Bernstein News Articles:

Bernstein 178 Grand Piano Wins Top Award,  May 2009 

President of the Bernstein Hailun Factory Visits Australia, August 2008

Australian Dealers Visit the Bernstein Hailun Factory, October 2007


Bernstein National Piano Competition

The 18th National Bernstein Piano Competition, October 2005, Junior Competition Winners  

The 18th National Bernstein Piano Competition, October 2005, Senior Competition Winners



The 19th National Bernstein Piano Competition, October 2006, Syldon Award Winner


 The 20th National Bernstein Piano Competition, October 2007, Junior Competition Winners


 The 20th National Bernstein Piano Competition, October 2007, Senior Competition Winners 


The 21st National Bernstein Piano Competition, October 2008, Junior Competition Winners


 The 21st National Bernstein Piano Competition, October 2008 Senior Competition Winners 


The 24th National Bernstein Piano Competition, October 2011, Senior Competition Winners  


President of the Bernstein Hailun Factory Visits Australia

August 2008, Melbourne, Australia

Here at Musico / Bernies Music Land, we are extremely proud of our relationship with the Hailun Piano Manufacturers. Since the end of 2005, they have produced our outstanding new range of Bernstein Hailun pianos for the Australian market.These pianos have been highly acclaimed by music professionals, teachers and hobbyists alike.

In August, we were delighted to welcome the President of Hailun Piano Manufacturers, Mr. Hailun Chen, to Melbourne. Yes, he’s also the namesake of the company. He was accompanied by Mr. Mark Chan (his nephew and the International Sales Manager) and Mr. Xeng (the factory’s Head Technician). They were our very special guests for this year’s Australian Music Association Convention (AMAC).

Mr. Chen and his two staff arrived in Melbourne very early on the morning of August 10. They were on an absolute high; they had come to Australia just after watching the opening ceremony of the Beijing 2008 Olympics; which featured one of their grand pianos. They were very proud of this honour.

AMAC was already well under way when our Chinese guests arrived, so they were quickly whisked to the Melbourne Convention Centre to come and see our Musico stand and display of Bernstein Hailun pianos. Posters welcomed them in both Chinese and English. Mr. Chen was delighted to be here. Hailun Piano Manufacturers now has more than 800 workers and is the third largest piano manufacturer in China. This meant that Mr. Chen’s stay in Melbourne could only be a few days. However, we made sure that these days were jam-packed with the complete “Australian experience”.Mr. Chen’s first day in Australia was a brilliant one. After spending some time on the Musico Trade Show stand, Mr. Chen joined us at the AMAC Gala Dinner. This was held at a beautiful function centre at the Docklandsand our Chinese guests “felt like they were at the Academy Awards”. The highlight of the night came when our Wholesale division received the 2008 AMAC Industry Award “Best Small Wholesaler Training and Support”. This was a wonderful award to receive and Mr. Chen was very proud to congratulate Bernie and the team on all our efforts.

Monday was an exciting day for our Chinese guests, who met with many of the national Bernstein piano dealers. It’s not often that you get the opportunity for a one-on-one with the President of a large piano manufacturing company, and our network of Bernstein dealers made the most of this time. There were many ideas, words ofencouragement and more invitations to visit China!

AMAC finished on Monday afternoon and, by this time, we were all completely exhausted. But, we couldn’t break a tradition, especially when it was a much-loved one such as the Musico / Bernies Music Land Family Dinner. Our Chinese guests enjoyed this intimate evening and really became part of the Australian family. We presented each of the three visitors with a beautiful book on Australia; with the pages from each state signed by that state’s Bernstein Hailun dealer. 

Tuesday and Wednesday included some touring for our guests, including a visit to Glenfern Piano Institute, to meed and have photos with Professor Max Cooke and members of the Team of Pianists. There was also a fascinating evening presentation given to our network of Piano Tuners by the Mr Xeng. The discussions became quite involved and the tuners were thrilled with the technology presentation by Mr. Xeng, Hailun’s Head Technician. After a brief supper, our Chineseguests were escorted back to the airport for a night’s accommodation before their early flight home on Thursday morning.

A special thank you to Mr. Hailun Chen for his wonderful enthusiasm and support for our Australian Bernstein Hailun representatives. We look forward to a great future with their brilliant pianos.

Michelle C.

Australian Dealers visit Bernstein Hailun Factory  

October 2007 

In January 2007,  Bernstein Hailun factory in Ningbo, China, invited Bernstein Australia's Director, Bernie, to bring his Australian dealers to visit the factory in October that year. So, on October 18, three of us from Melbourne departed for a busy and eye-opening “Discover China” journey.

