This festival introduces participants to the rich heritage of Chinese music through competitions and scholarships. From a storefront operation at its inception, attracting just a handful of participants, the Music Festival has become a very popular musical 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 and appreciate it. Alumni of this popular program have gone on to attend music conservatories, and many have developed successful professional music careers.
Every fall, hundreds of young musicians perform Chinese music selected from our required repertoire, as well as a western piece of their choosing, for a panel of judges. The top scoring performers in each age category play in our annual Winners Concert at prestigious Preston Bradley Hall in the Chicago Cultural Center. We have an exciting required repertoire which reflects the beauty and breadth of the Chinese musical tradition, and will prove to be challenging and inspiring for the contestants.
Below are the main components of the Music Festival. All performance competitions are held on the Competition Day which is usually in mid-October.
The Confucius Competition
Our flagship competition for cellists, violinists and pianists ages 18 years or younger. Each contestant performs one piece from the required 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). In 2012, we are pleased to expand this category, open to nonprofessional players of all Chinese instruments ages 18 and younger, into a competitive category with cash prizes.
In 2013, CFAS is pleased to introduce a competitive Voice category, open to all nonprofessional vocalists ages 21 and younger. Each contestant performs one piece from the required 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. Contestants perform the required repertoire piece to compete for a scholarship of $1200.
Annual MFHC Winners Concert
All first prize winners of the MFHC Festival Competition will be invited to perform at the Annual Music Festival in Honor of Confucius Winners Concert in November, which is presented 4-5 weeks after the Competition Day.