Australian Daily Telegraph: Viola prodigy Lisa Sung, 18, wins scholarship to New York’s Juilliard School which boasts alumni like Miles Davis, Barry Manilow, Kevin Spacey

05 August 2014

A BURWOOD year 12 student has won a scholarship to the prestigious Juilliard School in New York which boasts alumni such as Miles Davis, Barry Manilow, Kevin Spacey and composer John Williams.
MLC Burwood student, Lisa Sung, 18, is the first Australian to receive the Kovner Fellowship scholarship to the school, which specialises in dance, drama and music.

The Viola prodigy was chosen from hundreds of international candidates and was so sought after she became the subject of a bidding war between four elite American music schools.

Ms Sung will receive full tuition, as well as accommodation in Manhattan and living costs, for the duration of her four-year Bachelor of Music program.

“I am a little nervous about leaving home,” said Ms Sung who leaves on August 20.

“But I have worked so hard for this opportunity and I can’t wait to get started.”

Ms Sung learned to play piano at age three and took up violin at four. When she was 11, a music tutor encouraged her to try viola.


“I immediately loved the mellow tone,” she said.

Ms Sung, who practices four-and-a-half hours a day, said she wants to go on to study a masters at Julliard, and one day hopes for an position in an orchestra.

MLC Burwood Head of Strings, Louise Keller, immediately recognised the talent in Lisa.

“She attended MLC on a music scholarship and she stood out, especially for someone so young,” said Mrs Keller, who conducts the school’s chamber orchestra.

“Like many of our talented girls she practised a great deal on her own, but she was also happy to play in groups and mentor other students.”

Mrs Keller said it was exciting to teach children who work hard and appreciate the gifts they have. She said Lisa is a great example for other students.

“Lisa will be an inspiration to our other girls about how much they can achieve,” she said.

Ms Sung has played free concerts at more than 200 nursing homes over the past decade and played a free farewell concert in Strathfield last Sunday.