We needed bunny break from all that practicing...(with Noa Even)
This past weekend, I had the honor of competing in BGSU's annual Concerto Competition. I can hardly begin to imagine how difficult it must be to adjudicate such an event - I heard so many TALENTED musicians performing excellent music, on a great variety of instruments.
How exactly does one compare a piano concerto to a violin concerto? An impossibly difficult sax work versus an equally challenging horn concerto? Worse yet - how can you begin to compare a vocal work with any of this?
I've done concerto competitions before, but this is only my second attempt -singing- in one. In high school, I faced some of the same problems - it's hard to trump Grieg (especially as a squeaky little clarinetist brandishing Weber II).
I kept second-guessing my choice of repertoire (Strauss' Vier letzte Lieder). It's not especially flashy, nor is it a showpiece of technical skill - at least not in terms of velocity or range. It's simply 22 minutes of gorgeous, long-breathed melodies meditating on death. I didn't choose the piece because I thought I could win with it; rather, I couldn't think of ANYTHING else I would rather sing with an orchestra, ever.
Thus, I am beyond thrilled to announce that along with the fabulous saxophonist and my DMA office-mate Noa Even, I won the competition! My other saxophone-wielding office-mate Matt Younglove earned a VERY Honorable Mention. I am surrounded by talent.
On February 3, we will each perform our pieces - Noa on the Ibert Concertino da Camera, and me on the Strauss. This will be a dream come true (and part of a very busy few weeks!)