First Unisa Wind Competition a great success

I attended the finals of the first Unisa Wind Competition on 6 July 2013. It was a fabulous evening!

The four finalists with their works were Justin Carter with Concerto for Clarinet and Orchestra, Op 57 by Carl Nielson (1865-1931); Cobus du Toit with Concerto for Flute and Orchestra in D major, Op 283 by Carl Reinecke (1820-1869); Matthew Lombard with Concerto for Alto Saxophone and String Orchestra by Alexander Glazounov (1865-1936); and Myles Roberts with Concerto for Flute and Orchestra by Hendrik Hofmeyr (b. 1957).

Wind finalists, Pictured from left to right Matthew Lombard, Myles Roberts, Cobus du Toit and Justin Carter

Wind finalists, Pictured from left to right Matthew Lombard, Myles Roberts, Cobus du Toit and Justin Carter – Photo credit Shooheima Champion

Justin Carter (Clarinet) and both flautists (Cobus du Toit and Myles Roberts) will be competing in the First Unisa International Flute and Clarinet Competition in 2014.

The Johannesburg Festival Orchestra were conducted by Brandon Phillips.

In fourth place was Justin Carter (Clarinet), in third place was Myles Roberts (flute), in second place was Matthew Lombard, with first place going to Cobus du Toit.

Cobus du Toit (28) is studying towards his Doctor of Musical Arts degree at the University of Colorado. Myles Roberts is only 21 and busy completing his BMus degree at the University of Stellenbosch. The technical difficulty of the Hofmeyr piece was immense and Roberts coped with it magnificently. He is certainly a performer to watch in the future, although the more mature interpretation of du Toit in the Reinecke piece was wonderful and made him the clear winner.

Cobus du Toit-1

While everyone took home some substantial prizes, Cobus du Toit went home with R60 000, R5 000 voucher to Lovemore Music, a handcrafted saxophone worth R40 000 sponsored by P Mauriat, R10 000 for the Flute Category Prize and several of the smaller prizes. The opportunity for him to compete in the First Unisa International Flute and Clarinet Competition in 2014 puts him in line not only to win the overall prizes, but also the special South African prizes at that competition.

Well done to everyone on a fantastic competition with Unisa’s usual high standards of excellence with the organisation of this prestigious event.

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About moirads

Clergy person, theatre and music lover, avid reader, foodie. Basically, I write about what I do, where I go and things I love (or hate).
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2 Responses to First Unisa Wind Competition a great success

  1. micheal says:

    I don’t agree, Hofmeyr should have won. Again the afrikaner mafia wins. Interesting you compared between 3rd and 1st place. Complete waste of an evening

  2. moirads says:

    Hi Michael, if we were comparing composer’s works, the Hofmeyr would definitely have won the evening. It was by far the most interesting, lyrical, complex work on the programme. And Roberts played it with great technical fluidity. However, what was being judged was the overall performances of the musicians. Here Cobus du Toit had a maturity to his interpretation which took his performance into the realm of excellence. At music competitions, particularly national and international music competitions, there is an automatic assumption of great technical competence. What is looked for over and above this technical competence is the integrity of the music to the composer’s style together with a moving personal interpretation.

    The reason I compared the 3rd and 1st place is because they were both taken by flautists who will be going on to the international competition. The reality is that the saxophonist was down a dead end there. I was really impressed with Roberts performance in view of his age and experience level and think that there might well be a chance that he could take sufficient experience from this competition to really make a difference in the six months between now and January. That’s the advantage of youth – it is less likely that six months will make a huge difference in du Toit’s skills than six months will make a huge difference in Roberts’ skills.

    I disagree that it was a waste of an evening. I thoroughly enjoyed myself and was impressed with the quality of the local talent and hope that both flautists (and, of course, our clarinetist) go on to acquit themselves well at the international competition. I have, sadly, sat at the international competition embarrassed at the difference in standards between the South Africans and their international peers. I have also heard some of those performers play a year or two later and been amazed at how much they have accomplished in that interval. However, I have also been at the international competition where I have been impressed with our own performers in comparison to their overseas peers and been pleased to see them get into the third and even the final rounds. This competition serves as a huge learning curve and the experience gained last night will stand all the performers, but particularly the youthful Roberts, in excellent stead for the international competition.

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