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Last week, Sydney-born violinst Emily Sun had “an extraordinary experience” when she performed the Bach Double Violin Concerto with world-renowned violin virtuoso Maxim Vengerov at Buckingham Palace for HRH Prince Charles.
Emily Sun performs with Maxim Vengerov at Buckingham Palace. Photo by Paul Burns Photography
Tonight, she will perform a recital at London’s Wigmore Hall as part of an event showcasing artists selected to join its Young Artists’ Platform in Spring 2016.
It’s an exciting time for the young musician who in June 2016 was awarded the Gold Medal at the Royal Overseas League Competition, held at Cadogan Hall in London – the first violin player to win it since 1981.
The Buckingham Palace event was a Royal Gala Concert for the More Music Campaign to raise funds for the Royal College of Music (RCM). HRH Prince Charles, who is President of the RCM, hosted the event.
Speaking to Limelight, Sun says: “It was an extraordinary experience to play the Bach Double with Maxim Vengerov. We performed with the Royal College of Music Philharmonic Orchestra un-conducted, so there was a real feeling of communication and dialogue in the music-making. Maxim Vengerov is not only a phenomenal musician, but also incredibly humble and honest – it's all about the music with him!”
“It was a real treat to not only perform in the beautiful ballroom of Buckingham Palace but also to have HRH Prince Charles in attendance at the concert,” adds Sun. “Afterwards, we had a lovely chat with him. One of the first questions Prince Charles asked me was what violin I play on. I proudly answered that it was an Australian instrument (an Arthur E Smith, 1946).”
Emily Sun and Maxim Vengerov meet HRH Prince Charles at the Royal Gala event. Photo by Paul Burns Photography
Sun says that she learned an enormous amount from Vengerov, who she first met last September when she played for him in a masterclass at the RCM. “It was a real thrill to be playing alongside him this time,” she says. “I learned so much just by playing with him and listening to him in the rehearsal process, and by entering into his world [and his] concept of sound and style.”
Before moving to the UK to study at the RCM, Sun – who was named Best Newcomer in the 2012 Limelight Awards – had already had considerable success in Australia, where she won the National Youth Concerto Competition and ABC Young Performers Award. She has performed as a soloist with the Sydney, Melbourne, Queensland, Tasmanian and Canberra Symphony Orchestras, and also starred in the award-winning documentary Mrs Carey’s Concert. At the RCM, she won the Violin Competittion in 2012 and the Concerto Competition in 2015.
Vengerov, meanwhile, plays with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra on February 17 and 18, and at the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra’s Opening Gala on February 28. He also performs in recital at QPAC in Brisbane on February 23.