15. June 2022 · Comments Off on Competitions · Categories: Cliburn Competition, Competitions

I don’t like competitions. I used to say I’m not competitive, but I have learned, from playing Scrabble with my daughter, that in fact I truly AM competitive. And I want to win. Always. I was reminded of this, too, because our older son pulled out the Scrabble game that used to live here and score sheets had been saved. How many times did I write, “Patty wins. AGAIN!!”? Or “Patty allowed Dan to win this time,”? Sadly, many, many times (especially the former, since I grew up on Scrabble and he didn’t)! So yeah, I’m competitive. I admit it.

But I still don’t like competitions. Sort of like my not liking auditions.

I’m not talking (or writing) about competitions or auditions that include me: I don’t do either. I’m talking about the ones I watch.


Because I always feel sorry for the people who don’t win. They are all such fine musicians. On a different day a different person might come in first. That’s how it goes.

Still, I must admit I’m rather hooked on watching the Cliburn competition. The pianists are just so astounding!

So I might not like competitions, but I still do watch them. It’s encouraging to see younger musicians out there with talent that far surpasses mine. It’s wonderful to hear their musicality at such young ages. I look forward to seeing where these amazing Cliburn contestants will go with their talents.

The Cliburn competition is nearly over, but you can catch a bit more live, and you can always check out the past performances on the Cliburn YouTube page.

04. June 2019 · Comments Off on And Speaking of Competitions · Categories: Competitions

For the first time the International Tchaikovsky Competition has added woodwinds to the mix!

I see there are a ton of flutes and three oboists. I’m surprised there are no other instruments represented. You can see the players here.

Update: NO! I’m quite wrong … I just had to click on the “See more competitors” button. TONS more players! There are twelve of each woodwind.

The competition runs from June 17 to the June 29. I look forward to hearing the fine players!

04. June 2019 · Comments Off on At the Cliburn Competition · Categories: Cliburn Competition, Competitions

I’m currently watching the Cliburn Junior Piano Competition. I am not a huge fan of competitions — I believe I’ve mentioned that before — but I love watching and hearing these young music makers so much. They are pretty amazing. It’s not just that they play the notes … they play music!

Music is so much more than the notes. It’s the story one is telling. It’s line. It’s color. Without expression I couldn’t care less. These young players make me care.

What will be quite telling is the finalists, who perform with an orchestra. That can really be a challenge Making music on one’s own is different than working with an ensemble. (But hey, they don’t have to think about intonation or reeds!)

If you start with the link below you’ll hear all in the preliminary round, as it goes through the full playlist:

And here is the start of the quarterfinals:

16. May 2019 · Comments Off on Prague Spring International Competition — Finals · Categories: Competitions, Oboe

Here are the finalists for the oboe competition in Prague.

For the finals the contestants play both the Vaughan Williams and Martinu for the final round. Vaughan Williams is done without conductor. Martinu is conducted by Ondrej Vrabec.

First up is Martin Danek of the Czech Republic, playing the Vaughan Williams. The playing begins at about the 2 minute mark if you want to skip the beginning. Second is Gabriel Pidoux of France, again playing the Vaughan Williams.

Later the same day Seong Young Yun from the Republic of Korea, followed by Shota Takahashi of Japan, play the works.

Do you want to know the results? Maybe you should listen first and I’ll answer later. Besides, I confess that I’ve not yet had time to listen to it all. (I wish I didn’t know who won: I’d like to decide with my ears but my eyes have already read the news, which I think affects the ears!)

03. November 2017 · Comments Off on It takes time, but have a listen! · Categories: Competitions, Oboe

There was controversy when no first prize was given to these three oboists (all were awarded second). I am not going to give my opinion on this, but just share their final performances. Because I can. But oh the booing when Elaine Douvas announced (Go to 1:10) that all were being given that second prize!

Jury: Elaine Douvas (Chair), Washington Barella, Nicholas Daniel, Christoph Hartmann, Louise Pellerin, Jorma Valjakka, Paulus van der Merwe

For the semi finals they played the Mozart. If you click through I’m sure you’ll see the links.

Kindly refrain from doing any critiquing (of either the oboists or the committee) in the comments here. This is just a share and nothing more. (Do I prefer one over another? Well … one always has a fave, right? Or at least nearly always.)

But what fine playing by all, and of course I’m impressed by their memorization.)

Juliana Koch (Germany) (audience prize)

Kyeong Ham (South Korea)

Thomas Hutchinson, (New Zealand) (prize for best performance of the new composition)

29. June 2016 · Comments Off on Listen Now! · Categories: Competitions, Listen · Tags:

The Gillet Bassoon competition is being broadcast live at the moment: