The ‘Stars of the Albion’ Arts Competition and Festival

stars-imageOver the past few weekends I’ve been adjudicating at various competitions. On several occasions I worked alone (as an adjudicator for the British and International Federation of Music Festivals), but this past weekend, I was one of a panel of judges for the ‘Stars of the Albion’ competition.  Although I enjoy both challenges, working with others is not only more interesting and convivial, but it also shares the responsibility of selecting winners (which is never an easy task).

‘Stars of the Albion’ is an international performing arts festival and competition. It’s an annual event, uniting young talented musicians and dancers from across the world. The project forms a unique bridge connecting different cultures and in particular that of Russia and Great Britain. It aims to provide valuable opportunities for young emerging artists to perform, learn, communicate and develop.

Organised and promoted by Musica Nova Academy of Music, which was founded and is owned by Russian singer, pianist and educator Evgenia Terentieva. This bilingual establishment (situated just around the corner from King’s Cross station, on Crommer Street), combines the British and Russian principles of teaching. It’s held under the Patronage of the World Association of Performing Arts (WAPA) and is supported by the Rossotrudnichestvo, the Russian cultural centre in the UK.

This is the fourth arts festival & competition. There are two rounds; the first one is based on video recordings (DVD and YouTube), and the second is open to the public and held at the concert hall of the Rossotrudnichestvo (situated just off Kensington High Street), and at the Musica Nova Academy. The Rudolf Steiner Theatre (also in London) plays host to the final awards ceremony and gala concert. Thirty international and twenty national soloists as well as five ensembles were selected to participate in the second round.

Participants hail from a large spectrum of nations including the UK, Russia, Germany, Italy, Greece, Spain, Brazil, Kazakhstan, Republic of Belarus, Bulgaria, Malta, Philippines, Latvia, Armenia, Ukraine, Ghana, and India.

I was one of four to judge the instrumental category at the Musica Nova Academy (with colleagues, Alexander Ioffe and Yuri Zhislin (both from Russia), and Natalia Varkentin (who is Latvian)). The awards were segregated into three age categories; 6 -10 years old, 11 – 15 years, and 16 years and over, and all competitors were either pianists or violinists. The standard was reasonably high; students were expected to play their programmes from memory (including the duet classes), and many performed fairly advanced pieces (particularly in the age category from 6 – 10 years).

I’m always fascinated by the repertoire chosen for such events; there was a diverse selection from a piano arrangement of the theme from Schindler’s List (John Williams) and Yiruma’s ubiquitous piano piece The River Flows In You (played by a six-year-old!), to the Hungarian Rhapsody No. 11 by Liszt. We heard several renditions of Tchaikovsky’s Melody in E Op. 42 No. 3 (for violin) as well as typical selections from the ABRSM Grade 8 repertoire.

The winners of each class perform in the final gala concert (which was held last night), and some of them also win cash prizes. Whilst we enjoyed the instrumental classes at the Musica Nova Academy, a much larger panel judged the singing classes at the Rossotrudnichestvo Cultural Centre  (which were huge in comparison). I like the inclusion of multiple disciplines; there’s something for literally everyone (both amateur or professional), whether a classical performer, jazz player, pop singer, dancer, or folk musician. This flexibility will ensure that the ‘Stars of the Albion’ goes from strength to strength, and it will no doubt flourish and develop over the coming years.

www.starsofthealbion.org.uk

www.musicanova.org.uk


My publications:

For much more information about how to practice piano repertoire, take a look at my piano course, Play it again: PIANO (published by Schott Music). Covering a huge array of styles and genres, the course features a large collection of progressive, graded piano repertoire from approximately Grade 1 to advanced diploma level, with copious practice tips for every piece. A convenient and beneficial course for students of any age, with or without a teacher, and it can also be used alongside piano examination syllabuses too.

You can find out more about my other piano publications and compositions here.


 

Weekend Competition: the winners

Many thanks to all those who took part in this weekend’s competition.

The winners are:

Ann Pepper and Lisa Duerr

Congratulations! Please send your address via the contact page on this blog and your copies of Choral and Vocal Warm-Ups will be with you shortly. There are lots more competitions and giveaways coming soon.

If you would like to purchase a copy of Choral and Vocal Warm-Ups, click here.


My publications:

For much more information about how to practice piano repertoire, take a look at my piano course, Play it again: PIANO (published by Schott Music). Covering a huge array of styles and genres, the course features a large collection of progressive, graded piano repertoire from approximately Grade 1 to advanced diploma level, with copious practice tips for every piece. A convenient and beneficial course for students of any age, with or without a teacher, and it can also be used alongside piano examination syllabuses too.

You can find out more about my other piano publications and compositions here.


The Winners: Improve Your Theory! Grades 3, 4 & 5

castigatorii-concursului

A big thank you to all who took part in this weekend’s competition. With over 50 comments, I think it’s fair to say there are many Improve Your Theory! fans out there!

The winners are: Vera, who wins Improve Your Theory! Grade 3, mfrgolfgti wins Grade 4, and Vicki Spooner wins Grade 5. Many congratulations! Please send me your addresses via my contact page here on the blog, and I will pop the books in the post tomorrow.

For those who haven’t won, there will be  many more competitions here on my blog over the coming weeks, so stay tuned….

www.fabermusic.com

Image link


My publications:

For much more information about how to practice piano repertoire, take a look at my two-book piano course, Play it again: PIANO (Schott). Covering a huge array of styles and genres, 49 progressive pieces from approximately Grade 1 – 8 level are featured, with at least two pages of practice tips for every piece. A convenient and beneficial course for students of any age, with or without a teacher, and it can also be used alongside piano examination syllabuses too.

You can find out more about my other piano publications and compositions here.