Update – November 2020
In order to ensure the safety of our musicians and auditioners during the COVID-19 pandemic, we have postponed the Khuner concerto competition auditions. We hope to hold them in March 2021 for a June 2021 performance. We will post another update in January 2021, so please stay tuned and keep practicing!
The Khuner Young Artist Concerto Competition, open to Bay Area string, woodwind, brass, harp and percussion players, has been a notable element in the Bay Area’s rich offering of opportunities for young musicians for over 30 years. Many gifted young musicians audition every year, seeking the exceptional opportunity to perform with a full symphony orchestra before a live and appreciative audience. The Competition Winner will gain the valuable experience of working with our Music Director, Eric Hansen, and will be featured on Prometheus Symphony’s website and in concert publicity, including KDFC and other listings. The Winner will receive a professional recording of the performance, a framed certificate, and a $200 award. Even the audition itself is a valuable educational experience for all who apply, as auditioning will be a significant aspect of aspiring musicians’ future careers.
Each season, we are faced with the challenge of naming just one of the exceptionally talented auditioners as the Winner, who will join our panoply of amazing past winners, some of whom have been as young as 10. Go to Previous Winners to read about all of their careers as leading musicians throughout the U.S. and in Europe.
Who is eligible? Applicants must be 18 or younger on the audition date and ready to play from memory a complete concerto at the audition. Applicants must be able to perform at Prometheus’s concert in Oakland on the last Sunday afternoon in January, and must be available to attend Monday evening rehearsals in Oakland. Contestants from prior seasons are urged to audition again, as our winners have often auditioned more than once.
Questions? The Application & Rules page addresses most frequently asked questions, but don’t hesitate to email any further questions to us at ConcertoCompetition@PrometheusSymphony.org. You may also request email notice when the audition date is set for the next Competition.
Story of the Concerto Competition
This youth concerto competition was initiated in 1989 at the instigation of the late Dorinda Chase, extraordinary music educator and long-time principal clarinetist for Prometheus Symphony. The Competition is named in honor of Felix Khuner, who played with Prometheus after retiring from a career as a violinist with the San Francisco Symphony, San Francisco Opera Orchestra and California String Quartet. His son, Jonathan Khuner, conducted the Prometheus Symphony for 13 years before moving on to be music and artistic director of the Berkeley (Left-Coast) Opera, an assistant conductor with the San Francisco Opera, prompter for the Metropolitan and San Francisco Operas, and guest conductor for major opera companies throughout the country.
Since 1997, Eric Hansen, current Music Director of the Prometheus Symphony Orchestra, has served as Audition Judge. He works closely with the winners, providing an extraordinary educational experience as these young artists learn what is involved in performing with a live orchestra. The Competition is administered by members of Prometheus and is supported by orchestra members’ dues, modest contest fees, and audience donations.
Please consider joining our generous group of donors and help us continue to offer this excellent opportunity for young Bay Area musicians. DONATION