Young Adelaide pianist travels 2,000km to turn pages at the Australian Festival of Chamber Music
The centuries-old and fine-art of Page Turning is the great unseen at chamber and orchestral concerts around the world. It can be nerve-wracking, it’s highly demanding, and next month 23-year old pianist Wendy Yuan from Adelaide is travelling almost 2,000km to take on this role for some of the world’s best musicians during the Australian Festival of Chamber Music (AFCM), from July 27 to August 5.
And, it’s not the first time the talented classical pianist has made the journey across the country to Townsville in search of chamber music excellence. Last year she attended the AFCM’s acclaimed Winterschool, where music students have the opportunity to be coached by the world’s best chamber musicians. For many, it’s the chance of a lifetime, and for Wendy, it cemented her decision to follow music as a career, so much so, she is the official 2018 Page Turner.
“Last year’s Winterschool experience was truly a mind-blowing opportunity, to learn from such high calibre artists was incredible. I was determined to return and continue working with these amazing artists and was thrilled to be offered the position as official Page Turner for the concerts,” she said.
“Many people do not realize the type of role it is – it’s highly specialised. You really need to look at the music, think ahead, accommodate for different artists and location conditions, for how each artist works to time with music and how they signal. It is largely a trust thing. It can be stressful, so you need to be able to sight-read music, to practice patience and have a great understanding of music.”
Wendy moved from China to Adelaide with her family 10 years ago when she was just 13 years of age. This July she embarks on her Masters in Performance at the Elder Conservatorium of Music in Adelaide, having already completed her BA in Classic Piano Performance.
However, she wasn’t always on course to become a concert pianist.
“I had two piano teachers in China, but it was purely for leisure. It wasn’t until I was in high school in Adelaide that my teachers really sparked my interest in taking piano more seriously. My teachers Debra Andreacchio, Gabriella Smart, Anna Goldsworthy and Eleanor Sivan have all had a tremendous influence on my piano interest and learnings.”
“I just love classical music and playing the piano has always helped me calm down. At school I struggled with mathematics and even musical theory didn’t interest me all that much. My teachers encouraged me to learn about the history of the musical greats and to ultimately find my own way in music. It was excellent advice.”
That advice just may propel Wendy to a career as a classical concert pianist playing in some of the great concert halls of the world – but not before she gets through 10 days as official Page Turner at the Australian Festival of Chamber Music!
ABOUT THE 2018 Australian Festival of Chamber Music
Featuring six world and 16 Australian premieres and starring more than 35 internationally acclaimed musicians, the 2018 AFCM features a musician line-up that’s the who’s who of the world’s best sound-makers, curated under the baton of new Artistic Director, UK pianist Kathryn Stott. Stott has delivered on her promise to create a program that celebrates musicians and music from all around the world – 21 artists will make their AFCM debut, and six of these will be performing in Australia for the very first time. International artists making their AUSTRALIAN DEBUT at this year’s Australian Festival of Chamber Music (AFCM) include celebrated Chinese musician and master Sheng player Wu Tong, Argentina’s acclaimed bandoneon player and composer JP Jofre, two Norwegian superstars in viola-player Lars Anders Tomter and trumpeter Tine Thing Helseth, pianist Katya Apekisheva from the UK, and the famed violinist Pavel Fischer from the Czech Republic.
The 28th AFCM, will take place from Friday 27th July to Sunday 5th August, offering over 25 concerts and 5 special events, including concerts on the beach of Orpheus Island and on Magnetic Island, as well as collaborations, conversations and masterclasses. The program includes six morning Concert Conversations, five Sunset Series events, seven Evening Series concerts and Winterschool masterclasses. New to 2018 are the Cleveland Bay Supper Club Lounge Concert, the AFCM Up Late event titled The World Comes to Flinders and the Dovetailing Barber which is set to be a wonderful event at Mary Mackillop Church. Popular events include the Opening Night Concert, the Governor’s Gala titled Exotic Excursions, the free Queens Garden Concert hosted by Mairi Nicholson as well as the Families’ Concert and the Festival Farewell, which will feature a concert called Magical Connections.
Australian Festival of Chamber Music
27 July – 5 August 2018 | Townsville, North Queensland
Tickets and travel packages at www.afcm.com.au