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Thursday, February 4, 2010


Final performances of international string competition to take place on February 4 and 5

The final performances of the Vodacom-sponsored 5th Unisa International String Competition at the end of this week will have a definite Russian flavour with three out of the six finalists hailing from this country with a rich classical musical tradition. The other three finalists are from Republic of Korea, Armenia and Belarus.

The finalists, who were chosen on February 1 at the end of a gruelling third round of the competition, are: Anton Pavlovsky (cello; Russia); Yura Lee (violin; Republic of Korea); Georgi Anichenko (cello; Belarus); Hrachya Avanesyan (violin; Armenia); Alexander Ramm (cello; Russia); and Andrey Baranox (violin; Russia).

Bob Collymore, Chief Officer: Corporate Affairs of the Vodacom Group says: “With an even spread of violinists and cellists represented at the final performances, we can look forward to a brilliant display of stringed music. We wish each of these young people the best of luck as they spend the next few days with the conductor and orchestra preparing for their major performances.”

Notwithstanding an enthusiastic audience response to her performance in the third round, South Africa’s Avigail Bushakevitz was not among the six names chosen by the internationally-renowned jury to go through to the final. She was one of three South Africans who qualified for the competition following their outstanding performances in last year’s 2nd Unisa National String Competition, but the only one to reach the semi-final stage.

Each competitor will now present a concerto at the finals February 4 and 5 with the Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestra under the direction of Conrad van Alphen. At stake is a share of the total purse of R890,000, sponsored by Vodacom, including first prizes of R200,000 each for violin and cello.

Several special prizes will also be awarded for performances in the first three rounds. These are: R10,000 for best performance of the South African composition in the first round, sponsored by the South African Music Rights Organisation (SAMRO); R10,000 for best performance of a sonata by Mozart or Beethoven in the second round, sponsored by the Desmond Willson Memorial Trust; and R15,000 for best recital in the third round, sponsored by the Desmond Willson Memorial Trust.

Parents, family members and friends from across the globe will also be able to listen live to the final rounds of the competition via the internet. The live streaming will be done through Radio Today’s website, while in the greater Johannesburg, classical music lovers will listen to the live broadcast on Radio 1485 AM. The broadcast will also be available on Radio Today’s DSTV Channel 169, nationally and across the SADC sub-region.

Also attending the competition is Mr Glen Kwok, president of the World Federation of International Music Competitions (WFIMC), of which the Unisa music competition is the only African member.

(Reports on performances to follow)