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KU musicians sweep Naftzger Young Artists Auditions

Thursday, May 17, 2012

LAWRENCE — KU School of Music musicians dominated at the 2012 Naftzger Young Artist Auditions, taking home each top prize. The auditions were March 23-24 at Friends University in Wichita.

Top prize went to Crystal Lam, a doctoral student studying piano performance at KU. Lam won the coveted $5,000 prize with performances of works by Rachmaninoff and Morél. She was one of seven finalists and performed in a public recital at the end of the competition.

Three other KU music students won $2,000 prizes: Douglas Perry, a KU graduate student and marimba player, won the instrumental category; Etta Fung, a KU doctoral voice student (soprano), won the voice category; and Chi Kit Lam, a KU graduate piano student, won the piano category.

The Naftzger Young Artists Auditions are administered by the Wichita Symphony. The auditions offer cash prizes in three categories: Piano, Voice and Instrumental, totaling $11,000 in prizes. A total of 48 total musicians competed this year.

About the musicians:

Crystal Lam, who studies with professors Jack Winerock and Scott McBride Smith, has won a number of awards and prizes, including first prize at the 2006 Asian Youth Music Competition in Shanghai and second prize at the 2005 International Chopin Piano Competition in Tokyo. She received the Judith Soloman Piano Award in Chamber Music at Texas Christian University in 2009-10. In summer 2010, she performed in the Hong Kong Academy of Performing Arts Best Pianists fundraising concerts for the 25th anniversary of the school. She is a winner of the KU Concerto Competition and most recently won the West Central Division Young Artist Piano Competition sponsored by the Music Teachers National Association. Lam earned a bachelor’s degree from the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts in 2008. She went on to complete a master’s degree at Texas Christian University.

Doug Perry is currently a second-year master's student studying percussion performance under the tutelage of Ji Hye Jung at the University of Kansas.  Originally a jazz vibes player, he began studying classical music in 2005 at the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University, from which he holds a bachelor's degree in percussion performance. Perry composes electronic music and occasionally performs with his Baltimore-based rock band, Medicine Lake.  He works as a graduate teaching assistant for the percussion and jazz departments at KU, and is expecting to graduate in May 2012.

Chi-Kit Lam was born in Hong Kong and is a graduate student at KU studying piano with Dr. Jack Winerock. He received his musical training from The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts (HKAPA), studying with pianist Ling Hui, and completed his Diploma in Performing Arts in music and Bachelor in Music (honors) in 2011.  Lam received third prize at the fourth Asian Youth Music Competition (Hong Kong region) in 2009. He is the recipient of the Yamaha Scholarship, Hang Seng Bank Scholarship, Grantham Scholarship, and Great Eagle Scholarship, and more. Lam is also an active performer of chamber music and a music educator.

Etta Fung, a native of Hong Kong, is a graduate student studying with mezzo-soprano Joyce Castle. In the summer of 2011, Fung received critical acclaim for her performance of Gretel in the Eutiner Festspiele in Eutin, Germany. In addition to this role, she has been cast as Pamina in Die Zauberflöte (2012), Atalanta in Serse (2010), and Anne Trulove in The Rake’s Progress (2010) at the University of Kansas. During her undergraduate years in Hong Kong, Fung was cast as Mimi in La Bohème (2009) with the HKSAR Philharmonic Orchestra, Micaëla in Carmen (2009), Suor Angelica in Suor Angelica (2008), and Dido in Dido and Aeneas (2007). Fung will work with the Lyric Opera of Kansas City next season, and will also take on the role of Musetta in La Bohème at Brevard Music Center this summer.

 For more information, contact the KU School of Music at 785-864-9742.

School of Music Calendar
Music students present hundreds of public concerts every year
Students perform in KU choirs, concert bands, pep bands, ensembles, symphony orchestra, and jazz combos
The school owns one of the greatest jazz record collections in the world
KU Wind Ensemble performed the world premiere of the symphony "In the Shadow of No Towers" at Carnegie Hall
One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
44 nationally ranked graduate programs.
—U.S. News & World Report
Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection.