Alberta - Erich Herchen
Erich Herchen started his piano studies at 3 years of age in 2008. In Bogota, Colombia, age 12, he performed his concert debut featuring works by Albeniz, Chopin, de Falla and more. Erich was awarded first class honours with distinction for his ARCT piano diploma with the Royal Conservatory of Music in 2019. He also completed his Licentiate (LRCM) with the Royal Conservatory in 2021. He has won or placed highly in a number of competitions including the Canadian Music Competition, Calgary Performing Arts Festival, North West International Piano Ensemble Competition, and others. He has also performed solo recitals, including fundraising recitals for charity. He is enrolled to begin studies in both engineering and music performance at the University of Calgary in the fall of 2023.
British Columbia - Edward Duan
Edward Duan was born in Vancouver and began studying the piano at the age of four. He has won many top prizes in local competitions. He was the recipient of the Provincial Gold Medal for the highest mark in the province for both his Grade 8 and Grade 9 Royal Conservatory of Music Piano Exams. Last year, Edward completed his ARCT Diploma Exam and again was awarded the Gold Medal for the highest mark in the province.
Edward has appeared as soloist with the Vancouver Academy of Music Orchestra in the Orpheum Theatre as winner of their concerto competition. As First Place Winner in the Crescendo International Music Competition, he performed in Carnegie Hall's newest venue, Zankel Hall, in New York City in March 2022. Also last July Edward was accepted into the Oxbridge Academic Programs which enabled him to study engineering and astronomy at Oxford University in England.
Nova Scotia - Alex Yang
14-year-old Alex Yang is a grade nine student. Alex is the regular winner of competitions. He is the Grand Prize winners of 2022 FCMP (Federal Canadian Music Festival) and 2019 CMC (Canadian Music Competition) for all instruments.
He played with some Canadian symphony orchestras since he was nine years old, such as Canadian Sinfonietta, Nova Sinfonia, Nova Scotia Youth Orchestra, Chebucto Symphony Orchestra. Alex held his debut solo recital at Lieutenant Governor’s House as the recipient of NSTT (Nova Scotia Talent Trust) in 2018. He also made his solo recitals as series of Cecilia Concerts 2020, Musique Royal 2021 summer music series.
Alex completed all his RCM ARCT level exam and got his diploma when he was 12 years old. He has been an RCM GOLD Medalist (Atlantic region) in both piano and violin.
In recent years, Alex has been a regular participant in the Nova Scotia Kiwanis Music Festival, Alex was awarded the Doctor Piano and Yamaha Rose Bowl and the prestigious Kiwanis President’s Cup with the highest average points in all instruments.
Alex has been playing violin for 5 years, winning numerous awards and scholarships, and is a member of the Nova Scotia Youth Orchestra.
Aside from music, he likes tennis, badminton and debating. He loves computer programming and making his own computer games.
Manitoba - Raymond Ding
Raymond Ding, age 16, is the recipient of numerous awards and scholarships. This past year alone he was awarded 3 of the Winnipeg Music Festival’s highest achievements, including: the Royal Conservatory of Music Alumni Association Trophy (Winnipeg Chapter), for the highest piano recognition; the Aikins Memorial Trophy, for the highest instrumentalist recognition; and the Lieutenant Governor Trophy, for the highest recognition of the entire 2023 Festival. Born in China, Raymond arrived in Canada in 2017. Raymond has just completed his Grade 10 studies at J. H. Bruns Collegiate and in addition to his enthusiasm and commitment to solo piano, he enjoys accompanying choir, outdoor activities and mathematics.
Ontario - Aidan Lao
18 year old Canadian pianist Aidan Lao studies currently at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario. He completed his ARCT and LRCM Diploma achieving First Class Honour with Distinction in 2021 and 2022.
Aidan has studied piano since 6 years old and hasn't stopped since - he loves to perform at school events, graduations, and arrange charitable concerts at retirement homes across the Greater Toronto Area. With the youth organization Students for Music and Wellness, he performed a Christmas Special that was broadcasted to 90 long-term care homes across Canada.
Aidan has enjoyed considerable success in competitions at the local and provincial festivals in Ontario, earning thousands of dollars in scholarships. He also has won international competitions, winning first prize at VIVO International and second price at the American Music Talent Comptition. Aidan is also a gifted improviser.
In his spare time, Aidan teaches piano privately, and enjoys collaborative piano work. His students have gone on to win first prizes at local competitions and have received First Class Honours in the Level 10 RCM exam.
Outside of music, Aidan is a passionate software developer, and has won several times in the DECA business competition. He loves to hike and stay active as well. He is the founder and president of his high school's coding club, and is also an event coordinator at Project Tech Conferences, a nationally recognized tech organization in Canada.
Quebec - Grégoire Abadie
Intéressé depuis son plus jeune âge par la musique, Grégoire commence le piano à cinq ans et suit des cours avec Marie-Andrée Ostiguy jusqu’à son entrée au Conservatoire de Musique de Montréal, alors qu’il avait quinze ans. Il s’intéresse également à la composition musicale, ayant gagné plusieurs prix dans cette discipline.
Interested in music from an early age, Grégoire began playing the piano at the age of five and took lessons with Marie-Andrée Ostiguy until he entered the Conservatoire de Musique de Montréal, when he was fifteen. He is also interested in musical composition, having won several prizes in this discipline.
Saskatchewan - Jerry Hu
Jerry Hu is an eighteen-year-old high school student living in Saskatoon. He has studied music for 13 years, since the age of 4. In addition to piano, Jerry also studied violin (Grade 9 RCM) and participated in the Saskatoon Youth Orchestra.
Jerry has received many awards for his piano performances, including RCM gold medals for his Grade 9 and 10 exam marks and the First Place Prize in the Lyell Gustin Competition (2020). He represented Saskatchewan in the FCMF National Competition (2019) where he received Second Place in the Piano Category. In February of 2021, Jerry won the Shurniak Concerto Competition (virtual). In November of 2021, Jerry performed Beethoven’s Concerto in C minor in his orchestral debut with the SSO, conducted by Nicholas Ellis. Jerry performed with the RSO in March of 2023.