NACOGDOCHES, TEXAS - Violin, viola and cello players from nine 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. 22, and Sunday, Jan. 23.

"This is a wonderful opportunity for East Texans to hear some of the world's best young string players," said Gene H. Moon, director of orchestral studies at SFA and of the competition.

"Our winners have continued on to win major competitions all over the world and list our competition side by side with other major events such as the Sorantin International, Corpus Christi International, Ima Hogg Young Artist and many others. We are thankful for the Schmidbauers' generosity that enables us to bring these accomplished musicians to Nacogdoches," he continued.

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. 22.

Senior semifinalists, representing Canada, China, Hong Kong, Romania, South Korea, Spain and the United States, will perform in W.M. Turner Auditorium located in the Griffith Fine Arts Building. Junior semifinalists, representing Japan, South Korea, Taiwan 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 11:50 a.m. and 1:30 to 4:20 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 round 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 final round for the senior division will be begin at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 23, in Cole Concert Hall. The first place winner will receive $5,000 and a $2,500 concert engagement with the SFA Orchestra of the Pines. 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 Emilio Colón, associate professor of cello at Indiana University; Richard Fleischman, professor of viola at the New World School of the Arts in Miami; and Felicia Moye, professor of violin at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Junior division jurors are Andrej Kurti, professor of violin at Northwestern State University of Louisiana; Elizabeth Morrow, professor of cello at the University of Texas Arlington; and Javier Pinell, assistant professor of violin at Sam Houston State 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.