Michael Hill Fellows compete for the 56th National Concerto Competition title.

The Christchurch Symphony Orchestra promise not one, but three concertos come Saturday 9 March, when 2023 Michael Hill Fellowship member violinists and 2022 Whakatipu Music Festival Young Artists Peter Gjelsten and Hazuki Katsukawa and Clarinettist and 2021 Whakatipu Festival artist Ben van Leuven compete in the finals of the 56th National Concerto Competition.

The competition, which is in its 56th year, is one of New Zealand’s most prestigious and oldest music competitions for musicians 25 years and under.

Having successfully navigated the gruelling preliminary rounds in late 2023, these three talented young musicians will be competing to win the ultimate prize. First place takes the lion’s share of a total prize package valued at more than $17,500, but it is also the chance to have their name linked alongside the other past winners which is perhaps the benefit these young artists covert the most.

The list of past National Concerto Competition winners reads like a veritable who’s who of our country’s most influential classical musicians, such as Michael Houstoun (1971), Mark Menzies (1986), Hamish McKeich (1988), Ashley Brown (1994), Henry Wong Doe (1995), Natalia Lomeiko (2000), Benjamin Morrison (2004) and Amalia Hall (2006).

The finale performance with the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra is a highlight on the Christchurch concert calendar and will take place on Saturday 9 March, in the Douglas Lilburn Auditorium, Christchurch Town Hall from 7.00pm.

To book tickets visit: TICKETEK

To learn more about the finalists and to meet the adjudicators visit: www.nationalconcertocompetition.co.nz

Audiences outside of Christchurch will have the opportunity to enjoy the full concert, thanks to Radio New Zealand Concert, who will be recording the Finale performance for broadcast at a later date.