Matthew Martin is a senior reporter at the Rotorua Daily Post

Gifted young musicians on show

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Top scholarship winning piano student Dong Guen Lee pictured here after last year's Institute of Registered Music Teacher's Annual Senior Music Scholarship competition.
Top scholarship winning piano student Dong Guen Lee pictured here after last year's Institute of Registered Music Teacher's Annual Senior Music Scholarship competition.

Eight of the region's top pianists will be once again be competing for a range of prizes at this year's Rotorua Branch Institute of Registered Music Teacher's senior music scholarship.

Rotorua music teacher Anna Marie Harris said the competition, to be held at the Sir Howard Morrison Performing Arts Centre tomorrow, had been the main event on the local music teachers' calendar since 1988.

"For 2016 we have adjudicator Richard Liu from Auckland University judging eight gifted pianists who are all in their teens."

They are Shamus Baker, Denisa Berbece, Matthew Atkinson and Zachariah Jans from Rotorua, and Sophie Dong, Eden Clapperton, Marcus Crowe and Fergus Byett from Taupo.

The performers range in age from 14 to 19.

From 1pm to 5pm they will perform a free 20 minute programme of three to six contrasting works from baroque-era composers such as Bach, Handel and Scarlatti, classical composers such as Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven and Schubert, and romantic and impressionist era composers such as Chopin, Grieg and Debussy.

"However, some are bringing life to the 20th and 21st centuries by choosing to play modern and traditional jazz of Gershwin and the lesser known but equally entertaining works arranged by Nicky Iles.

"These contestants haven't forgotten their New Zealand composers by including Jack Body and Douglas Lilburn," she said.

There are a range of prizes on offer from $1000 for the top pianist to $100 for fourth, fifth and sixth.

The Chou Piano Award for best piano solo will also be up for grabs, and for the first time the Australian and New Zealand Cultural Arts is sponsoring an award for the best 20th/21st century work.

All performers are tutored by local Rotorua and Taupo registered music teachers.

Tickets to the finals can be bought for cash only at the venue, or pre-bought by calling Hazel on (07) 349 1141.

- Rotorua Daily Post

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