SAMRO Foundation announces scholarship finalists

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SAMROSAMRO’s growing “family” of musicians is thrilled to welcome its latest members: the four gifted finalists in the 2014 SAMRO Overseas Scholarships

One work by each of the finalists – Kingsley Buitendag (29) and Prince Bulo (27) in the Jazz Music genre and Amy Crankshaw (22) and Antoni Schonken (26) in the Western Art Music category – will be performed live by a selection of South Africa’s premier professional jazz and classical musicians.

“What is noteworthy about this year’s scholarship finalists is that these four remarkable music graduates are no strangers to our extended SAMRO family,” remarks André le Roux, managing director of the SAMRO Foundation.

“Amy was a beneficiary of our pilot orchestral mentorship programme last year, under the tutelage of Professor Peter Klatzow, himself a former SAMRO scholarship winner in 1965. Both Amy and Antoni have previously received SAMRO bursaries to fund their university music studies amongst the 1 700 granted since 1980.

“Kingsley was the runner-up in the 2010 SAMRO Overseas Scholarships Competition for composers. Prince won three subsidiary prizes in the 2008 competition for instrumentalists as a young bass player, and also the merit award in the 2010 composers’ competition. This shows that as the SAMRO Foundation, we are reaping the dividends of supporting young musicians ‘from roots to fruits’.”

Candidates for this year’s composers’ round each had to submit three original compositions in their chosen genre. Each winner will receive a R170 000 scholarship to further his or her studies or attend master classes overseas, while the runners-up will be awarded R40 000 apiece. The merit award winners, Arthur Feder (26) and Paul Morrissey (28) in the Western Art and Jazz Music genres respectively, will each receive R10 000.

The occasion will also mark the launch of a new award for young composers: the Surendran Reddy clazz Award. This special prize has been established by the SAMRO Foundation and Reddy’s longtime companion, Heike Asmuss, in honour of the late pianist, teacher, composer and genre-crossing music pioneer, who passed away in 2010 aged just 47.

The term “clazz” was devised by Reddy to describe his musical style and his concept of composition and improvisation: a seamless fusion of many different styles of music, including classical, jazz, traditional African, mbaqanga and other types of world music.

It is a crossover style that mirrors the kind of society this dynamic music pioneer envisaged. In this spirit, Le Roux says the Foundation hopes the new Surendran Reddy clazz Award will inspire young composers to free their creativity from the confines of genre and style boxes.

Entrance to the Concert Evening at the Wits Great Hall on 30 August 2014 is free, but is by invitation only and seating is limited. To reserve your seat, please call Naseema at 011 712 8417 or e-mail naseema.yusuf@samro.org.za. Visit www.samrofoundation.org.za or follow @SAMROFoundation on Twitter or Facebook for more information.

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