56 young hopefuls are cramming suitcases with scores, strings and stress balls this week, bound for the Melbourne International Chamber Music Competition, where they will join their string quartet or piano trio colleagues for eight days of intense music-making from 1-8 July 2018.
They are the rising stars of classical music. Hailing from eighteen nations, their arrival follows a rigorous audition process and months of activity at Musica Viva Australia, which is presenting the competition for the first time in partnership with the Australian National Academy of Music (ANAM) and Melbourne Recital Centre.
“We honestly can't wait for our time in Melbourne!” says Alexandra Van Beveren, violinist with the Dutch-Belgian Mosa Trio. “To be selected as one of the eight trios is something we didn't expect.”
Founded at ANAM, the Melbourne-based Clarendon Trio is also thrilled to be among the chosen groups. “We’re passionate about Australia being a truly inspirational centre for music and culture, and we’re incredibly proud to be showcasing this to the world at MICMC,” says cellist Jonathan Békés.
Held every four years and affectionately known as ‘MICMC’ [pronounced MICK-MICK], the competition is much more than an international launching pad for the sixteen young ensembles. While many groups are drawn to its $150,000 prize pool, career development opportunities, or the chance to be discovered by a prestigious jury, all return home profoundly inspired, with lasting memories and many new friends.
That is equally true of the audience, staff and volunteers: “MICMC is best experienced live,” says Hywel Sims, General Manager for Victoria at Musica Viva. “It’s extraordinary to witness the skill of the performers and share the excitement in the lead-up to the finals. The competition exists today thanks to a team of remarkable volunteers and supporters, whose warm, welcoming presence puts MICMC at the heart of the music world for eight days in July.”
Tickets are still available for the Heats, which will be held at the Australian National Academy of Music from 1-5 July, but are growing scarce for the Semi-Finals on 6 July and the two Grand Finals at Melbourne Recital Centre on 8 July.
“It’s best to book ahead!” advises Sims.
“For those who can’t join us, I’m pleased to announce that the competition will be broadcast live,” he continues. Official Broadcast Partner ABC Classic FM will host the Semi-Finals on 6 July and the Grand Finals on 8 July. The Grand Finals will also be video streamed online, allowing friends and family members around the globe to watch the action unfold. For the first time, the Heats will be presented by 3MBS Fine Music Melbourne on its digital and online channels from 1-5 July.
Toby Chadd, Content Manager of ABC Classic FM, says: “We’re delighted to be broadcasting the Finals of MICMC on ABC Classic FM this year, giving a global platform to the new generation of musicians, and bringing this vibrant event to audiences across Australia. MICMC is the start of a wonderful journey for these young musicians, whatever the outcome; we wish the competitors the best of luck!”
FREE DAY OF MUSIC IN THE CBD
Melburnians are also warmly invited to Music in the City, a free, day-long celebration of chamber music on Saturday 7 July. Relax and reflect in beautiful, seldom-seen spaces as MICMC ensembles perform their favourite repertoire. Join the morning session at 11:30am in Queen’s Hall, Parliament House, before meandering down to Latrobe Street for a 1:30pm concert at the Royal Society of Victoria and finishing up with a performance at 3:00pm in the Atrium at Federation Square. Come for one concert or see them all.
Visit https://musicaviva.com.au/competition to meet the MICMC ensembles, read the schedule and book your tickets.
BROADCAST & STREAMING Heats – 1-5 July: 3MBS Fine Music Melbourne Select ‘3MBS Fine Music’ on your digital radio or choose the ‘Digital’ tab online at https://3mbs.org.au/player/player-digital.html
Semi-Finals & Grand Finals – 6 & 8 July - ABC Classic FM Tune in to ABC Classic FM or visit its dedicated MICMC page to listen online and watch the Grand Finals live:http://www.abc.net.au/classic/features/micmc-2018-details/9898612. Or you can listen live via ABC Classic FM on the ABC listen app.