The Chinese Fine Arts Society’s annual Music Festival in Honor of Confucius (MFHC) introduces participants to the rich heritage of Chinese music through competitions, scholarships, and performance opportunities for winners. From a storefront operation at its inception, attracting just a handful of participants, the Music Festival has become a very popular event for musicians of all ages in Chicago. Music teachers welcome it; young musicians look forward to participating in it; the packed audience at the Winners Concerts enjoy it. Alumni of this program have gone on to attend music conservatories and many have developed highly successful professional music careers.
Every fall, hundreds of young musicians perform a required piece of Chinese music selected from our repertoire and a western piece of their choosing for a panel of judges. Our required repertoire reflects the beauty, majesty, and wide breadth of the Chinese musical tradition and will prove to be an inspiring challenge for the contestants. The top scoring performers in each age category play in our annual Winners Concert at a prestigious concert venue in Chicago.
Below are the main components of the Music Festival. All performance competitions are held on October 19, 2014 at the Merit School of Music, 38 S Peoria St, Chicago, IL 60607.
The Confucius Competition
Our flagship competition for cellists, violinists and pianists ages 18 years or younger. Each contestant performs one piece from the Chinese repertoire and one piece of the contestant’s choice to compete for cash prizes and participation trophies.
The Chinese Instrument Competition
In celebration of our 25th Anniversary in 2009, the Chinese Fine Arts Society introduced a noncompetitive Chinese Instrument Category (CIC). Since 2012, we have expanded this category, open to nonprofessional players of all Chinese instruments ages 18 and younger, into a competitive category with cash prizes and participation trophies.
In 2013, CFAS introduced a competitive Voice category, open to all nonprofessional vocalists ages 21 and younger. Each contestant performs one piece from the Chinese repertoire and one piece of the contestant’s choice to compete for cash prizes and participation trophies.
The Virginia Geyser Behrendt Scholarship Competition
For advanced musicians ages 25 or younger, this competition commemorates the life of Mrs. Virginia Behrendt and is sponsored by the Virginia Geyser Behrendt Foundation. The 2014 Virginia Geyser Behrendt scholarship competition is a chamber music performance competition where chamber ensembles can play any work written by a Chinese composer (traditional or contemporary), for any size ensemble/combination of instruments (western or Chinese).
Annual MFHC Winners Concert
All first prize winners of the MFHC Competition will be invited to perform at the annual MFHC Winners Concert in November 2014, which is presented 4-5 weeks after the Competition Day.