Taiwan NTNU graduate wins junior title at Czech composition contest

Award-winning NTNU graduate Joe Lin.

Award-winning NTNU graduate Joe Lin. (By Central News Agency)

Joe Lin, a fresh graduate from National Taiwan Normal University (NTNU), won the top prize in the junior division of the 2018 International Antonin Dvorak Composition Competition (IADCC) in Prague in late July, the university said Wednesday.

Lin also clinched the special prize for the best free composition among juniors and a special prize for the best fuga, NTNU said in a statement.

The competition pays tribute to the memory of 19 century Czech composer Dvorak and his musical achievements and seeks to discover young and talented composers, in the spirit of Dvorak, according to the organizers.

This year, 11 competitors advanced to the second round of the junior division, while 13 others entered that of the senior category. The competitors were from United States, the United Kingdom, Russia, South Korea, Spain, Mexico, Brazil, Taiwan and other countries.

In the second round, the participants were required to present one free composition and one other work, either variation, fuga, or canon.

Lin, 22, completed the two pieces in five days and finished top among the juniors, according to NTNU.

Lin started playing piano at the age of five, began composing at seven and joined the UC Berkeley Symphony Orchestra as composer-in-residence in 2010 when he was 14 years old.

At the age of 20, Lin delivered his first symphony as a member of the Taipei Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra, according to NTNU.

With his win at the IADCC, Lin is entitled to an award certificate and CZK25,000 (US$1,133) in prize money, according to the competition's website. Dvorak was a Czech composer who rose to international fame in the mid-19th century with his Symphony No. 9 "From the New World."

He was director of the National Conservatory of Music of America in New York City and the Prague Conservatoire and helped nurture countless musicians. (By Chen Chih-chung and Evelyn Kao)