Our first stop, after a 14 hour flight, was Shanghai. This is where we joined with Doug from Cairns, Paul from Brisbane and Gary and Diane from Perth, who were joining us for the trip. Unfortunately, Paul had news of a family tragedy and had to turn around and fly back, so didn’t continue with us. We missed you, Paul!

We were met at the airport by our guide and Jane from the factory. We were quickly ferried to the Shanghai Music Trade Show to spend about an hour viewing the Hailun stand. Our favourite item was the red concert grand piano; very eye-catching! That night, we began the wonderful feasting that seemed to be the theme of trip. As special guests of President, Mr. Chen, we were to be “extremely well looked after”.

The following six days was a mixture of traveling, sightseeing and meetings. We had a one day tour of Shanghai, followed by a day in a mini-bus to get to the Ningbo factory, a day at the factory, a day traveling to Beijing, a day touring in Beijing, then half a day shopping before flying home. I’m out of breath just remembering it all!

The Hailun piano factory is predominantly an assembly factory, where some of the best components from the world, like German Roslau strings, are combined to produce Hailun’s award winning pianos. We were very pleased to spend a day and a half exploring every step of the factory, from where the strings are coiled, to where the soundboards are seasoned for months at a time, and where the massive five-axis machines were drilling holes into the iron frames. Each of these steps was explained to us thoroughly by Mr. Chen, and we were able to meet the factory's head tuner and voicing technician, as well as many of the Hailun team. Hailun invested more than 20 million US dollars into advanced Japanese equipment that allows them quality previously unavailable in moderately-priced pianos. To see this machinery and the dedication of the 800-plus staff, was truly inspiring. Mr. Chen said to us, “We will make the best piano in the world!” We said, “Great!”

In early 2007, the Hailun factory began extending their facilities to cope with their dramatic growth. Some of the most impressive features that we were able to view include a 120-seat auditorium and a plush VIP room for visitors (like us!) and the designs for second factory, due for completion in late 2011. This second factory will increase Hailun's annual production capacity from 20,000 pianos to almost 50,000 pianos. 

Hailun is incredibly proactive and often appears on Chinese television for their achievements. It was a great feeling of “striving to achieve” within the staff and management. We were fortunate to spend time with Mr. Chen himself and sales manager, Mark Chan. At a formal dinner with 150 Chinese dealers, were privileged to sit at the VIP table with Mr. Chen and other special guests including renowned American piano designer, Mr. George F. Emerson.

Our final destination was Beijing, where we had a fascinating time climbing the Great Wall, walking through the Emperor’s Forbidden City and seeing a live Kung-Fu show. This was a wonderfully cultural conclusion to our China experience. The hospitality of the Bernstein Hailun people was excellent and made the trip a wonderfully memorable experience.

Michelle C.

My China Perspective 

First, I would like to thank Bernie and Mr Chen of Hailun and everyone who made my recent trip to China possible and such a memorable event.

We toured Shanghai for two days then went on to Ningbo for the main event of our China visit, which was the guided tour around the Hailun piano factory. Being a mechanically minded person, I couldn’t help but be amazed at the high-tech machinery that is being used there. Every step of the piano assembly process is performed so efficiently, the mind boggles! One of the things that struck me was how the smells change as you walk from one section of the factory to the next, from fresh pine to fresh lacquer etc. It was wonderful! There is so much to tell that it can’t all be told in such a short space, but my overall impression is that, in the few years since Hailun started making pianos, they have gone from pretty good to damn fantastic. They have already gained recognition in Europe and other parts of the world for excellence in quality and craftsmanship. In grand pianos, Hailun are truly producing world-class concert instruments at a fairly affordable price. In my opinion, they are already on a par with some of the best pianos in the world.

Finally, the last two days of our brief China visit were spent in Beijing with more sight seeing, a walk along the Great Wall of China, a trip to The Forbidden City, more shopping and then on our way home.While we were away, I happened to celebrate my birthday. I must say, I had the best birthday of my life! Many thanks again to Bernie and Hailun for making it all possible. Oh, and I’m at Bernies on Wednesdays and Fridays if you’d like to call and chat more with me.

David Baldrey, Bernies Music Land Head Technician. 

