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Indonesian pianist among winners at Kennedy Center young soloists competition

News Desk

The Jakarta Post

Jakarta  /  Sun, July 7, 2019  /  09:07 am
Indonesian pianist among winners at Kennedy Center young soloists competition

The winners of the competition were awarded US$2,000 each and the opportunity to participate in a series of rehearsals and roundtable discussions with music professionals from July 24 to 26.  (Shutterstock/Nomad_Soul)

Kasyfi Kalyasyena, a 17-year-old pianist and saxophonist from Jakarta has been named one of the five winners of the 2019 VSA International Young Soloists Competition, a Jean Kennedy Smith Arts and Disability program of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC, United States. 

Kasyfi, who has impaired vision, won over the judges with his piano performance during the competition. 

He shared the stage with four young US-based singers and musicians: Tori Adams from Minneapolis, Minnesota, Avery Dixon from Riverdale, Georgia, Jose Andre Montano from Washington, DC, and Maya Wagner from Hillsborough, New Jersey.

Read also: Kennedy Center to open US arts campus in 2019

The winners of the competition were awarded US$2,000 each and the opportunity to participate in a series of rehearsals and roundtable discussions with music professionals from July 24 to 26. 

VSA general director and the Kennedy Center's head of accessibility, Betty Siegel, said in a statement that she expected the award to advance the public conversation regarding physical disabilities. 

“Through their individual achievements and musical excellence, these five outstanding young musicians demonstrate exceptional artistry and defy the presumption that having a disability means you cannot excel,” Siegel said. 

Kasyfi learned piano and performed his first composition in a recital at age 5. Since then, he has won several national competitions in piano, saxophone, arrangement and composition. (rfa/kes)

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