Delvan has claimed the top spot in a competition featuring the country's best young pianists.
The 16-year-old student gave himself little room to improve on last year’s stellar performance in the Wallace National Piano Competition, when he won the Junior category in 2014. However, this year he chose to compete in the Adult section against Bachelor of Music Honours and Masters graduates, the New Zealand National Young Performer of the Year finalists and scholarship winners. Even against this exceptional field of musicians, he came out on top.
Each contestant performed two 30-minute programmes for adjudicator Andrew Ball, who then selected four finalists to play a 45-minute programme in the Grand Final, which was held in the Auckland Town Hall Concert Chamber on Sunday, 5 July.
To claim his spot in the Final, Delvan interpreted Bach with such intelligence and depth that Mr Ball felt as though he was listening to a pianist aged 60, not 16.
On Sunday, Delvan's set included Sonata in A-flat major, Hob.XVI:46 by Hadyn; Concert Etude No.2 La leggierezza by Liszt; Musica Ricercata Nos. 3, 4, 6 and 8 by Ligeti; and Ballade No.1 in G minor, Op.23 Granados: Allegro de Concierto, Op.46 by Chopin.
Delvan’s mother Erica said, "We thought competing in the adult section would be a great experience, but we never thought he would win. He put his heart and soul into it and worked very hard."
Not one to rest on his laurels, Delvan is presently heading to the United States of America to attend the Curtis Institute of Music's Young Artist Summer Programme in Philadelphia. This prestigious programme trains young pianists for careers as performing artists.
Delvan says that his love for music comes from his ability to express feeling through it.
"It is just a free form of telling people how you feel and what you want them to feel. You don't have to say it out loud, you just tell them in how you play it," he says.
We wish Delvan all the best for his trip to Philadelphia and his continued success with his musical aspirations.
To view Delvan's performance from the Grand Final please click here.