The 23rd National Bernstein Piano Competition

October 2010, Melbourne, Australia 

On Sunday, October 10, Bernies Music Land held the most anticipated event of my calendar year: The National Final of the Bernstein Piano Competition. This competition is Australia’s longest running, brand-sponsored, piano competition. It took place in conjunction with the celebration of the 33rd birthday of Bernies Music Land. This year was the 23rd consecutive year of the competition, sponsored by Bernstein Australia. We were delighted to host the finals of the competition, and to have competitors from all around Australia attend, including Melbourne Metro, Regional Victoria, Brisbane and Perth. 

Six Bernstein Masterclasses were held in Melbourne throughout the year, as well as several in Perth, Brisbane, Shepparton and Sydney. From these activities, students were selected by the conducting teacher and invited to participate in the National Bernstein Piano Competition.
The Junior Final (12 years & under) kicked off at 11am, and the Senior Final (13 – 16 years) at 2pm. Each section had 13 competitors.

The competition was adjudicated by two members from the Team of Pianists, Robert Chamberlain and Rohan Murray.

With the Bernies Music Land auditorium full for both sessions, the competition commenced. The standard of playing was tremendous and a number of participants had also received major prizes in recent eisteddfods. The tension in the room was intense as each performer prepared to give their all for a chance to win.

The junior division trophy was deservingly won by Vivian Chen, age 12, who impressed the judges with, Au bord d’une source by F. Liszt, and Scherzino by A. Benjamin. Second place was awarded to Oscar Jiang and the Syldon encouragement award was given to Jenny Chen.

The senior section (students under age 16), was an extraordinary display of musical maturity and technique. The crowd was treated to a feast of highly-challenging pieces, such as Etude by Scriabin, Debussy’s Garden in the Rain, and Mendelssohn’s Scherzo in E Minor. On a day where there could be multiple deserving winners, the major prize was awarded to13 year old David Wang, who performed Haydn’s Sonata in C - famously performed by Chinese pianist, Lang Lang, and Chopin’s Etude Op.10, No.4. The judges were impressed by his touch control and excellent attention to detail and phrasing. David’s father was especially pleased and relieved to see a winning performance from his son after many nerves. This was David’s first time to participate in the Bernstein Competition. David’s father commented on how well the competition was organised and thanked the Bernies Music Land staff for all their help and encouragement. Second place was awarded to Rachael Shipard. Rachael was the regional Perth finalist and is a past winner in the junior division of the Bernstein Competition. The Syldon encouragement award went to Angela Huang.

The Encouragement Awards were generously provided by Syldon Music Group, who hold musical events at their homes throughout the year and donate money to be used for the trophies and prizes for the third place position. We are absolutely delighted to have this generous contribution, coordinated by Don and Sylvia Curtis Morris. Sincere thanks for their support of this wonderful event and their encouragement to young pianists.

It was a fantastic day all round! As another very successful year of competition concluded, I am already preparing for next year, where I hope it we will see more impressive performances from all the young competitors. The Finalist of the Senior Final can be heard on radio 3MBS 103.5FM on the November 26, 2010 between 1:30pm – 4:30pm.

Lester C.

The 22nd National Bernstein Piano Competition

October, 2009, Melbourne, Australia 

Did you know that the Bernstein Piano Competition is the longest running piano competition in Australia? It began in 1988, when Bernstein Australia and the Team of Pianists decided that their popular Masterclass series should include a competition opportunity with awards for the young pianists. Since then, the Bernstein Competition has boasted winners including Rebecca Chambers, Rohan Murray (of the Team of Pianists) and many talented stars. 

This year, the Bernstein Masterclass and Competition series was well supported with entrants. At each of the Masterclasses, the conducting teacher invited some students to perform in the National Bernstein Piano Competition on Sunday, October 4 at Bernies Music Land. This included students selected from Bernstein Masterclasses held in Perth, Brisbane and Shepparton, where the Team of Pianists and guest teachers had traveled to conduct sessions.

For the third time now, radio 3MBS arrived early on October 4 to set up their high-tech equipment so they could broadcast two hours of beautiful piano music LIVE around Melbourne (and around the world, in fact, with pod casting!). This was the Senior Division of the National Bernstein Competition; with students aged from 13 to 16 years. The competition was adjudicated by the wonderful Judith Lambdon and Rohan Murray. 

The Junior Award Winners were:

1st: Vivian Chen
2nd: Selwyn Kwok
Enc: Justin Kwong

The Senior Award Winners were: 

1st: Anna Wong
2nd: Adam Chen

Enc: Jazer Ru Jing Lee

Michelle C. 

