Sarah Sun: International Award at Carnegie Hall

For some, success is winning a game, for some it’s career advancement and for others success is defined by getting through the day. Sarah Sun has found success through musical competitions in front of the world.

Sun is the daughter of SUU’s own Director of Orchestral Activities, Dr. Xun Sun, and his wife, adjunct professor Ling Yu Sun.

At the age of four, under the tutelage of Cedar City’s JoAnn Jones, Sun began playing the piano. This continued until 2010 when Jones encouraged Sun and her parents to start training with Brigham Young University’s renowned Dr. Irene Peery-Fox who still teaches Sun today.

Including solo performances, Sun has performed with professional orchestras around the world from China to American Fork.

Along her musical journey, Sun has won many awards including: first place at UMTA’s (Utah Music Teachers Association) Concerto Competition, Alternate at UMTA’s Performance Competition, Honorable Mention in the Utah Symphony Salute to Youth Competition, first place two different times at the Encore Keyboard Competition and another first place at the Salt Lake Piano Competition.

These awards eventually led Sun to take second at the American Protege International Competitions 2017 Winners Recital by performing a piano piece entitled “La Campanella” by Liszt.

The event was held at Carnegie Hall in New York City on Nov. 26, 2017, when Sun was just 16 years old.

Sun’s competitors at Carnegie Hall featured young artists (all under the age of 17) from around the world and included peers from Russia, Japan and Spain.

Since November, Sun hasn’t participated in any more competitions.  As a senior in high school, Sun is focusing on academics and hopes to attend Juilliard or BYU, Provo’s school of music.

Xun Sun says Sun is very well rounded. When not focusing on her piano or school, Sun is also a dancer. She participates in musicals, plays the trombone and flute, does speech and debate team, cross country, loves to read and volunteers at the Salt Lake Children’s Hospital every Saturday, playing piano for the children there.

“Sarah was so thrilled to represent the state of Utah during the competition (American Protege International Competitions 2017 Winners Recital) and performance,” Xun Sun said, speaking for his daughter. “Sarah loves all of her teachers and feels that the education she is receiving in Utah is valuable and exciting.”

Story By
Savannah Palmer
Photo Courtesy of Dr. Xun Sun