GEORGE TOWN: Penang-born musician Jason Lim (pic) has made the country proud by winning the 2011 Special Young Conductor Citation Award by The American Prize.
And he says it is all due to his strict mother.
“My mother was instrumental in my musical upbringing. She made me practise my piano at 5am before I went to school!
“Even now, I still wake up early to study for a couple of hours before I start my day,” said the 37-year-old via an email interview.
He said he would love to return to Malaysia to share his musical skills and experience.
“I would like very much to return to share my work, which I have done in the past. I would definitely come back if I receive an invitation,” he said.
According to http://theamericanprize.blogspot.com, Lim was recognised for his burgeoning leadership skills, which was evident both in rehearsal and performance in a broad repertoire.
However, Lim, who is based in Denton, Texas, admitted that he had a long way to go in the industry.
“I have yet to make it big. For me, this was just one small step. Nevertheless, the award is a recognition of my work and my art form,” he said.
Lim, a former student of St Xaviers Institution, left Penang at the age of 17 after winning a scholarship to study at the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts.
He later obtained his bachelor's degree with honours at the Australian Institute of Music in Sydney.
Winning an award is nothing new for Lim, who also won the New South Wales Ministry of Arts Conducting Prize in 1995.
On his future plans, Lim said he was working on starting a professional orchestra in Denton.
“The idea is still at its early stages.
“I am raising funds and am in the process of setting up a committee. So, it will be a while before our first concert,” he said.