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Third time lucky for young pianist?

Leo Huan

Third-timer to the National Youth Music Competition (NYMC), pianist Leo Huan, 16, from Die Wilgers, Pretoria is a learner at Crawford College.

This rising young star started playing the piano at the age of six, inspired by his sister playing the instrument. His first teacher was Nettie Immelman. Currently, he is a student of Claudine van Breda, who has had several other young musicians competing in the annual competition.

He focuses solely on the piano and has won several awards with his piano acumen. He is a four-time category winner of the Philip Moore Music Competition in 2013, 2014, 2017 and 2018. Over the past seven years, the young pianist has performed as a soloist with the Johannesburg Symphony Orchestra.

In 2016 he walked away with the bronze medal at the Hubert van der Spuy National Music Competition. He also ended fourth at the Hennie Joubert Piano Competition. Last year, he was the category winner of 15 years and under, as well as the third overall winner in the Atterbury National Piano Competition. He also received the Hennie Joubert prize for his Unisa Grade 8 Examination.

Sergei Rachmaninov

With the motto: Work hard, play hard, this young star has two favourite composers, namely Sergei Rachmaninov and Frederic Chopin. He says both composers’ music speaks to him, evoking different emotions.

Frederic Chopin

Leo practices at least an hour a day on school days and uses the weekends to rehearse three hours per day. Apart from the efforts to hone his piano skill, he plays tennis to keep fit.

After matric, he will either continue his musical path or venture into architecture.