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Piano performers Tiffany Fung and Declan Tse

SOU graduate student wins prestigious international piano competition

Tiffany Fung, a graduate piano student at the Oregon Center for the Arts at Southern Oregon University, has won first prize in the 5th edition (2021) of the Best Rachmaninoff Performance contest – part of the London-based Great Composers Competition series for young performers.

Fung’s winning entry was for her performance of the Rachmaninoff piece “Variations on a Theme of Corelli, Op. 42.”

Fung is a second-year student in the SOU master of music-piano performance program, studying under professor Alexander Tutunov. She is a native on Hong Kong, began her musical journey at age 7 and graduated with first class honors from Hong Kong Baptist University before coming to SOU.

The Rachmaninoff competition is part of a performance series designed as a tribute to 24 of the greatest classical music composers of all time. Each competition in the international series is designed so the award winners are announced on the composers’ birthdays. The Best Rachmaninoff Performance results were announced on April 1 – the 148th anniversary of Sergei Rachmaninoff’s birth.

The online competition began in early March with the submission of a “pre-screening” video recording, followed by a formal application and a final round of competition for those who advanced through the first round. All submissions were judged from March 9 to 18.

The Rachmaninoff competition was open to instrumentalists of all nationalities and countries, and included seven age groups for contestants as young as 5 and as old as 25. Fung competed in the highest age group, for those between 23 and 25.

Fung and fellow SOU master’s student Declan Tse each also won first prize honors in last year’s Masters of Piano Concerto competition, another event in the Great Composers Competition lineup. Fung played the Chopin Piano Concerto No. 2 in F minor, op. 21, for that competition, and Tse played the Brahms Piano Concerto No. 1 in D minor, op. 15.

Fung’s performances have taken her to various venues in France, Hong Kong, Italy and the U.S.

Tse – also studying under Tutunov in the SOU master of music-piano performance program – has performed in Asia, Europe and North America.