Ivory-tickling duo could strike gold

26 November 2007

Striking a chord: Piano duo Cara Hesse and Laura Pauna are in the running for yet another major international honour.

Yet again, UCT music graduates Cara Hesse and Laura Pauna are flying the South African flag high.

Hesse and Pauna were recently named as semifinalists in the Eleventh Dranoff International Two Piano Competition, which will be held in Miami, US, from 9 to 16 March 2008. The competition is the only one in the world dedicated exclusively to duo pianism.

The pair will vie for US$50 000 in cash and performance opportunities against teams from China, Germany, Israel, Japan, Russia, Serbia, Spain, the UK and the US.

It won't be the first time on the white-knuckle international stage for Hesse and Pauna, the first piano duo team from South Africa to obtain a Bachelor of Music and a Performance Licentiate from UCT and UNISA, respectively. Recent awards include the IBLA Grand Prize, hosted in New York, in 2006, and third prize at the "Valentino Bucchi" two-piano competition in Rome in 2007.

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