In what was truly an exquisite evening of music as Hansel Harel Ang emerged as the grand prize winner at the 2016 Philippine Steinway Youth Piano Competition at the Francisco Santiago Hall, BDO Plaza, in Makati City.
With this win, Ang will represent the Philippines in the Steinway Regional Finals Asia Pacific in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, where he will further compete with representatives of participating countries—Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam—for a spot at the International Steinway Festival in Hamburg, Germany.
Ang, who performed pieces by W.A. Mozart, G.F. Handel, and C. Debussy, also took home the top prize for Category 2 (ages 12 to 14). Meanwhile, the winner for Category 3 (ages 15 to 17) was Jet Stephen Chong, whose repertoire included pieces by F. Chopin, A. Ginastera, and another composition also by Mozart.
Upon receiving the grand prize, 13-year-old Ang, who has been playing since he was four
years old, said, “I feel happy and determined to represent the country… to prove that we have talent in classical music. I’d really love to compete in Malaysia.”
In her remarks during the competition, Celine Goh, General Manager of Steinway Gallery Singapore, gave encouragement to the young participants, saying, “I hope that you will see this competition as a journey of growth, an important milestone that can open doors.”
The International Steinway Festival was created in 1987 and is now being held every two years in Hamburg, where Steinway & Sons pianos are built. The festival was envisioned as a non-competitive concert that celebrates musical excellence, the fostering of a music community, and the nurturing of young pianists in the formative stages of their careers.