17 Young Talents Win Solhi Al-Wadi International Competition

(ST) - The jury of the "Solhi Al Wadi" competition for young talents on the piano announced the names of winners, who were divided into four age groups, during a "solo performance" held by the winners at Dar Al Assad for Culture and Arts.

The selection of the winners has been done under specific criteria such as; how to put their hands on the piano as they are playing the musical composition, their understanding of the musical school of the composer they are playing his music. In addition to the character of the performer and his way to convey the messages and feelings through his play and his accuracy in translating the musical text to a melody on the stage.

During the closing ceremony, the winners performed classical vocal compositions by international authors such as Schubert, Bach, Bertini, Cherty, Hayden, Rachmaninov, Heller, Mozart and Dia Soukari.

Certificates and many awards have been given to the winners and the participants in the ceremony.

 The closing ceremony was preceded by carrying out a professional workshop for the students participating in the competition which is considered a good opportunity for them, especially those coming from the provinces, to introduce them to the international standards of playing the piano in the case that they  participate in this kind of competitions in the future.

On the symbolic revival of this contest on July 7, director and founder of the competition, Dr. Wassem Kotoub said in an interview with the Syria times e-newspaper : "We, and after 7 years, have prepared to revive the competition on the seventh day of the seventh month, as the number 7 indicates the sign of the victory.

After a dialogue with the Ministries of Culture and Tourism and Dar al-Assad for Music and the Directorate of Musical Institutes, we decided to hold this competition for the current year to give hope to the youth that our country, the cradle of art, civilization, heritage and love, is restoring its glory and bright again.

Dr. Kotoub stressed: "The competition witnessed a great participation from various Syrian governorates and cities in addition to the distinguished Arab participation from Iraq and Tunisia. For the members of the committee there was also an international presence represented by Ecuador and Finland.

Dr. Kotoub wished for  those who have not been lucky this year to participate again in the coming year, especially that it will be available for those who are over 18 years to participate in the coming competition , which gives greater opportunities for musical institutes and governorates, Arab and foreign countries to participate in it, pointing out that they are working, as a future strategy, to organize workshops for the winners outside Syria.

"Our future plans also include partnerships with other international competitions, so the winner will be qualified for the final round of the other competition", Dr. Kotoub concluded.

Member of the international jury, Maestro Missak Baghboudarian, expressed happiness and great joy for being a member of this jury that gives him the opportunity to discover many distinctive talents and to touch the firm will of these children to continue, to love,to live and to rebuild the better future. "This proves that the war could not kill the love of life and love of art in them, and that there is a bright future waiting for us, thanks to these children and their sincere desire and love for music.

"I learned a lot from these kids, I love their pure souls.  In spite of the strong competition among them, they were playing and communicating with each other with the utmost love and respect. I wish the children who were not able to win prizes this year to participate in the coming year with a new competitive spirit and a greater determination and desire to achieve excellence," Mr. Baghboudarian affirmed.

Dr. Hamsa Al-Wadi Juris, a member of the jury, said: " I was amazed and pleased to meet all these outstanding talents. These children were able to enchant the audience who sat listening to them with complete silence and admiration.

"I hope that the upcoming competitions will witness more participation at the local, Arab and international levels and that the study of the piano will be easier than it is now," he added.

Talking about their participation in the competition, Maestro, Mohammad Nizar Farhat, said : "We represented Lattakia Governorate in this competition with 6 students and we got two prizes: The first place prize for category A and the first place prize for category B plus the special prize for playing with the National Symphony Orchestra led by Maestro Missak Baghboudrian. It was a great experience for our students to participate for the first time in an international competition".

It is noteworthy that the competition aimed at those under the age of 18, began in 2007 at the level of Syria and in 2008 took an international character. In 2012 the competition was halted due to the terrorist war on Syria. Now in 2019, the competitions were resumed again with qualified Syrian cadres and an international jury that includes Maestro, Missak Baghboudrian from Syria, Hamsa Al-Wadi Juris and Carlos Yoris from Finland, with 45 participants, mostly from the Syrian provinces. The Arab participants were from Tunisia and Iraq.

Interviewed by: Amal Farhat