Young Pianist Strikes Gold On National Stage
When it comes to tickling the black and white keys of a piano, Meadowvale teen Thomas Dobrovich is a guy with a golden touch.
The talented pianist has taken gold at the Canadian Music Competition, a nationwide search for the country’s finest young music talent.
The 18-year-old, whose family runs Keynotes School of Music, impressed the judges at the national final in Sherbrooke, Que., with his performance of Concerto No. 4 by 19th-century Russian composer Anton Rubinstein.
A five-person judging panel made up of some of the country’s finest musicians gave Dobrovich a score of 90 per cent for his 15-minute performance, which garnered him first place in the 18-and-under age category on the piano. Dobrovich shared the top spot with Ga Eun Ban, a young pianist from Toronto.
“This is probably the highest caliber of competition I have ever played in,” said Dobrovich of the contest, which attracted hundreds of entrants and held early round auditions in 15 cities across the country.
To reach the finals, entrants produced performances of up to 40 minutes in length in both the regional and provincial rounds. For Dobrovich, getting through the earlier stages was actually a more nerve-wracking experience than taking the stage in Sherbrooke.
“I was more nervous for the first two rounds to get to the nationals,” he said. “Because once I was there, there was nothing really to lose, so I just played my best.”
Dobrovich selected to play a Rubinstein concerto on the advice of his piano teacher of three years, Yaroslav Pugach.
“My teacher is Russian and he went to the St. Petersburg Conservatory where he got his doctorate. Rubinstein was one of the founders of that conservatory, so he thought it would be an appropriate piece. And it ended up working well,” said Dobrovich.
The young pianist is aiming to make a career in the world of music — although possibly not as a performer, where the competition is incredibly fierce — and is hoping to study the subject at the University of Toronto.
For now, however, he is heading towards Barrie for a summer position at the cadet training centre on the military base in Borden. As he also plays the sax, perhaps Dobrovich will be popping up in a military band at some point in the not too distant future.