A dozen days of musical elegance began to resonate on Sept 12 as the 2nd Zhuhai International Mozart Competition for Young Musicians heard new talents performing to the utmost limits of their abilities.
Promising virtuosos and renowned orchestras heralded the opening at the Mozart Concert Hall of Zhuhai Huafa & CPAA Grand Theatre. Excerpts from the famed choreographic suite Macao Bride by Ye Xiaogang, one of the most renowned modern composers in China, were played at the venue in Shizimen Central Business District of Wanzai Town.
The festival offers 30 open concerts in sync with the Salzburg Chamber Soloists, a globally renowned Austrian orchestral group specializing in Mozart's works. Also scheduled are a series of lectures and salons given by distinguished jurists. Adding even more prestige is a Famous Violin Exhibition at Huafa Mall in nearby Nanping featuring three century-old violins worth more than 100 million yuan ($15 million).
Daily performance charges start at 50 yuan ($7.70). The reasonable cost has been purposely set to benefit a broader public and stimulate enthusiasm for classical music, according to organizers.
Opening of 2nd Zhuhai International Mozart Competition for Young Musicians
Entrants up to age 23 are the competing prodigies. They've passed May's rigid screening and surpassed 300 other applicants from 39 countries and regions. Since registration opened last November, hopefuls enlisted from Europe, North America, Asia, Oceania, and Africa -- most of them from prestigious institutes and some already minor celebrities.
Divided into age groups, participants are vying in two rounds of piano and violin performances as of Sept 13. Group A is for those under 12 and Group B for musicians aged 13 to 16 while Group C is for those 17 and older.
Austrian pianist and professor Klaus Kaufmann and violinist Paul Roczek are art directors in their respective categories. Pianist Michel Beroff and violinist Friedemann Eichhorn chair the jury composed of 11 other premiere musicians.
First held in 2015 and continuing biennially, the international non-profit competition was approved by the Ministry of Culture as the first-of-its-kind in the world tailored for youngsters with music potential. Due to the vast success of the debut, officials say the city of Zhuhai has become more classical. The competition weighs heavily in Zhuhai's cultural lives, said the vice mayor, Long Guangyan.
Symphony at Mozart Concert Hall [Photos courtesy nanfangplus]
The city government sponsors the event in partnership with the University Mozarteum Salzburg, which was established in 1841 and is one of the most celebrated music academies in Europe. The Guangdong Provincial Department of Culture is guiding the contest.
The Embassy of the Republic of Austria in China and Chinese Musicians Association proffered strong support at the competition's inception. Its global influence also attracted membership from the Alink-Argerich Foundation, an independent worldwide information and service center for musical competitions.