August 2007

Another looney day in Japan

August 31, 2007 23:18

one way I keep my life in Japan exciting is not paying close attention to what is going on. The way this system works is I try to stay alert to days when things may be happening but probe no further. Thus recently I had noticed my piano trio increasing the number of rehearsals per week, muttering a lot and asking me to sign bits of paper. Then as per system, I got dressed up, into a car and was transported to a place I had never been before for some thing to do with music. So what exactly are we doing today I enquired at last.
Cellist `oh. Today our trio is competing in a big competition here.`
B) Really? That was the pouint of all that work then... How many contestants today?
c) About 80.
B) Mmm. So we play for....
c) 6 minutes.

I thought the event was a bit odd since aside from 50 solo pianists there was a marimba group, sax band and a lone mandolin player. Fortunately we were put into classes of which ours was called `chamber ensemble.` I have to confess to being puzzled as to why a solo violinist playing Ysaye and another playing the Bruch with piano accompaniament counted as chamber ensemble but there you go. As we were about to go on stage I said `look guys, I don`t want to drive all this way for six minutes. Let`s just play through this Beethoven trio until somebody stops us.` Nobody did. We played for a long time!
Anyway, we won. The judges included a well known Japanese contest pianist who in her comments said that she had given us 100 percent across the board for all judging criteria, but with reservations. I have to confess this puzzled me. I mean if she had reservations (which she didn`t specify) then why not give us 95 percent instead? Later that day I met her by the coffee machine and she looked at me quizically `Do I know you from somewhere?` `Yes, I was concertmaster of an orchestra you played the Beethoven Emeperor cocnerto with five years ago.`
`Really? How was it?`
I couldn`t resist. `I gave it 100 percent across the board with no reservations.` She smiled sweetly and my heart broke. Again.

12 replies | Archive link

More entries: September 2007July 2007

Facebook Twitter YouTube Instagram Email is made possible by...

Shar Music
Shar Music

Pirastro Strings
Pirastro Strings

Corilon Violins
Corilon Violins

Los Angeles Philharmonic
Los Angeles Philharmonic

Dimitri Musafia, Master Maker of Violin and Viola Cases
Dimitri Musafia, Master Maker of Violin and Viola Cases Shopping Guide Shopping Guide

Coltman Competition

Metzler Violin Shop

Bein & Company

Bay Fine Strings Violin Shop

Leatherwood Bespoke Rosin

Annapolis Bows & Violins

Los Angeles Violin Shop

String Masters

Bobelock Cases

Things 4 Strings LLC



Sleepy Puppy Press

Jargar Strings

J.R. Judd Violins, LLC

Southwest Strings

Nazareth Gevorkian Violins

Laurie's Books

Discover the best of in these collections of editor Laurie Niles' exclusive interviews. Interviews Volume 1 Interviews Volume 1, with introduction by Hilary Hahn Interviews Volume 2 Interviews Volume 2, with introduction by Rachel Barton Pine