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A call to the young and enthusiastic: entries open

A call to the young and enthusiastic: entries open

For Immediate Release / 13 February 2006 / 334 words

Entries are now open for the largest chamber music contest of its kind in Australasia, the New Zealand Community Trust Chamber Music Contest. Established in 1965, the contest is the longest running youth music competition in the country and New Zealand's up and coming young musicians and composers are encouraged to get involved.

There are two sections in the contest. The Instrumental Performance Section encourages secondary school students to form a group of 3-8 players and experience the joys of making music together. The Original Composition Section students must compose a work of their own.

The winner of the Original Composition Section receives the SOUNZ prize of $500 and has their piece performed at the National Final alongside competing groups. Past winners of this section have gone on to become accomplished composers, enjoying success locally and internationally, including top New Zealand concert pianists Michael Houstoun and John Chen, and former NZSO Concertmaster Wilma Smith.

Last year, a record number of 562 groups entered, involving over 2,000 students nationwide. Newly appointed CMNZ CEO Euan Murdoch, himself a former adjudicator and long time supporter of the contest, encourages even more students to get involved this year. "The contest is not only a platform for New Zealand's young musicians to get a taste of what it takes to be a professional musician, but also provides an enthusiastic and encouraging environment for young people to enjoy music, regardless of skill or experience. I¹m passionate about fostering the potential of these young students and music in New Zealand and the contest is a fantastic way to get that message across", says Euan.

Entry forms have been sent to schools and music teachers around the country, and can also be downloaded from CMNZ's website, www.chambermusic.co.nz. Entries close Monday 31 March. Fourteen District Contests will then be held nationwide in June. The team of adjudicators will select up to eight groups to compete at the National Final in Wellington on Saturday 5 August.

Chamber Music New Zealand acknowledges major funding from Creative New Zealand, New Zealand Community Trust and the James Wallace Arts Trust.

About the contest

The contest was established by CMNZ Chairman Arthur Hilton to encourage young musicians across New Zealand, regardless of standard or experience, to perform together and strive towards excellence. It was envisaged that all participants would be able to compete in a positive environment that asked the very best of them.

The New Zealand Community Trust Chamber Music Contest has become a rite of passage for many of the country¹s top classical musicians with both past winners and participants establishing careers in live performance and composition. Since its inception in 1965, around 40,000 New Zealanders have participated in the contest.

The names of participants involved over the years reads like a roll call of New Zealand's most successful musicians. Past competitors are now members of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, New Zealand String Quartet, New Zealand Trio and include composers Anthony Ritchie and Dan Poynton.

In 2004, CMNZ welcomed the New Zealand Community Trust on board as the new funder of the contest. The New Zealand Community Trust is a non-profit organisation established in 1998. The Trust distributes an excess of $40 million each year to cultural, sporting, educational, health and community groups throughout New Zealand.

About Chamber Music New Zealand

Chamber Music New Zealand presents local and international chamber music ensembles throughout New Zealand. Its annual Celebrity Season showcases premier international artists, while the Associate Societies programme focuses on New Zealand performers. The New Zealand Community Trust Chamber Music Contest, which celebrated its 40th anniversary last year, fosters the musical stars of the future.

ENDS

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