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Monday 6 October 2008

Your comments about the Pedrotti competition results?

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OK, I promised to elaborate a little on the final results of the Pedrotti conducting competition. I am sorry I cannot delve into it in length because I am still using my tiny mobile platform... But what I would really like to have at the meantime is YOUR comments, if you took part or followed the competition in Trento!

I feel quite free to say that I could sense a certain bias during every round. And the final result confirmed my feeling. I have received reports both good and bad about the finals, but already seeing the semi finals it was obvious that the most musical, natural and professional people were not meant to go forward in the competition any more than to give legitimacy to the choices dictated by some other factors. I am not going to take part in this competition any more so pardon my strong expression!

Now before I go overboard let's hear some other comments, ok? I am ready to defend my views if needed, so write whether you agree with me or not.

Sunday 5 October 2008

Pedrotti competition winners

1st prize: Mitsuhashi Keiko

2nd prize: Takeshi Oi

3rd prize: Jeff Meyer & Daniel Martinez ex aequo

VERY SURPRISING RESULT! I SHALL COMMENT ON IT TOMORROW.

Wednesday 1 October 2008

Pedrotti competition finalists

Finalists in the order of appearance are:

Oi Takeshi

Meyer Jeff

Mitsuhashi Keiko

Martinez Daniel

Some remarks about the results:

I don't know whether I should be surprised about the choice. I thought the jury would have had an easy decision because the differences between the semifinalists were so obvious. The choice was basically between a natural musicianship or doing the "correct" movents with no regard to the sounding reality. All I can say is "they did it again"... From the four finalists I only agree about two.

Monday 29 September 2008

Pedrotti competition: admitted to the 3rd round

The admitted in the order of appearance:

Oi Takeshi

Mitsuhashi Keiko

Kakiuchi yuki

Dollman Luke

Martinez Daniel

Young Michael Alexander

Meyer Jeff

Mroz Anna

Danielandme.jpg
Me and Daniel letting some steam out after the second round. At the background Dan's "step-mom" Luisa and my "step-mom" Marina

My comments about the second round and the choices:

The task for the second round was to first work on the orchestral accompaniment of the two masses by Haydn and Schubert, and in the afternoon work with the choir and orchestra both. It was obvious many people did not work with a choir before, since in some cases the good impression I had after the orchestra rehearsal had to make way to the harsh reality at the choir rehearsal. One advice to all conductors: Do not sing the solo or choral parts in the rehearsal if your voice range does not exceed a fifth! For some rehearsals I had to leave the hall but the poor players have no chance to do that!

The choice for the third round candidates was a bit surprising for me in the light of the fact that this round should measure your ability to work with the choir and improve its sound. In my opinion if a conductor does not even make sure the choir has the right pitches before starting, he should not go on to the next round. To the jury this seemed no be a non-issue, since many of the people above did not care about it.

Without further speculation I would like to mention two people who in my opinion made a good impression in the second round and whom I thus would have loved to see go on in the competition - but who didn't: Matteo Pagliari who has a beautiful voice and worked a lot to bring out the different nuances in the text, and Daniel Black who is one of the few competitors to combine a lot of power with an economy of movement in his conducting technique. I wish them luck in the coming competitions and their careers!

Friday 26 September 2008

Pedrotti competition: admitted to the 2nd round

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The beautiful chapel where the second round was held

The admitted in order of appearance:

Pagliari Matteo

Habu Makiko

Ommassini Francesco

Patel Sameer

Oi Takeshi

Harada Keitaro

Suh Jin

Mitsuhashi Keiko

Kakiuchi Yuki

Rous Benjamin

Dollman Luke

Martínez Daniel

Kubota Shoichi

Young Michael Alexander

Chang Michael

Meyer Jeff

Mroz Anna

Black Daniel

Brock Nathan

Ko Synthia

Some comments

2roundLuke.jpg
Maestro Dollman at work with the Ensemble Zardonai and choir

Now I must say sorry for the sluggish pace of updating the results, but the truth is, that for the past three days I was without Internet connection. As you can see from the list above, I am not amongs the lucky ones, but many times in competitions it is just that, luck.

As usual, I stayed to see each and every candidate on the second round to see what is the general level and to try to understand the jury decisions. It seems this competition is quite like most of the others. For me it was unbelievable to see some total beginners conduct in the second round when so many already professionals had to step aside. I think one of the reasons for that is that the repertoire for the first round was not exactly what it should be. Many people complained about it, actually. One contestant who passed on to the second round even called the choice of Walton for the first round "offending"!

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My colleagues Jin, Miguel and Anna waiting for the verdict

I would not go as far but I have my own theory about it: The repertoire in general is great, it shows how you work with the choir, how you accompany, how you manage the big symphonic forms etc. But this choice also shows how "hard working" you are. Do you have the determination to put aside hours and hours to study a totally uninteresting piece? In that case maybe the choices were right!

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