Violinist Natalie Kendy has won Queensland Youth Orchestras’ 2019 National Youth Concerto Competition in Brisbane. The 16-year-old from Sydney took out the top prize in the competition’s 44th year for her performance of Erich Korngold’s Violin Concerto in the historic Concert Hall of Brisbane’s Old Museum Building.

Natalie KendyNatalie Kendy performing with the Queensland Youth Symphony and conductor Gwyn Roberts. Photo © Alex Jamieson

“I am overcome with excitement to be the winner of NYCC,” Kendy told Limelight. “It is a great privilege to be chosen to compete as a finalist, let alone be selected as the winner where all the other competitors perform to a high level.”

Kendy – who joins a list of previous winners that includes Jane Peters, Richard Tognetti, Nicholas Milton, Li-Wei Qin and Ray Chen – was up against two other finalists, 17-year-old Melbourne cellist Ji Woo Yoon, who performed Dvořák’s Cello Concerto, and 14-year-old Gold Coast violinist Anna Suzuki, who played Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto. All performed with the Queensland Youth Symphony, under the baton of Gwyn Roberts, following an intense week-long recital round. The judges for the Finals concert were Graeme Jennings, Jann Keir-Haantera and John Curro.

“I was ecstatic with how the performance went, the nerves were replaced with excitement from playing with the orchestra,” Kendy said. “Being able to perform with other highly skilled musicians made the performance so enjoyable and I am very grateful for their commitment to the competition.”

“NYCC enabled me to gain valuable experience for my future career by gaining insight into the professional setting,” she said. “The entire experience helped me become well-equipped for any other competitions or opportunities ahead in the future.”