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Yamaha Music Foundation of Europe

1999 Piano Scholarships

For the past decade the Yamaha Music Foundation of Europe (YMFE) has provided scholarships each year in countries throughout Europe to talented young performers to help with the funding required for their performance studies. Disciplines to date have rotated between piano, strings, woodwind and brass, and voice. Selection of applicants is on the basis of tape submission.

Ten pianists qualified for the 1999 UK branch Finals, held at St John's, Smith Square on January 10th. To be eligible, each had to be born after January 1st 1974, and studying at conservatory level on a full-time course at a British college of Higher Education. The jury, chaired by Leslie Howard, comprised the Heads of Keyboard from the four Royal schools: Lady Renna Kellaway (Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester), Ruth Gerald (Royal College of Music, London), Philip Jenkins (Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, Glasgow), and Christopher Elton (Royal Academy of Music, London).

Three equal, unranked, scholarships of £2,000 each were awarded to:

Bobby Chen

Jonathan Oshry

Florian Uhlig

BOBBY CHEN from Malaysia is 20, in his first undergraduate year at the Royal Academy, and studies with Ruth Nye. Formerly at the Yehudi Menuhin School (1991-98), he has taken part in masterclasses with Dmitri Bashkirov, Nikolai Demidenko, John Lill, Charles Rosen, Fanny Waterman and Krystian Zimerman. Last year he toured with Lord Menuhin and the Warsaw Sinfonia, and gave recitals in Salzburg. Concerto dates have included London appearances at the Royal Festival Hall and St John's, Smith Square. His programme featured Bach-Busoni, Stravinsky and Liszt's B minor Ballade.

JONATHAN OSHRY from South Africa is 23, has been at the Royal Northern since 1997, and studies with Ronan O'Hara. He was previously at the University of Natal (1993-96). For the Finals he played two Scarlatti sonatas and Ravel's Gaspard de la nuit .

FLORIAN UHLIG from Germany is 24, a fourth year undergraduate at the Royal College, and studies with Bernard Roberts. For a time accompanist to Hermann Prey, he has appeared in London at the Barbican Centre and the Purcell Room, and has given concerts in the USA, the Far East and the Czech Republic. His programme contrasted Beethoven's Variations on God Save the King and Liszt's First Mephisto Waltz with shorter pieces by Chopin and Liszt.

Yamaha, the world's largest manufacturer of musical instruments, established the Yamaha Music Foundation in Japan in 1966. The Yamaha Music Foundation of Europe, a non-profit making charity registered with the UK Charity Commission, is a registered European Organisation dedicated to music popularisation and education.

The 2000 discipline will be confirmed in the spring. For details contact Sian Monahan, YMFE's Co-ordinator, at

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