For the first time in 36 years, the National Youth Music Competition (NYMC) has had to be cancelled due to the national lockdown to curb the spread of Covid-19.
The annual competition for classical instrumentalists between the ages of 14 and 19 years, with prizes of R145 000, gold, silver and bronze medals, is usually decided during the first or second week of October.
Since 2015 it has been held at the Hugo Lambrechts Auditorium in Parow.
Presented by the National Youth Music Foundation (NYMF), the closing date for the 2020 entries was set for May 22 this year.
The prospective candidates had to submit audition videos for the selection round of adjudication by a panel of music experts.
The competition is the flagship the NYMF, chaired by Michael Maas who founded the competition.
Maas says the decision to cancel the event was not taken lightly.
“With the May 22 deadline looming, prospective candidates are debilitated by the absence of music lessons, as well as the inability to practice with accompanists for their video auditions.
“Uncertainty about the new dates of the 2020 school year also impacted this year’s competition’s proposed dates of October 6 to 10,” he says.
Taking part in the NYMC requires stamina, technical excellence and strong interpretative skills.
The young contenders compete over four rounds, playing an extensive repertoire of works from different style periods.
They usually perform more than 100 works over the four rounds of the competition.
“We realised that some prospective candidates will miss out as they will be older than 19 years on October 10, this year’s cut-off date. The next competition is now being scheduled to take place from August 3 to 7 2021,” says Maas.