The “40th Macao Young Musicians Competition”, organised by the Cultural Affairs Bureau, was successfully concluded. The awards ceremony was held on 13 January at the Cultural Affairs Bureau Building, in which the Special Prizes were presented to the winners. This edition’s “Cultural Affairs Bureau Prize” was awarded to Ieong Hou. The Acting Vice-President of the Cultural Affairs Bureau, Cheang Kai Meng, presented the awards.
This edition’s Macao Young Musicians Competition received an enthusiastic response from the public, with the participation of over 1,000 people, recording an increase of about 60% compared with the last edition dedicated to the Chinese and Western music. Due to the impact of the epidemic, the Competition was divided into 73 categories adopting the format of “performances recorded by participants and assessed remotely by judges”. The winners (individual or in groups) from each category competed for the ten Special Prizes, including the “Cultural Affairs Bureau Prize”. The Competition was completed smoothly with the support of all entities and the cooperation of the participants.
The Special Prizes Competition was held on 10 and 11 December 2022 at the University Hall of the University of Macau, adopting the format of “Competition recorded on site and assessed remotely by judges”. In the end, the Grand Champion in the elementary level was Chan Harris Tsz Him (Violin), the Grand First Runner-up was Fan Io Meng (Saxophone), and the Grand Second Runner-up was Wong Lai Hin (Yangqin). In the intermediate level, the Grand Champion was Kong Wai Ka Ashley (Guzheng), the Grand First-Runner up was Lao Mei Wai (Saxophone), and the Grand Second Runner-up was Ho Nok Hin Issac (Cello). In the advanced level, the Grand Champion (also known as the “Cultural Affairs Bureau Prize”) was Ieong Hou (Solo Chinese Percussion), the Grand First Runner-up was Cheng Son Him (Bassoon), and the Grand Second Runner-up was Lao Ut Long (Tuba). The ensemble of chamber music for string instruments formed by Si Tou Pui Ieng, Kong Wai Kio Kristen and Chan Pui Hei won the “Best Ensemble Performance Prize”.
The winner of this edition’s “Cultural Affairs Bureau Prize”, Ieong Hou, aged 17, is a Form six student in high school in Macao. She was first exposed to music at the age of 6 and was deeply attracted by the rhythmic, flexible and varied style of Chinese percussion music. She learned folk percussion performance with Li Chang since the age of 7, and successively studied Western percussion under Lily Hoi and Zhang Jun. She actively participated in various performances by the school orchestra, the Macao Youth Symphony Orchestra, and the School of Music of Macao Conservatory, and achieved outstanding results in many music competitions. Commented by the jury, the performance of Ieong Hou in the Special Prizes Competition was captivating, with excellent fundamental skills and strong sense of music. In addition to the “Cultural Affairs Bureau Prize”, Ieong Hou was the First Prize winner of the Percussion category in the advanced level and of the Solo Chinese Percussion category in the advanced level in this edition’s Competition.