Every year, the CBC releases a list of the best young classical musicians in the country. They call it The Top 30 Classical Musicians Under 30 list. We love it for two reasons.
For one, being good at classical music requires a lot of dedication, but it doesn't get anywhere near as much recognition as playing pop music. It's just great to see these players get some props for the awesome artists that they are!
And secondly? The list always seems to include one or two players who are aged 13 or under. And we wouldn't be OWLconnected if we didn't get extra pumped about this kind of young talent. It's totally our jam!
In this year's list, the young up-and-comer is a 13-year-old pianist from Halifax named Devin Huang. So let's spend a little time getting to know him and what he's about!
Devin Huang just finished Grade 8 at Sacred Heart School in Halifax. He's been playing piano since he was seven, which, depending on how you look at it, is both half his life and not long at all!
By age 11, so only about four years of playing, he was getting national attention for his playing. From 2017 to 2019, he won the top prize in his age group at the Canadian Music Competition (CMC). Imagine being the best in the country at something after just a few years of practice!
In the wake of these successes, Devin has kept building on what should be a bright future as a concert pianist. He has already held numerous local recitals (public performances), including playing as a guest soloist with Halifax's Chebucto Symphony Orchestra. But as he told CBC, he doesn't view piano as everything. He still loves video games and hanging with friends, saying that "you just need to make the hours you do spend (practising) count."
To hear just how much he has made his practice count, check out this footage of him playing Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 23 at the 2019 CMC National Finals last summer. Just to think, he was 12 then! He is playing alongside his piano teacher of the last five years, Lynn Stodola.
P.S. If you really want to see some flashy playing, check out the start of the 3rd Movement at 6:45. Go Devin, go!