Australian pianist carries off top prize in one of the world’s major competitions.

Australian pianist Jayson Gillham has taken out the top prize in the Montréal Piano Competition. Gillham (27), a graduate of the Queensland Conservatorium of Music, played Beethoven’s Fourth Piano Concerto with the Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal in their new Maison Symphonique Hall to carry off the $30,000 First Prize.

The competition saw 24 contestants from 15 countries vying for first place. Writing on his Facebook page after his victory Gillham said: “It was such a joy to play with these wonderful musicians who clearly love their music and love working with young soloists.”

Praised for playing that exhibited a “streamlined, patrician elegance”, the young pianist also wins a string of important engagements and a range of other career development opportunities. “Our conductor Giancarlo Guerrero was an absolute star.” Wrote Gillham, “he knew these concertos so well and I’ve never felt so comfortable on stage after only a 50-minute dress rehearsal. Guerrero is youthful and vibrant, a sensitive accompanist and many were saying that he is the best conductor they’ve ever had for the Montreal competition. I can understand why.”

Gillham also had special thanks for his Montréal...