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Another Westerfordian aim for the top

Newcomer to the National Youth Music Competition (NYMC), Vivianna Shmanova Pearson, 15, is one of the 12 pianists competing for the sought after title.

Hailing from Newlands in Cape Town, she is schooling at Westerford High School, the same school as the 2019 NYMC overall winner, violinist, Jordan Brooks.

Vivianna started her musical journey when she was seven years of age. "From a very young age, I have loved music. When I was five years old, I began showing an interest in the piano and on my seventh birthday, I received a Yamaha keyboard.

"I will never forget how happy I was when it was brought into the house. A few months later, I started studying piano with Sue Paterson-Jones, and I am happy to say she is still my teacher," she says.

Apart from playing the piano, this rising star also plays the flute and recently starts playing the cello.

She is hesitant to tie herself to a specific number of hours of practising. It varies, depending on how busy she is that day, but estimates three or four hours per day, sometimes more.

"I feel very lucky to have a family who always supports me and enjoys hearing me play, be that at a performance or practising at home."

Although her parents don’t play any musical instrument, they have always loved music. She is the eldest of three children. Her two younger siblings both play musical instruments. Her brother plays the clarinet and her sister plays the piano.

The promising young star’s favourite composer is Antonín Leopold Dvorák, who is described as the Bohemian composer. “I generally enjoy the romantic music style and Dvorák's music is so powerful and expressive, I love listening to it,” she says.

Her extramural activities are all music-related. Vivianna is the pianist of her school Orchestra. She also plays in my school's Concert Band as a flautist.

After matriculating, she wants to obtain a degree in music to pursue a full-time career in music.

With the motto: "Respect others and do everything to the best of your ability," she entered the NYMC to grow as a musician.