The Don Chrysler Concerto Competition for Young Musicians, 2016

Five remarkable young musicians, five impressive performances were on display at the Phillip T. Young Recital Hall on Saturday night, April 23, 2016:


All photos courtesy of Rick Robinson, StoneRidge Photography

Left to right are: Tovin Allers, who tackled the Korngold violin concerto; Kevin Chen, the Khachaturian violin concerto; Emma Reader-Lee, who played the Haydn C major violin concerto; Iris Hung, who presented the Mozart piano concerto number 17; Aimi Howden played the Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 1.


Kevin Chen, our October soloist

Audience comment: “Amazing! Needs to smile a bit more!” “Gorgeous sound!”

They were all very different and enjoyable performances, but in the end it was Kevin Chen who took home the first prize for his stunning performance of the virtuosic Khachaturian. If there were a prize for largest number of notes, he surely would have earned that as well!

Chen wins the rare opportunity to play the Khachaturian concerto with an orchestra, and will be the soloist with the Sooke Philharmonic at our October concerts in Sooke and Colwood this fall.


Iris Hung

Audience comment: “Great fluidity!”

Iris Hung won second place with her strong, sensitive performance of the Mozart Piano Concerto No.17, K453 in G major.



This year’s jury was composed of Jeanne Campbell, FTCL (UK), A.Mus, ARCT, who taught piano for many years at the Victoria Conservatory of Music, Gerald Stanick, one of Canada’s finest violin and viola pedagogues and Lawrence de la Haye, clarinet, who studied at the Royal College of Music in London, UK, and has performed with the Royal Winnipeg Ballet Orchestra and the Banff Festival Orchestra.


Tovin Allers was picked for second place by the audience

Audience comment: “Well done, great stage presence!” “Phenomenal!”

As usual, members of the audience were invited to weigh in with their opinion, and forty-two ballots were returned, all of them enthusiastic. The audience chose Kevin Chen as a hands-down favourite, but put Tovin Allers in second place. Third place went to Iris Hung.


Emma Lee-Reader

Audience comments: “What a sweet performance!”  “Come back next year!”



Aimi Howden

Audience comment: “Passionate performance, spirited and with flair!”

Special mention should also go to May Ling Kwok and Elfi Gleusteen who provided the orchestral accompaniment on the piano – a major art form in itself and highly demanding – with great technical assurance.

This is the eleventh year for the Don Chrysler Concerto Competition, and the young musicians seem to be getting better and better. Special thanks go to David Symons and Long & McQuade, who donated the $500 first prize and $300 second prize money.

Be sure to take in the October concert, when we hear the Khachaturian concerto like  with the Sooke Philharmonic, and we’ll see you all  at the competition next year:  April, 2017!