A selected group of South Africa’s most promising young pianists will participate in the 9th Atterbury National Piano Competition this year, from 14 to 18 October in the Atterbury Theatre in Pretoria. This competition was established in 2011 by Claudine van Breda and Dr Willie de Jager, after they identified a shortage of opportunities where young pianists could compete equally on a national level. It remains the only competition of its kind in South Africa.
The total prize money concerned is R115 000, of which the cash prize for the overall winner amounts to at least R35 000. The 3 categories in which pianists participate are 12 years and younger, 15 years and younger and 19 years and younger. Selection takes place by means of a DVD recording, and strict rules apply regarding the required repertoire. A record number of 49 pianists were selected this year, with an equal amount of participants from Pretoria and Johannesburg. However, there are also candidates from Limpopo, the Free State, KwaZulu-Natal and the Western Cape.
The official opening takes place on Monday the 14th of October at 18h30. Colette du Toit, the overall winner of the competition in 2018, who is currently a first year BMus at the University of Pretoria, will deliver a short program. Thereafter the 2019 participants will be called to the stage and presented to the audience.
The competition consists of 4 rounds. Each candidate will participate in Round 1 and 2 on Tuesday 15 and Wednesday 16 October from 08h00 until 18h00. Thereafter the 18 semi-finalists will be announced who will participate in Round 3 on Thursday 17 October from 13h00. After completion of this round 9 finalists from the 3 categories will be announced, and the competition will conclude with the gala event on Friday 18 October at 19h00. The adjuducators for 2019 are Mr Marius du Plessis, Prof Hubert van der Spuy ( patron) and Prof Wessel van Wyk. The main sponsor is Atterbury Trust, but several other sponsorships contribute yearly to the continued existence of the competition..
All rounds are open to the public. Entrance to the opening ceremony as well as initial 3 rounds are free, however tickets for the final round can be obtained from iTickets (www.itickets.co.za 012 942 5951).