First prize of ZAR 30,000 (£1,350) was awarded to 25-year-old violinist Nicholas Bruiners


UCT Strings Competition winners, left to right: Nicholas Bruiners, Chris Njapa, Rebekah Beelders, Seul Pearl Jung, Micaela Arries |

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The second UCT Strings Competition announced its winners at the conclusion of the final on Tuesday 31 October at the Baxter Concert Hall, Cape Town, South Africa. The first prize of R30,000 (£1,350) was awarded to 25-year-old South African violinist Nicholas Bruiners. The two runners-up, violinist Rebekah Beelders and cellist Chris Njapha, were each awarded ZAR 17,000 (£750). The best semi-finalists, cellist Seul Pearl Jung and violist Micaela Arries, each received R4,000 (£175).

Bruiners is currently pursuing an honours degree with professor Farida Bacharova at the South African College of Music, which forms part of the University of Cape Town. He is also a first violinist in the Cape Town Philharmonic. For the final round, he performed Schubert’s Violin Sonata no.4 in A major ‘Grand Duo’, and Heifetz’s arrangement of Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune by Debussy.

‘I’m feeling mostly relieved that’s it’s over,’ Bruiners told The Strad. ‘It’s been a very stressful week and a half. But mostly, I’m very proud of myself!’

The UCT Strings Competition is open to all string players registered at the University of Cape Town, as well as all incoming students and alumni who graduated in or after 2018. This year’s jury comprised violinist Johanna Roos, conductor Bernhard Gueller, and pianist and professor François du Toit.

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