2018 Don Chrysler Concerto Competition Results

Danielle Tsao Is This Year’s Winner!


Danielle Tsao wowed the adjudicators with her accomplished, moving performance of Hindemith’s Der Schwanendreher (“The Swan Turner), a concerto in three movements that is a core piece in the viola repertoire. Danielle placed second in the Concerto Competition last year with the Walton viola concerto.

Philosophical, lots of depth; very high level of music making, one audience comment read. Another said, Warm, rich, burnished tone; beautifully expressive.



Second place went to Joanne Peng, who gave us the flashy and challenging Tchaikovsky violin concerto. Hugely energetic performance, slow movement was sublime! enthused one listener.




Above, Gillian Newburn, flute, who performed the Mozart Concerto in D, K 312, showcasing Mozart’s enjoyment of the flute.

A confident presentation of this lovely piece. Beautiful warm tone. Thank you for your performance! 



Carey Wang played the Beethoven Concerto No.1 in C. Exquisite, said one. Beautiful touch! Charming and inventive playing! said another.



The three adjudicators. Robert Skelton (strings), Bruce Vogt (piano) and Wendell Clanton (winds) had their job cut out. According to Bruce Vogt, all four competitors would have been worth the prize that any skilled young musician longs for: an opportunity to play with an orchestra. Any one of them could have a career in music if they choose, he said.

As well as taking home the $600 gift certificate generously donated by Long & McQuade, Danielle Tsao will be performing the Hindemith with the Sooke Philharmonic in October, in Sooke and the Western Communities.

Audience Choice

Each year we invite the audience have its say. This audience had its own ideas, which were completely different than the jury. The audience favourite was Joanne Peng, whose fiery Tchaikovsky violin concerto won her the most votes. Second place went to Carey Wang, for his sensitive playing of the Beethoven piano concerto. Third and fourth places went to Danielle Tsao and Gillian Newburn. A total of 35 ballots were returned.


As usual, it was a deeply rewarding evening: an exciting opportunity for these four  young musicians, and for the rest of us, a fascinating look at the talented young people coming up.