A politics student from The University Manchester has started an innovative international project with the goal of making music apolitical. The New Stars International Music Competition, a new initiative that seeks to ameliorate the negative aspects of current international competitions of classical music, launches this week. The competition will be presented by the Crescendo International Music Festival in Florida and is a new opportunity for gifted musicians from all over the world over to showcase their talents on the international stage.
“Our core mission is to advance the careers of talented artists,” said Itamar Rashkovsky, the British-Israeli award winning violinist and Politics and International Relations student who co-founded the project, speaking exclusively to THE MANCHESTER MAGAZINE. “Often, competitions aren't that beneficial to one's career. The prize money is disposable and the concert opportunities are narrow. We seek to change this. Instead of offering prize money, this competition offers other prizes that are directly beneficial to the career and exposure of the artist. These prizes will include career management, consultancy, press releases, concerto opportunities, recital opportunities and scholarships to participate and perform in international music festivals.”
The concept for the competition was conceived by Itamar and co-founder Dmitry Daniel Askerov, an award winning Russian-Israeli violinist, during their participation in the 2013 Kloster Schoental International Violin Competition in Germany. The pair were discussing some of the difficulties involved in international competitions and a key concern was the financial risk of funding travel and accommodation just in order to be able to compete.
“For us, New Stars is much more than just a competition,” said Dmitry. “New Stars gives an opportunity for young and talented musicians to be seen all over the world. By making our competition online, we aim to give an opportunity for participants who can’t afford to travel around the globe to display their abilities. I sincerely believe that this initiative will uncover hidden musical talents from across the globe.”
The project has declared an unprecedented commitment to transparency and political fairness which makes it unlike any other competition offered to musicians to date. Keyboard and string players will be able to enter the competition by submitting nothing more than a video clip. Potential prejudice based on age or nationality, for example, will therefore be ruled out. The adjudicating system is also unprecedented in the world of international music competitions. All the voting of the core jury will be published online and viewable to the public.
"Though, of course, music is not entirely objective, transparency in adjudication can bring rhyme and reason to all the madness,” said Canadian pianist Ryan Hum, one of the jury members, who is also a student at The University of Manchester. “Transparency in jury votes rightfully acknowledges the subjectivity inherent in art, while at the same time trying to fairly commend and foster excellence.”
The core international jury will comprise of soloists from the UK, China, Russia, Germany, Canada, Israel, Mexico, Albania, Slovenia, Lithuania and Finland. Between them, they have won prizes at major international music competitions and performed internationally at some of the world’s most prestigious venues.
As the official media partner of this new initiative, THE MANCHESTER MAGAZINE will bring you of all of the latest developments. TMM
More information available at newstarscompetition.com