ABC Symphony Australia Young Performers Finalists Announced

Katerina Nazarova, winner of the 2012 ABC Symphony Australia Young Performers Awards
Katerina Nazarova, winner of the 2012 ABC Symphony Australia Young Performers Awards

Symphony Australia has announced the 12 finalists who will compete for the 2013 ABC Symphony Australia Young Performers Awards, The competition takes on a new format akin to a ‘mini-festival’ which will run from the 4-12th October in Melbourne.

The finalists will showcase their talents in 7 public concerts in 3 rounds of competition over 10 days demonstrating their versatility with recital, chamber music and concerto performances. The winner will receive $25,000 in cash, the ABC Sir Charles Moses Young Performer’s Trophy, a professional CD recording, a paid performance with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, media training and photo shoot and a feature interview in Limelight magazine.  The Sir Charles Moses Trophy is a perpetual trophy presented in honour of Sir Charles Moses, who was Managing Director of the ABC from 1935-1965.

New additions to the prize pool include four prizes of $5000 each  for the winners of People’s Choice Award, Best Recital Performance, Best Chamber Music Performance and Best Performance of an Australian Work, as well as two Concerto Finalist Prizes of $7500 for each of the runners-up. In this new format, prizes will no longer be awarded according to instrumental categories and all 12 finalists are eligible to win prizes.

The Young Performers Awards is a collaboration between Symphony Australia and the ABC. During its 69 year history, the competition has discovered and nurtured talented young Australian musicians. The new format for the competition introduced in 2013 integrates key changes in which a chamber music round has been introduced, instrument categories with a set number of finalists have been removed, and  the presentation of the finals rounds in a festival format.

Underlying these changes is the recognition that musicians today need to demonstrate a variety of skills in several genres. The changes broaden the requirements of the competition while still honouring the long history of the event. They also represent a response by Symphony Australia to audience demands to hear more from the competitors, and to have the opportunity to cast their own votes. As well as being open to the public, the seven concerts will be broadcast on ABC Classic FM.

“Symphony Australia is excited about the changes taking place in the ABC Symphony Australia Young Performers Awards this year. Performers will be able to showcase their skills to a greater degree than in the past, and audiences will have more opportunity to hear outstanding performances, and get involved through voting for the People’s Choice award!” says Kate Lidbetter, CEO of Symphony Services International.

“With the final stages including concerto, chamber music and solo recital components, the musician who claims the title of Young Performer of the Year will have proved themselves outstanding in all areas of musical performance, demonstrating high technical proficiency, an understanding of the repertoire and an appreciation of musical style.”

The 12 finalists were selected after preliminary auditions held earlier this year. Ranging in age from 14 to 27 years, they play instruments including cello, violin, piano, oboe, euphonium and flute. In the October finals, all 12 competitors will perform in recitals, across four concerts in the Iwaki auditorium at the ABC Southbank Centre on 4 and 5 October.

Six finalists will be selected to proceed to the Chamber Music round in the next stage of the finals.  In this round they will collaborate with musicians from the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra to perform a chamber music work, in two concerts on 9 October in the Iwaki Auditorium.

The final three performers will contend for the title in the final round, performing their nominated Concerto with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Christopher Seaman, in the Melbourne Town Hall on Saturday 12 October.

All concerts in each stage of the finals are open to the public, broadcast live on ABC Classic FM and some concerts will be filmed by ABC TV for future broadcast.

Sarah Kim, 23 (VIC – Cello)
Anne-Marie Johnson, 22 (VIC – Violin)
Hoang Pham, 28 (VIC – Piano)
Andrew Kawai, 14 (VIC – Oboe)
Stefan Cassomenos, 28 (VIC – Piano)
Jonathon Ramsay, 19 (NSW – Euphonium)
Harry Ward, 17 (NSW – Violin)
Grace Clifford, 14 (NSW – Violin)
Anna Da Silva Chen, 16 (NSW – Violin)
Robbin Reza, 18 (NSW – Piano)
Alex Raineri, 20 (QLD – Piano)
Brijette Tubb, 24 (QLD – Flute)

Live concerts and broadcasts:
Friday 4 October, 1pm, Iwaki Auditorium  – Recital concert 1
Friday 4 October, 7pm, Iwaki Auditorium – Recital concert 2
Saturday 5 October, 1pm, Iwaki Auditorium – Recital concert 3
Saturday 5 October, 7pm, Iwaki Auditorium – Recital Concert 4
Wednesday 9 October, 1pm, Iwaki Auditorium – Chamber concert 1
Wednesday 9 October, 7pm, Iwaki Auditorium – Chamber concert 2
Saturday 12 October, 8pm, Melbourne Town Hall – Concerto concert

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