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UNISA 11TH PIANO COMPETITION (article first published : 2008-01-3)

Thirty-three young pianists from 16 countries will compete early next year in the 11th Unisa International Piano Competition sponsored by Vodacom which has been the main sponsor of the Unisa Music Competitions since 2002. Once again, Vodacom will underline its recognition of the value of arts and culture in the life of the nation with its support of the 2008 competition.

Dot Field, Chief Communications Officer of the Vodacom Group, says: “As South Africa’s leading cellular network, Vodacom is proud to be associated with the leading music competition in the country. We are delighted to once again sponsor the competition and look forward to a feast of music from these talented youngsters.”

Main cash prize for the competition, to be held in Pretoria from January 24 to February 9 totals R650,000, with a first prize of R200,000. Additional prizes to the value of R150,000 will also be awarded, making a total purse of R800,000.

Amongst those competing for the coveted awards will be four competitors from South Africa, five from the USA, three from Poland, People’s Republic of China and Russia respectively as well two each from Germany, Israel, France and Australia. Latvia, Croatia, Lebanon, Ukraine, Italy, Bulgaria and Belgium will be each represented by one competitor.

The four South African competitors are the three winners of last year’s national piano competition, Johan Botes, Inette Swart and Esthea Kruger, as well as well-known Pretoria pianist Ben Schoeman who won the 2003 national piano competition.

In order to qualify, candidates had to submit a CD recording of their performances of three works from the prescribed repertoire – a prelude and fugue by JS Bach, a Mozart sonata and a virtuoso work.

The Unisa International Music Competitions is a member of the World Federation of International Music Competitions in Geneva. It is the only music competition in Africa to be recognised by the world body and fulfils stringent criteria to do so.




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