Bassoon student takes top prize in prestigious competition

Contact: Mark Schwerin
Photo of Mingyuan .


KALAMAZOO—A Western Michigan University bassoon student from China has won the International Double Reed Society Young Artist Competition.

Mingyuan Yang, 19, a freshman, bested two other finalists, students at the prestigious Oberlin Conservatory of Music in Oberlin, Ohio. The competition, for bassoon players younger than 22 years of age, was held Thursday, June 27, at the society's 44th annual international conference at the University of the Redlands in California.

As the top finisher, Yang wins the top prize of $3,000 and the honor of performing in recital today at the conference.

Finalists were chosen by recorded audition. The recordings were evaluated by an international panel of judges. Judges for the final round of the competition were Nadina Mackie Jackson of Canada, a soloist and recording artist; Martin Kuuskmann, an international soloist; and Magnus Nilsson of Sweden, principal bassoonist with the Helsingborg Symphony Orchestra.

'Amazing musician'

"Mingyuan is an amazing musician and artist," Dr. Gwendolynn Rose, WMU associate professor of music, says of her accomplished young student. "The judges were very impressed with not only his technical facility, but with his rich sound and range of sound, his sensitivity and his ability to project his own voice. To be able to compete at the highest level, and to manage a very high-stress situation, demonstrates outstanding mental control and maturity. The fact that Mingyuan won first prize in the competition, against two other first-rate young bassoonists, is an indication of great achievement."

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