Children Category Winners

Junior Category Winners

Intermediate Category Winners

Open Category Winners
The Pearl River Digital Piano International Competition 2022 held its Regional Finals on the 2nd of October 2022.

We were privileged to witness some of Singapore’s best aspiring young pianists, many of whom were taking their first steps into the competition experience! 

A total of 51 finalists out of over 400 candidates gave splendid performances in competing for top spots in the Regional Finals. We are truly humbled  by the support shown by all the participants, as well as inspired by their stories and the face that for many, the Pearl River Digital Piano International Competition 2022 became their stepping stone to overcoming obstacles in their pursuit of their musical journeys.

Speaking on their experience at the Pearl River Digital Piano International Competition 2022, we had a quick chat with a few top prize winners who shared their thoughts on the competition.


Open Category 1st Prize – Pariyakorn Tankanarat

Q: What was your experience like in entering and preparing for this competition?

“At first it was unintentional to join this, because for the qualifying round (the deadline) was the first of this month at midnight, ad i just submitted the Google form at 11:58 (laughs), and at that time i was confused very much (sic), and i think “ok, I’ve submitted it, so i have to fight and do my best, so over the month i kept on practice, practice and practice a lot… and i have to thank my friends and my family, and my professor, and myself also for never quitting.”

Q: Was this your first competition?

“No, actually I have joined around 2 or 3 competitions but in Thailand, so this is the first International competition that I’ve joined.”


Open Category 3rd Prize – Boo Kok Chuon:


Q: How would you describe your experience joining and preparing for this competition?

“Actually, why I joined the competition in the first place was to accompany my daughter but she didn’t manage to get in, I got in (laughs), but anyway I would say that it is a fantastic experience personally, and I got to see a lot of high quality piano players. I am truly grateful for the opportunity and really honoured to be one of the finalists.”

Q: Were you expecting to be a finalist?

“Actually not really, because I’m using my own composition, then I’m competing against the works of giants, so I wasn’t really expecting that my own work could actually be on the same stage and I never expected to place 3rd in my category.

Q: Do you have any message to others who may be looking to join the Pearl River Digital Piano International Competition in the future?

“Initially I was a bit discouraged (to join) because I suspect that I may be the most senior participant (laughs), but in any case, don’t let this (age) be an obstacle… don’t bother about all these concerns, ultimately it’s the experience that counts.”

Fun Fact: Boo Kok Chuon holds a corporate job, but music has always been a passion for him. He played his own composition “Wave Sonata” for the Finals.


Intermediate Category 3rd Prize – Hanyu Li:


Q: How would you describe your experience joining and preparing for this competition?

“Considering that this is my first piano competition, this is actually quite the experience because i’ve never actually done anything like this before, so I’d say it was an emotional roller coaster.

Q: What made you decide to join the Pearl River Digital Piano International Competition?

“Uhh, how honest do I be with my responses? (laughs)… Part of it is because i’ve been playing piano for a total of 10 years now, so I’ve gone a long time without actually joining a competition, so i wanted to have this experience of competing with other pianists and hearing others play physically, so like a piano festival with some stakes added, not to mention my teacher also wanted me to enter one (competition) so yeah (laughs).”

“It was the most available one in the post-COVID era and other competitions have been hard to find or are being held elsewhere, but this one i had seen all over (on social media, at music schools) and you could find out a lot about it very quickly, so i think the media exposure that it gets is a lot more than other competitions (that I wasn’t aware of).”

Q: Any message to other pianists such as yourself who perhaps are also hesitant to compete?

“Just join, it’s fun! (laughs) You may be nervous at first, but at the end of the day you’re playing piano so you can have others hear and enjoy your music so i think it’s worth it to come to piano competitions where you can express your piano playing on a platform where others can hear you as well.” 


Intermediate Category 3rd Prize – Gelasia Chan Cee Hwee


Q: What would you say was the biggest challenge in preparing for this competition?

“Thinking of a way to deal with the anxiety that comes with participating competitions, because i get a lot of stage fright so even if i’m able to play it properly at home, when i play in front of others it usually sounds more messy so it was definitely more of a mental preparation and finding ways to deal with the stress that i’m going to experience on the day itself.”

Q: Is there any advice you would like to share with other young pianists who may experience the same sort of anxieties as yourself?

“It may help to think that, you know, you only get one shot at this, so before your turn comes around, you should really just mentally prepare yourself and when you get to the piano, just take a moment to take a deep breath, and then think about how you want the first few notes to go because it’s always the first few notes that will set the tone for the rest of the piece. Just take a moment to calm down and think about the piece.”

Q: Who inspired you to go ahead and take part in the Pearl River Digital International Piano Competition? And would you recommend joining competitions to other young pianists?

“I would say definitely my secondary school English teacher, he was very very good at piano and i was just so inspired by him. I think it was also sort of like a challenge to myself, but definitely he (English teacher) was my biggest inspiration. I would definitely recommend joining competitions because it’s very good exposure and getting to meet other people and seeing the different styles, and the different types of music, and when you meet others you find out you still have a lot to learn and even if it’s scary, i still think it’s a good experience.”


Intermediate Category 2nd Prize – Zheng FeiLin


Q: How did you decide to join the Pearl River Digital Piano International Piano Competition that focuses more on 20th Century and contemporary repertoire?

“Previously i was very reluctant to play 20th Century pieces because i thought of them as discordant and very messy, but this ave me an opportunity to just step out of my comfort zone to play pieces that i’ve never really touched before, because i think as a pianist we should be able to touch all types of pieces like Baroque, Classical, Romantic and 20th Century, so this (competition) really gave me the opportunity to do that”

Q: What approach did you take to go about your preparations for this competition that focuses on pieces that are usually outside your comfort?

“It took a lot of practice for me because I’m very used to playing Romantic pieces, and sometimes the style and techniques required is really different, so it took some getting used to.”

Q: What message do you have for other young pianists like yourself who may be hesitant to try music that is out of their comfort zone?

“I think as pianists we should be able to play all types of repertoire because you want to be well-rounded so that when people say ‘oh, can you play this?’ you should be able to touch all types of repertoire and not just focus on any one style of music.”


Intermediate Category 1st Prize – Tan Jing Yang


Q: What made you decide to join this competition where the focus is on 20th Century and more contemporary works?
“I do enjoy listening to contemporary works, not excluding those non-classical pieces, i do listen to jaz sometimes, i like J-Pop a lot, but i decided to join because I really do want to try to play more 20th century pieces because to be really honest, i have not played much (20th century works) in my repertoire… so I’m very thankful for this opportunity to be able to show that I’m able to play 20th century pieces.”

Q: Was there any difference in preparing for this particular competition compared to competitions you’ve joined before?
“Generally it’s pretty much the same, but for this competition because we are using the digital piano, which is a significant difference from those concert grands that we usually use for competitions,… i had to note down parts which i had difficulty controlling (when i came to practice on the competition instrument) as you know this is totally different from an acoustic piano, (as some parts would be a bit too loud and unbalanced) so i had to control the technique used. And also i have a digital piano at home, and recently I started to use it much more, so this was a good opportunity to (get more use out of it).”


Top Prize winners from the Intermediate Category and Open Category will advance to the International Grand Finals in Guangzhou.

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