NSW Secondary Schools Concerto Competition

Finalists

This year's NSW Secondary Schools Concerto Competition finalists are:

Juniors

Milo Abrahams – Bassoon
Daniel Lin – Viola

Seniors

Emily Su – Violin
Sarah Chang – Violin
Alicia Poon – Violin
Lily Dai – Cello

Frequently Asked Questions

  • HOW DO I MAKE A SPECIAL REQUEST?
    You can make special requests by emailing concertocomp@kpo.com.au before the closing date for entries. We will do our best to accommodate any special requests received before this date. Unfortunately we cannot accommodate any further changes or special requests after this date, except in relation to a change of accompanist (recognising that this is usually beyond the control of the competitor). However, we strongly encourage you to tell us who your accompanist will be, as we factor this in when scheduling auditions and semi finals to ensure that each competitor has the opportunity to have a quick warm up with their accompanist before their performance.
  • DO I GET A WARM UP BEFORE MY AUDITION AND SEMI FINAL PERFORMANCES?
    Yes! Each competitor will be allocated a warm up room with their accompanist at a specified time for approximately 30 minutes before their performance. Pianists will be allocated a room with two pianos, and other competitors will be allocated a room with one piano. You will be informed of your warm up time when you arrive at the audition/semi final venue, so we advise you to factor this in when you receive your audition/semi final performance time. Please note that accompanists will not be allowed to use warm up rooms for their own purposes, unless they are with a competitor who has been allocated that room.
  • WILL I BE ABLE TO HAVE MY AUDITION AND/OR SEMI FINAL PERFORMANCE ON A DIFFERENT DATE?
    No. Once we have published the dates for auditions, semi finals and finals on our website, we are unable to change these dates. There are many factors that we consider when scheduling these dates, including venue availability, school holiday dates and the KPO’s calendar of events.
  • WHAT TIME OF THE DAY ARE AUDITIONS AND SEMI FINAL PERFORMANCES USUALLY HELD?
    Times can vary from year to year depending on the number of entries we receive. However, as a general guide, we schedule junior competitors earlier in the day and senior competitors later in the day. This is to ensure that junior competitors are fairly judged against other junior competitors and that the same occurs for senior competitors. Auditions usually take place from approximately 9 am until 6 pm on the audition day. We also have a few small breaks and a lunch break throughout the day for our audience, adjudicators and volunteers to recharge their batteries! A list of audition times will be made available on the KPO website during the week before the date of the auditions. Semi finals usually take place from approximately 11 am until 6 pm on the semi finals day, with junior competitors performing before senior competitors. A list of semi finals performance times will be made available on the KPO website during the week before the date of the semi finals. We will do our best to accommodate any special requests for audition times if you email concertocomp@kpo.org.au before the closing date for entries, provided that the request falls within the above guidelines. For instance, a junior competitor will not be allowed to have their audition in the afternoon if this means that they will be performing alongside senior competitors.
  • IN THE AUDITION, DO I HAVE TO PREPARE THE WHOLE MOVEMENT OF MY CONCERTO IF IT IS LONGER THAN 6 MINUTES?
    Yes. As we have stated in Rule 7, competitors must be prepared to perform any section(s) of their chosen work if requested to do so by the adjudicator/s. This includes cadenzas. You are welcome to make cuts in your performance and mark these on the adjudicators’ copy of the music. However, the adjudicators may ask you to play different sections to those that you have indicated. If the work has a long orchestral introduction, this should be shortened to allow the competitor to play during most of the 6 minutes.
  • IF I PROGRESS TO THE SEMI FINALS, DO I HAVE TO PREPARE THE WHOLE MOVEMENT OF MY CONCERTO IF IT IS LONGER THAN 15 MINUTES?
    Yes. Competitors must be prepared to perform any section(s) of their chosen work if requested to do so by the adjudicator/s. This includes cadenzas. You are welcome to make cuts in your performance and mark these on the adjudicators’ copy of the music. However, the adjudicators may ask you to play different sections to those that you have indicated. As in the audtions, long orchestral introductions should be shortened to allow the competitor maximum playing time.
  • IF I PROGRESS TO THE FINALS CONCERT, WILL I BE ABLE TO PERFORM THE WHOLE MOVEMENT OF MY CONCERTO IF IT IS LONGER THAN 15 MINUTES?
    As stated in Rule 10, this will be at the discretion of the finals concert conductor. The conductor will need to weigh up numerous factors, such as the length of the movement(s), the length of other finalists’ performances and the fact that the finals concert is also a “concert” as opposed to a series of auditions. However, this decision will be made in consultation with the relevant finalist(s).
