Laurels for piano duo

19 January 2007 | Story by Helen Swingler
Cara LaraSouth African College of Music (SACM) graduates Cara Hesse and Laura Pauna have won another international prize, this time at the Premio Valentino Bucchi Competition for two pianos, in Rome. The competition is for music from the 20th and 21st centuries. The work they performed was by composer Valentino Bucchi and based on Commedia del'Arte. 'The repertoire was very specific and very difficult,' the duo said in an email from Germany. 'The work is raw, passionate and aggressive, with limited musical elements that, contrastingly, create a rich melodramatic tapestry.' Last year the duo won the 2006 IBLA Grand Prize Competition in Ragusa, Sicily. Hesse and Pauna have been playing together for over six years. They were the first piano duo from South Africa to obtain a Bachelor of Music degree and a Performance Licentiate from UCT and UNISA, respectively.

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