Arts & Life
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This article was published 27/1/2016 (1732 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
A Canadian Forces captain with a passion for classical music is in the running for the title of "Piano Hero" — a national competition looking to find Canada’s favourite amateur pianist.
Capt. Victor Pak, a physiotherapist currently posted at CFB Shilo, is one of more than 150 entries in the contest, presented by CBC Music and ICI Musique.
"It’s been an interesting experience. It’s good to tickle the ivories again for sure," Pak said. "I just hope whoever listens to my playing enjoys it. I think that’s the main thing."
Pak was born and raised in Toronto, and started playing piano at the age of five. He joined the military at 18, and piano was put on the back burner. It was in 2010 — the year he and his wife My-Linh Nguyen welcomed their first child — when Pak started playing piano again.
"There’s value in some type of performing art enrichment, especially with kids — you want to play for them," said Pak, now 36. "That’s how I got back into it, but essentially there was a lull of almost 10 to 15 years. There was no practice."
Pak now has three children, aged five, four and three. He says it’s nice to have piano back in his life, with a "different perspective."
"Now that you’re older, you see the value in it. I think that’s the key," he said.
It was his spouse who encouraged Pak to submit a video to the Piano Hero contest.
"I prefer to just stay low-key, but she said … ‘your mom invested so much money into your education, and you should do it so you have something to show for it’," he said.
The winner will receive an upright piano courtesy of Steinway Piano Galleries of Canada plus a trip for two to Montreal to make a professional music video, have a private piano lesson with David Jalbert and attend a concert by l'Orchestre Métropolitain, including the opportunity to perform a pre-concert solo.
Ten finalists will be determined through online voting. Pak’s entry is a video of him performing Sergei Rachmaninoff's "Prelude in G-sharp Minor, Op. 32, No.12." The contest can be found on CBC Music’s website at piano2016.strutta.com.
"It’s not really to get the votes, or to win, as long as people get to enjoy it," Pak said.
People can cast a vote once per day until Thursday at 2 p.m. local time. A jury comprising Angela Cheng, Jan Lisiecki and Yannick Nézet-Séguin will select the winner.
View and vote for his performance here: http://piano2016.strutta.com/entry/9972173
» Twitter: @jillianaustin
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