National Youth Concerto Competition

Queensland Youth Symphony



Sunday 23 October 2011 3pm
Old Museum Concert Hall

Conductor: John Curro AM MBE

Concert Program

Lalo Sinfonie Espagnol
Soloist Lily Higson-Spence (Violin, from QLD)

Tchaikovsky Variations on a Rococo Theme
Soloist Stephanie Stamopoulos (Cello, from VIC)

Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto
Soloist Wendy Kong (Violin, from NSW)

Dickenson Scherzo - World Premiere

Concert concludes at approx. 5.30pm, light refreshments are available at interval.


Tickets are available at QTIX, online or phone 136 246


About the Concert

String Sensations is the finals concert of the National Youth Competition (NYCC), Australia’s leading competition for string players up to 17. The three soloists compete for the first price, accompanied by Queensland Youth Symphony and Maestro John Curro.

After the concerto performances, a panel will select and award the winner of the competition.


How to get to the Old Museum Concert Hall

The Old Museum Concert Hall is located at the corner of Gregory Terrace  and Bowen Bridge Road, Bowen Hills, Brisbane. Parking for concert patrons is available on Gregory Terrace and surrounding streets and at Wilson Parking next to the Royal Brisbane Hospital. See a map



Lily Higson-Spence, Violin

Lily Higson-Spence began violin lessons at the age of six as a student of the Suzuki Method and currently studies with Kerry Smith. In 2010 Lily won several competitions, including the AUSTA Concerto Competition and the Open Scholarship at the Brisbane Instrumental Eisteddfod. She also appeared on television with her brother, FelixStar, as a semi-finalist in the program, “Australia’s Got Talent“. 

Earlier this year, Lily and FelixStar were invited to Paris to perform live on prime time French Television, in a program showcasing young talent from around the world. 2011 has also seen Lily awarded first prize in the Brisbane Junior Instrumental Award and her LMusA with Distinction.

She is in the Senior Excellence program at the Queensland National Ballet, and apart from dance and music, Lily’s other interests include art and acrobatics. 

Stephanie Stamopoulos, Cello

Stephanie Stamopoulos began learning the cello aged 4. Currently in year 12, Stephanie is at Ruyton Girls’ School where she holds a music scholarship. Solo Performance highlights to date include performing at the Elizabeth Murdoch Hall (Melbourne Recital Centre), Verbrugghen Hall, BMW edge, Wilson Hall, Palais Theatre and the Stadtmuseum Musikschule in Klosterneuburg, Austria. Stephanie is currently learning off Josephine Vains and has performed in Master classes with world-renowned cellists such as Maria Kliegel, Hans Jørgen Jensen, Robert Cohen, Gabriel Schwabe and KyungEun Choi.

Stephanie’s achievements include first place in the 25 and under Dandenong Concerto Competition (2007), Costas Tsicaderis scholarship award (2008), and the Olwyn Game Memorial Award (2010). In 2009, Stephanie received her Licentiate of Music diploma with Distinction and was selected to perform at the ‘Conferring of Diplomas’ ceremony. In 2010, Stephanie was a finalist in the Melbourne Recital Centre Bach Competition as well as the Preston Youth Concerto Competition.

Stephanie has also participated several programs including the Australian String Academy, Euro Music Festival, Adelaide International Cello Festival and was a Young Academy Musician member of the Australian National Academy (YANAM).


Wendy Kong, Violin

Wendy Kong is 15 years old and is currently in year 10 at the Sydney Conservatorium High School. She started playing the violin at the age of six. She is studying with Charmian Gadd and Robin Wilson. Wendy achieved her AmusA with distinction at the age of 11 and was awarded LmusA in the following year.

Wendy has been a prize winner in various sections of competitions including Macdonald’s Sydney Eistedfodd, St George Eisteddfods and many more. She also achieved Award of Excellence for music in the Conservatorium High School. Last year she performed Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto with the Sutherland Shire Symphony Orchestra as a featured soloist.  Wendy got into the semi-finals of her instrumental group in the ABC Young Performers Award, both this year and the year before. Recently, Wendy was a semi-finalist in the Kendall National Violin Competition and she was the youngest finalist in the Balmain Concerto Competition.

Wendy was recently announced as a finalist in the 2mbs FM Young Performer Award.

Wendy was a scholarship winner at the Australian Institute of Music and Australian String Academy. She has performed at the Shanghai Expo 2010 as one of the members representing NSW public schools. Wendy has held 3 violin recitals before, at ages 9, 13 and 14. Wendy’s other interests include sports, reading and travelling.

Wendy plays on a 1929 A E Smith violin.