Monday was a rehearsal day for the six finalists of the Minnesota International Piano-e-Competition. Each spent an hour with the Rosalyra Quartet in preparation for today's round of chamber music. They also took time to sit down and chat with me about how things are going. As we move into the last two phases of the competition, the experience moves from solo piano to collaborative and I was curious to know if that might reduce some of the pressure -- maybe even make things fun. The answer to that question was a unanimous, "No!" They have very limited rehearsal time with the quartet and orchestra. Still, they are expected to be in charge and are responsible for how things go.
Here's the schedule for today's chamber music round at Sundin Hall.
Noon: Eric Zuber, Dvorak
12:45 pm: Grace Kim, Dvorak
1:30 pm: Helene Tysman, Schumann
2:15 - 4:00 pm: BREAK
4:00 pm: Alessandro Taverna, Brahms
4:45 pm: Howard Na, Brahms
5:30 pm: Pavel Yeletsky, Brahms
Listen to my conversation with John Birge to learn more about finalists Helene Tysman and Alessandro Taverna
It was a unique experience for me Tuesday afternoon, hearing the same work (Brahms quintet) played back to back by three different pianists. One of the performances seemed to lack the fire and intensity of the other two. Or was that just my ears getting a little stale after hearing the music three times?
I wonder, do the judges confer at all with the string players and orchestra conductor? Or is it all in the performance itself. And do contestants receive written comments on their playing from the judges?
After several days attending at Sundin Hall, I have my definite favorites among the contestants. Tonight we'll see if the judges agree with me!
You raise some excellent questions about the judging at the e-Competition. Here's what I know:
The judges base their decision only on playing, and they do not confer with the orchestra or the quartet players.
Contestants do not receive written comments, however, all contestants, once they are out of the competition (or at the end of the competition) are given an opportunity to talk to all the judges and get their perspective and comments on their playing.