Ayesha Gough has taken out the Lev Vlassenko Piano Competition for 2015. Tomorrow, she will perform at Tyalgum Music Festival.
Ayesha Gough has taken out the Lev Vlassenko Piano Competition for 2015. Tomorrow, she will perform at Tyalgum Music Festival. contributed

Tyalgum puts Tweed talent on show

TYALGUM Village is brimming with the sound of music this weekend.

Tomorrow, the Tweed’s own Ayesha Gough will take to the stage for the first time since taking out the Lev Vlassenko Piano Competition last Friday.

Gough, who grew up in Tweed Heads and is now in her third year of study at the Queensland Conservatorium in Brisbane, said she was looking forward to performing at the festival once again.

“I’ve performed there quite a few times,” Gough said.

“It’s good because it’s such a supportive audience.”

Gough said she was surprised when she was announced as the winner of the Lev Vlassenko competition, one of the most prestigious awards for young pianists.

The competition was set up in 1999 by her teacher, Oleg Stepanov and his wife Natasha Vlassenko - the daughter of the event’s namesake.

“I was actually a little bit surprised,” Gough said.

“I feel incredibly proud to achieve something that shows the work I’ve done but also the work that my teacher has done.”

Gough said she felt as if the competition had helped her to evolve as a musician.

“I was 16 the first time I entered, so in a way the competition has helped me to grow,” she said.

Gough, who has been playing piano since she was five, was looking forward to tomorrow’s recital - a fitting celebration for the win.

“They’ve been a very big supporter,” she said.

While she’s dappled in other instruments, Gough said piano had always been her one big love.

“I was always drawn to the piano,” she said.

“I always wanted to (play piano) since I was a toddler.”

Set to complete her studies at the Conservatorium next year, she said she’d enjoyed her musical education thus far.

“It’s great to be around a lot of other musicians,” Gough said.

Her grandmother, Janet Gough, was “extremely proud” of her recent win, and would be heading along to the recital tomorrow.

“It’s something that’s been her dream since she was a little girl,” Janet Gough said.

“I am really proud of her. She’s been a really dedicated girl.”

Gough said support from Variety: The Children’s Charity and the Sydney Eisteddfod Allison/Henderson Piano Scholarship had been critical in allowing her to get to the stage she’s at now.

Tyalgum Music Festival began yesterday and will conclude tomorrow.



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