Saturday March 29 § Neel Performing Arts Center
Twelve young and gifted pianists from around the state will compete for prestigious recognition and thousands of dollars in prize money in this all-day musical event.
(Sarasota-Manatee) Artist Series Concerts of Sarasota presents the 2014 Competition for Piano, Saturday, March 29, in Neel Performing Arts Center at State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota, 5840 26th Street West, Bradenton. The semi-finals competition begins at 10 a.m.; finals competition begins at 7:30 p.m. The event is free and open to the public. For more information, call 941-306-1202 or visit www.artistseriesconcerts.org.
Now in its 12th year, the Artist Series Concerts of Sarasota Scholarship Program sponsors one of the most prestigious competitions in Florida. The competition rotates each year between voice, piano, or string instruments and is open to talented young musicians who are residents of Florida. Under the guidance of Joy McIntyre, a music educator and performer, since 2007, the program developed in size and quality and has resulted in substantial awards funded by supporters of Artist Series Concerts of Sarasota. The Virginia B. Toulmin Award of $6,000 goes to the first prize winner in the Performance Level (ages 20-25) and the Lee & Jerry Ross Scholarship Award of $3,000 provides the first prize in the Scholarship Level (ages 14-19). According to McIntyre, past winners often go on to major music schools and pursue successful music careers. She says that in selecting the 12 semi-finalists, judges look for “accuracy, artistry and technique.”
This year, 12 young pianists, five in the Scholarship Level and seven in the Performance Award Level, will compete in the semi-final round. Of these, three in each level will continue to the final round. The finalists are then presented in an evening public performance and judged by a panel of distinguished musicians and educators. This year’s finalist judges are Julian Martin, a faculty member of The Juilliard School; Robert Sherman, an award-winning radio broadcaster, author, music critic, and music educator; and Derek Han, acclaimed as one of the leading American pianists of his generation.
“Our adjudicators are all brilliant music educators and musicians,” says McIntyre. “Their participation raises the bar to a whole new level. Being judged and counseled by such celebrated educators is exciting and an honor that will stay with the performers their whole lives.” McIntyre adds that the prize winners will be announced following the final performance.
“One of the primary goals of the Artist Series Concerts of Sarasota is to take an active role in building the next generation of professional musicians by providing support to promising young musicians,” says John Fischer, executive director of Artist Series Concerts of Sarasota. “In the past decade we’ve raised more than $150,000 for 54 gifted young musicians. Our focus is the future. The support we get to present this competition makes that future possible.”
Since 1996, Artist Series Concerts of Sarasota has presented an ever-expanding annual season of concerts by globally renowned and celebrated emerging artists. The 2013-2014 season runs through June 2014 and includes six concerts in its “Classical Recital Series,” four concerts in its “Pop Series,” one concert in its “Soiree Series” and five special concerts. Three “Lunch, Look and Listen” events are also scheduled. For more information about the Artist Series Concerts of Sarasota’s 2013-2014 season, visit www.artistseriesconcerts.org or call 941-306-1202. For information about group and student discounts, call 941-306-1202.