Press Release


Will the Next Star Pianist Hail From Malaysia?
The International Steinway Festival has opened its doors to one gifted young person from South East Asia

Petaling Jaya, 3 November 2011. The International Steinway Festival is a celebrated showcase of top youth pianists from select countries around the globe. For the first time since its inception in 1987, the festival welcomes one participant from South East Asia. Bentley Music, the sole distributor of Steinway & Sons Malaysia, will be hosting the Malaysian competition to discover the finest youth talent. This dedicated individual will represent Malaysia in the Steinway Regional Finals, to be held next April in Singapore. Another first is the sponsorship by BMW Group Malaysia for the inaugural Steinway Malaysia Youth Piano Competition.

The piano has been around for centuries, providing entertainment and delight. Appreciation for pianists has not wavered; a new twist on classical music and the infusion of pop and jazz to the mix has made the likes of Lang Lang, Diana Krall, Harry Connick Jr and David Foster household names. They all also own the signature hand made Steinway concert grand piano model D-274, which is the piano of choice for many concert halls internationally, which includes the iconic Carnegie Hall.

The Steinway Malaysia Youth Piano Competition is a lead up to the Steinway Regional Finals and consequently the International Steinway Festival. This festival is held biennially in Hamburg, Germany. While the final participants would have endured tough competition getting to the festival, the festival itself is not a competition. Top youth artists are free to express themselves musically without competition pressure. Life long friendships are developed (perhaps even leading to future collaborations), and together they will enjoy basking in the joy of making music.

"This competition is unique, and hence we are allowing the shortlisted participants this special opportunity to play on a piano prized by the world's top piano aficionados. Through our Bentley Music Academy, we are continuously helping to support aspiring individuals to develop their musical talent and to appreciate the gift of music. We believe that talent emerging in Malaysia can certainly match the international competitors" mentioned Ken Phua, Executive Director of Bentley Music.

The ten semi-finalists will have the opportunity to play on the RM790,000 Steinway concert grand piano model D-274 in front of a live audience and a panel of esteemed judges including Shuenda Wong, Peter Charlton of Trinity Guildhall and Jamie Smith of ABRSM. Five finalists will then compete to represent Malaysia in the Steinway Regional Finals.

Worldwide, the BMW Group first supported the International Steinway Festival in 2010, where they commemorated the event with a Steinway & Sons inspired special - limited edition car - the BMW Individual 7 Series Composition. The car was presented in two perfectly coordinated colour variants which contrasted between black and white, echoing the characteristics of a piano keyboard. The exclusive appearance of these luxurious limousines is also characterised by top-quality craftsmanship and the use of exquisite materials which are hand finished to embody the look and feel of piano lacquer.

"BMW Group Malaysia's partnership with the Steinway Malaysia Youth Piano Competition offers yet another dimension to our involvement in the arts here in Malaysia. It is the perfect adjunct to our commitment to culture and the arts which we at BMW have been involved with worldwide for over 40 years", said Mr Geoffrey Briscoe, Managing Director, BMW Group Malaysia.

Briscoe added that the special-edition BMW Individual 7 Series Composition embodies the desire of both the BMW and Steinway & Sons brand to combine aesthetics, comfort and technical precision.

Malaysian youth are encouraged to submit an audition video (not longer than 10 minutes) to the organisers, Bentley Music.

Audition video submission date: 15 January 2012
Shortlisted entry notification: 23 February 2012
Semi final performance (Bentley Auditorium): 22 March 2012
Final performance (Bentley Auditorium): 23 March 2012
Steinway Regional Finals (Singapore): 27-29 July 2012

Each entrant is entitled to prepare one submission only. Early bird submissions, received before 31 December 2011, attract a fee of RM150. Submissions received between 1-15 January 2012, attract a fee of RM200. Participants must be Malaysian Citizens or Malaysian Permanent Residents, and be between the ages of 10 and 17 as of September 2012. To download application and for additional details, please log in to

Steinway Malaysia Youth Piano Competition Prizes

1st Prize: RM8,000 and opportunity to compete in the Steinway Regional Finals
2nd Prize: RM5,000
3rd Prize: RM2,000