KALAMAZOO—A Western Michigan University student from China has been selected as one of only three finalists worldwide in the International Double Reed Society Young Artist Competition for bassoon players younger than 22 years of age.
Mingyuan Yang, a freshman, was chosen by recorded audition to participate in the final round of the competition, which will take place June 27 at the University of the Redlands in California at the society's upcoming conference. The competition's top prize is $3,000, and the winner will perform in recital at the conference June 28. The two other finalists are students at the prestigious Oberlin Conservatory of Music in Oberlin, Ohio.
The recorded auditions were evaluated by an international panel of judges, including the principal bassoonist of the Mariinsky Theater in St. Petersburg, Russia, and a bassoonist from the La Scala Theatre Orchestra in Milan, Italy.
"This is an incredible accomplishment," Dr. Gwendolynn Rose, WMU associate professor of music, says of her young student. "Simply to be chosen as a finalist indicates a unique ability to perform at the highest level and to stand out from your peers. Although the bassoon may seem like an obscure instrument, there is an abundance of exceptional young players throughout the world. Mingyuan is just 19 years old, but he is highly motivated, disciplined, an excellent performer and very talented. From the moment I heard him play, it was obvious that he was an amazing musician. Mingyuan won the WMU School of Music Concerto Competition this spring, which is a rather unusual occurrence for a freshman wind player. Obviously I'm delighted that Mingyuan's success brings recognition to WMU, the School of Music and the Bassoon Studio."