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Vermaak | Entertainment > Musiek | Music > Optredes | Gigs

Sixteen pianists to compete in Fourth Unisa National Piano Competiton


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Fourth Unisa National Piano Competiton
ZK Matthews Great Hall, Pretoria
9 – 16 July 2011
Tickets: Final round: R85 – R160

Sixteen young South African pianists will vie for the first prize worth R60 000 in the Fourth Unisa National Piano Competition, as well as qualifying for one of three  coveted places in the International Piano Competition early next year. The winners of the top three places will be automatically entered into the International Piano Competition.

Starting Saturday 9 July at 09.30, this exciting but taxing event is scheduled to run until the grand finale a week later on 16 July 2011 in the ZK Matthews Great Hall. None other than the great Iranian conductor, Alexander Rahbari, famous for his work with young musicians, will fly out from his home in Vienna to conduct Unisa’s own Symphony Orchestra, consisting of professional musicians, as well as young players from the Unisa Music Foundation’s training project.

Quite a few successful large concerts with the orchestra have been presented, but this will be their first chance of accompanying the concert finalists in performing their concertos in the final round.

The organisers have chosenseveral possible concertos of which the competing pianists may choose from, apart from their wide repertoire of solo music to be performed. The orchestra has to study in all the concertos.  

The competition is presented to give young South African pianists experience with the requirements and procedures of an international piano competition. The intention is that the preparation for and participation in this event will toughen the nerves and stamina of competitors for possible participation in the 12th Unisa International Piano Competition 2012.

For that reason the repertoire requirements correspond very closely to that of the 2012 international piano competition. Furthermore, competitors will be subject to the same adjudication criteria and processes applicable to international piano competitions. They will be judged on each one of their performances and judged on the whole.

The jury members are: Retha-Louise Hofmeyr (Director of the Arts in Namibia), Bongani Ndodana (composer), John Roos (Artistic Director of the Unisa National and International Music Competitions), Helena van Heerden (concert pianist), Nicol Viljoen (pianist and Head of the Music Department of the University of the Free State).

The competitors were chosen to perform in alphabetical order in the three sessions per day: 09.30, 14:00 and 17:00.

Only four of the South Africans are studying overseas, one of whom, Jan Hugo, originally from Pretoria, moved to Imola in Italy at the tender age of 13 where he has studied ever since. He gave his first concert tour in South Africa last year. Six of the sixteen pianists study in Pretoria. The youngest competitor is Caryn Reed from Bethlehem is 16 years of age and the oldest, Janette Rottcher from Nelspruit is 27.

The competitors, in order of appearance, are:
James Bester (25) from Port Elizabeth, studying in London, UK; Jean-Pierre Calitz (26) from Bloemfontein (Montréal, Canada), Pieter Crathorne (25) Stellenbosch ( Michigan, USA) ; Lourens Fick (20) Paarl; Jan Hugo (20), Imola, Italy;. Jannie le Roux (25) Pretoria; Misha Meyer, 20 Pretoria; Nina Phillips (22) Pretoria; Megan-Geoffrey Prins (21) Stellenbosch; Olga Rademan (23) Cape Town; Caryn Reed (16) Bethlehem; Richard Rheeder (21) Bloemfontein; Janette Rottcher (27) Nelspruit; Leandra Smith  (24) Pretoria and Sophia Wu (25) Pretoria.

The main prize money totalling R125 000 is as follows: First Prize – R60 000, Second Prize – R40 000, Third prize – R25 000. Various special prizes will be awarded as well.

The prize winners of the previous three Unisa National Piano Competitions are Mark Nixon, Ben Schoeman and Johan Botes.

Tickets for the final round of the 4th Unisa National Piano Competition (R85 – R160) are now available at Computicket. Booking is absolutely necessary.

Tickets for Rounds 1 and 2 (R20 per session) and 3 (R25 per session) will be available at the door. The competition will take place in the ZK Matthews Great Hall, Theo van Wijk Building, Unisa Main Campus, Pretoria.

For further information: Aletta Joubert 012 429-3311/2244/3336/3900 or joubeae@unisa.ac.za.