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Maxy-mising talent

October 31, 2013 | Campus News

KUALA LUMPUR:  Maxy Chan Mei Xuan made history when she became the first Malaysian pianist to win a gold award in the prestigious Asia Piano Competition (APC) in Taiwan.

Performing a piece titled, ‘The Tom and Jerry Show’ by jazz composer Hiromi Uehara, the UCSI University student edged out some of Asia’s upcoming pianists to bag the top award in the Asian Works (Young Adults) category.

Naturally shy by nature, Maxy overcame her inhibitions to stand out for her nifty fingerwork and expressive artistry.

“I practised four to six hours each day for the APC and I’m glad my dedication paid off,” enthused the 18-year-old.

“However, I started the piece with a slower tempo as I was aware of my lack of reach on the keyboard. I have really short fingers and I can’t stretch that much!”

Despite her evident lack of reach, Maxy walked away with the gold by a comfortable margin to record her third win in four competitions.

And the diminutive lass is determined to keep her feet on the ground despite the encouraging 75% win rate.

“I only started competing this year and my views are still pretty narrow,” mulled Maxy. “The wins are encouraging but deep inside, I consider myself to be a greenhorn.” 

“The fact is I still can’t play as well in competitions as I do at home!”

Over the moon with her win, Maxy expressed her desire to approach future competitions with the same focus and dedication to fulfil her dreams of becoming a concert pianist.

Maxy is currently reading a Foundation in Arts pre-university programme at UCSI and she will move on to her degree studies soon.

“I learn so much at UCSI and the keyboard labs have helped me immensely,” she enthused. “My practical skills have improved and I look forward to learn more when I pursue my degree in music.”

“It’s important for me to hone my talents in the right environment and I’m thankful that UCSI is providing me with the opportunities to test and improve myself.”

It was clear that music took root in her infant soul when Maxy started playing the piano at the tender age of four.

She obtained her Licentiate – the equivalent of the performance component on completion of a full-time undergraduate course at a conservatoire – last year. 

Still a new student on campus, Maxy is virtually terra incognita. However, her performances are bound to catch the ears – and eyes – of her peers.

Regarded as one of Asia’s premier piano competitions, the APC is now being hosted for the 10th time. The competition was open to international participants three years ago.

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