STEINWAY'S popular youth piano competition has gone online, not just in an effort to observe social distancing measures, but also expand its audience base as millions of people stay home under lockdown restrictions. Performers livestream their playing direct from their homes, while judges make their decisions from watching it in their homes.
Celine Goh, general manager of Steinway Gallery Singapore, says the move is - as with so many things these days - unprecedented: "It is possibly the first time that a piano competition is organised entirely in a livestream format." Viewers can watch the heats, which run from May 18 to 21, and the finals on May 30 on the Steinway Gallery Singapore website.
The Steinway Youth Piano Competition 2020: Playing From Home edition also has a new competittion category called Amateur Class aimed at those who enjoy playing the piano for leisure but who also wish to have a formal recognition of their progress with the instrument.
According to Ms Goh, the addition of the Amateur Class has resulted in almost double the number of participants as compared to past editions. "It goes to show the importance of learning music and the piano in a child's education," she says.
On the site, viewers can vote for their favourite participants and also donate to the ChildAid concert, an annual charity concert that raises funds for two children charities, The Business Times Budding Artists Fund and The Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund.
A representative from Singapore will be selected from the competition to represent the nation in the regional rounds, joining eight other finalists from Indonesia, Korea, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam and Brunei, who will then compete to represent these Asian nations in the International Steinway Festival at the Steinway factory in Hamburg, Germany, in September 2020.