In what promises to be a springboard into the international arena for the country’s musical prodigies, Moving Young Artists (MYA), the Qatar-based non-profit foundation that has been nurturing and inspiring young local talent for more than three years, will host a grand, one-of-a-kind musical spectacle in October this year.

The Qatar National Music Competition (QNMC), under the patronage of Qatar National Commission for Education, Culture and Science, seeks to create a competitive platform that would encourage the finest in music creativity and performance in Qatar. Chiefly sponsored by Vodafone Qatar and in collaboration with Katara and the Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra (QPO), the competition will be a significant artistic event on national and international stage as it will showcase the best of Qatar’s musical talent.

The event will be held from 15 to 19 October at the Katara Drama Theatre, and will culminate in a gala concert and awarding of winners on 19 October. Split into various categories, the competition is open to anyone with musical inclination, 18 years old and below. The categories are sub-divided according to participants’ age — 11 and under, 14 and under, and 18 and under — and instrument of choice — solo piano, solo winds, solo strings, solo vocal, percussion/harp/guitar, and composition.

Featuring both Arabic and Western music categories, QNMC will open the stage for both performing musicians and young composers. There will also be a Special Needs category for differently-abled children. Age limit for participants is 18 years old with the exception of one distinctive category, which is open only for Qatari citizens.

MYA co-founder Joris Laenen said that their vision for QNMC is to propel Qatar into an international music festival stage. And since Qatar doesn’t have a long history of music education, QNMC would also like to offer adult Qatari musicians with an opportunity to present their talent. For those who are more of a team player, QNMC also has a plan cut out for them – they can compete as group under the Choirs and Ensembles/Takht category.

We are especially proud to include a Concerto category, the winner of which will receive the honour to perform as a soloist with Qatar’s own world-class orchestra, the QPO.’

Ramping up the reach and scale of the competition, several embassies already pledged their support and involvement by handing out a long line of signature awards: Switzerland, Singapore, Spain, Germany, France, Russia, the UK, Republic of Korea, India, The Netherlands, Sweden, Indonesia and Kazakhstan.

The jury will comprise Qatar’s music heavyweights such as Kurt Meister, Executive Director of QPO, who will adjudge the Concerto category, and the Qatari multi-talent Dana Alfardan, who will judge the composition and song-writing category. A few other internationally renowned music personalities are set to soon join the jury. The event is also sponsored by Marsa Malaz Kempinski, The Pearl – Doha, IDKatar, Al Maktab Al Qatari Al Hollandi, Ali Bin Ali Group, Jumpzone, Commverse, and Steinway Gallery Dubai/CDC.

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