PETALING JAYA: On July 25, Imran Azim Iskandar boarded a airplane from his hometown in Sibu to Los Angeles. The journey was lengthy, however the 17-year-old violinist was excited: his dream of participating within the World Championships of Performing Arts (WCOPA) was about to return true.
Held in Anaheim, California from July 28 to Aug 5, the annual competitors is dubbed the “official Expertise Olympics” for aspiring performers and entertainers. Contestants come from everywhere in the globe.
To his delight, Imran gained gold and “champion of the world” within the classical class, silver within the modern and unique works classes and bronze within the jazz and open classes.
In a web based interview with FMT Way of life, the still-jet-lagged violinist mentioned he was overjoyed at profitable a number of awards within the first stage of the competitors. Now he’s certified for the semi-finals and hopefully he’ll grow to be a finalist, too.
Earlier this yr, Imran participated within the Malaysia Championships of Performing Arts (MCOPA) to find out if he can be a part of the Malaysian contingent to WCOPA.
Through the MCOPA finals, he carried out a tune titled “Yakina” by award-winning violinist Nisa Addina. “I used to be actually nervous,” he mentioned as a result of he badly needed to make it to the WCOPA. And make it he did!
Subsequent, got here what he described as “essentially the most difficult half” – getting ready for each the competitors and his SPM examination.
“I felt like giving up so many occasions. However I saved telling myself: that is your future. You actually wish to go to america,” he mentioned.
He mentioned the competitors was powerful, particularly as he was solely given one minute to carry out in every class earlier than having to rapidly change his apparel to play within the subsequent.
His favorite second, he added, was taking part in a tune titled “Goin’ Far” within the “unique works” class, the place contestants are required to carry out an unique composition.
Having the ability to showcase one’s unique composition on a worldwide stage is a dream come true for any composer, however it’s significantly exceptional for somebody his age.
“I simply really feel actually blessed. All my prayers have been answered. That’s all I can say.”
Imran shared that he labored along with his musician father, Iskandar Bujang, on the tune. His father additionally owns a recording studio, iMuzik Studio in Sibu. And right here’s a enjoyable truth: Imran is a third-generation musician. His late grandfather performed the ukulele, amongst others.
Apart from his personal composition, Imran additionally carried out “Tico-Tico No Fubá” (classical); “Lathi” (modern); “Take 5” (jazz) and “Satellite tv for pc of Zapin” (open).
He mentioned he selected “Satellite tv for pc of Zapin” as a result of “it reveals our cultural roots, and we actually want to indicate our tradition within the western world”. He even wore conventional Malay apparel for the efficiency!
One other memorable second was when he spontaneously draped the Malaysian flag throughout his shoulders when receiving his award. “I needed to get the Malaysian flag on digital camera, in order that the entire world sees my Malaysian identification.”
Love at first sound
Requested about when he first performed the violin, Imran was particular – Dec 15, 2016. He mentioned he’ll all the time bear in mind at the present time as he wrote it down in his first violin e-book.
He had earlier attended the Borneo Cultural Competition, the place he noticed – and heard – an orchestra efficiency. The violin specifically, left him intrigued. So, he requested his mother and father for one and was beside himself with pleasure when he acquired a violin as a birthday reward.
And that was not all. His mother and father enrolled him in Thomas Music Studio, the place he’s been finding out since. Imran will sit for his Grade Six exams this yr.
Apart from the violin, Imran additionally performs the piano, saxophone and a bit guitar, and mentioned he hopes to study as many devices as attainable.
The younger boy who was first mesmerised with the violin years in the past has definitely come far. So, what’s subsequent for him?
“I wish to get a level in music. I’m planning to go to Worldwide Faculty of Music in Kuala Lumpur earlier than persevering with at Berklee Faculty of Music in Boston,” he mentioned.
And sometime, he added, he hopes to grow to be a music director for any leisure organisation in Malaysia or within the US.
For aspiring younger musicians, he shared: “Hold doing what you like. Make your mother and father, household, pals, group and the nation proud.”