Unisa flute and clarinet kings unite on winners’ tour

Woodwind mastery will be in the air when the two winners of last year’s Unisa International Flute and Clarinet Competition tour later this month.

Flautist Matvey Demin of Russia and clarinetist Sang Yoon Kim of South Korea will join musical forces to present the Unisa 1st International Flute and Clarinet Winners’ Tour that will take in Pretoria, the Western Cape, Grahamstown and Pietermaritzburg from July 24 to August 1.

The pair emerged victorious from last year’s inaugural Unisa International Flute and Clarinet Competition, in which 26 young flute and clarinet players from around the world travelled to Pretoria to test their performance mettle in front of a panel of world-renowned adjudicators.

Demin (22) walked off with the first prize in the flute category and Kim (26) was crowned the winner in the clarinet section. Each winner received R200 000 plus additional special prizes.

Now, the two gifted young musicians are returning to South Africa to dazzle audiences around the country with their musical virtuosity on a weeklong tour.

Their concert tour kicks off at 7.30 pm at Unisa’s ZK Matthews Auditorium in Pretoria on July 24 before transferring to the Baxter Theatre in Cape Town at 8 pm on July 25. The following day, Sunday, July 26, Hermanus music aficionados will have the opportunity to take in Demin and Kim’s mellifluous sounds at 3.30 pm at the Municipal Auditorium.

The winners’ tour moves to Stellenbosch University’s Fismer Hall on July 28 for a lunch-hour concert at 1.10 pm, before heading to the Beethoven Room, Music Department at Rhodes University in Grahamstown on July 30, at 7.30 pm. It ends with a flourish at 4 pm on August 1 at Government House on Unisa’s Pietermaritzburg campus.

Kim is known for his musical sensitivity, seamless tonal range and technical brilliance. He was the first Korean clarinetist to be accepted into the Conservatoire National Superieur de Musique de Paris, and went on to make his solo debut at the Walt Disney Concert Hall. Among his accolades is the first prize in the 2012 Jacques Lancelot International Clarinet Competition.

An active chamber musician, he has also clocked up several notable solo performances from Paris to Seoul, including playing the Mozart Clarinet Concerto with the Auburn Symphony and the Chamber Philharmonic of South Bohemia – the piece that also clinched the top prize for him in the final round of the Unisa competition.

Siberia-born Demin is a multiple laureate of international competitions, including winning first prize at the All Russia Woodwind Competition and the gold medal at the Delphic Games of Russia, as well as the Bärenreiter Urtext Prize at the ARD International Music Competition in Munich.

This prodigiously gifted young flautist studied at the prestigious Institute for the Advancement of Highly Talented Musicians at Hanover’s University of Music and Drama, followed by the University of Music and Drama in Munich. As a soloist, Demin has already performed with orchestras in some of Germany’s most notable concert halls. He is currently the co-principal solo flautist with Zurich’s Tonhalle Orchestra.

Demin and Kim will be accompanied during their South African concerts by accomplished local pianist Tertia Visser Downie.

The programme includes Kim performing Widor’s Introduction and Rondo, Sonata for Clarinet and Piano by Poulenc, and Carmen Fantasy by De Sarasate.

Following the interval, Demin will play Mozart’s Rondo in D major, followed by Duvernoy’s Concertino for flute and piano, Génin’s Carnaval de Venice for flute and piano, and Schubert’s introduction, theme and variations from Trockne Blumen (excerpts subject to change). As a special treat, he will include South African composer Hendrik Hofmeyr’s Orithyia and the North Wind for flute.

The pair will conclude each performance with a rendition of Connesson’s Techno Parade.

The Unisa 1st International Flute and Clarinet Winners’ Tour is guaranteed to be one of this winter’s classical music highlights! Tickets for all performances are available at the door, with tickets for the Baxter Theatre concert also available at Computicket. Tickets range from R50 to R150 in price; the Stellenbosch University lunch-hour concert is free.

Flautist Matvey Demin of Russia and clarinetist Sang Yoon Kim of South Korea will join musical forces to present the Unisa 1st International Flute and Clarinet Winners’ Tour.

Flautist Matvey Demin of Russia and clarinetist Sang Yoon Kim of South Korea will join musical forces to present the Unisa 1st International Flute and Clarinet Winners’ Tour.

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