On March 15, chamber music performers in grades 8-12 will compete for more than $3,200 in cash awards in the Carolinas Chamber Music Competition at Converse College in Spartanburg, S.C. The world renowned Cavani String Quartet will be on-hand to serve as judges and to provide one-on-one coaching sessions for the participants.
The competition, now in its tenth year, is offered by The Alia Lawson Pre-College Program at Converse with support from the Friends of the Petrie School of Music organization.
This year marks a turning point for the annual competition as eligibility has been extended beyond South Carolina to North Carolina. Strings, winds and brass instrumental ensembles of three-to-ten will compete for a $1,500 first place prize; a $1,000 second place; and a $750 third place award.
In addition to three hours worth of coaching sessions, the Cavani String Quartet will select groups to perform in a finals recital in Converse’s Daniel Recital Hall, a 340-seat hall cited in “Chamber Music America” as an exemplary performance facility.
“The Cavani String Quartet are such fabulous clinicians that the opportunity to work with them in a one-on-one setting is as much a reason to participate than the prize money,” said Morgan, Director of The Alia Lawson Pre-College Program.
In talking about the Carolinas Chamber Music Competition, Cavani member Annie Fullard, violin, emphasized that while the prize money is attractive, the music itself receives top billing. “We typically do not like competition in chamber music because it is so subjective. Chamber music is a special art form and we want to celebrate that. All of the participants will be on equal footing and I encourage them to play the music from their heart; do not be so anxious about strict interpretation but rather how the music leads their heart.”
Nationally recognized as pioneers in arts-in-education, the Cavani String Quartet is sought after by universities and communities for their ability to cultivate community partnerships. Winner of the prestigious Naumburg Chamber Music Award, Cavani has been described by the “Washington Post” as "completely engrossing, powerful and elegant." In addition to receiving the Naumburg Award, t Cavani has been a top prizewinner in numerous competitions including the Coleman, Fischoff, the Banff International and the Cleveland Quartet Competition. Featured as Young Artists of the Year 1989 by “Musical America Magazine,” Cavani’s superlative performances and innovative teaching have garnered them no less than eight Chamber Music America Residency Partnership Grants. In 2005, Cavani was the first recipient of the Guarneri String Quartet Residency Award from Chamber Music America . The quartet concertizes regularly on major series and festivals throughout North America and Europe. Appearances include the Carnegie Hall Centennial Series and Alice Tully Hall in New York, the Corcoran Gallery of Art and Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, the Ambassador Series in Los Angeles, Muziekcentrum De Ijsbreker in Amsterdam, and Festival de L’Epau in France.
Because of its reputation, and commitment to instruction and performance, the Converse setting is uniquely apt to serve as the stage for the Carolinas Chamber Music Competition. In 2005, Converse’s Petrie School of Music became the first women’s college in the U.S. and the first college in the Carolinas to be named an All-Steinway School. Its Alia Lawson Pre-College Program welcomes the community of young p