New England String Ensemble Announces String Competition

NESE announces 12th annual youth String Competition. First Place winner receives scholarship and performs as featured artist in orchestra's “Winter Contrast” concerts in February.

Wakefield, MA, October 24, 2007 --( Attention Advanced String Students: New England String Ensemble (NESE) has announced a call for entries for its 12th Annual Youth String Competition. Violin, Viola, Cello and Bass students 18 and younger, living in the New England Region, are encouraged to submit audition tapes for a chance to win scholarships and a solo performance with NESE in their February concerts. The deadline to enter is December1, 2007.

The NESE Youth String Competition was created to nurture and encourage more advanced young string students from the New England area to prepare, audition and compete for a solo appearance with a professional orchestra. This is an opportunity for students 18 and under to develop the dedication and commitment required for an audition. Students ages 12 and under are also encouraged to participate in the competition. Younger students can compete within their own category or may opt for the open division. The audition repertoire is unrestricted this year but a suggested list of audition pieces is available at selection will be used for both the preliminary and live auditions. Those who advance past the preliminary round will be invited to the live auditions at the New England Conservatory in Boston. Students will be evaluated by a panel of judges including some of the most prominent performers and educators in New England.

According to Peter Stickel, NESE Executive Director, the purpose of this competition is to “channel the talents and aspirations of the most committed string students to propel them into the brightest possible musical future”. In addition to the String Competition, the orchestra also supports music programs in the schools with “String Fever” at the elementary level, “Kids to Concerts” for middle-schoolers, the “New England Musical Heritage Initiative” at the high school level, and the newly created “Genius of Youth” program for middle and high school students.

Last year’s competition drew entries from all of the six New England states and it was 17-year old cellist Tony Rymer of Dorchester, MA who won First-Place. Since the age of 5 Tony was a student of Project Step, a program giving first-class musical instruction to low income minority students in and around Boston. His performance in NESE’s April 2007 concerts brought audience members roaring to their feet.

This year’s Open Division First Prize Winner will receive a $500 scholarship and a solo performance in “Winter Contrast”. The February concerts will feature works by Mozart, Lutoslawski, and Schubert. The program is a story of contrasts beginning with Mozart’s fresh and optimistic Divertimento contrasted by the Lutoslawski filled with tension and mystery. Following the String Competition Showcase, the performance concludes with Schubert’s evocatively powerful yet achingly beautiful “Death and the Maiden”.

Entry forms, criteria and suggested repertoire for the 2007-2008 NESE String Competition are available online at or for more information call 781-224-1117.

New England String Ensemble
Amy Kench