Incubating China’s classical music stars

Updated: 2015-09-07 00:14


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Incubating China’s classical music stars<BR>

Professor Klaus Kaufmann, head judge for the piano category, plays at Huafa and CPAA Grand Theater in Zhuhai, where the International contest will be held.


An upcoming international classical music competition in the southern coastal city of Zhuhai, Guangdong province, will make its debut on Sept. 13.

The two-week Zhuhai International Mozart Competition for Young Musicians is named after the great Austrian composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and will be the first endeavor between the Zhuhai government and the Mozarteum University of Salzburg, a top music academy in Europe. The event will be held in Zhuhai every two years.

The competition will comprise two categories — piano and violin — with each category separated into three different age groups: Up to 14, 17 and 23.

In total, 77 pianists and 60 violinists from 23 countries and regions have been shortlisted from 535 applicants worldwide.

“The level of technical skills and musicality at this age, specifically in the first group with kids between 9 and 14 years, is extremely and astonishingly high,” said Paul Roczek, violin professor at the Mozarteum University. “There are almost no international competitions of this kind in Asia.

“The jurors, all outstanding experts, will help promote the young winners to an international career.”

First-prize winners will have the opportunity to show their artistic abilities in Austria and Germany, while first-prize winners in the age bracket of 18 to 23 will be directly accepted to participate in the Mozart Competition 2016.

“Top musicians might surface out of the Zhuhai competition,” said Yang Jingmao, vice president of the National Center for the Performing Arts. “The event will also push forward art education for youngsters, develop the passion of more gifted children for music, and encourage them to engage in music.”

Describing how the Austrian music academy joined hands with Zhuhai, Lu Yao, executive director of the competition, said Zhuhai’s ideal environment, superb infrastructure and strong atmosphere of classical music were among the prime reasons.

“After all, premier international music events prefer cities with an outstanding environment,” Lu said.

The competition, together with many other international activities, will likewise strike a strong note for Zhuhai’s aspiration as the city goes international, analysts said.

The city is hosting a number of events this year, including an international boat show in September, an international sand beach and music festival in October and an international circus festival and a Women’s Tennis Association tournament in November.

Zhuhai has been the host city of the biennial Airshow China, one of the world’s top air shows, since 1996.

The city was also rated a “foreigners’ favorite city in China” by the Globe Biweekly magazine of Xinhua News Agency in 2013.

“International events are necessary for the city,” said Min Yuntong, deputy director of the city’s culture, sports and tourism bureau.

“They help attract tourists from home and abroad, create opportunities for business networking and tourism promotions, and polish the city’s international image.”