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Top youth musicians selected for prime national competition

A total of 21 young classical musicians between the ages of 14 and 19 have been selected to participate in the 33rd National Youth Music Competition from 10 to 14 October at the Hugo Lambrechts Auditorium in Parow, Cape Town.

With an average age of 16,7 years, the contestants were selected, following auditions across the country. They come from the Free State, Eastern Cape, Gauteng, the Western Cape and Namibia.

They will compete in one of four categories, namely piano, strings, wind and other (percussion, harp, marimba, etc.). There are four entries in the wind section, six for strings, ten pianists and one percussionist.

On top of the more than R145 000 in prizes, gold, silver and bronze medals; the overall winner will also be invited to perform in concerts at Overstrand Arts in Hermanus, as well as at the Darling Music Experience. Western Cape finalist/s will be invited by the Hugo Lambrechts Trust to perform at a concert at the Hugo Lambrechts Auditorium.

“To be selected for the competition is already an achievement for each of the contestants. This year, more than a third of the competitors are from previously disadvantaged groups,” says Michael Maas, Founder and Chairman of the National Youth Music Foundation (NYMF).

The youngest two contestants, age 14, are from Gauteng, respectively playing the violin and the piano. There are 11 contestants from the Western Cape, six from Gauteng, two from the Free State and one from the Eastern Cape.

The National Youth Music Competition, presented by the NYMF in association with the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra (CPO) and Fine Music Radio, (FMR), caters for classical musicians who are too young to qualify for the UNISA International Music and the ATKV Muziq competitions; or too old for the SAMRO Hubert van der Spuy National Music Competition.

Over the past three decades, the event has produced top musicians such as Pieter Schoeman (leader of the London Philharmonic Orchestra), Jeffrey Armstrong (former leader of the Cape Town Philharmonic Youth Orchestra, Sakhile Humbane, (studying at the SA College of Music, University of Cape Town), Eben Wagenstroom (studying in Cincinnati, USA) and Myles Roberts (currently studying in Milan, Italy, and who will perform as guest artists at this year’s Finalists’ Gala Concert).

Other established musicians who emanate from the competition are Nina Schumann, Petronel Malan, and Thapelo Masita to name a few.

“This is the third largest music competition for classical musicians in South Africa. This year the overall winner will walk away with R30 000 in cash and the only gold medal.

“It is the only music competition in the country where the top six finalists are afforded the privilege to perform with the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra (CPO),” says Maas.

All contestants take part in the first two rounds, after which a maximum of 12 players go through to the third round. Thereafter, six finalists are chosen to perform with the CPO at a gala concert under the baton of Resident Conductor of the CPO, Brandon Philips.

The panel of adjudicators includes Farida Bacharova (strings), Francois du Toit (piano), John Hinch (wind), Melane Hofmeyr-Burger (wind), Michael Maas (chairman), Kutlwane Masote (strings), Pauline Nossel (piano) and Vaughan Petersen (Principal, Frank Pietersen Music Centre, Paarl).

“As part of the NYMF vision to identify, expose and develop youth music, a shadow jury, consisting of former contestants, is an integral part of the competition. Through the shadow jury, the Foundation ensures that a new generation of adjudicators is being established,” says Maas.

The shadow jury cannot influence the team of adjudicators. Sponsored by UNISA, they will choose the most promising semi-finalist who didn’t go through to the finals. This year the shadow jury will be guided by Dr Arisa Voges. The names of the shadow jury will be announced closer to the competition.

  • The finalists’ gala concert on 17 October starts at 19:00. Tickets cost R120, R90 for pensioners, students and leraners.  Bookings can be made at Computicket 0861 915 8000, Shoprite and Checkers outlets, or online at www.computicket.com.
  • Entrance is free to the first free rounds from 10 to 12 October at the Hugo Lambrechts Auditorium. Find the schedule for the first three rounds of the National Youth Music Competition at http://www.nymc.co.za/schedule.php.

Final contestants in the 2017 National Youth Music Competition

Surname

Name

Age

Instrument

Home

School/University

Boshoff

Beate

16

Piano

Bethlehem

Voortrekker High School

Brodie

Daniel

17

Piano

East London

Stirling High School

Bruiners

Nicholas

19

Violin

Mowbray

 

Choi

Jacqueline

15

Piano

Durbanville

Fairmont High School

Coetzee

Eike

15

Violin

Windhoek

Windhoek Afrikaans Private School

Coetzee

Zoe

17

Violin

Stellenbosch

Bloemhof Girls High School

Cyster

David

17

Clarinet

Soneike

El Shaddai

De Decker

Amber

17

Violin

Mowbray

Herschel Girls High

Du Toit

Colette

17

Piano

Garsfontein

Afrikaans Hoër Meisieskool Pretoria

February

Emilio

19

Percussion

Elsies River

University of Stellenbosch

Grobbelaar

Reinhardt

16

Piano

Bloemfontein

Grey College

Huan

Leo

14

Piano

Pretoria

Crawford College

Kellner

Gilah

14

Violin

Parklands, Jhb

Homeschool

Lawson

Ethan

16

Cello

Durbanville

Homeschool

Lemmer

Rosemarie

19

Piano

Garsfontein, Pta

Univ of Pretoria

Moon

Ah-Young

14

Piano

Stellenbosch

Rhenish Girls High

Pienaar

Nadia

18

Flute

Malmesbury

Homeschool

Schaap

Jolandi

19

Piano

Menlo Park, Pta

Univ of Pretoria

Steynberg

Althea

18

Flute

Roodepoort

Homeschool

 

The National Youth Music Competition is supported by the Oppenheimer Memorial Trust, the Rupert Music Foundation, Joan St Leger Lindbergh Charitable Trust, Nussbaum Foundation, National Lottery Commission, Overstrand Arts, UNISA.

ISSUED BY FRIKKIE ODENDAAL FOR THE NATIONAL YOUTH MUSIC FOUNDATION (NYMF)

Media Enquiries:      

*Michael Maas, Chairman, NYMF, Tel: 083 659 2808

*Frikkie Odendaal, Tel: 082 577 0409 or e-mail: odendaal@afrikom.co.za

 *Individual photos of contestants available from odendaal@afrikom.co.za