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8-year-old wins Gulf musician contest

Manama, January 31, 2014

An eight year old Dubai pianist beat competitors more than twice his age to win the '2014 Young Musicians of the Gulf' (YMOG) competition held in Bahrain.

Xiaolin Zhang from English College of Dubai beat six other finalists to win first place in the prestigious competition's grand finale at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, reported the Gulf Daily News, our sister publication.

Vocalist Alaw Henderson from the British School of Al Khubairat, Abu Dhabi, was the runner-up. They beat out an initial pool of more than 120 students from across the region, aged between eight and 18.

US Ambassador Thomas Krajeski presented the trophy to Xiaolin.

Minister of State for Information Affairs and government's official spokesperson Sameera Rajab and other dignitaries were present.

This year marked the first time YMOG has been held by St Christopher's School since the start of anti-government protests in 2011.

Four British experts - Richard Dickins, Michael Hankinson, Chloe Hanslip and Wendy Holland - were flown in to judge the performances.

The musicians played a variety of instruments including the classical guitar, flute, piano, recorder, saxophone and violin to West End show and Baroque singing.

Other finalists performing last night were Bethany Wright from Dubai College on the clarinet, Matias Goodwin from Dubai English Speaking College with vocals, Sandip Roy from Dubai College on the guitar and Joon Woo Jeong from Dubai College on the cello.

Nicholas Kohn from British School Al Khubairat was named the Young Composer of the Gulf 2014 Winner.

Brass Award Trophy went to Hana Nasif from St Christopher's School, the Piano Award Trophy to Hai Wei Li from British School of Kuwait, Bowed String Award Trophy to Joonwoo Jeong from Dubai College, Plucked String Award Trophy to Sandip Roy from Dubai College, Vocal Award Trophy to Matias Goodwin from Dubai English Speaking College and Woodwind Award Trophy was given to Bethany Wright from Dubai College.

Mariam Sharky from English College in Dubai took home the Knights Bequest Trophy (to most promising musician 15 years or younger), William Caley from St Christopher's School won the Owerkowicz Bequest Trophy (awarded to the most promising Bahrain-based musician) and Dvorar Quintet from British School Al Khubairat was awarded the Ensemble Winner Trophy.-TradeArabia News Service




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