DMMF award for pianist

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Pianist Leon Chen of Bucklands Beach is now based in London.

Bucklands Beach pianist Leon Chen and Waikato Mezzo soprano Katie Trigg and are the latest recipients of Dame Malvina Major Foundation Arts Excellence Awards for the Auckland/Waikato region.

Each has been awarded $5000 towards further artistic training overseas.

Dame Malvina Major Foundation Auckland/Waikato Committee chair James Harrison says the committee was astounded by the level of talent, effort and excellence shown by a range of young people across a wide range of disciplines.

“The decisions were very difficult to make but both Leon and Katie stood out, not just for what they’ve already achieved but the strong sense of what they want to achieve in both the short and long term.”

Howick-born, and a previous winner of the Dame Malvina Major Foundation Alice Cole Piano Scholarship, Chen has just completed a BMus (hons) in piano and conducting at the Royal Academy of Music in London where he is based. He will soon start his Masters in Piano Performance.

“It’s a great pleasure to receive this Arts Excellence Award, and as every artist would agree, an awesome feeling to be recognised and rewarded in our efforts, encouraging us to further our pursuit in the craft,” says Chen, who went to Macleans College (Batten House).

“The funding will go towards providing a decent preparation for my research project – I’m looking forward to producing great results with the Foundation’s support.”