Now in its 44th year, the Hudson Valley Philharmonic (HVP) String Competition has long been an opportunity for rising young stars of classical music to give their careers a boost. Among its best-known past discoveries have been violist Marcus Thompson, cellist Fred Sherry and violinists Ani Kavafian, Adela Pena and Judith Ingolfsson. The winner of the First Prize is awarded a $3,000 honorarium and a chance to perform a solo fronting the HVP during the next concert season. But this year there’s an enticing new incentive to compete: a trip to Italy! The top finalist will be invited to give a solo performance on August 24 at the Musical Landscapes of Italy festival – founded by Poughkeepsie native Steven Slade – in San Quirico d’Orcia in Tuscany.
The 2016 HVP String Competition takes place this weekend at Skinner Hall on the Vassar College campus, and the public can attend for free. The First Round gets underway at 9:30 a.m. this Saturday, March 12 and runs until 6 p.m., with about 30 musicians competing. The survivors of the first cut come back on Sunday morning, March 13 at 10 a.m. for the Semifinal Round, which should wrap up at 12 noon. And the shortlisted hopefuls return at 3 p.m. on Sunday for the Final Round.
The judges for the 44th annual competition will be violinist María Radicheva, violist Daniel Avshalomov and cellist Susan Seligman. Vassar College is located at 124 Raymond Avenue in Poughkeepsie. For more information about the HVP String Competition, call (845) 473-2072 or visit www.bardavon.org.