OAK BROOK, Illinois, USA, July 8, 2010 – Brian Allen, 16, of Bedford, Ind., bested eight other violinists from all over the world last week in Sydney, Australia, in the Lions Clubs International Global Youth Music Competition.
The competition took place on the stage of the 93rd annual Lions Clubs International Convention. Each finalist was chosen by Lions in their area to represent their part of the world. Finalists hailed from Australia, Canada, China, Ecuador, England, Korea, Taiwan and Tunisia. The young musicians played an imposed piece along with two other classical arrangements chosen from a repertoire list. It was Allen’s first international competition.
To secure his spot in the final level of the contest and win the expenses-paid trip to Sydney, Allen competed against other violinists via YouTube. A panel of three experienced judges residing in California, Pennsylvania and New York viewed the violinists’ videos online and chose Allen to represent the United States.
“People who heard about the competition are congratulating me and it feels great to be approached by people I've never met. I also have a new zeal for practicing – It's always been a chore to practice more than one to two hours a day, but now it's a joy to practice for four hours,” Allen said.
Allen has played violin since age three and is a member of Indiana University’s elite performing ensemble Violin Virtuosi as well as the IU String Academy Chamber Orchestra. He plans to start a career as a professional violinist.
“Brian’s performance in the contest was superb and we look forward to seeing what his musical career holds,” said Immediate Past International President Eberhard J. Wirfs.
In Sydney, Allen was chosen by an esteemed group of three highly regarded judges and received US$10,000, along with an award. The second-prize winner, Sophie Rosa from England, received US$7,000 and the third-prize winner, Aaron Chan from China, received US$3,000.
The Global Youth Music Contest is an annual competition featuring young musical talent from all over the world. The instrument for the 2010-2011 competition is the classical guitar. Requirements for the competition and a repertoire list can be found online at www.lionsclubs.org.
Lions Clubs International is the world’s largest service club organization with nearly 1.4 million members in about 46,000 clubs in 206 countries and geographical areas around the world. Since 1917, Lions clubs have aided the blind and visually impaired and made a strong commitment to community service and serving youth throughout the world.