The 21st National Bernstein Piano Competition

October 2008, Melbourne, Australia 

Weekend at Bernies is our most exciting time of the year. It marks the birthday of Bernies Music Land on October 10 (31 years now!) and we celebrate by hosting a wonderful range of activities, including a sale weekend with free lucky dip, guest artists performing live at Bernies on the Saturday and, on the Sunday, the National Finals of the Bernstein Piano Competition. For the second year running, the Bernstein Competition was broadcast live to radio 3MBS from here at the store. 

Sunday featured with both the Junior and Senior Bernstein Competition finals. This year was the 21st Bernstein Piano Competition and it continues to grow! Regional winners from Perth, Brisbane and Shepparton were offered tickets to Melbourne to compete in the finals and we were pleased to host them for the weekend. Throughout the year, heats were held here in Melbourne and also in Perth at the Bernstein representative store, Piano Magic, at the Brisbane Bernstein representative store, Morris Brothers Musical Store, and in Shepparton as part of the National Piano Competition activities. 

In the Junior division (under 12 years), Evangeline Drinnan traveled from Shepparton as the selected finalist from the regional heats. It was certainly worth the visit for Rachael Shipard from Brisbane, who was selected as the representing finalist and took home the first place prize. She was delighted to have both her Mum and her music teacher with her to witness this great achievement. Second place was awarded to brilliant local piano student, Adrian Li and third place to Miranda Ng.

The Senior division (13 to 16 years) showcased some exemplary performances, including from Perth finalist, Carmen Gawthorpe. First place was awarded to outstanding local student, Jennifer Zheng, followed by second place winner, Arthur Athan and third place, Gregory Liston. 

The Bernstein Masterclass and Competition series continues to be a popular national activity and I hope you can be a part of the activities next year.

A special thank you to Max Cooke, Darryl Coote, Robert Chamberlain and Rohan Murray of the Team of Pianists, who have great involvement in the Bernstein Masterclass and Competition series. During the year, Bernstein Australia was pleased to send Robert Chamberlain to Perth to conduct the heats at Piano Magic, then in August, Max Cooke and Rohan Murray travelled to Brisbane and the Gold Coast to conduct heats and give seminars to piano teachers. Even with their busy schedules, the Team of Pianists is generous with their time in supporting these educational activities. They also make a great contribution to the Competition day, as adjudicators and in lending a hand with whatever is needed. Thank you, again! The weekend ran seamlessly and there were smiling faces from each of the people (almost 200) who came through the doors. 

Bernie C.  

The 19th National Bernstein Piano Competition

October 2006, Melbourne Australia 

This year was the 19th Bernstein Piano Competition, which will lead to an exciting 20th anniversary in 2007. The talent demonstrated by the young performers is inspiring.
Throughout the Competition’s history, the Team of Pianists has played a significant role in adjudicating and supporting our coordination of this event. This year, adjudicators were Rohan Murray (principal member of the Team) and special guest Len Vorster. Both hold a wealth of experience in piano performance and adjudication. I am sure they had an immensely hard task in selecting the winner!
It was lovely to see the support from families, and especially teachers, in attending the Sunday afternoon finals on October 1. I believe that there are three things that contribute to a student’s success with piano studies; the first is a good teacher that the student responds well to. The second is keen encouragement from families at home and the third is a good piano on which to practice (this is where we fit in!). Congratulations to the parents and teachers for their great support.
Last year, the Bernstein Piano Competition introduced an encouragement award in addition to the first, second and third place awards in the Senior section (age 13 to 17 years). This award was generously donated by a spectacular group of MusiClub members. Thank you to Sylvia and Don Curtis-Morris for raising and coordinating this award. For 2006, we were thrilled to be offered an additional encouragement award for the Junior section (age 12 years and under). This meant that there were eight awards to be allocated between 22 performers – excellent odds!
Special congratulations to the following prizewinners, who were awarded beautiful trophies and generous cash prizes thanks to Bernstein Australia.

Junior Senior
1st Place: Anna Wong 1st Place: Celeste Cari
2nd Place: Adrian Li 2nd Place: Jessie Tan
3rd Place: Annie Yang 3rd Place: Alex Yao
Encouragement: Tracy Wu Encouragement: James Cheung.

