Hungary Honours Malaysia’s Leading Pianist Claudia Yang
Malaysia’s leading pianist Claudia Yang was honoured with the “Pro Cultura Hungarica” award in recognition for her efforts to popularise Hungarian music.
“I felt extremely honoured to receive the award because of my contribution in spreading Hungarian culture, especially Franz Liszt’s (world renowned Hungarian-born classical pianist and composer) music, has been recognised by the Hungarian government,” Yang said.
The “Pro Cultura Hungarica” award is the top cultural award of Hungary for foreign individuals.
Yang, 40, was the first Malaysian who received the award in China during the opening ceremony of the Hungarian Cultural Institute in Beijing on Feb 13.
The award was presented by Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán who was on his three-day official visit to China.
She said Malaysians were known as the friendliest people in the world as they come from a multiracial and multiculture environment.
Yang, who tied the knot with her Chinese husband in Budapest after graduating from college, once lived in the Hungarian capital for a few years.
“We (Malaysians) were taught how to respect each other and make friends. We could show good example of living in harmony with others and to merge into the local community (in Hungary),” she said.
She encouraged young Malaysians who lived or were studying abroad to integrate into the local culture.
“I am so proud of being a Malaysian,” she added.
Yang, who was born in Muar, Johor, began her piano lessons at age five.
At 17, she flew to Vienna to pursue her dream of becoming an internationally renowned pianist, graduating as joint best pianist in 1997.
Yang will play a concert with the famous Hungarian orchestra, the MAV Symphony Orchestra in Budapest on March 26.