Held every year in late October, at the time of the birthday of the legendary Chinese philosopher, hundreds of young musicians compete in the annual Music Festival in Honor of Confucius (MFHC), where they perform selected Chinese music, as well as a western piece of their choosing, for a panel of judges. The Festival this year, although not open to the general public, will take place Sunday, October 23rd at the Sherwood Conservatory of Music. The deadline for application was September 19, – complete information is at www.chinesefinearts.org.
All first prize winners of the MFHC are invited to perform at the Annual Winners Concert. This yearʼs concert will be held on Sunday, November 20 at 3:00 pm at the historic Preston Bradley Hall in the Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington. As always, this concert is free and open to the public. Parents and family, as well as the public, get the chance to hear and enjoy various musical pieces, originating from both the East and West. More information about the Chicago Cultural Center is at www.chicagoculturalcenter.org or by calling 312 744 6630.
Begun by the late Barbara Tiao (Founder of the Chinese Fine Arts Society) in 1984, the Music Festival in Honor of Confucius introduces participants to the rich heritage of Chinese music through competitions and scholarships. A required repertoire reflects the beauty and breadth of the Chinese musical tradition and proves to be challenging and inspiring for the contestants. It exposes students and their teachers to a wider world of music and styles. Participants will be performing selected pieces and divided by instrument and age. Alumni of this popular program (examples include violinist Rachel Barton Pine and pianist Conrad Tao) have gone on to attend music conservatories, and many have developed successful professional music careers.
There are four sub-competitions:
The Confucius Competition: Flagship competition for cellists, violinists and pianists ages 18 years or younger. Each contestant performs one piece from the required Chinese repertoire, and one piece of the contestantʼs choice to compete for cash prizes and participation trophies.
The Amei Hu Lin Violin Scholarship Competition: For advanced violinists ages 18 or younger. This competition commemorates the life of Mrs. Amei Hu Lin and is sponsored by Mr. & Mrs. Jiumn-Wen Lin. Each contestant performs the required repertoire piece to compete for a $500 scholarship.
The Virginia Geyser Behrendt Scholarship Competition: For advanced cellists, pianists and violinists performing together as a trio ensemble, ages 25 or younger. This competition commemorates the life of Mrs. Virginia Behrendt and is sponsored by the Virginia Geyser Behrendt Foundation. Each group of contestants performs the required repertoire piece to compete for a shared scholarship of $1200.
Chinese Instruments and Voice Category: This is open to nonprofessional players of all Chinese instruments and vocalists in any age group. Participants are invited to perform a Chinese repertoire piece of their choice, and will be adjudicated by a distinguished panel of judges.
About the Chinese Fine Arts Society: For 27 years, this professional, small, fully- independent arts organization has brought together people from diverse backgrounds over a common goal: to celebrate the beauty and majesty of traditional and contemporary Chinese music and art. CFAS is dedicated to promoting the appreciation of Chinese culture, enhancing cultural exchange and pursuing excellence in Chinese music, dance and visual arts.
Funding for this concert is provided, in part, by the Illinois Arts Council, City Arts Grants, and the Arts Work Fund, an initiative of the Chicago Community Trust and Affiliates.