An attractive trophy is also provided as a “Teacher Award” to the teacher of the 1st place winners in both divisions. They deserve to gloat a bit too!
The Bernstein Masterclass and Piano Competition will experience some small changes for 2007. The first; Masterclass participation will not be open to all ages. It will be restricted to Juniors (12 years and under) and seniors (13 to 17 years). Masterclasses will be conducted in these two age groups. The second change; Masterclasses will not only be held on Sunday afternoons. There will be a range of times available, including Saturday mornings and during the school holidays.
I hope that you can join us in 2007 for this wonderful series. Enrolment forms will be available in February and will be included in the March edition of MusiClub. Please note the dates in your diary and, if you would like to reserve any places, please phone me on 9872 5122 or email . Looking forward to seeing you next year! Michelle C.

Bernstein Competition Around Australia
Did you know that the Bernstein Masterclass and Piano Competition series are not only held in Melbourne? For many years, the National Piano Award in Shepparton, has featured a Regional Bernstein Masterclass. Four prizes are awarded thanks to Bernstein Australia; two to Junior and two to Senior participants. The Team of Pianists also carries out this event. The winners are then invited to participate in the Bernstein Competition finals here in Melbourne in October. This year, Celeste Cari made the long car journey to perform and, as you can see above, won the Melbourne division Senior 1st place award. What a brilliant young performer!
In addition to Shepparton, the Bernstein Masterclass and Piano Competition series are now conducted in Perth with Bernstein retailer, Gary Bailey of Piano Magic. Piano Magic are a piano specialist located in Belmont, Western Australia. They find many good homes for Bernstein and Schimmel pianos plus have some pre-loved pianos for sale. Piano Magic’s facilities include a comfortable seminar room where they hold the Masterclasses and other events like Teacher Seminars.
Piano Magic conducted their first Bernstein Masterclass & Piano Competition this year, carried out by Darryl Coote of the Team of Pianists. The events were received famously and Piano Magic looks forward to developing the series for next year. We wish them every success and look forward to keeping you up to date with their exciting news. 

Michelle C. 


The 18th National Bernstein Piano Competition 

October 2005, Melbourne, Australia 

Bernies Music Land is thrilled to be able to provide the Bernstein Piano Competition annually for young piano students. This competition has been running since 1988 and has showcased and supported a great number of talented young musicians.

The competition for 2005 was held on Sunday October 2, here at the store. Students who have participated in the Bernstein Masterclass series during the year can be invited to participate in the competition. The students come along with their families and friends (this event is free) and perform two contrasting songs with time limits. Our fantastic adjudicators were Professor Max Cooke and Rohan Murray of the Team of Pianists and we are very grateful for their support and encouragement of the participants.

The Bernstein Competition isa colourful display of some of the most exciting talent in young piano players. The selection of music played was equally exciting, with classical to modern music and even a few jazzy pieces. It was truly an entertaining afternoon full of enthusiastic student performances.

All the students displayed great commitment to their piano studies and it was lovely to see all the families and teachers coming along for support. One comment from the adjudicators was that the performers really need to harness the “expression” in their playing, because performing is much more than just getting the notes right. This skill is developed by practicing on a piano that will give you good dynamic response – this is why we reinforce the importance of a good piano for students. To find out more about what makes a piano ‘high performance’, please phone us here at the store on 9872 5122.

Special congratulations to all the Bernstein Competition participants and especially to the winners. We hope that the prize money will come to good use and that the trophies will be a lasting encouragement for their dedicated efforts.
Junior Finalists: Julian Tran, Jessie Tan, Jesika Clark, Anna Wong, Christopher Small, Ying Xing Niu, Naveh Duir-Ovadia, Katrina Liston, Karolyn Chenh, Timothy Liu.
Junior 1st Place Winner: Timothy Liu
Junior 2nd Place Winner: Jessie Tan
Junior Encouragement Award: Naveh Duir-Ovadia
Senior Finalists: Claire DiLallo, Francis Lai, Rachael Lim, Celeste Cari (Bernstein Competition Shepparton regional winner) Daniel Liston, Stephanie Van der Koogh, Marc Ngan, Stacy Jiamin Long, Gergory Liston, Berenice Cheng, Matthew Suen, Any Nyan.
Senior 1st Place Winner: Celeste Cari
Senior 2nd Place Winner: Gregory Liston
Senior Encouragement Award: Matthew Suen

Syldon Music Group Encouragement Award: Francis Lai

Bernies Music Land was delighted this year to announce the addition of a $100 encouragement award given to a senior Bernstein Competition participant. This award was generously donated by the Syldon Music Group and aims to continue annually. The adjudicators presented this award to Francis Lai.

We sincerely thank Don and Sylvia Curtis-Morris and the Syldon Music Group for their support of todays talented young piano students.

Michelle C.