Seventeen-year-old Cypriot piano student Lambis Pavlou from Nicosia was awarded a "menzioni d'onore" (honourable mention) in an international music competition in Milan, Italy and will be invited to give a concert there or elsewhere in Europe next year as a reward.
Pitsa Spyridaki director of the tertiary level Arte music academy told The Cyprus Weekly it was a major honour for Cyprus that the student had made it to the finals among 15 students and winning a "menzioni d'onore" shows the high level of his talent and performance.
"It was also a great honour that the school was chosen to participate as only prestigious schools from across Europe took part. We were invited to represent Cyprus in the competition as a music academy of the highest level on the island," Spyridaki said.
"Prestigious music academies from all EU Member States were invited to represent their country in the competition and our academy was among them and this means a great deal for Cyprus," she added.
Spyridaki believes that it was also a great honour for Cyprus that a young student of the academy's junior department competed with top talents from around Europe and got a "menzioni d'onore".
The awards were presented in mid November at the famous Giuseppe Verdi hall in Milan and included three prizes of €5,000 each and five "menzioni d'onore".
Famous music academies that participated included London's Royal College of Music, the Conservatoire National Superieur de Musique et de Danse de Paris and Berlin's Hochshule fur Musik Hanns Eister Berlin.
"Although the competition was of a very high level with the participation of the best students from Europe's best music schools with a long tradition the participation of the Arte Music Academy was extremely successful," Spyridaki said.
"Our student Lambis Pavlou, one of the youngest contestants in the competition, not only managed to get in the finals among 15 students but was also awarded with a menzioni d'onore and as reward a concert of his will be organised next year in Italy or another European country," she added.
Spyridaki explained that participating schools could be represented with two or three candidates with solo performances or chamber music with not more than four persons.
"Lambis who has played the piano since the age of five and is a great talent performed a solo piano concert for one hour with a free repertoire and we chose to include the work of Cypriot composer Nicolas Economou which is even more significant for Cyprus," Spyridaki said.
Pavlou told the Cyprus Daily: "Receiving the menzioni d'onore is great. I feel good about it and it was something I did not expect. Perhaps I will be invited to play abroad next year and that would be great but it is not certain yet. "The piano is great and I also play the horn. Piano or the horn is something I will continue in the future but I haven't decided which one I will play professionally yet," he added.