It is only fifteen years old yet it is the oldest piano competition of the Holy Land. The Magnificat Piano Competition, put on every year by the Magnificat Institute, the Custody of the Holy Land’s music school. The goal is to promote the talent of young musicians so that in the future they can make a career out of music, as performers and as teachers, within Palestinian society. This competition also aims at encouraging students toward a greater commitment to their studies. From an early age, they are assessed by a panel and they experience the thrill of playing in public.
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A very attentive audience applauded the winners of the 2014 competition, at the last concert, which took place on Sunday, January 26, in the auditorium of the Saint Savior Monastery in Jerusalem.
“I am first and foremost proud and happy because my hard work has not been in vain. I would like to become a famous musician or study music at the university level or become a teacher … who knows!”
“I like everything here. I love that we know each other like a family. I have many friends here and with the teachers, it feels like our second home here. This is how I feel here.”
The Swiss Friends of the Magnificat association, the main sponsor of the event, named the competition after Nikolaus De La Flüe, the patron of the Swiss Confederation and great example of a peacemaker among nations. The jury members came from local and international conservatories that for various reasons have ties with the Magnificat Institute.
Director, School of Music/Conservatory of Italian Canton, Switzerland
“It was really very interesting: the youth are very motivated and they have a very thorough musical culture; their technique and level of training is good. These are youth who, in situations that are not always very easy, can really do a great job.”
Different categories in the competition, depending on the degree of difficulty of the pieces performed. This year there were about thirty competitors, aged between eight and seventeen. The students were given awards by the president of the Friends of the Magnificat as well as by the president of the Society of St. George and the Representative of Poland to the Palestinian Authority.
ANGELO PIERO BAFUNDI
Pres. Company of St. George
“For ten years, we have been on a journey of collaboration with the Franciscan Custody. In this context, by the recommendation of the Father Custos, we started this support activity for the Magnificat of which we are truly honored, for the purpose of training the youth. Our scouts somehow want to help and support the important work of the Custody for the training of the youth and the growth of a culture of peace, cooperation and friendship.”
And now, some of the young pianists who participated in the competition will be invited to perform in Europe.
Teacher, Magnificat Institute
“We have very good, hardworking and talented students. I have been teaching for 46 years … and thanks to my experience I understand how talented they are and I hope they can reach high levels of music.”