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Subjects: Award, Statement

The RCM Announces Winners of the Music Lights the Way Piano Festival

The Royal Conservatory of Music (RCM), one of the world's most respected music education institutions, announced the fourteen Winners of the Music Lights the Way Piano Festival live from the Finale at Koerner Hall in Toronto, ON. Competing for over $150,000 in prizing, provided by Yamaha, the winners were selected from nearly 8,000 participants of all ages and abilities who showcased their love for music through performances of piano repertoire from the Celebration Series®, Sixth Edition.

Ranging in age from seven to eighteen, twenty Youth Finalists in the Intermediate and Advanced Level categories traveled to Toronto from across Canada and the United States to compete for the grand prize in their category. The live Finals were judged by James Anagnoson, Robi Botos, Naida Cole, Julie Nesrallah, and Tony Yike Yang.

The Intermediate and Advanced Level Winners from the Youth Division are:

Ana Nikolova, the Level 10 winner, is the recipient of the grand prize, a Yamaha GC series Acoustic grand piano, valued at over $40,000.

Dr. Naida Cole, one of the Music Lights the Way Piano Festival Finale judges said, "Choosing a winner for each category was a challenging task, as every finalist brought their own unique style to their performances." She continues, "It was a joy to hear these outstanding students playing with such confidence and passion."

A panel of seven distinguished members of The RCM College of Examiners formed the jury for the Virtual Finals, selecting winners for the Youth Elementary categories and the Adult Division.

The Elementary Level First Prize Winners from the Youth Division are:

The Music Lights the Way Piano Festival also included an Adult Division, with three non-competitive categories for piano students 20 years and older.

The Jury Favorites from the Adult Division are:

Patrick Duperré, Senior Vice President, The Royal Conservatory of Music, says, "We are thrilled to see how our students have expanded their skills and confidence levels as a result of taking part in the Music Lights the Way Piano Festival." He adds, "At The RCM, our goal is to enrich and enhance the future of music and music education. This festival has provided piano students with the opportunity to hone their skills and talents and gain experience performing for a live audience."

The Finale took place at The RCM's renowned Koerner Hall in Toronto, Ontario, and was broadcast live online on March 21 and 22, 2023. Students, teachers, and piano enthusiasts from across Canada and the United States watched performances from Finalists, Winners, as well as special guests including alumnus Tony Yike Yang and Robi Botos, The RCM's Jazz Artist-in-Residence.

To view images of the Intermediate and Advanced Winners from the Youth Division, please see here. To learn more about The RCM's Music Lights the Way Piano Festival, please visit rcmusic.com/festival.

About The RCM

The Royal Conservatory of Music is one of the largest and most respected music education institutions in the world, providing the definitive standard of excellence in curriculum design, assessment, performance training, teacher certification and arts-based social programs. Entrenched in the minds and hearts of Canadians, The Royal Conservatory has united generations of citizens since its inception in 1886.

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