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Pittsburgh Symphony unveils competition for instrumentalists

About Mark Kanny
Mark Kanny 412-320-7877
Classical Music Critic
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

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By Mark Kanny

Published: Thursday, Feb. 9, 2012

The Pittsburgh Symphony today announced a new, Internet-based Concerto Competition for instrumentalists.

The winner will receive $10,000 and perform at concerts on Nov. 30 and Dec. 2, which will be conducted by music director Manfred Honeck at Heinz Hall, Downtown.

"The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra is now using the wonderful technology of the Internet to add excitement to our classical concert series while maintaining artistic excellence," said Honeck. "We are the first major American orchestra to offer an Internet competition to select an instrumental soloist. The whole world will be invited to vote for a soloist to perform with us."

The Concerto Competition will be open to people 18 and older (for most states) living in the United States who are not under management. Participants can enter by going to the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra channel on YouTube or by visiting www.pittsburghsymphony.org/competition , where they will find contest rules and approved repertoire.

Contestants may upload one video of up to 10 minutes duration playing piano, violin, cello, flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, horn, trumpet or harp. The deadline is March 22.

Up to 20 semi-finalists will be chosen by a panel of Pittsburgh Symphony musicians, conductors and administrative staff. The semi-finalists' videos will be posted on the PSO YouTube channel on April 11. People will be able to vote for their favorites until April 30.

The four finalists will receive round-trip tickets for an audition on June 11 with Honeck, whose decision will be announced June 12.

The competition is supported by a $50,000 grant from PPG Industries Foundation.

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