Ottawa violinist & Kiwanis Music Festival competitor, Kerson Leong, 13, wins Menuhin Competition in Norway

Ottawa violinist, Kerson Q Xun Leong, 13, is the Junior 1st Prize Winner of the Menuhin Competition 2010, the world’s leading international competition for young violinists. An international jury consisting of members from six different countries awarded 1st Prize in the Junior Competition to Kerson just a few hours ago in Oslo, Norway. “ I feel great! I feel so relieved now. But I don’t really know how I’m going to celebrate”, said a slightly shocked Leong. “This is fantastic! We had quite an unforgettable journey to come here, and now it’s unforgettable in a whole different way”, said Leong’s proud parents.1

A long time participant in the Kiwanis Music Festival – National Capital Region, Kerson Q Xun Leong’s talent was obvious from the very beginning. “The sound that he gets from the violin is amazing,” exclaimed Kmf President, James E. Brough, “ We are very proud of his win at the Menuhin Competition. It’s the Olympics of string playing and he just won Gold!”- Kerson began competing in the Ottawa Festival at the age of 6 and won multiple prizes and scholarships. Last year, he competed alongside his brother, Stanley, and won the Aruna-Rupa Anantaraman Trophy during the 2009 Kiwanis Music Festival.

For the past 6 years, Kerson has been studying violin with Serhii Vyhovskyi, at Tutti Muzik, a music school located in Ottawa and run by Kerson’s mother, pianist Tu Mach. “ I always encouraged Kerson to do his best and told him that prizes would come sooner or later,” shared Vyhovskyi, “ if he is happy, then I am happy! This win is very exciting!”

As Junior 1st Prize Winner, Kerson Q Xun Leong will receive a cash prize equivalent to $7,000 Cad donated by Bernt J Fossum and will perform a solo with the Oslo Philharmonic.

Each year, amazing young musicians compete for prizes and scholarships in the Kiwanis Music Festival – National Capital Region, held during the month of April at 11 different venues throughout the City of Ottawa. In 2010, Kmf celebrates its 65th Anniversary and will welcome over 10,000 performers, competing in 175 classes. Over $50,000 in scholarships will be awarded. Top performers move unto provincial and national competitions. Festival alumni include artists such as: Angela Hewitt, Daniel Taylor, D.D. Jackson and Yannick Muriel Noah.

For more information about the Kiwanis Music Festival, please visit:

A symphony of talent!