The Irving M. Klein International String Competition will come to the Conservatory's Caroline H. Hume Concert Hall beginning in June, 2016, thanks to a new collaboration between SFCM and the California Music Center. The competition, open to musicians between ages 15 and 23, awards nearly $30,000 in prizes and carries 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 was previously presented at San Francisco State University. Mitchell Sardou Klein, artistic director of the competition since its inception in 1986, says moving the event to SFCM will “be immensely fruitful for both organizations, but also will enable a wider audience to experience the extraordinary artistry of these performers."
The 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.