SIXTEEN of South Africa’s most talented classical musicians between the ages of 14 and 19 have qualified for the final round of the National Youth Music Competition (NYMC), which will be held from October 11-15 at Hugo Lambrechts Music Centre in Parow.
The final sessions of the competition take place next week, culminating in the winning participants performing at a concert with the Cape Philharmonic Orchestra on Saturday
According to Kerry Friedman from Madiba Music, the NYMC is one of South Africa’s most prestigious classical music events and is celebrating 33 years.
“NYCM has successfully nurtured this platform, discovering tons of young brilliance and producing top musicians such as Pieter Schoeman who is the conductor of the London Philharmonic Orchestra; Jeffrey Armstrong who is the leader of the Cape Town Philharmonic Youth Orchestra, Sulayman Human, Sakhile Humbane and Eben Wagenstroon.”
Auditions and selections were carried out throughout South Africa with six of the finalists from Cape Town. They are Jean Botha and Annerike du Plessis from Bellville, Lisa Britz from Stellenberg, Emilio February from Pinelands, Shannon Sorimgear from Tygerberg and Caroline Robertson from Newlands.
“Positioned as the third largest music competition for classical musicians, NYMC caters for emerging musicians who are below the age limit for the Unisa International Music Competition and the ATKV Muziq competition,” Friedman said. The 16 contestants will be performing in one of five categories: namely piano, strings, wind, brass and other, which encompasses percussion, harp and marimba.
“They will all take part in two rounds during which each competitor is required to play four works from at least three different 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. After the two rounds, 12 contestants will be selected for the third round.
“After many months of hard work, heartfelt dedication and mounting anticipation the top six contestants are chosen to perform with the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra at an esteemed gala concert under the baton of Brandon Phillips. “This will be followed by a closing ceremony and announcement of prize winners,” Friedman said. Winners will receive cash and other prizes totalling more than R150 000 and gold, silver and bronze medals will be awarded.
The prize money was donated by the Rupert Music Foundation and OAK (Overstrand Arts/Kunste). National Youth Music Foundation chairman Michael Maas said: “An added attraction to this year’s competition is the addition of a second and third overall prize. “The adjudicators for 2016 include prominent academics and musicians whose expertise cover most of the instruments represented in the competition.”
All the rounds are open to the public and entrance for the first three rounds is free.