Sunday, March 31, 2013

Crain-Maling Foundation's Chicago Symphony Orchestra Youth Auditions 2013

Yesterday, I won the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Youth Auditions!
This means that next year I will get to solo with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra 4 times!!!  It was a great experience playing the Mozart Clarinet Concerto in Orchestra Hall at Symphony Center.  The six other finalists (Elizabeth Chang, Max Farbman, Sarah Householder, Allison Milligan, Saayujh Ramanathan, and Nicolaj Reiser) were all amazing and it was an honor and a privilege to play in a competition with all of them.

I want to give an especially exuberant shout-out to fellow Midwest Young Artists Symphony Orchestra member and first alternate in the CSO Youth Auditions:  Sarah Householder.  She played the third movement of Ewazen's  Concerto for Marimba in which the percussionist uses four mallets (two in each hand).  You would think that this would be difficult enough.  But for Sarah, it became even more difficult when towards the beginning of her performance, the ball on one of her mallets broke off!  In spite of her mallet breaking, she wasn't fazed.  She gave a brilliant performance.  Because she couldn't play with the broken mallet which was now just a wooden stick, she compensated.  She switched the broken mallet around so that it was playing the less important notes in any section. She hit the notes she thought were most important so as not to break up the phrases any more than necessary.  Amazing!

I am proud to say that I play in an orchestra with someone as capable, musical, talented and cool under stress as Sarah.

The CSO Youth Auditions were a great experience for everyone there.  I am happy to say that I didn't feel quite as nervous as I normally do when I perform.  I think I'm starting to get used to this performing thing.  That's a really good thing.