Q&A with ANAM Musicians: 2019 ANAM Concerto Competition

Interview

The ANAM Concerto Competition is an integral part of ANAM’s performance training, providing our young musicians with a supported understanding of the processes and rigour of solo performance with an orchestra.

In Round 2, twelve outstanding musicians will compete for a chance to perform in the Final with the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra. Before the judges face their difficult-yet-delightful task of selecting the finalists, meet some of our amazing competitors!

CASSANDRA-SLATER-(FLUTE)-ANAM-Concerto-Competition-2019Cassandra Slater (flute)

Q1: How did you choose your concerto – and how does it show off your skills/highlight your strengths as a musician?

I think I was 15 years old, at the Australian Flute Festival, when I first heard a performance of the Ibert Flute Concerto. I remember being so captivated with the technical ability required to play the first and third movements and I completely fell in love with the stunning second movement. I remember instantly adding it to my flute bucket list so I’m really excited to have the opportunity to perform it for the second round of the ANAM Concerto Competition.

Q2: Does your preparation change for a recorded audition vs a live performance? If so, how?

Performing in front of an live audience always adds an extra level of nerves and excitement which is interesting to channel into the music. I often find when doing a recorded audition you can very easily fall into the trap of doing take after take - trying to get the “perfect” performance out. In a live performance you only get one shot - but that’s half the fun!


NOAH-RUDD-(OBOE)-ANAM-Concerto-Competition-2019Noah Rudd (oboe)

Q1: How did you choose your concerto – and how does it show off your skills/highlight your strengths as a musician?

The Mozart oboe concerto, like each instrument's own respective Mozart concertos, is a core part of our repertoire.  It exists on nearly every audition list as a showcase of the oboe's ability to sing long lines as well as challenge it with virtuosic passagework.  However, as an audition piece, these concertos so often exist in a vacuum.  It can be easy to forget that it is a piece to be performed.  It is always a great opportunity to be able to play the complete concerto as Mozart intended and then take that experience into playing for auditions.  It is the sort of piece that you can continue to revisit time and time again and you will never cease to find new things. The more you play it, the more you can get away from the technical and stylistic constraints and the more you can put your own personal stamp on it. 

Q2: Does your preparation change for a recorded audition vs a live performance? If so, how?

For me, there are two variables going from a recorded audition to live performance: time and people.  Time is the double-edged sword for recording, whereby you can do a seemingly endless number of takes.  The recording industry has built a culture of perfectionism and you always hope the next take will be better, but the question is when do you stop?  Live performance is different, particularly in competitions, because you only have one opportunity.  Add to that the hum of an audience, and the atmosphere has a new level of pressure and excitement.  The dialogue between the performer and the people in the audience can really ignite a performance.  The key to harnessing that energy is how you prepare mentally.  


Leanne-McGowan-(violin)-anam-concerto-competition-2019Leanne McGowan (violin)

Q1: How did you choose your concerto – and how does it show off your skills/highlight your strengths as a musician?

I’ve always loved the Tchaikovsky violin concerto for its soaring melodies and exciting passages that just sweep you up right until the last chord. It is definitely one of the greatest concertos in the repertoire, so I thought what better concerto to learn to start off my time at ANAM?! It is virtuosic like any big concerto, and has its own technical challenges for the soloist - but for me I think I am most looking forward to taking the audience on this journey with me, while hopefully bringing something fresh to this much loved concerto. 

Q2: Does your preparation change for a recorded audition vs a live performance? If so, how?

Preparation definitely varies between a live and recorded performance. I find recordings much harder to prepare for in a way, because although there are no people watching you at the time, having a camera in front of you makes your ears much more critical. So during preparation I find it helpful to do a lot of slow practice cleaning up smaller sections and focusing on less at a time. Whereas for a live performance of the whole concerto, that requires a lot more stamina and familiarity with running the whole thing through in the practice room to get an idea of how much energy you need. It is also important to pace yourself so you don’t get too tired towards the end! 

Simon-BaldwinSimomn Baldwin (Bass Trombone)

Q1: How did you choose your concerto – and how does it show off your skills/highlight your strengths as a musician?

I’ve played the Schnyder in the past, however never the arrangement with percussion, so I was stoked to be able to program the work for my recital in May. After that it seemed a good idea to submit the recording for the competition, though I was quite shocked when I heard I had advanced! SubZERO is a mix of blues, bop, jazz and middle eastern influences, which makes it a lot of fun to play and I feel suits me well, as I’m quite comfortable in these genres. 

Q2: Does your preparation change for a recorded audition vs a live performance? If so, how?

I think the freedom I feel about presenting subZERO in the second round of the competition will allow me to perform without any inhibitions, as opposed to my recital, which was a little more stressful. 


ANAM CONCERTO COMPETITION - ROUND 2 
Day 1: Thursday 15 August 11AM-3.30PM
Day 2: Friday 16 August 11AM-4PM
ANAM, South Melbourne Town Hall
FREE ENTRY - NO BOOKINGS REQUIRED
Day 1 /    Day 2

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