the moment her fingers touched the keyboard, it was as if angels
had descended upon earth and brought along their sweet harmonies
artistic journey began with music appreciation classes at
four and subsequently she was found in the ranks of young
Singapore talents at the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts between
1998 and 2000.
Abigail resolved to take the next leap in her pianistic quest
by submitting herself to the meticulous instruction and mentorship
of Victor Khor. Victor Khor, an international concert pianist
who studied with many great pianists of the Russian School
like Tatania Nikolaeva, Ryszard Bakst and Evgeni Malinin,
was the first Singaporean pianist to enter Moscow State Conservatory
in 1989 - hailed as a world-renowned school of piano playing.
her mentor, Abigail's special affinity for the piano was quickly
recognised by international concert pianists. In August 2001
she was offered a scholarship to attend the inaugural International
Summer School and Festival for pianists in Manchester, United
Kingdom organised by the famous Chetham's School of Music
for prodigious youngsters. There she gave an evening recital
to pianists and teachers from Europe, Japan, Korea and China,
including Norma Fisher, Murray Mclachlan, who were extremely
impressed by both her pianistic skills as well as her musicality.
Many at the Festival in Manchester had observed Abigail's
musical maturity and her spontaneity in communicating with
her audience. Abigail is a born performer. Martin Roscoe,
British doyen of the piano and head of keyboard department
at the Northern
College of Music was so charmed by her highly imaginative
music that he personally tutored her.
Roscoe was clearly impressed by Abigail when he reported,
"Abigail was clearly very talented
I was impressed
by her natural musicality, her very well developed pianism
and her ability to pick up on my suggestions".
concert started with a simple tune of "Twinkle Twinkle little
stars", but quickly gave way to a bold rendition of this basic
tune, all part of Mozart's Variation in C, KV265. Nine-year old
Abigail Sin's playing was subtle but powerful, tugging at the heartstrings
of the child within us. Her playing provoked a tearful recollection
of my childhood in this simple yet elegant masterpiece.
Handel's Suite in E, she displayed excellent finger flexibility
as well. The natural rhythms of the piece were well rendered by
the young pianist.
Corner by Debussy is a popular favourite among the young and
old alike. Abigail gave a pleasing performance of this piece, and
she showed the capability to cope with technically demanding passages,
in which her performance of the popular all-time favourite, Golliwogg's
Cakewalk, was played confidently at a brisk tempo.
the interval, she attempted the Andante and Rondo Capriccioso
by Mendelssohn and the Sonatine by Ravel. This showcased her ability
for interpreting rather abstract and impressionistic works of musical
art. In an almost magical way, the sound she produced from the piano
became an endless watercolour of musical notes.
gave way to a popular Broadway tune of "My Favourite Things".
She performed this effortlessly as well. The sound was pleasing,
and this was played with marked clarity.
final pieces of the evening's programme included the Nocturne in
E-flat and the Grande Valse Brilliante by Chopin. A musical
whiz at heart, she performed the pieces with confidence. Indeed,
her virtuosic capabilities were well brought out here.
was a well-received performance, as she confidently took on two
encores towards the end of the evening, both played effortlessly
and with utmost ease. The spirited performance marked the close
of a magnificent display of talent within the driven young pianist.
conclusion, it was an enjoyable night out. It is always a delight
to savour the fine artistry of a young and sincere pianist who enjoys
her work. I wish her all the best in her work as she prepares for
a career as an international virtuoso.
LIAN's simple prescription for a good life: Live simply, but feel
deeply. If Cheryl had all the time in the world, she would wake
up really late and listen to music all day. Her favourite composers
include Brahms, Chopin and Rachmaninoff.
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20.11.2001 © Cheryl Lian
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