The Artscape National Youth Music Competition is striking a royal flush this year with contestants participating in all four categories of the contest for the first time since its inception in 2007. The competition runs from 1 to 5 October in the Artscape Theatre. The final round on the 5.
Twenty three gifted musicians between the ages of 14 and 19 years have been selected at auditions to compete in the categories for piano, strings, wind instruments, and other orchestral instruments.
"This is one of the top three music competitions in South Africa, and the only one where the finalists compete against each other, accompanied by the Cape Philharmonic Orchestra (CPO). We are thrilled to have a royal flush with a percussionist and a harpist joining the challenge," says Artscape CEO, Michael Maas.
This prestigious annual event offers cash prizes totalling more than R110 000, as well as gold, silver and bronze medals. Category winners and their runners-up also gain free entry to a UNISA grade examination in 2014.
Last year's contest rendered a dramatic result when two talented young pianists, Kensuke Kawajiri (14) and Sulayman Human (19), shared the laurels after receiving perfect, matching scores from eight adjudicators.
"This national competition caters for emerging musicians who are below the age limit for the UNISA International Music Competition and the ATKV Muziq competition. Having players in all four categories confirms our belief that there is a lot of undiscovered young talent out there," says Maas.
Each contestant takes part in the first two rounds, after which a maximum of twelve competitors go through to the third round. Thereafter, six finalists are chosen to perform with the CPO at a gala concert under the baton of British maestro, Tim Murray.
During the first two rounds, each competitor must play four works from at least three different style periods. One of the works must be a movement from a classical or romantic sonata. A later style period is allowed for brass instruments and saxophone.
In the third round, contestants playa 20-minute recital of contrasting works, as well as a movement from a concerto; or a single work for the chosen instrument; or two movements from a concerto; or a complete concerto with piano accompaniment.
This year's adjudicators include prominent academics and musicians from across South Africa, whose expertise covers most of instruments represented in the competition. They are Ella Fourie (Piano), John Hinch (Flute), Franklin Leary (Piano), Marion Lewin (Cello), Michael Maas (CEO of Artscape), Suzanne Martens (Violin), Kutlwano Masote (Violin) and Brandon Phillips (Bassoon) and Polina Burdukova (Cello).
In collaboration with UNISA, Artscape last year introduced a shadow jury consisting of former contestants to train them to becoming future music adjudicators. The feedback has been overwhelmingly positive," says Maas.
The shadow jury this year consists of Matthew Ferrandi (Clarinet), one of last year's overall winners, Sulayman Human (Piano), Sang Woo Jun (Violin), Myles Roberts (Flute), Lieva Starker (Violin), Louise Theart (Flute) and the 2011 overall winner Eben Wagenstroom (Piano). They will be advised by Arisa Voges and Sean Adams from UNISA.
All the rounds are open to the public. Entrance is free for the first three rounds and performed in the Artscape Theatre.
Round One Tuesday 1 October: Session 1: 15:00 - 17:30. Session 2: 19:00 - 21:30
Round Two Wednesday 2 October: Session 1: 09:00 - 12:45. Session 2: 14:00 - 17:45
Round Three Thursday 3 October: Session 1: 10:00 - 12:20. Session 2: 14:00 - 16:20
Session 3: 19:00 - 21:20.
The final round on 5 October at 19.30 cost R100 per person. Block bookings of 10 or more, less 10%, Pensioners, Students and Scholars 5-15 years R40. Book through Artscape Dial-a-Seat 021 421-7695, Computicket, Shoprite and Checkers outlets, call 0861 915 8000 or on line www.computicket.com
The National Youth Music Competition is presented by Artscape in association with the Cape Philharmonic Orchestra, the City of Cape Town, Rupert Music Foundation and Fine Music Radio.