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Rising Classical Stars Lift The Bar At National Competition

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The six finalists competed against each other with the accompaniment of the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra.

Rising Classical Stars Lift The Bar At National Competition

Three young musicians triumphed over the weekend in the 2021 National Youth Music Competition (NYMC). The competition crested on Saturday 11 December with a gala concert at the Hugo Lambrechts Auditorium in Parow, Cape Town.

The six finalists competed against each other with the accompaniment of the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Brandon Phillips in a Covid protocoled capacity-filled auditorium.

The 19-year-old Gerhard Joubert, a pianist and second-year music student at the University of Cape Town walked away with the sought after first prize of R30 000 and the gold medal. He also bagged the first prize of the piano category, plus two additional prizes, the best performance of a South African work in any round, as well as R5 000 for the best performance of a concerto in the final round.

The silver medal and R12 500 prize went to the 19-year-old viola player, Eike Coetzee, a matriculant at the Musikgymnasium Schloss Belvedere in Germany. He was the strings category winner and also won R5 000 together with Gerhard Joubert for the best performance of a concerto in the final round. Eike also palmed in the Polina Burdukova prize of R5 000 for the best performance by a string instrumentalist of a work by a Russian composer.

Flautist Daniël Spies, 15, from Roodepoort in Gauteng took the bronze medal and R8 000 prize money. He also won the woodwind category, palming in a silver medal and R5 000.

Kyrah Adams, 15, a learner at Paarl Gymnasium walked away as the winner of the other orchestral instruments category, playing the xylophone/marimba.

The NYMC, this year celebrated 37 years of music excellence. A record total of 26 contestants competed from 6 to 11 December over four rounds. Each had to perform a vast repertoire of works from different style periods, adjudicated by eight esteemed music experts.

"Despite the ominous cloud of the global Covid-19 pandemic, these rising stars have raised the bar for the competition," says Michael Maas, founder of the competition and chairman of the National Youth Music Foundation. "Every participant - all 26 excelled in their own right."

The category runners-up were Leo Huan, 18, from Pretoria (piano) and Mike Wang, 14, from Paarl (piano), Pieter Joubert, 19, a UCT student from Bloemfontein (strings) and Esihle Mthethwa, 16 (woodwind) from Pietermaritzburg.

There were six recipients of the Michael Masote prize of R2 000 for promising candidates in each of the five competition categories who did not play in the third and fourth rounds of the competition. They were pianists Karlin Kock, 19, Jacqueline Choi, 19 and Ying-Shan Tseng, 18. In the other categories, it was Pendo Masote, 17 (strings), Jaimie Miller, 18 (brass instruments) and Kagiso Ramosa, 20, (woodwind).


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