The annual Stanford Concerto Competitors occurred within the Dinkelspiel Auditorium this previous Saturday. After 9 hours of performances by 33 Stanford college students, six contestants — two of whom competed in a duet — have been topped co-winners, extra winners than the Concerto Competitors has ever seen.
The Stanford Concerto Competitors invitations present Stanford College undergraduate and graduate college students to compete to carry out their concertos with the Stanford Symphony Orchestra (SSO) or Stanford Philharmonia (SP). The co-winners of the 2023 Stanford Concerto Competitors competed with concertos from various completely different composers. Three of the profitable performances will likely be accompanied by the Philharmonia.
Laura Futamura ’24 on flute carried out “Poem” by Charles Tomlinson Griffes for the judges and will likely be enjoying with the Philharmonia on Nov. 11, 2023.
Zachary Lin ’26 competed with André Waignein’s “Rhapsody” on the alto saxophone. He will likely be acting on Could 13, 2023.
Daniel Solar ’25 and Jenny Xiong ’24 performed the Concerto for Two Flutes in D minor by Franz Doppler and also will be performing their duet on Could 13, 2023.
The opposite two co-winners will likely be accompanied by the SSO on their concertos.
Richard Cheung ’24 competed with the Johannes Brahms Violin Concerto and is scheduled to carry out with the orchestra on Dec. 1 and a pair of, 2023.
Roger Xia ’24 performed Sergei Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2 for the judges and can carry out on Could 19 and 20, 2023.
Whether or not every participant performs their concerto with the SSO or Philharmonia is determined by the concerto’s instrumentation and the way nicely it suits with every orchestra, based on the occasion’s tips.
Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2 and Brahms’ Violin Concerto are “prolonged, multi-movement works that require a big orchestra,” based on Director of Orchestral Research Paul Phillips. This was why “they’ve been scheduled with SSO.” The opposite items are comparatively shorter and “higher fitted to SP, which is a smaller orchestra,” Phillips wrote.
The Stanford Concerto Competitors invitations judges who aren’t affiliated with Stanford to find out every year’s winners. This 12 months, each assistant professor of piano research at Azusa Pacific College Dr. Andrew Park and violinist and violist Eleanor Angel of Santa Cruz got here to supply their ideas on the performances.
In previous years of the Concerto Competitors, there have been often 2-3 co-winners. Nevertheless, this 12 months, Phillips stated the judges have been “so impressed by the power of these college students who have been chosen” that he allowed for an elevated variety of winners this 12 months. “I really like giving college students this chance, so I used to be glad to make it attainable for the elevated variety of winners this 12 months,” Phillips wrote.
COVID additionally performed a task in Phillips’ resolution to permit for six co-winners throughout this 12 months’s competitors. In February of 2020, the competitors judges chosen two co-winners, considered one of whom wasn’t capable of carry out because of the COVID lockdown one month later. The co-winner needed to wait a number of years to finally carry out in 2022. The 2021 concerto competitors was totally skipped as a result of COVID, and the 2022 competitors was affected by pandemic security restrictions.
Thankfully, all live shows afterward have been capable of proceed as COVID rules lightened. Whilst COVID remains to be a gift difficulty, the 2023 Concerto Competitors was “the primary one in three years to be comparatively unimpacted by the pandemic and thus we have been capable of enable extra winners than previous years,” famous Philips. Nevertheless, based on him, this won’t essentially maintain true for future competitions.
Having the ability to carry out a concerto with the Stanford orchestra was a chance that drew various the 2023 co-winners to take part within the competitors.
Xiong commented that being surrounded by “so many extraordinary musicians” and changing into a co-winner to carry out her flute duet with Solar alongside the orchestra was “actually a dream come true.”
A number of members additionally often play in a Stanford music ensemble, which means they have been competing alongside their associates — a course of that violinist Cheung appreciated.
“Having attended quite a lot of different music competitions previously, this one definitely has [more of] a group really feel,” Cheung stated. “Everyone seems to be tremendous supportive.”
Pianist Xia echoed related sentiments: “I actually loved studying Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No. 2 and have at all times needed to carry out it with an orchestra, particularly alongside my associates.”
Having fun with the concerto chosen was an vital facet of performing for various the co-winners, together with flutist Futamura.
“I actually love the piece that I performed and I simply needed to have that love come throughout [in] my enjoying,” she stated. “Telling the story of the piece — that’s what I attempted to give attention to.”
This pleasure is a facet of efficiency that may actually come throughout to the viewers — and judges — based on alto saxophonist Lin.
“With music, when you will have enjoyable, it exhibits. The judges wish to benefit from the music, however additionally they wish to see that the performer enjoys the music, too,” Lin stated, including that the performer’s ardour is mirrored of their musicality.
On prime of discovering appreciation in their very own concertos and efficiency experiences, the co-winners shared a sense of appreciating their colleagues’ repertoire as nicely. Flutist Solar makes a playlist of the music performed within the Stanford Concerto Competitors yearly — together with this one.
“Collaborating within the competitors and getting ready an excellent piece of music is a rewarding expertise no matter how you find yourself doing,” Solar wrote. “If there’s a concerto that you just actually love, you must give the concerto competitors a shot!”