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Tuesday, October 14, 2008


(Pictured: Maestro Victor Yampolsky embraces Jacqueline Wedderburn-Maxwell while the competition’s organiser, Michael Mass, looks on)

Young Durban violinist wins national youth music competition.

A talented young classical violinist of Durban North walked off with the laurels at the Artscape National Youth Music competition held in Cape Town on October 11.

Jacqueline Wedderburn-Maxwell, 15, clinched the gold medal and R10,000 prize from seven finalists at the glittering finalists’ gala concert where she performed the first movement from Tchaikovsky’s Concerto for Violin and Orchestra in D Major, Op 35 with the Cape Philharmonic Orchestra.

As part of her first prize, she will be invited to perform in recitals Nederburg in Paarl and Hilton College near Pietermaritzburg in 2009. She also won the Pieter Schoeman Award of R5,000 for the best violinist, as well as the R2,000 prize for the best performance of a concerto in the final round.

The category winners were Megan-Geoffrey Prins (18) of Riversdale (piano), Wedderburn-Maxwell (15) of Durban (strings), and Hamman Schoonwinkel (15) of Bellville (wind). They each received R5,000 and a silver medal.

In the category for the best performance of a South African composition, Schoonwinkel won R1,500 for his performance of Hendrik Hofmeyr’s Concerto per Saxofono Ă© Orchestra.

The competition for classical musicians aged between 14 and 19 offered prizes totalling R67,000. It started in April with 65 entrants who were auditioned in Pretoria, Durban, Port Elizabeth and Cape Town. The 31 selected musicians competed over the past week in three rounds at the Artscape Theatre. There are four categories, namely piano, string instruments, wind instruments and other orchestral instruments such as harp and percussion; however there were no entries for the latter.

They had to perform a variety of classical works to nine adjudicators representing a cross section of classical instruments. They are Shadrack Bokaba, Prof Ella Fourie, Prof John Hinch, Sean Kierman, Marian Lewin, Michael Maas, John Roos, Pieter Schoeman and John Theodore.

"The overall standard of this year’s competition was much higher than last year. It is the only youth music competition in the country where the finalists get the opportunity to play with a professional symphony orchestra as part of the competition," says Michael Maas, CEO of Artscape.