In 1984 the University of Port Elizabeth in association with the Port Elizabeth branch of the SASMT, started the National Youth Music Competition for high school pupils, under the guidance of Michael Maas who was elected by a committee to implement the competition.
The competition in Port Elizabeth was initially called the Trust Bank National Youth Music Competition and later the ABSA Competition in accordance with the name change of Trust Bank to ABSA. In 2007 the competition became the Artscape National Youth Music Competition.
In 2015 it was decided to deinstitutionalize the National Youth Music Competition, a trust was established for this purpose and donors sought to fund the competition. Thus, the National Youth Music Competition under the auspices of the National Youth Music Foundation came into being, to ensure the survival of this competition.
The trustees of the Foundation are: Michael Maas (Chairman), Leonore Ehlers, Prof Brian Figaji, Kutlwano Masote and Arisa Voges.
The competition is intended for young classical musicians who are pianists or orchestral instrumentalists. The purpose of the competition is to:
- Identify and promote the talent and abilities of young classical musicians.
- Expose the competitors to the requirements of professional careers as soloists and orchestral musicians.
- Develop the stage and performing abilities of our young classical musicians.
The National Youth Music Competition for young musicians between 14 and 19 years of age will take place at the Hugo Lambrechts Music Centre in Parow, Cape Town from 05 December - 10 December 2022.