2 Dec 2019

Gisborne International Music Competition starts today

From Upbeat, 12:00 pm on 2 December 2019

All this week talented young musicians will be giving their all at the Gisborne International Music Competition.

Gisborne sign

Gisborne sign Photo: Credit: BackpackerGuide.NZ

42 musicians from around New Zealand, Australia the UK and USA have arrived in Gisborne to perform this week. The first round starts today and continues until Wednesday. Semi-finals start Friday, with the grand final on Saturday evening.

Audiences will hear a range of work performed on cello, violin, double bass, tuba, saxophone, trombone, clarinet, trumpet, flute, oboe, viola and bassoon.

The musicians, aged between 16 and 25, have been asked to submit a programme of 45-55 minutes that covers at least two musical periods and includes at least one unaccompanied work. The semi-finalists and finalists are expected to perform a shorter recital. The finals will be streamed live on the competition's Facebook page.

Melanie Lançon

Melanie Lançon Photo: Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra supplied

The jury for this year’s competition include Melanie Lancon, the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra’s principal flutist and Julian Smiles, cellist of the Goldner String Quartet.

The Gisborne International Music Competition first started in 1989 following the devastating 1988 Cyclone Bola. It was established, with the support of Rotary Club of Gisborne, to support the music community following the cyclone. This is its 31st year.

The top prize is $10,000 with the runner up receiving $5,000. The most promising player will receive $2,000 and seven specialist prizes – from the Bach Prize to woodwind/brass – worth $1,000 each.

Gisborne International Music Competition 2017 finalists Hahnsol Kim, Alexander McFarlane & Oliver Shermacher

Gisborne International Music Competition 2017 finalists Hahnsol Kim, Alexander McFarlane & Oliver Shermacher Photo: Supplied

Musicians will also get out into the community, sharing knowledge and skills with primary and secondary students in the region.

Entry to the competition performances is free to the public all week and is being held at the War Memorial Theatre.

Competition manager Mark La Roche speaks to David Morris about this competition, what the judges are looking for and what the audiences can expect.