Hongyi Sophia Cai, Australia
Born in China, Sophia commenced her piano lessons at the age of 9 and was awarded with Distinction in the Grade 9 exam (highest non-professional grade) held by the Central Conservatory of Music (Beijing, China) at 12 years-old. Just months before migrated to Australia in 2004, she won the gold medal in Chinese Young Performers Competition by playing the renowned Chinese piano concerto “Yellow River”.
After migrating to Australia, Sophia continued her piano lessons with Bulgarian pianist Nikolai Evrov, chamber music lessons with Associate Professor Gerard Willems and Dr. Bernadette Harvey in Sydney. In 2012 she graduated with Bachelor of Music (Performance) and in 2015 with Master of Music Studies degree at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music with two scholarships. She has performed extensively in masterclasses and concerts in Sydney. In 2013 she joined the Sydney Conservatorium Orchestra and performed Benjamin Britten’s War Requiem with Conservatorium Choir and Conservatorium High School Choir, the concert was live recorded and played on ABC Classic FM (Australian Broadcasting Corperation). In the following year, Sophia was appointed as Assistant Teacher at the Sydney Conservatorium Open Academy and Conservatorium High School.
After years of teaching, Sophia decided to follow her passion as a concert pianist. She moved to Würzburg, Germany in September 2016. In May 2019, she graduated with Master of Music (Performance) at the University of Music Würzburg, under the tutelage of Prof. Inge Rosar, combined with chamber music under Prof. Denise Benda. In March 2019, Sophia was the quarterfinalist in the International Piano Competition “Johann Sebastian Bach” in Würzburg, Germany.
Sophia has performed in various venues across Europe, such as Ádám Jenő Music School in Budapest (Hungary); Schloss Drösiedl in Vienna (Austria); Steingraeber & Söhne Piano Factory in Bayreuth (Germany), Haus Blankenheim in Saarbrücken (Germany), and Historical Town Hall in Karlstadt am Main (Germany).
Sophia is pursuing her Certificate of Performance degree under Prof. Roland Batik at the Music and Arts University of the City of Vienna from March 2020.
Links to live – concerts:
Preliminary round in the International Piano Competition J. S. Bach in Memoriam Walter Blankenheim (Würzburg 2019, University of Music, Germany): https://youtu.be/xzpAgD-2jGM
Salon Batik, Ebergassing Castle, Austria: youtu.be/ma_B_TPjmTE