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Multi-awarded musician closes national music competition

Cameron Williams, 22, the overall winner of the 2016 National Youth Music Competition returns on Saturday 12 October 2019 to perform as the guest soloist at the concluding gala concert of this year’s competition at the Hugo Lambrechts Auditorium in Parow, Cape Town.

Three years since he triumphantly won the gold medal and first prize of the National Youth Music Competition (NYMC), the talented clarinettist and saxophonist Cameron Williams this week returns to the prestigious competition to star as the guest soloist at the Finalists’ Gala Concert on Saturday 12 October at 19:00.

He will perform Scaramouche by French composer, Darius Milhaud in the concert finale with the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra (CPO), conducted by Brandon Phillips. His performance will conclude the challenging 2019 NYMC that runs from 8 to 12 October at the Hugo Lambrechts Auditorium in Parow, Cape Town.

The curtain raiser for the gala concert is the Candide overture by Leonard Bernstein, performed by the Cape Town Philharmonic Youth Orchestra (CPYO). Their piece is followed by performances by the six finalists of the NYMC who will be announced on Thursday 10 October.

Originally from Pretoria, Cameron is currently in his fourth year of a Bachelor of Music degree in clarinet performance at the University of Stellenbosch. Daniel Prozesky is his clarinet tutor, while Dr Arisa Voges at the Hugo Lambrechts Music Centre is his saxophone teacher.

Cameron is the principal clarinetist of the University of Stellenbosch Symphony Orchestra and Wind Band.

“I am excited to return to the platform which contributed so much to my growth as a musician and gave me so many opportunities going forward. It is an honour to be invited back to the NYMC as the guest artist. I wish all the competitors in this year’s competition the best of luck,” he says.

The annual competition with R145 000 in prizes is presented by the National Youth Music Foundation (NYMF). It started 35 years ago in Port Elizabeth by Michael Maas, founder and chairman of the foundation.

The NYMC Finalists’ Gala Concert is the culmination of a week-long gruelling competition where the 17 selected contestants from across South Africa perform an extensive repertoire of works in front of a nine-member adjudicating panel of esteemed classical music academics and experts.

The top six competitors do their final battle at the gala concert where they play with the CPO.

“The City of Cape Town is proud to partner with the NYMC to showcase the talents of our young classical musicians and provide them with the opportunity to hone their performance skills in the world-renowned auditorium of the Hugo Lambrechts Music Centre.

As an opportunity city, we understand the importance of providing platforms to young performers to develop and promote their abilities, and experience what will be required of them as professional musicians. Cape Town is a city with an abundance of undiscovered talent, and we look forward to seeing our gifted young musicians sharing this platform with artists from around the country,” says Cllr Zahid Badroodien, mayoral committee member for community services and health.

The finalists’ gala concert on Saturday 12 October starts at 19:00. Tickets cost R120, R90 for pensioners, students and learners. 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 8 to 10 October at the Hugo Lambrechts Auditorium.