07/23/2012 12:18 EDT | Updated 09/22/2012 05:12 EDT

Vancouver pianist Avan Yu triumphs at Sydney competition

Canadian pianist Avan Yu scored the top spot at the Sydney International Piano Competition over the weekend, walking away with the $25,000 Australian ($26,252 Cdn) first prize as well as a host of other honours.

Hong Kong-born, Vancouver-raised Yu was one of six pianists to make the finals of the competition, held every four years.

Each finalist was required to perform two concertos (one by Mozart, another by a 19th-century composer) alongside the Sydney Symphony Orchestra at Australia's iconic Sydney Opera House.

Yu chose Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 17 K.453 in G major and Rachmaninoff's Rhapsody on a Theme by Paganini, Op. 43.

In addition to the casht for winning the competition on Saturday, the 25-year-old pianist earned several special acknowledgements, including best performance of a Mozart concerto ($5,000 Australian), best performance of a chamber music work ($5,000 Australian) and best male pianist. Altogether, his awards haul carries a value of nearly $63,000 Cdn.

As winner, Yu will give a performance at Sydney's City Recital Hall, Angel Place, on Aug. 12.

A piano student since the age of five and currently seeking a master's degree in music in Berlin, Yu has performed at home with the Vancouver Symphony, the National Arts Centre Orchestra and Symphony Nova Scotia as well as abroad in Germany, China and Morocco.

Last week, Yu was announced as the sole Canadian contender in a field of 10 talented young musicians slated to compete at this fall's Honens International Piano Competition in Calgary.