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24 August 2022, 11:07

Time to tune into new talent

SHANGHAI, 24 August (BelTA - China Daily). - The Shanghai Isaac Stern International Violin Competition, which supports young musicians, is set to conclude its third edition with a series of online concerts, featuring six finalists, from Friday to Sunday.

"We have decided to change the competition system this year and will present 'winners' concerts' instead of holding a final round of the competition, but the principle remains unchanged," says Yu Long, president of the organization committee and music director of the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra.

"The competition has always aimed at supporting young music talent and we have remained true to the mission.

"Also, thanks to the help from many musicians and institutions, we have managed to extend our nurturing for young musicians' career development in more intensive and diverse ways."

Zhou Ping, director of the SSO, says that, "we have helped to promote outstanding contestants by offering them opportunities to do solos with orchestras and hold recitals".

"This year," Zhou adds "we will go on recommending these young music talent to renowned orchestras, and help them to get opportunities to play in China and all over the world. As soon as the epidemic is well-contained and international communication resumes between music institutions worldwide, we will invite outstanding contestants from all the past editions of the SISIVC to take part in our music season and MISA(Music in the Summer Air) festival, as well as introduce them to play with orchestras of the China Symphony Association."

The event is an opportunity with responsibility, Zhou explains. "It is our responsibility to continuously provide opportunities to the contestants. This support is what makes the competition special."

The contest, originally scheduled for August 2020, was put off because of travel complications caused by COVID-19. Recently, the organizers announced that the final round of the competition would not be held nor candidates ranked. Instead, six finalists would each receive a scholarship award of $20,000.

The competition is named after American maestro violinist Isaac Stern (1920-2001) and organized by the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra as a biennial event since 2016 that provides a prize of $100,000 to the top winner, more than any other violin competition.

Executive director of the SISIVC organizing committee Chen Yin has kept track of the career progress of winners of the past two editions of the competition.

"We systematically follow their careers in the long run by regularly mailing them, asking about their requirements, and helping to get work opportunities."

American Chinese violinist Nancy Zhou, top winner of the second edition of the SISIVC in 2018, played the No 1 Violin Concerto by Chinese musician Zhao Jiping during New Jersey Symphony's East/West: A Symphonic Celebration on July 20 at the Lincoln Center in the United States.

"The competition facilitated the growth of not only my career but also my musicianship, predicated on a set of critical skills that were tested through the repertoire," Zhou said in an exclusive interview with music critic Jon Sobel.

"Through the competition's robust network and affiliations with various high-quality orchestras, I was able to form and continually foster connections with conductors, mentors and orchestral administrators."

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