Unisa Music Foundation

Unisa national and international music competitions

The Music Foundation presents national music competitions in exactly the same format than its international music competitions with the specific aim to accustom young South African musicians to the stringent standards applied internationally.  So far a national organ, two piano and one string competition preceded the Unisa International Music Competitions in which the first prize winner and runner-up competed against a selected number of young overseas musicians.

The first International Music Competition (for piano) was held at Unisa in Pretoria in 1982.  The winner of this event a Canadian pianist Marc-André Hammelin has since then established himself as a sought after international pianist.  Other prize winners at Unisa include sopranos René Flemming and Summu Yo, tenors Johan Botha and Kobie van Rensburg, cellists Alexander Knasyer, and Jerôme Pernoo, violinists Benjamin Schmidt, Dmitri Makhatine.  Famous judges include Guido Agosti, Georgy Sandor, Marie Claire Alain, Maria Kliegel, Martina Arroyo, John O’Conor, Sergey Dovensky etc.