Piano student Qiaojing Dai has won the 6th Sheepdrove Piano Competition. The competition, which is open to students from all the major UK conservatoires, was founded in 2009 by the Sheepdrove Trust, under the patronage of Sir Roger Norrington. The competition final was held at Sheepdrove Eco Centre in Lambourn on Sunday 18 May as part of the 2014 Newbury Spring Festival.
Qiaojing Dai was awarded the Kindersley Prize of £2,000 plus a recital at the Festival (for a fee of £500).
Deniz Gelenbe, Head of Piano and Organ Department at Trinity Laban, said: "Qiaojing Dai possesses an extraordinary talent, highly developed pianistic technique, and commitment to serious work. I have always been impressed when I heard her."
Qiaojing Dai studied in the Primary School of Shanghai Conservatory and later in Shenzhen Arts School with Prof. Zhaoyi Dan. At fifteen she enrolled at the Royal Academy of Music under a full scholarship to study with Prof. Christopher Elton.
Qiaojing Dai has won a number of prizes including first prize at the National Electronic Organ Competition at the age of six, third in the Ninth Xinghai National Piano Competition at the age of 12, three 'Top of Year Pianist' titles, the Christian Carpenter Piano Recital Prize and the YAMAHA Music Foundation of Europe Scholarship 2011. She has worked with many world-famous musicians in masterclasses and has performed chamber music with Radovan Vlatković and Alessandro Carbonare, and was given full scholarships to participate in the International Keyboard Institute and Festival, USA and the Encuentro de Música y Academia de Santander, Spain.
In October 2011, she won the first prize as well as the Audience Prize in the Dudley International Piano Competition, performing Chopin Concerto No.2 with Michael Seal and the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra.
She gained a Distinction in Master of Music at Trinity Laban in 2013, and continues her study there with Professor Hilary Coates under a TCL scholarship. Qiaojing Dai is also supported by the Worshipful Company of Musicians Carnwath Scholarship and the Tillett Trust Fund Bursary.