A Belgian violinist in the QEC final: who is Sylvia Huang?

25-year-old Sylvia Huang, the only Belgian competitor in this year's Queen Elizabeth Competition for violinists, has qualified for the final round of 12. "I didn't expect this at all. I had no expectations, I was just happy I had come that far", an emotional Huang told reporters.  

24 competitors gave it their best over the past week, but only 12 were allowed into the final round. All finalists will have one week now for study and concentration, to prepare the final week starting on 19 May. 

Sylvia Huang has a father with Chinese roots and a Belgian mother and grew up in a small town in Hainaut province. Her mother played the cello, just like her sister, and at the age of 3 she started playing the violin. Huang (big photo: bottom row, second from left) will play her final concerto on Monday 20 May. She choose a piece of Dvorak, and is the only one to do so. Other finalists mostly preferred Tchaikovski (4) and Brahms (3). 

She showed from the start how gifted she is. You don't have to be a Belgian to support her

"Dvorak was last played in 1971, so it is something to look forward to", explains Katelijne Boon, one of the presenters of the competition on the VRT's second channel Canvas. "Sylvia Huang will enjoy the backing of the Belgian National Orchestra, where she played herself when she was 18."

While Huang could hardly believe she made it into the final, Boon is not surprised: "Not at all. She showed from the start how gifted she is. We don't have to be chauvinists to support her." The winner will be announced on 25 May.

The other 11 finalists are Stella Chen (US), Timothy Chooi (Canada), Ioana Cristina Goicea (Romania), Luke Hsu (US), Stephen Kim (US), Shannon Lee (Canada), Seiji Okamoto (Japan), Júlia Pusker (Hongary), Eva Rabchevska (Ukraine), Ji Won Song (Korea) en Yukiko Uno (Japan).


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