Congratulations to pianist, Qden Blaauw, for being the winner of the prestigious 2016 Samro Hubert van der Spuy National Music Competition. The12 year old protégé is the recipient of numerous awards and is fast gaining a reputation as a world class pianist. Qden has also been chosen as the only person in Africa that will be traveling to Warschau in Poland to learn at the feet of one of biggest concert pianists in the world, Lang Lang.
Born and raised in Parow, Qden first fell in love with the piano 4 years ago when he heard it being played in the music room at his school. His mother enrolled him for piano classes and he taught himself how to compose music.
Qden is also the winner of seven trophies at the 2016 Stellenbosch Eisteddfod and two trophies at the 2016 Cape Town Eisteddfod. In 2013, he was enlisted on the University of South Africa (UNISA) role of honor and he is a recipient of the national Hennie Joubert award. He has performed in various concerts and competitions, his original compositions have been aired on local radio and one of his compositions was performed at a concert in Adelaide, Australia.
In Poland, Qden will attend master classes, perform compositions and have some fun with tours and activities. He says that Lang Lang is his favourite pianist because he plays with so much emotion.
This was his second time applying to go to Poland, but he was rejected last year. However, he did not give up, applied again this year and his persistence paid off. Qden is one of ten young protégés chosen worldwide out of a group of 500 talented applicants.
His father says that although they support him and are proud of his success, they also feel that it is important that he enjoys being a pianist. They do not want to push him and they have told him that it is okay if he wants to do something else. He practices an hour every day and four to five hours over the weekend. It is not easy to practice because he has to first make sure that he completes his homework and prepare for his tests.
In addition to the piano, Qden has also started playing the violin last year and he has already composed violin sonatas. He also enjoys playing cricket, chess and building electrical circuits.
The advice he gives to other kids is that if you want to become a pianist, you must love classical music. You must then listen to pianists that are very good and then you take it from there.
Qden says that Mozart is his favourite composer and he hopes to become a famous composer like Mozart, maybe even more famous than Mozart. He is currently composing his first symphony.