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SFCM to Host Irving M. Klein International String Competition

California Music Center and The San Francisco Conservatory of Music are embarking upon a new collaboration, which will bring the Irving M. Klein International String Competition to the Conservatory’s Caroline H. Hume Concert Hall beginning June, 2016. The Klein Competition, now in its 31st year, was previously presented at San Francisco State University.

Mitchell Sardou Klein, artistic director of the competition since its inception in 1986, expressed his excitement about the partnership. “We are so pleased to be bringing the remarkable young musicians who perform at the Irving M. Klein International Competition to the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, which has become a focal point for great music making on the West Coast. We expect that this collaboration will be immensely fruitful for both organizations, but also will enable a wider audience to experience the extraordinary artistry of these performers.”

Equally excited is SFCM President David H. Stull. “We are honored to partner with the California Music Center by welcoming the Irving M. Klein International Competition to SFCM. I look forward to developing a relationship with the California Music Center, which offers a high level of performance by dynamic and engaged young musicians.”

This new collaboration is a natural fit between two organizations that share historic connections and common goals. SFCM has been well represented at the Klein Competition; former prize-winners include alumni Hai-Ye Ni ’92, Robin Sharp ’90 and Pre-College alumna Amy Schwartz Moretti, while its eminent jury has included Moretti and SFCM Chair of Strings Jodi Levitz. The partnership provides the kind of transformative experience that both organizations seek to offer young musicians preparing for lives as successful artists. In addition, as Moretti points out, it “brings the competition to SFCM, which has become part of the center of culture and the arts” in San Francisco.

The Irving M. Klein International String Competition is open to musicians between ages 15 and 23. Its awards, valued at nearly $30,000, carry a prestige that has helped many top soloists gain prominence in the competitive world of classical music. These have included Jennifer Koh, Mark Kosower, Vadim Gluzman, Jennifer Frautschi, Alban Gerhardt, Frank Huang and Francois Salque. The competition is named for the late cellist and master teacher who devoted himself untiringly to the development of young artists.

The Klein Competition occurs in three stages. The CD applicant round, which closes on February 1, 2016, regularly draws over 100 entries from around the world. All submissions are reviewed by at least two jurors, and a group convenes in person to narrow the field to 8-10 semifinalists who will be invited to compete in San Francisco in June. In the semifinal round, each performer will play an unaccompanied work of Bach, movements from notable concertos and a newly commissioned composition by Giancarlo Aquilanti. In the final round, the artists must perform additional portions of their selected concerto and one major sonata movement.

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About The Irving M. Klein International String Competition
For the past 30 years, the Irving M. Klein International String Competition has attracted some of the world’s finest young string players to San Francisco each June to compete for cash and performance prizes totaling nearly $30,000. The Klein Competition has achieved international recognition as one of the most prestigious classical music competitions, recognized for the high caliber of the contestants, its unique, nurturing environment, and its commitment to the commissioning of new works. Past Klein prizewinners comprise a who’s who of the classical music artistic community. They include notable soloists Alyssa Park (1989), Jennifer Koh (1993), Vadim Gluzman (1993) and Alban Gerhardt (1989); up and coming players David Requiro (2006), Tessa Lark (2008) and Nikki Chooi (2009); and principal chairs in many of the finest U.S. orchestras, including the Philadelphia and Cleveland Orchestras, the New York Philharmonic, and the Boston Symphony. The 31st annual Irving M. Klein Competition will take place May 31-June 3, 2016 at San Francisco Conservatory of Music in San Francisco, CA. The application deadline is February 1, 2016. Presented in collaboration with San Francisco Conservatory of Music.

About The San Francisco Conservatory of Music

Founded in 1917, the San Francisco Conservatory of Music is the oldest conservatory in the American West and has earned an international reputation for producing musicians of the highest caliber. Notable alumni include violinists Yehudi Menuhin and Isaac Stern, conductor and pianist Jeffrey Kahane, soprano Elza van den Heever, Blue Bottle Coffee founder James Freeman and Ronald Losby, President, Steinway & Sons-Americas, among others. Its faculty includes nearly 30 members of the San Francisco Symphony as well as Grammy and Latin Grammy Award-winning artists in the fields of orchestral and chamber performance and classical guitar. The Conservatory offers its approximately 400 collegiate students fully accredited bachelor’s and master’s degree programs in composition and instrumental and vocal performance. SFCM was the first institution of its kind to offer world-class graduate degree programs in chamber music and classical guitar. Its Pre-College Division provides exceptionally high standards of musical excellence and personal attention to more than 200 younger students. SFCM faculty and students give nearly 500 public performances each year, most of which are offered to the public at no charge. Its community outreach programs serve over 1,600 school children and over 6,000 members of the wider community who are otherwise unable to hear live performances. The Conservatory’s Civic Center facility is an architectural and acoustical masterwork, and the Caroline H. Hume Concert Hall was lauded by The New York Times as the “most enticing classical-music setting” in the San Francisco Bay Area. For more information, visit

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