HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. (WSAV) – Coronavirus concerns are putting a damper on a popular music competition in the Lowcountry.
Two participants in the Hilton Head Symphony Orchestra’s 25th Hilton Head International Piano Competition are stuck in China.
They don’t have the virus but they cannot return to the U.S. due to travel restrictions.
Instead, two other pianists were chosen to attend in their place.
“We are relieved that 16 of our competitors this year are either from the United States and Canada or are living here. So we have few issues remaining,” said Competition Director Mona Huff.
Twenty teen competitors from around the world are vying for the international title and the $21,000 prize.
From March 9 to 12, the pianists will compete at a new location, St. Luke’s Church (50 Pope Ave.).
A jury will select five finalists who on Saturday, March 14, will perform a movement of a concerto with the Hilton Head Symphony Orchestra conducted by John Morris Russell. That’s taking place at First Presbyterian Church (540 William Hilton Parkway).
Organizers say more than 100 pianists applied but only one will win the cash prize.