VC Talks: an interview with Anson Ka-lik Sin, GLORY Int'l Music Competition prize winner


  • 1st Prize, GLORY Int'l Modern & Contemporary Classical Music Competition 2018

Sin, a native of Hong Kong, has performed as a concert pianist internationally in well-known concert halls in the world, including New York City - Carnegie Hall and Hong Kong Cultural Center. He is currently studying with Alexander Tutunov at Southern Oregon University, and serving as a teaching assistant while pursuing a graduate degree in piano performance. While studying in Washington, he performed in the violin sections of the Port Angeles Symphony Orchestra and Port Angeles Chamber Orchestra. After winning Honorable Mention in the 2013 Young Artist Competition, Sin as a soloist, performed both Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto and Beethoven’s Piano Concerto with the Port Townsend Community Orchestra. After leaving the U.S., he continued his studies at Hong Kong Baptist University, where he earned a B.A. with Honors in Music and frequently performed as a soloist with the University Orchestra. Sin majored in piano performance and pedagogy, studying with Cui Shi-Guang, and completed a double minor in violin and viola. Sin is a prize-winner pianist in competitions internationally, including Manhattan International Young Artist Music Festival in 2017, 2018 Grande Ronde Symphony Concerto Competition, the Oregon MTNA-Steinway Young Artist Piano Competition and First Class in the Open Class of 2014 Tchaikovsky and Kabalevsky Piano Competition.
Anson's website:

Which concert hall is the most unforgettable in your performance career so far?
It is definitely the solo performance in the summer of 2017 at Carnegie Hall in Manhatten, New York City. It is a special occasion as a concert pianist to perform in a famous historical concert hall, where a lot of well-known musicians have been to there and performed their art through sound. Also, I remember the acoustic effect is very unique in the recital hall.

Who are your favorite composers and why?
I love all different composers and their music. I personally prefer the compositions with special sound effect to human ears, and it brings people to a different world with complex feelings. For instance, Messian’s Turangalila Symphony, Samuel Barber’s piano sonata, Carl Vine’s piano sonatas, etc.

Who are your musical idols?
My musical idols are always my piano teachers. Personally, they are very inspiring to me in the way of musical taste, ideas, etc. Also, it is no doubts that they have been assisting me throughout my performance career. Furthermore, they are sometimes more than just a piano teacher, but mentors! They give me advises how to cope with some difficulties in life.

How did you discover your passion to perform as a pianist?
Personally, my passion comes from several people in my life. Firstly, there are my teachers, who guide me on the right track to the right goals. Simultaneously they build my techniques and musical taste which I need in order to express my personal thought through the music. Also, I remember the relationship between piano teacher in my childhood and me is as close as my family, and it makes me love playing the piano from my heart. Secondly, are the people in the audience of a concert hall, who allow me to make connection to them through the air by the vibration of the piano strings, in return with an applause. Furthermore, it is always my faith that all my dedicated practicing hours are worthwhile to give my audience a special moment in life.

What’s your favorite part about performing/creating?
The favorite part about studying music is that I can actually work with other students or musicians and to communicate with them while we play chamber music together. As we are trained as musicians with different backgrounds, it is normal to have different ideas and thoughts to interpret the music that we work on together. The most important part in a process of learning is always to talk and communicate with each other and eventually achieve an agreement of same interpretation.

What is your dream, and how do you make it comes true?
Since I was grade 8, it has been always my dream to share knowledge and experience with others at a community college level or higher. Therefore, I must achieve my DMA degree to make my dream comes true. It is not easy in many ways, but I accept the challenge, and I strongly believe that is the way to make my life meaningful.

When you are performing, what are your thoughts?
To be able to share my inner feelings, and to be able to listen the tone or the sound I play, both of them is the most important elements in music playing.

Where do you study music, and why do you study there?
I am currently studying at Southern Oregon University. The faculty of Oregon Center for the Arts at SOU provides a warm and nurturing environment for the community as a whole. As a student in the program of Master's Degree in Piano Performance meanwhile, the university provides me a position of a graduate assistant at Oregon Center for the Arts. The school provides me not only a study experience as a student, but also working experience as a teaching assistant to help my professors to grade and sometimes to teach. Also, it allows me to share my thought and knowledge to the undergraduate students. Since my goal is to be an instructor either at community colleges or universities in my career, the art department of SOU truly motivates me to reach my goal to teach and to share. Furthermore, the Master’s Degree program here gives me more time and opportunities to discover myself, my strengths and to develop my potential ability on performing the piano. Last but not least, the sense of community at SOU music department is absolutely stronger than many other schools, and generally many professors are always willing to spend time helping and assisting their students. Dr. Alexander Tutunov is my piano teacher as well as academic advisor in the program. He is a very supportive open-minded teacher, and he always gives me a lot of useful suggestions on my future career assisting me to reaching my ultimate goals. Without his guidance, I think I would easily get lost on my musical journey. I truly appreciate all the instructions that teachers at the OCA give me throughout the academic year (special thanks to Mr. Humphrey, Dr. Longshore, Dr. Bender, and Dr. Tutunov).

What are your reasons to participate in music competitions?
Personally, it is necessary to attend music related activities to widen my connection to other musicians in the world. Therefore, I participate into many events (for instance, music festivals, competitions, concerts, ensembles and master classes.) Fortunately, I have had results with flying colors, and they even brought me to many famous recital halls as a solo pianist. Last summer, I was one of the prizewinners in the competition ‘Manhattan International Young Artists Music Festival’. Then, I was honorably invited to perform at Carnegie Hall in Manhattan, New York City. During the trip, I got to know many well-known musicians, especially pianists. Furthermore, last May, I won a concerto competition in Oregon State, and I had an opportunity to play the Tchaikovsky piano concerto in B-flat minor with the Symphony Orchestra.

What is most important in life?
To me, the most important thing in life is to find your true-self, and to keep exploring yourself to understand fully what you want to be in life. Is it making any senses?

Is there anything else you want to add?
Specials thanks to my coach from Sequim WA, Randa Wintermute.

Thank you very much for talking to us.

In this series of interviews, we explore how some of the most talented and prize winning young classical musicians became interested in music, who are their musical idols, what they are working on at present, and what they strive to achieve in the future.