by Daniel Hathaway
Unless you’re an audiophile on a mission, you’re not likely to sit down and listen to ten complete performances of violin concertos in one day (much less three of Tchaikovsky’s, two each of Brahms’s and Sibelius’s and single performances each of Mendelssohn’s, Shostakovich’s first and Prokofiev’s second). Or unless you’re a judge or audience member at an international violin event like the Oberlin Cooper Competition.
On Tuesday afternoon and evening, July 23, that unlikely possibility became a reality as ten violinists, ages 15 to 18, played the concerto round of the Cooper Competition in Oberlin’s Warner Concert Hall, giving a fascinating look into the musical personalities and technical prowess of the competitors, who were vying for the opportunity to become one of three finalists to play these pieces with The Cleveland Orchestra on Friday evening in Severance Hall.
All ten players, having passed the entrance auditions and survived the semi-final rounds, have certified that they are fine musicians who have the technical wherewithal to play every note of their chosen concertos. [Read more…]