Musician Jisu (Jessica) Yun has won this year’s Grad Gala Competition worth $6,000 with an exceptional performance of Ibert’s Flute Concerto.
Jessica competed against three other finalists at the Auckland Town Hall, before being named the winner.
The other finalists were April Ju on violin, Moon Su (Arnold) Lee on piano and Noah Rudd on oboe. All four are students studying at the School of Music.
Jessica, a third-year Bachelor of Music student majoring in Classical Performance under Professor Uwe Grodd, was also awarded a Development Prize worth $2,000.
The twenty-one year-old was ‘extremely overwhelmed by the announcement.’
“To be acknowledged for the hard work my teacher and I have done, felt like it was all worth it. This competition has helped me mature towards being a young musician, and on top of that, coming first has made me want to work even harder for my future”
“To be acknowledged for the hard work my teacher and I have done, felt like it was all worth it. This competition has helped me mature towards being a young musician, and on top of that, coming first has made me want to work even harder for my future,” she says.
Born in Seoul, and from a musical family – her grandfather was a famous conductor and her mother a legendary pianist in Korea – Jessica started playing the flute at a young age and has played continuously now for 11 years, winning many awards.
She plans to start an Honours Degree in New Zealand and then to continue on with postgraduate studies abroad.
Second prize worth $4,000 was awarded to twenty-year-old Performance Violin student April Ju, and third prize worth $3,000 to Performance Piano student Moon Su (Arnold) Lee.
Twenty year-old oboe player Noah Rudd received a special donor’s prize worth $2,000.
The judges were Dr Lara Hall, Lecturer in Violin, University of Waikato; Dr Jian Liu, Programme Leader, Classical Performance, New Zealand School of Music; and David Rowden, Newcastle Conservatorium and Artistic Director of the Omega Ensemble.
The popular free concert that celebrates Graduation at the University of Auckland was opened by the University of Auckland Massed Choir, directed by Dr Karen Grylls, performing Te Quiero by Favero and Bach’s Come Sweet Death, arranged by Rhonda Sandberg. The Gala also featured performances from the School of Music Jazz Big Band and popular music students.