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Melbourne International Chamber Music Competition

Melbourne International Chamber Music Competition

July 2003

The Melbourne International Chamber Music Competition (affectionately known as MicMic) is the Olympics of chamber music. Held every four years, 10 trios and 10 quartets, following extensive auditions around the world, are invited to participate in a 10 day period of concerts and recitals. Two Israeli trios – Tal Trio and Tel Aviv Trio – were invited to the 2003 competition.

A 10 day extravaganza of music, centred around the South Melbourne Town Hall. 10 days of huge crowds, with every concert broadcast live by ABC Radio throughout Australia. Competitors from Australia, Denmark, Sweden, Russia, UK, USA, China, Italy and the Netherlands. Music from the 18th century to today, with each trio requested to include a contemporary piece of work from their own country in their repertoire.

First round, semi finals and then finals, with performances by the non-finalists performed in various locations throughout the city. From ten to six to three, with the three finalists performing at the Hamer Hall, the city’s premier concert venue. As with any competition, there were surprises and disappointments.

Both Israeli trios have earned excellent reputations abroad. Following their victory at the Primo Trio de Trieste Chamber Music Competition, the Tal Trio is currently the trio-in-residence at the New England Conservatory in Boston. The Tel Aviv Trio, developed under the auspices of the Jerusalem Music Centre, is currently based in Germany and are winners of major prizes including the Alsace and Trapani competitions. The Tel Aviv Trio was one of the favourites entering the competition.

A nervous first round saw the 10 trios reduced to 6 – Eggner (Austria), Ondine (Denmark/Norway/Sweden), Eimer (UK), Tal (Israel), Tel Aviv (Israel) and Academ (Russia) all moving into the next round. An even more nerve-wracking semi-final, where the crowds all had their own favourites, saw the finalists announced – Eggner, Ondine and Tel Aviv.

Although disappointed, the Tal Trio had done exceptionally well to reach the semi-final stages of the most important competition in the world.

And on to the final, where the crowd were treated, by chance, to exactly the same piece of music by all three trios (Brahms: Piano Trio in C Major, Op 87)! It provided the ideal opportunity to readily compare the three. The audience and the judges both agreed on the winning trio – the Eggner Trio from Austria.

The three from the Tel Aviv Trio were naturally disappointed, but they soon bounced back as they had a performance in Sydney to prepare only a few days later along with a residency at the prestigious Bangalow Music Festival in New South Wales.


Melbourne International Chamber Music Competition

5-13 July 2003

First Round and Semi Finals: Australian National Academy of Music,
South Melbourne Town Hall
Final: Melbourne Concert Hall


Bangalow Music Festival

8-10 August 2003

Tal Trio