08 Jul 2010

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National Chamber Music Contest Semi Finalists Named

Auckland and Christchurch ensembles dominate the line-up of semi-finalists as the competition heats up for the New Zealand Community Trust Chamber Music Contest National Finals this July.

The 12 semi-finalist groups have been selected from 513 ensembles that competed in regional contests in 15 districts throughout June. They hail from four cities – six groups from Auckland, four from Christchurch, and one each from Hamilton and Dunedin.

The National Semi-Final – a new component to the competition in 2010 – takes place on Friday 30 July in the Ilott Concert Chamber, Wellington Town Hall at 11am and 4pm, followed by the National Final on Saturday 31 July at 7pm in Wellington Town Hall.

Finalists for the 2010 contest are, from Auckland: Alpine Trio, Concordia, Euphonious Quartet, Roseberry Trio, Trio for Martinů and Diable; from Christchurch: Sw!tch, The Genzmer Trio, The Jones Trio and Trio 87; from Hamilton: Troika and from Dunedin: Trio Chopin. Wellington ensemble Turina Piano Quartet was selected for the finals, but are unavailable on the contest dates.

This year’s winner of the composition section is Dunedin student Finn Butler with his piece Mr Gengerella – a chamber piece written for violin, flute and piano.

Composition adjudicator Michael Williams said Finn’s piece took an original approach that demonstrated excellent ensemble writing and an interesting and effective use of pitch organisation and harmony.
Finn has been awarded the SOUNZ prize of $500 and Mr Gengerella will be performed at the National Final.

The contest, which celebrates its 45th anniversary this year, is the longest running youth music competition in New Zealand and is the only nationwide chamber music competition for young musicians and composers.

The national contest is well-known for nurturing young musicians who go on to successful musical careers – iconic New Zealand pianist Michael Houstoun competed in the event when he was a school student, and more recently, acclaimed pianist John Chen was a past winner and went on to win the 2004 Sydney International Piano Competition and the 2003 Lev Vlassenko Piano Competition.

The New Zealand Community Trust Chamber Music Contest Semi-Final is on Friday 30 July at 11am and 4pm with the National Final on Saturday 31 July at 7pm at Wellington Town Hall. Tickets are available from Ticketek on 0800 TICKETEK (842 538) or www.ticketek.co.nz

In presenting the New Zealand Community Trust Chamber Music Contest, Chamber Music New Zealand acknowledges the generous support of The New Zealand Community Trust, ABRSM, SOUNZ (Centre for NZ Music), The Wallace Arts Trust, KBB Music and various regional funders who supported events at district contests.