Listen to Huangkai’s original composition submitted with his entry.

Listen to Huangkai’s composition performed by the QYO Chamber Orchestra.

Huangkai (Kaykay) Lai [Age 21, ACT]

Composition: Fanfare just for you

Kaykay is a student majoring both Composition and Piano Performance at the ANU School of Music. He is a current recipient of the Dennis Griffin Piano Undergraduate Scholarship.

Kaykay has won numerous awards at regional and national level piano competitions, and has performed in many public concerts. He was a finalist in the 2015 “Music Ambassador” National Piano Competition. He won the First Prize in the 2014 Chopin International Youth Piano Competition. In 2021, he held a piano recital at Embassy of Hungary, Canberra. One of his piano solo pieces, Path in the Woods, was premiered at the recital. He also gave a performance at Canberra Theatre Centre in 2020, and later in that year, he was invited to be a guest performer in Miss Australia Chinese Pageant Show.

Kaykay was highly involved with various kinds of music events in university. He was recently selected as the Music Director and Conductor in Fenner Hall musical, Mamma Mia!, in 2021. He also scored for a short film, Stolen Light, and wrote a theme song for this film in 2020.

Composition inspiration

The composition is called, Fanfare Just for You. My most crucial purpose of writing music is to encourage and influence others, so the “You” in the title refers to all my listeners who are important and special to me. My inspiration comes from a variety of sources, so I consider myself as a “multi-cultural” composer. I enjoy reading the scores of other composers, as I can “steal” tons of great ideas and techniques from them.

When I just started writing this piece, the first thing that came to my mind was the traditional characteristics of a fanfare, such as dotted rhythms, repeated patterns and big brass sections. However, I thought that it would not be enough if my music merely incorporated such musical elements. To make my music more interesting and engaging, I also included a few sections with polyrhythms or chromatic passages. For instance, the “pizzicato” section, a highlight of my entire piece, gives a subtle detail and shows a good contrast to the opening. Additionally, the chromatic passages in strings build much tension, making the final resolution more satisfactory.