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By LIM MAY LEE
alltherage@thestar.com.my

IT’S been a struggle for our young musicians – particularly those classically inclined – to develop their craft here, let alone find platforms to showcase their talent. Those with the funds have the luxury of seeking better fortunes for education in Europe or the United States.

Unfortunately, for the ones forced to remain here, the road to redemption is often unpaved or dead ended.

“There are simply not enough platforms for kids,” said Jonathan Oh, the artistic director of EUROASIA, adding that it is the youth who suffer from this lack of exposure.

This is where the seven-day EUROASIA Youth Music Festival intervenes. The festival, held at Seri Pacific Hotel, Kuala Lumpur, from June 1-8, aims to bridge the gap between existing young talent in Malaysia and the artistic opportunities available in the great beyond (in this case, Europe). The festival comprises masterclasses for the violin, cello and piano, a young soloist competition, and concerts.

Starting them young: These young members of the Arioso Sinfonia have been training since they were about four years old.

Starting them young: These young members of the Arioso Sinfonia have been training since they were about four years old.

“These kinds of festivals are plentiful abroad, particularly in Europe and the US. However, it is costly for students to travel abroad to attend them,” said Angel Lee, EUROASIA’s festival director.

Realising that going to Europe would be a problem for the average youngster, EUROASIA’s decided to bring Europe to Malaysia. This, the festival’s second instalment, will feature a faculty comprising violinists Amaury Coeytaux and Maud Lovett, cellist Florent Audibert, and pianist Frederic Lagarde.

Those who wish to learn more about the piano, violin and cello can do so from these talented French musicians, who will conduct the masterclasses. The masterclasses, which run from June 2-6, are open to the public, and no prior experience is necessary. Passive participants are also welcome, however, the number is limited to eight per class.

If you get a thrill watching a masterclass, imagine how much more amazing it would be to watch these professionals work their magic onstage!

On top of this sumptuous musical spread, there are two additional free concerts at the lobby of the hotel, on June 4 and 5. The first is a performance by the KL Chamber Group and the second, by The Harp Academy, promises to be a magical affair.

If you’re ready to be a pro yourself and are prepared to showcase your skills, there is an open audition to recruit string players to join the festival orchestra. Successful candidates will perform with the orchestra during the main event, the Gala Concert on June 7.

There is also a soloist competition for pianists and string players! The preliminary round will be held on June 7, with the finals the following day.

“This is a great opportunity for young people to find out what they want to do with their talent,” said Oh. “We want to give serious students a bridge to Europe, to give them the opportunities they might not have had otherwise.”

Audition, competition and ticketing details are available at euroasia youthmusic.com/.

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