August 12-18, 2001
 Academiezaal, Sint-Truiden

The stadium-style seating of the intimate, all-wooden, acoustically-lovely theater of the Academiezaal in the town of Sint-Truiden, near Brussels, was a beautiful vantage point to take in the Belgium International Marimba Competition in August. After the first round, 69 solo marimba candidates were narrowed down to 40; then, after the second round, to 15 semi-finalists; then to 5 finalists; and then to three prize-winners. 18 marimba duos were first narrowed down to 6 semi-finalists, then to 2 finalists; then to one winner.

The winners for the solo competition were: First Prize: Hidemi Murase; Second Prize: Keiko Kotoko; and Third Prize: Mayumi Sekizawa. The fourth and fifth place finalists respectively were Naoko Takada and Mayumi Orai. All five women were originally from Japan, but some are currently living and studying in Boston (Murase, Takada), New York (Sekizawa), and Strasbourg, France (Orai).

The winning marimba duo was Juan Martinez Cortes and Miguel Gonzalez Zaragosa from Chiapas, Mexico. The other finalists were Lajos Toth and Szabolcs Joo of Hungary.

The eight jurors were assembled by and included Ludwig Albert (Belgium), Artistic Director of the entire event; Francois Glorieux (Belgium), President of the jury and composer of the set piece; Ney Rosauro (Brazil), Nancy Zeltsman (USA), Nebojsa Jovan Zivkovic (Germany), Momoko Kamiya (Japan), Angel Frette (Argentina), and Leo Ouderits (Belgium).

Ludwig Albert/Marimba Projects also organized the International Percussion Festival Belgium which took place from August 17-19, 2001 in the nearby town of Hasselt. It included performances by Kroumata (Sweden), Marimba Nandayapa (Mexico), Percussion Ensemble Mosaic (Netherlands), Atac Atac Percussion Group (Morocco), Naユrimbo (Mexico), Katarzyna Mycka (Germany), Kai Stensgaard (Denmark), Invention in Time (Australia), Mol Percussion Orchestra (Belgium), Tim and Tom Ouderits (Belgium); master class/clinics by Kalani (USA), Ron Samuels (USA), Rainer Seegers and Franz Schindlbeck (Germany), Pedro Carneiro (UK), Hiroshi Chu Okubo (Japan), Luc Artois (Belgium), Marc Smitt (Belgium), Guy Remmerie (Belgium), Dimitri Dumon and Carlo Willems (Belgium); and clinic/performances by all the International Marimba Competition jury members.

Next edition of the Belgium International marimba competition & festival will take place from 15 till 22 August 2004 (www.moa.be/marimba.htm)

EXTRA INFORMATION: One of the most significant Belgian UNiversities invited Ludwig Albert (artistic director of the INternational marimba competition , www.ludwigalbert.com) as Professor for solo-marimba. THis University provides a specialisation course-Master degree & a virtuosity diplome for solo-marimba. For more information , please contact the UNiversityLemmens Institute by fax or e-mail for more information and apply for further study with Professor Ludwig Albert. ( fax +32-16-222477 , http://www.lemmens.be, e-mail: info@lemmens.be )

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