Violinist chooses concert over competition

A young, international prize-winning violinist has forsaken competing at a national contest to perform at ChildAid instead.

Wu Shuang, 10, a Singaporean pupil at CHIJ (Kellock), won second prize in the category for children aged 10 and below at the 53rd Kocian Violin Competition in the Czech Republic in May this year.

Such a talented young musician would be keen to take part in the upcoming National Piano and Violin Competition. The violin competition segment is from Tuesday to Friday.

However, this clashes with the rehearsal and performance dates of ChildAid. For Wu, the charity concert comes first for her.

On taking part in ChildAid, she says: 'I think it's rather good. It should help the less fortunate.'

Her father Goh Pek Loke, a 57-year-old retiree, said that performing in ChildAid would be a different experience for his only child - her surname Wu is the hanyu pinyin of the dialect surname Goh - from taking part in a competition. Her mother Lim Siew Eng, 47, is a bank dealer.

'I want her to understand that the most important part about playing music is that you must have a heart,' he said.

Indeed, Wu was also among 19 violinists from her school who in January flew to Tokyo to perform at ChildAid Asia 2011, alongside Japanese performers. ChildAid Asia is a spin-off of the annual ChildAid concert here, and was held by non-profit organisation Little Creators from Tokyo to help underprivileged Japanese children.

Wu recalls: 'It was fun. You get to know other violinists and performers from another country.'

She has been playing the violin since she was three, when her parents noticed her interest in the instrument while watching a performance on TV. So they enrolled her for violin classes.

Her violin teacher, Darin Varbanov, says being in ChildAid accompanied by an orchestra would hone her performing skill: 'It's not easy to play a difficult piece for three consecutive nights, even for an accomplished violinist.'

Wu, who is among four solo instrumentalists performing at ChildAid, will be playing Symphonie Espagnole, First Movement, one of her competition pieces this year.

Ang Yiying