Aside from its five-and-a-half-decade track record of bringing sumptuous orchestral music to our region, the Hudson Valley Philharmonic (HVP) has also distinguished itself as the sponsor of an annual String Competition that has been going on for 43 years. Among its past winners have been violinists Ani Kavafian, Adela Pena and Judith Ingolfsson, violist Marcus Thompson and cellist Fred Sherry.
All three elimination rounds in the HVP String Competition, held at Skinner Hall on the Vassar College campus in Poughkeepsie, are open to the public at no charge, and it’s an exciting opportunity to catch the classical music stars of tomorrow at a point where their careers are just taking off. With about 30 entrants – among them Isabela Quines, who grew up in Poughkeepsie – the first round takes place this Saturday, March 21 from 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. The semifinal round winnows down the field on Sunday, March 22 from 10 a.m. to 12 noon, and the shortlisted hopefuls return to square off in the finals at 3 p.m. that same day.
The 2015 First Prize winner will receive $3,000 and a solo performance with the HVP during its 2015/16 season. This year’s panel of judges consists of cellist Sophie Shao of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, violinist and New York University professor Stephanie Chase and violinist and longtime HVP concertmaster Carole Cowan. For more information, call the Bardavon box office at (845) 473-2072 or visit www.bardavon.org.
Hudson Valley Philharmonic String Competition first round, Saturday, March 21, 9:30 a.m.-6 p.m., semifinals, Sunday, March 22,10 a.m.-12 noon, finals, 3 p.m., free, Skinner Hall, Vassar College, 124 Raymond Avenue; www.bardavon.org.