This month we have included an interview with rising star, Joshua Han. The Theme & Variations Foundation awarded Joshua Han with a special Encouragement Award in 2013, and he continues to play to his strengths.
An Interview with Joshua Han
Over the past four years, Joshua Han has collected 14 gold medals at Sydney Eisteddfod, including the 2014 Open Age Kawai Piano Award that he won at the age of only 11! Joshua is absolutely focussed on becoming a world-class pianist and one of his secrets is not to be afraid of competing against performers that are older and more experienced…it’s a great way to learn.
I started performing because music is a language in itself, and it does not use words, but communicates emotions to people, such as sorrow, happiness and glory, just through the sounds. I began playing in front of an audience because I wanted to share this special language, for them to understand it… and enjoy it.
What is your favourite piece to perform and why?
My favourite piece to perform is Rhapsodie Espagnole by Franz Liszt, because it is full of emotion and technical difficulty. It is a piece that should be in every piano master’s performing program because it is a very long piece with many different characteristics…all with a distinct Spanish taste.
What would you say to someone that was thinking about entering the Sydney Eisteddfod? What advice do you have to offer?
If I met someone that was thinking about entering the Sydney Eisteddfod, I would say that it is a competition worth taking part in, because it gives a great performing experience for people of all ages.
What do you dream to achieve?
I dream to become a world-class pianist, and I will try and achieve it in the best way I can, no matter how difficult the hurdles throughout the journey are. To achieve something that you want really badly, you must be determined and persevere all the time, and then you will get what you want.
What was the most memorable aspect of performing in the Sydney Eisteddfod?
The most memorable aspect of performing in the Sydney Eisteddfod, for me, was competing in the open age events, because it was challenging going against people who were studying in university or high-school. These events are the most difficult in the Sydney Eisteddfod, and it offers a great experience to the people who take part in them, especially the younger kids.
What is you favourite Sydney Eisteddfod event to watch or perform in?
My favourite Sydney Eisteddfod event to perform in is the Kawai Piano Award (Any Age), because it has two rounds, unlike most of the other events in this competition. It is very intense when the finalists are being called out, and even more suspense is added when the winner of this award is announced. I was lucky enough to receive 1st prize in 2014, and it offers a generous sum of money as well.
Who inspires you and why?
The person who inspires me is Arcadi Volodos, because he has such a powerful touch on the piano, while he can play emotionally, and make all the different characteristics in the language of music.
What have you learnt about yourself through performing in the Sydney Eisteddfod?
Through performing in the Sydney Eisteddfod, I have learnt that it is not really nerve-racking to perform in front of an audience. The first time I played in this competition was when I was six years old, and I won a gold medal in the event that I competed in. This achievement boosted my confidence.