Austin Wang, a Grade 10 Odyssey student, just learned that he was one of the winners of an international piano competition called Golden Key. That means the 15 year old composer will be flying to Vienna for the World Young Composer's recital.
Wang's award winning composition titled Autumn was "sparked" in October when Wang was wandering down the streets of his Southeast Vancouver neighborhood. The leaves were falling and Wang says he became fascinated with conveying the colours and beauty of the day audibly.
"The idea is a spark that ignites into a wildfire," he says of his creative process. "After that, I'm not in the driver's seat. It starts to lead me somewhere. I am just playing the idea on the piano and I just write it down. It is almost an organic process."
Wang has been playing piano for a very long time (since he was 6 years old). But while he says he'd often quiz friends for four notes to create random compositions, it wasn't until recently that he started to write the notes down on paper.
He says he was surprised Autumn was noticed by Golden Key.
"When I got the letter from the competition, I had to read it five times to make sure I wasn't seeing things," says Wang. "It was pretty exciting."
Wang plans to continue composing as well as playing music with the David Thompson school community. He is currently enrolled in a music composition course at his school and has played in both the school band and the concert and jazz band in previous years.