AT JUST 23, Wonthaggi’s Josh Hooke is a finalist for the prestigious Australian National Piano Award.
The award is a world class competition, with some of the best young pianists across the country all striving to win $65,000 in cash and prizes.
Having played the piano since he was four, Josh is understandably nervous about heading into the competition, but is excited about the opportunity to perform.
“I’m nervous, but pretty excited. Ultimately I’m just excited, it’s a big opportunity to play well and to spend time with great pianists,” Josh said.
They pianists will perform 33 recitals leading up to the grand final on Saturday, September 10.
“I’m just going to go into this event playing my best, and whatever happens, happens,” Josh said.
“This is my first big national award competition and I’m looking forward to it.”
Twelve pianists will be performing at the Eastbank Centre in Shepparton, performing masterworks by the likes of Chopin, Beethoven, Bach, Schubert, Debussy and more.
Josh, who is studying a Masters in Music Performance at Melbourne University, said Schubert his favourite composer.
“His music comes from a place within that most other composers dare not look,” Josh said.
Heading into the competition, Josh is focusing on practicing for the recitals, and performing his best on the day.
As for his plans for the rest of the year, Josh seems dedicated to applying himself to the art of piano playing.
“The rest of this year I’m just finishing my first year of masters, so I’m focusing on end of year recitals,” Josh said.
“I possibly might fit in some travel, maybe to Vienna for some piano lessons.”
The Australian National Piano Award started in 1992 with a Steinway, a stage and a small but passionate arts community in Shepparton who believed in showcasing and supporting the careers of rising musicians.
Held every two years, the award has grown in stature and is now considered one of the nation’s premier classical piano competitions.
The competition commences on September 5, with the grand finalists performing on Saturday, September 10.