Fairfax Symphony Announces Dorothy Farnham Feuer Competition

Dorothy Farnham Feuer was a founding member of the Fairfax Symphony Orchestra and a violinist with the Orchestra. After she died at an early age, the Dorothy Farnham Feuer Memorial String Competition was created as a tribute to Mrs. Feuer and to her love of and commitment to furthering music education.

This string scholarship competition has provided well-deserved recognition, encouragement, and monetary support to outstanding young performers on string instruments. It is open to advanced string players in grades 7-12 in Northern Virginia, offering valuable prizes and experience for talented young musicians. Scholarship money must be used to further the musical training of recipients, and is most often spent toward study with noted teachers, tuition for a summer camp, or the purchase of a new instrument.

Many winners have continued to pursue music as private teachers and as members of orchestras throughout the nation, including with the Fairfax Symphony. Evelina Chao, the first winner in 1964, is now assistant principal viola with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra and an accomplished author. Others followed her to impressive careers in music: 1973 winner, Clayton Haslop, has been concertmaster for films such as Titanic, The Incredibles, The Matrix movies, A Beautiful Mind, and many more.

In 1985, Jennifer Gordon won the Feuer competition, and later that same year went on to win the National Symphony Orchestra’s Young Soloists Competition. Alexander Kerr (1986), Zuill Bailey (1987), Jean Cook (1991), and Jennifer Kim (2000) are a few of the Feuer winners who have continued in music careers spanning the globe. The 2008 winners were Steven Tavani of Haymarket, and Alex Grimes and Albert Yan of Alexandria.

Preliminary auditions for the 2009 competition begin at 1:30 p.m., Sunday, February 15, 2009, and the final competition will be held at 2:00 p.m., Sunday, March 1, 2009, both at the First Christian Church, 6165 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, VA. For competition rules and entry forms, go to www.fairfaxsymphony.org, click on the “Education and Community” menu, and select “Feuer Memorial String Competition.” You can also find more information about the competition’s history on that same page. The winners’ scholarships range from $700 for third place to $1,500 for first place. -- www.fairfaxsymphony.org

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