Atterbury Trust is again creating the opportunity for rising young stars to shine by showcasing the very best of young South African talent in the Atterbury National Piano Competition 2018.

Presented for the eighth time this year, the prestigious competition has become a highlight on the local musical calendar. It takes place from 22 to 26 October at the Atterbury Theatre in Pretoria.

The Atterbury National Piano Competition is the only competition of its kind in South Africa hosted every year for young pianists aged 19 years and younger. There are big prizes to be won, totalling R115,000. The overall winner will be awarded a cash prize of at least R35,000.

This year, 41 promising young South African pianists have been selected to participate. They will compete in three categories: 12 years and younger, 15 years and younger and 19 years and younger, and will have to adhere to the strict rules and requirements for the works they present during the competition.

Zahn Hulme, who heads Atterbury Trust, the competition’s main sponsor, says: “We are proud to present the most accomplished young pianists the country has to offer. This fiercely-contested competition provides young musicians who are aiming for a high standard of performance excellence with an invaluable platform to showcase their technique, expression and grit. We are thrilled to create a stage for their tremendous talent and wish all the contests the very best for their performances in this thoroughly enjoyable celebration of beautiful music.”

The competition opens on Monday, October 22 at 6.30pm. Celebrated 17-year-old pianist Louis Nel, 2017’s overall winner, will present a short programme. Then, the Fifth Stefans Grové National Composition Competition winners will be announced and their work performed. Finally, the 2018 participants will be introduced to the audience.

The competition comprises four rounds with all candidates participating in the first two rounds, on Tuesday 23 and Wednesday 24 October from 8am to 6pm. From 41 competitors, only 18 semi-finalists will go on to the third round on Thursday 25 October, starting at 1pm. Three finalists from each of the three categories will be chosen.

Nine finalists will compete in the final round on Friday 26 October, each playing two works at the glittering gala event which starts at 7pm. The winners will be announced after the performances.

This year’s adjudication panel are Dr Erika Bothma, Dr Tessa Rhoodie and Prof Hubert van der Spuy. Atterbury Trust is the main sponsor of the competition, but several other sponsors contribute its success.

The public is welcome to watch and enjoy all rounds of the competition. Entrance is free for the opening ceremony and the first three rounds. Tickets for the final round on Friday 26 October can be purchased from Computicket.