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piano competition

Discussion in 'General' started by pianolady, Feb 17, 2010.

  1. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    I'm writing about this here in the General forum because I don't want 'outsiders' to see it.

    Yesterday I sent in my application for the Chicago Amateur Piano Competition. I struggled a lot with the decision and have been working since early December in preparing an audition CD. I don't expect to win or anything like that - just want the experience, that's all. So now I have to wait to see if I am even accepted as a competitor - they are taking fifty, and I have no idea what they are looking for so it's not guaranteed that I am in. I hope I don't have to wait long to find out - patience is not one of my virtues. Keep your fingers crossed! :)
     
  2. sarah

    sarah New Member

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    I wish you all the best in your application... that would be a thrilling (although nerve-wracking :wink: ) experience to have. I'm staying tuned!
     
  3. 88man

    88man Member Piano Society Artist

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    Pianolady wrote:
    First of all, I think it's wonderful that you're taking on the challenge of a piano competition. If you've never been in a competition before, you'll never forget the experience! For most regional competitions, to become accepted, all you really need to display is technique. However, to place in the top tier, the pianist needs more than technical mastery, one has to be versatile in various genres of music. So to answer your question, at the end, judges are looking for that "exceptional musician" whose interpretation stands out above the other contestants. We all know it, when we hear it - it's that musical "WOW" factor!

    How do you get "Wow" in front of your name?... It's in your character, but it can be developed over time. Everyone experiences life differently. Besides innate talent, that musical "Wow" factor is earned through knowledge, reading, history, aesthetics, culture, personal identity, morality, psychology, experiencing life, work, taking risks, thinking outside the box - creative spirit & vision, balance exaggeration/inhibition, humor, suffering, humility, elation, time, spirituality/faith, and what I call "vicarious transformation" - the ability to place yourself in the composer's mental state when you're on stage. Give yourself all the time to prepare yourself when you're up there. You have to be a demon and angel at the same time - Life is full of contrasts. Don't be afraid to communicate! It's a quality that the greatest pianists possess.

    It's been a while... I was 16 when I had my last piano competition. (during a period in my life that I could practice:) Whatever happens, don't take it personally. I always think it's better to try and fail, rather than to prove that it can't be done. You have to go with the attitude that you have absolutely nothing to lose. You've taken an admirable first step in getting the courage to apply. That alone deserves congratulations! BRAVO!

    Good Luck!!!!
     
  4. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Thank you for the support, Sarah and George. I'm still waiting on pins and needles....

    George - that 'wow' factor. I understand what you're saying. If I get in, I'll have four months to prepare my music. Not sure if I'll ever get to the point of someone saying, "wow". Maybe at least someone will say, "wow, she has nice shoes" or something like that...:lol: .

    But I like what you said about not being afraid to communicate. That's very profound to me and something I'm going to write down tell myself often.

    btw - I've never done anything like this before - no piano competitions ever! And I have a bit of a stage fright problem so I'll have that to deal with if I'm in.
     
  5. alf

    alf Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    I am very happy you did, Monica. What repertoire did you send in for the application? And what are you going to play if you are in? I'll keep my fingers crossed (except when I practice).
     
  6. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Thank you, Alfonso. For the application I had to write down all the music I would play for three rounds. That was a very difficult task - I've been fretting over it for months. I went back and forth about a hundred times, but finally decided to choose pieces I actually love to play - not just pieces that I think are more standard for competitions. Maybe I'll get eliminated right after the first round - I dunno. At least I am now relearning a bunch of my 'favorites' and some of them are pieces I have on the site that I am not thrilled with, and so because I have to practice them so much now, then I should hopefully play them better eventually and then can do some re-recording. Therefore I'd be killing two birds with one stone.

    I'm a little too embarrassed to say which pieces I'll play. I just think someone will think my list is stupid. Although I understand that participants' lists will be made public when the time gets closer because there is to be a printed program with photos and some kind of publicity beforehand. What I will say about my chosen repertoire is that my favorite composers are well-represented! :wink:


    (Jeez - I still have not heard whether I'm in. It's now been four days - might as well be four weeks. Don't these people know that I can't stand suspense? )
     
  7. alf

    alf Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    You made the correct choice, I think. Amateur playing is all about what one likes to play, and amateur competitions usually reflect this. Also, working over pieces you love instead of learning others from scratch is a wise decision, you capitalize on your previous hard work. Sometimes I think that the PS recording routine is sort of bad since diverts energy from our main projects to momentary fancies.

    OK, there's no problem. I bet you've included: Granados and Chopin. Yes, I know, it was easy. :lol:

    I think you'll know some days after the application deadline, which is April 1st.
     
  8. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    :wink: :lol: :wink: :lol:

    Ohhh, I did not even consider I would have to wait that long. Torture....
     
  9. RSPIll

    RSPIll New Member

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    No one should plan anything as serious as this for April 1st!!!
     
  10. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Eek - did not think of that. And I love a good April fools joke!
     
  11. hyenal

    hyenal New Member Piano Society Artist

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    Monica, I'm very happy for your choice!! It's my dream, too, to participate in such an amateur competition some day :) Are you allowed to have scores at playing? Anyway my finger are crossed, too!
     
  12. alf

    alf Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    In Berlin there is one (every other year) gaining popularity, www.ipac-berlin.org, but with the usual lower age limit of 35 years. You will have to wait! By the way I think that the only Piano Amateur Competition with virtually no lower age limit (that is, 18 years) is the Pianoamateurs in Paris.
     
  13. hyenal

    hyenal New Member Piano Society Artist

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    Thank you Alfonso for this wonderful info! Actually I have to wait, but not that long (I think I'm much older that you guess :lol: ). One thing which I don't like in that competition is the rule that you must play at least one piece of Mendelssohn or Schumann or Chopin or Liszt in each round :roll: What is with Beethoven, Mozart or Rach?
     
  14. alf

    alf Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    That rule changes everytime. This year they celebrate the 1809-11 MSCL anniversary. Two years ago you had to play Beethoven, Haydn or Mozart in the first round. In 2012, who knows?
     
  15. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Thanks for chiming in here, Hye-Jin. Can you please cross your toes too? I could use the extra help. :)

    And yes, they allow competitors to use scores. If I am in, I will probably play some of my pieces from memory and some with the music.


    I wish they made these kinds of competitions with a low age limit of 40. I think that is really more of an adult competition then - sort of levels the playing field better.
     
  16. Radar

    Radar New Member

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    I don't have much to add here other than to wish you the best in your endeavor, and I hope you make it to the competition. Keep us posted!!
     
  17. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Thank you, Radar. I will

    btw - did you used to watch M*A*S*H? :)
     
  18. Terez

    Terez New Member

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    2009 was the year of Mendelssohn's 200th birthday. 2010 is the year of Chopin's and Schumann's 200th birthdays. 2011 will be the year of Liszt's 200th birthday. :wink:

    Oh, and good luck Monica! I hope you get in. I could never do something like that.
     
  19. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

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    Thanks, Theresa! :)


    But now I need some advice. I'm having second thoughts on the repertoire I chose to play for the first round. I've asked the organizers and they said I could change my list if I want to, providing it is before they print the program. What I need help with is this: Do you think it is better to play three shorter and not-too-difficult pieces that you can play well? Or would it be better to play one longer piece that is really hard so you probably won't play it that well?

    So this is an S.O.S. call to all you guys and gals - I am once again agonizing over this, and I very much value your opinions. Please tell me what you think I should do.
     
  20. alf

    alf Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    To me, there's no question at all. Always play what you can play well, difficult or not. (I'm dying of curiosity to know which pieces they are...)
     

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