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Symphony Central Coast takes another step in supporting its ongoing mission to recognise emerging talent in the orchestral field as they hold their Concerto Competition on Sunday 24 June. This competition is held every two years and is open to all musicians on the Central Coast under the age of 25.

There are four performers in this year’s competition – Kimberly Gilbert, Gareth Szakos, Bradley Tham and Sebastien Hibbard. They have all chosen works by major composers including Tchaikovsky, Beethoven, Khatchaturian and Shostakovich and each will perform a movement or movements from a concerto up to 15 minutes in length.

Concertos are works for solo instrument and orchestra and are an opportunity for an outstanding player to show their artistry and virtuosity accompanied by a large orchestra. These works require great dexterity and musical maturity, all of which will be in plentiful supply at this concert. Sebastien has chosen a cello concerto by Shostakovich, a composer who struggled for most of his life to cope with uncomfortable pressures from the Soviet government. His music represents a repressed nation and is an opportunity for a soloist to examine their own understanding of life’s struggles and successes. Kimberly has chosen a piano concerto by Beethoven, one of our musical giants. Beethoven’s struggle was personal as he gradually lost his hearing throughout his life and was forced to live in an increasingly isolated world.

Gareth has selected the famous first Piano Concerto of Tchaikovsky, another composer of international standing but with another very personal struggle, his existence as a gay man in a nineteenth century environment. Bradley is performing the first movement of the violin concerto by Aram Khachaturian, an Armenian composer who also struggled with mid-20th Century Soviet governments, his music being dubbed ‘anti-people’ in 1940.

All four works will give the soloists much material to show their musical development and virtuosity. Chris Bearman will adjudicate for the first prize of $1500, sponsored by Terrigal Rotary Club and audience members are encouraged to vote for the People’s Choice award. Both prizes will be awarded at the conclusion of the concert and the winners will be invited to perform with Symphony Central Coast in 2019.

Prodigies. Central Coast Grammar School, Arundel Rd, Erina Heights.
2:30pm, Sunday, 24 June. Tickets at the door or


Information and images courtesy of
Hilary Day
SCC Committee.


About About the Central Coast

About the Central Coast is a free service specializing in promoting the activities of our local amateur and semi-professional artists and entertainers. It provides readers with information and reviews on their favourite theatre groups, bands and artists from around the Central Coast. If you have a locally produced arts event you would like me to promote, please send details to
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