SOURCE: Jose Iturbi Foundation

February 28, 2008 08:00 ET

A Second Year for 'Idol-Like' Competition for Classical Contestants!

Annual José Iturbi International Music Competition at UCLA Offers Pianists and Singers $250,000 in Prizes; Application Deadline Is April 15, 2008

LOS ANGELES, CA--(Marketwire - February 28, 2008) - The José Iturbi Foundation today announced that The Second Annual José Iturbi International Music Competition, the contest with the largest cash bounty (more than $250,000) of any classical piano and singing competition worldwide, will take place again this summer June 16 - 21 at UCLA's Schoenberg Hall in Los Angeles. Applications for pianists and singers to compete in the weeklong competition that adds features of "American Idol" to the world of classical music may be completed and submitted online at www.joseiturbifoundation.org. April 15, 2008 is the application deadline.

The competition is open to pianists and singers of any nationality who are 17 to 32 years old on June 1, 2008. Admission to the preliminary round of the competition will be limited to a maximum of 24 applicants in each category. 12 pianists and 12 singers will advance to the semi-final round and six singers and six pianists will compete in the final round. The competition's 10 world renowned judges will be announced shortly.

The schedule for the competition is as follows:

June 15           Registration and Orientation in The Faculty Center

June 16 and 17    Preliminary Rounds for 24 pianists and 24 singers
                  Semi-Finalists announced

June 18 and 19    Semi-Final Rounds for 12 pianists and 12 singers
                  Finalists announced

June 20           Final Round for 6 singers followed by Awards Ceremony

June 21           Final Round for 6 pianists followed by Awards Ceremony

The competition's $250,000 in cash prizes include first place prizes of $50,000. There will be two People's Choice prizes (one for a pianist and one for a singer) of $3,000 voted "live" by attendees of the final competition round. Last year's 48 competitors hailed from 15 different countries.

"It's clear that there is a huge audience for outstanding classical music as evidenced by the overwhelming response to the first José Iturbi International Music Competition last summer," said Donelle Dadigan, President of the José Iturbi Foundation. "The talent of last year's participants blew everyone away! Just call us 'Classical Idol.' Especially inspiring was the tremendous camaraderie among the participants that was evident throughout the week-long contest."

Created in 1985 by Donelle Dadigan and Marion Seabury, The José Iturbi Foundation is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to continuing the legacy of concert great José Iturbi, and to fulfill his desire of bringing to the public's attention today's greatest emerging classical pianists and vocalists. The foundation's goal is to globally expand the passion for classical music through dynamic competition and compelling live performance. The competition distinguishes itself by giving the largest cash prizes ($50,000 each) for first place winners for solo piano and voice in the world. Last year, the foundation gave away $268,000 in prize money for the winners of The José Iturbi International Music Competition.

One of the greatest concert pianists of his time, José Iturbi was also a composer, conductor and performer of international acclaim who starred as himself in seven MGM musicals including "Anchors Away" (1945) starring Frank Sinatra and Gene Kelly. He was the first classical musician to receive a Gold Record representing record sales in excess of one million and receive a star on the world-famous Hollywood Boulevard Walk of Fame. Iturbi felt that classical music should be a more recognizable part of everyone's entertainment. It was his hope that through live concerts, motion pictures, recordings, international competitions, and public forums, a larger number of people would learn to love classical music and attend live concert performances.

For rules and regulations on The José Iturbi International Music Competition 2008 or to submit an application, go to www.joseiturbifoundation.org. Ticket requests are available online for the public to attend all rounds of the competition on a first come first served basis.

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