Did you know Charleston Symphony Orchestra (CSO) musicians devote more than a third of their time to educating the public about classical music? As part of this effort, the CSO established the National Young Artist Competition, which since 2014 has invited the country’s top talents to compete for cash prizes and tuition scholarships to the Brevard Music Center.
Youth from around the nation send in video auditions, with ages 13 to 18 competing in instrumental categories and 18- to 25-year-olds in vocals. On April 12, the top 12 will gather in town for the semifinals. Four finalists will advance to the Grand Prize Round, performing with the CSO for a live audience on April 14 before a winner is named.
To continue inspiring younger generations, victors often return to play with the CSO—2015 violinist Danny Jin, for example, performed for school groups last fall. ”When students see someone their age playing at such a high level—that’s when it really resonates that classical music is special,” says CSO director of education and community engagement Janice Crews.