The SAMRO Hubert van der Spuy National Music Competition has completed its auditions around the country for the 2018 round of the annual event, the 30th since its inception in 1989.
Fifty-seven contestants – 30 from Cape Town, 26 from Pretoria and one from Durban – will vie for top honours at the competition which takes place at the Hugo Lambrechts Music Centre in Parow, from Monday September 24 to Friday September 28.
The competition is organised and presented by the Tygerberg branch of the South African Society of Music Teachers (SASMT) and was inspired by the SASMT’s Hubert van der Spuy.
Speaking about the audition process, Tygerberg SASMT branch chairperson Hilda Boonzaaier said: “The panel of adjudicators returned from the audition rounds in Pretoria and Parow with the message that music is alive and well.
“All participants did their best and the adjudicators were surprised with the high quality of playing.
“We are enthusiastic and looking forward to the competition in September, and believe it will be a milestone on the musical calendar.
“I know all participants work hard to follow their dreams.”
Of the 57 competitors, three are from the Boland – violinists, 11-year-old Emma Steenkamp and 13-year-old Danielle Kock from Somerset West, and 11- year-old pianist Madison le Roux from Franschhoek, all of whom made it through the audition round, to compete in the competition last year.
Pianist Mike Wang of Strand took top honours last year, and Madison le Roux won the runner-up prize for most promising candidate, 10 years and younger.
Madison, who attends Bridge House School near Franschhoek, says she has been playing the piano for about seven years.
“I also play the cello, and I am the goalie for the under-11A girls hockey team at Bridge House,” she says. “I also enjoy pencil sketching.”
Madison practices constructively for an hour every day, and closer to performances, she increases her practise time to an hour-and-a-half a day.
Asked how she feels about competing this year she said: “I’m nervous but very excited.”
And her big dream for the future? “To become a concert pianist one day,” says Madison.
The SAMRO Hubert van der Spuy National Music Competition caters for classical music students to the age of 13, and it is sponsored by the SAMRO Foundation.