre, pop, jazz, country and gospel.  As part of her involvement in piano pedagogy, she was invited to judge at the National Federation of Music Clubs Festival in Carbondale. In 2020, Aletheia graduated with her Masters of Music, Piano Performance.
 
Being trained as a classical pianist, Aletheia possesses the passion to pursue excellence in classical music. At the same time, she enjoys the creativity of playing by ear, pop music, which she shares in her YouTube channel.

Mr Marc Yeo

A rising expert in piano performance and education, Marc currently serves the newly-minted piano position in the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) Central Band as a full-time performer. To date, he is the only pianist in Singapore to hold a full-time piano performance appointment. He is also one of the founding members of the internationally-acclaimed Lion City Brass Band, where he passionately serves as a percussionist.

Having studied extensively under the tutelage of Dr Timothy Ehlen, Chair of the keyboard area of the University of Illinois School of Music, Marc obtained a Masters of Music in Piano Performance and Literature in May 2020.

He has also attended masterclasses by the world-renowned Ian Hobson. At Illinois, he complemented his pianistic expertise with studies in harpsichord, organ, fortepiano, jazz improvisation, and symphonic band, in which he was awarded the Guy M. Duker Symphonic Band Award for exemplary contribution to the Illinois Wind Symphony.

Apart from his formal piano studies, Marc was closely mentored by Dr Stephen Peterson, Dr Anthony Messina, Alvin Seville Arumugam, Tedd Joselson, Eugene Dairianathan, Eddy Chong and Chew Mee Lin.

He has also collaborated with numerous ensembles like the University of Illinois Symphony Orchestra, Illinois Wind Symphony, Canadian Brass, Musicians’ Initiative, Philharmonic Youth Winds, Singapore Symphony Children’s Choir and many more.

Marc has been equally active as an educator, having graduated from the National Institute of Education, majoring in Music studies and minoring in English Language.

He served as a music and English language teacher in MOE since 2013, before expanding his horizons to teach piano and theory in 2016. Marc is extremely versatile in piano pedagogy, and believes in customising lessons individually based on students’ needs and interests. He has taught both classical and pop, and believes in strong musical foundational training, especially in areas of aural development.

Marc has taught all levels and all ages, with deep knowledge of various examination syllabi: ABRSM, Trinity, MOE O Level Music, Higher Music, IGCSE, as well as learning for leisure. To date, his students have attained 100% passes in all examinations, with 100% distinction in practical, and 94% distinction in theory.

Mr Hubert Lo

A born natural and gifted pianist, Mr Hubert Lo self-taught for three years, then achieved distinction for both Grade 8 Practical and Theory exams after only one and a half years of lessons. He then went on to obtain a full (practical and theory) Licentiate Diploma of the Trinity College of London.

Mr Hubert is a classical piano purist and an enthusiast.
He was the director of Sweet Classics, a popular music bookstore situated in shaw center Orchard in the year 2006.

Many teachers seek his advice on repertoire choice for their students as he has a wide knowledge on repertoire.

He is very knowledgeable and is known as a walking dictionary for classical music. He has taught in many music schools and is well adored by his students because of his patience and understanding.

His lessons are not only playing notes but is well supplemented by stories, history and knowledge of the piece, and this inspire the students so much and they always look forward to his lessons.

A Kpop look alike or the Japanese version of an ‘ikemen’, (do not judge a book by its cover) Mr Hubert is very classically oriented and you will be teleported to the era of the master composers during lessons. 

Register Now

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Registration Period

Now to 7th August 2020.

Registration Fee

Little Stars Category: SGD$30 per contestant

Classical Junior, Classical Senior, Pop: SGD$50 for each contestant, for each category

Fees are payable upon application and are non-refundable.

Registration Gift

All contestants will receive a gift with a Certificate Of Recognition. Winners will be awarded with trophies and cash prizes too.

Fill up the form below to complete the registration. Payment details will be given after registration.

REGISTRATION CLOSED

FAQ

Can foreigners register and compete in The Happy Pianist Festival?

Yes. The Happy Pianist Festival is open to all pianists, locals or foreigners, as long as you reside in Singapore. 

Can I register first and decide my repertoire later?

Yes. You can submit your registration first, latest by 7th August 2020. The submission deadline for Semi Finals is 30th October 2020. You can register first and decide your repertoire later. 

I’m 12 years old before 7th August 2020. Can I still contest in the Classical Junior Category?

Yes. The age eligibility for Classical Junior Category is for contestants aged 12 years old and below, as of 7th August 2020. If you are 13 years old as of 7th August 2020, you’ll be contesting in the Classical Senior Category. 

How many rounds are there in this piano competition?

The Little Stars category will have 1 round of competition, with final submission by 30th October.

The Classical Junior, Classical Senior and Pop category will have 2 rounds of competition. Contestants will compete at the Semi Finals and finalists will compete at the Grand Finals.

How much time do I have to prepare my performance?

From now to close of registration on 7th August, you can choose and decide your performance piece.

From 8th August, you have about 12 weeks to prepare and submit your recorded performance for Semi Finals by 30th October.

If you progress to the Grand Finals, you have about 4 weeks to prepare and submit your recorded performance for Grand Finals by 11th December 2020.

Can I perform the piece with the music score, or do I have to play from memory?

You can perform with the music score and will not be penalised. The judging will be based on performance, not memory. You can also choose to play from memory if that helps you perform better.

Do I need to play the entire Sonatina, or just one movement of a Sonatina?

You will only need to perform just one fast movement of a Sonatina. Not the entire Sonatina. Do take note of the stipulated duration for each category.

Can I register for both Classical and Pop categories?

Yes. You can apply for the Classical category, either Junior or Senior, depending on your age. Pop category has no age limit, and you are welcomed to apply as well. Registration for two categories apply. If you compete in two categories, you’ll be presented with two sets of certificates, gifts, and also trophies if you win. 

Can I just use my phone to record my performance?

Yes. You can use a phone or camera to record, as long as the recording is raw, clear, and uninterrupted. The judging will be on the performance of the contestant, not the quality of the recording. Performance recording guidelines will be sent to every contestant upon registration. 

Can I record my performance at home or in a music studio?

Yes. Both are okay. 

What is the dress code for the performance?

No official dress code. You’re encouraged to dress well just like you’re performing for a live stage performance. You’re also encouraged to dress according to the piece you’re performing. Bonus marks may be awarded based on dress code and creativity. 

I’m a teacher and I plan to send my students to compete. How many students can I send?

There is no limit on the numbers of students. You are encouraged to send as many students as you deem fit. Your students will benefit greatly from this competition as it will motivate them and build up their stage performance experience. 

How can I make the payment for registration fees?

Registration fees payment can be made via PayNow, PayLah, or Internet Banking. Payment details will be given after registration.

Who can I contact if I have other questions?

You can Whatsapp Mark from The Happy Pianist, at +65 91127056. Or drop a message over at the contact form here

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