Members of the SFA Friends of Music finalize plans for the 2009 George and Peggy Schmidbauer Young Artist String Competition to be held Saturday, Jan. 24, and Sunday, Jan. 25, on the SFA campus. Pictured, seated, from left, are Sarah Alice Millard, Regina Moehring and Lila Moorer; Standing, from left, Dr. Kenneth Price, Dr. Camille Price, Dee Allums, Gwen Cole, Peggy Partin and Carol Willis.

NACOGDOCHES, TEXAS - Violin, viola and cello players from six countries will be competing for $15,000 in prize money during the George and Peggy Schmidbauer Young Artist String Competition presented by the Stephen F. Austin State University School of Music Saturday, Jan. 24, and Sunday, Jan. 25.

"This is a wonderful opportunity for East Texans to hear to hear some of the world's best young string players, many of whom have already proven themselves at major international contests," said Dr. Ron Anderson, director of the SFA School of Music. "We are thankful for the Schmidbauers' generosity that enables us to bring these accompished musicians to Nacogdoches."

This is the second year the School of Music has presented the international competition that was open the first year to emerging pianists.

"Apparently the Schmidbauer Competition is gaining exposure," said Anderson. "While we received applications from 40 pianists last year, this year 62 string players applied."

From the pool of applicants, jurors chose 10 semifinalists for the senior division, open to 19- to 27-year-olds, and 10 for the junior division, open to 15- to 18-year-olds. Each semifinalist will present a 30-minute recital on Jan. 24.

Senior semifinalists, representing Canada, China, Russia, South Korea and the United States, will perform in W.M. Turner Auditorium located in the Griffith Fine Arts Building. Junior semifinalists, representing Japan, China and the United States, will perform in Cole Concert Hall of the Tom and Peggy Wright Music Building. Times for both rounds are from 9 to 11:45 a.m. and 12:45 to 4:40 p.m. Admission is free and open to the public.

Three finalists from each division will be named following Saturday's competition. The junior finalists will then compete in the final rounds beginning at 7:30 p.m. Saturday in Cole Concert Hall. The first place winner will receive $1,500; second place, $1,000; and third place, $750.

The senior finals competition will be begin at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 25, in Cole Concert Hall. The first place winner will receive $5,000 and a $2,500 concert engagement with the SFA Symphony Orchestra. Second place will receive $3,000, and third place, $2,000. Tickets for both final rounds are $10 for adults, $8 for seniors and $5 for students.

Senior division jurors are violinist Benny Kim, associate professor at the University of Missouri - Kansas; violist Matthew Dane, faculty member at the University of Colorado and the Metropolitan State College in Denver; and cellist Gregory Sauer, associate professor at Florida State University.

Junior division jurors are violinist Isidor Saslav, concertmaster of the Longview Symphony and former SFA faculty member; violist David Herman, assistant principal violist of the Fort Worth Symphony; and cellist Cornelia Watkins, member of the preparatory faculty at Rice University.

The Wright Music Building is located at 2210 Alumni Drive, and the Griffith Fine Arts Building is located at 2222 Alumni Drive.

For tickets or more information, please visit or call (936) 468-6407 or (888) 240-ARTS.