  • WILL I BE ABLE TO CHANGE THE CONCERTO MOVEMENT(S) NOMINATED ON MY ENTRY FORM AFTER THE CLOSING DATE FOR ENTRIES, EG IF I PROGRESS TO THE SEMI FINALS AND/OR FINALS?
    No. You will need to carefully consider your choice of concerto movement(s) when you submit your entry form, as you will not be able to make any changes after the closing date for entries. Similarly, if you progress to the semi finals and/or finals, you will not be able to add additional movements to, or remove movements from, those nominated on your entry form. This is to ensure that all competitors are assessed on the same movement(s) at each stage of the competition.
  • WHAT ADDITIONAL EQUIPMENT (APART FROM MY INSTRUMENT) WILL BE AVAILABLE TO ME FOR MY AUDITION AND/OR SEMI FINAL PERFORMANCE?
    On stage, we will have two pianos, piano stools, a selection of chairs and music stands. If you require additional equipment specific to your instrument (eg amplifier, cello T bar, double bass stool or a chair of a particular size), you will need to bring this equipment yourself. If you need additional set up time for this equipment, please email concertocomp@kpo.org.au before the closing date so that we can allow for this in our scheduling.
  • WILL I BE GIVEN ACCESS TO THE AUDITION AND SEMI FINALS VENUES BEFORE MY ALLOCATED AUDITION OR SEMI FINALS PERFORMANCE TIME (EITHER ON OR BEFORE THE AUDITIONS/SEMI FINALS DAY)?
    No. Competitors will not be allowed to practise in the audition and semi finals venues before their allocated audition or semi finals performance time, except in their allocated warm up room on the day of their audition/semi finals performance.
  • DOES MY CONCERTO WORK HAVE TO BE A “CONCERTO” OR CAN IT BE A WORK FOR SOLO INSTRUMENT AND ORCHESTRA?
    Your nominated work can either be a “concerto” or a work for solo instrument and orchestra, provided that the orchestral parts are readily available within Australia and it fulfills the other requirements specified in our Competition Rules.
  • WHAT DO I NEED TO DO TO ENTER THE COMPETITION?
    You will need to submit an entry form online with all fields completed, and entry fee paid. Please ensure that you have all of the correct information with you when submitting your entry form (including credit card details), as you will need to pay your entry fee online at the end of the entry form. Please note that the Committee will not accept your entry until you have submitted the entry form and made your payment online. This will need to be done before the closing date for entries.
  • DO COMPETITORS NEED TO BE OF A PARTICULAR STANDARD IN ORDER TO ENTER THE COMPETITION?
    There is no expected level or minimum standard. We have a wide variety of instruments that audition each year. The only requirement is that each competitor performs a movement or movements of a concerto or a piece which can be played with orchestral accompaniment.
  • WHERE CAN I FIND FURTHER INFORMATION ABOUT THE COMPETITION?
    Please feel free to browse through the information available under the Concerto Competition tab of the KPO website (https://kpo.org.au/current/). In particular, you may wish to read our Testimonials page (https://kpo.org.au/current/index.php/concerto/testimonials). Your teacher should also be able to give you a better idea of what to expect.
  • WHAT IS THE ENTRY FEE FOR THE COMPETITION?
    The entry fee is $50 per competitor. This includes one free ticket to our Finals Concert.

More Concerto Competition Information

  • About the Competition
  • History of the Competition
  • Past Winners
  • Testimonials

History

The NSW Secondary Schools Concerto Competition is a prestigious classical music competition for secondary school students in NSW and the ACT.

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Foundations

The competition, first known as the KPO Concerto Competition, was conceived in 1984, when two Ku-ring-gai Philharmonic Orchestra (KPO) players, Barbara Cran and Barbara Robinson proposed the idea of rewarding local music students, who were in secondary school and taking their music seriously, by providing them with the opportunity to play a concerto with an orchestra (the KPO).

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Prize Winners for 2017

Overall Winner
Benett Tsai - cello

Barbara Robinson Award (Senior Section)
Leanne Jin - piano

Barbara Cran Award (Junior Section)
Alicia Poon - violin

Multiple Section Winners
Sarah Chang - violin and Jared Cheung - cello

Players Award Winner
Benett Tsai - cello

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Concerto Competition – What people say about the competition

"I would like to first of all thank you all for being such dedicated musicians. It is great to see such a strong musical community supporting the youngsters of the musical world through the concerto competition. Over my three years as part of the competition I have seen it grow bigger and the standard get better each time. It is reputable on all of your behalves for the time and effort you put in to make the final concert such a success.

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Bayer