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The International Violin Competition of Indianapolis: What the Laureates are Really Like From a University Student's Perspective

Shauna Kaske

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Published: September 22, 2014 at 11:44 PM [UTC]

The closing ceremony for the IVCI was held less than fifteen minutes away from where I attend school at Butler University. Let’s just say I bought my tickets two months in advance I was so psyched.

The Scottish Rite Cathedral, glamorous and extravagant, was a beautiful venue. To watch each of the finalists own the stage and receive their awards was such a humbling experience. All so talented in their own rights, each Laureate managed to captivate the audience with their poise and virtuosity from the moment their bows touched down on the strings.

Not only did the finalists possess an unbelievable amount of talent, but their sense of selflessness and generosity was so endearing I could barely believe it. Sean Kilgore and Sandy An, my two friends who interned for the competition, informed me that Jinjoo courteously asked them if she could share the Stradivarius over the four years with some of the other Laureates because she knew that they wanted to use it as well. If that isn’t friendly competition, I don’t know what is.

I excitedly waited like a fan girl for the finalists to come out, and trying not to bombard them as they entered the reception, I held back until my intern friends gracefully introduced me to their now-friends, the Laureates.
Jinjoo Cho was all jokes and laughs while Tessa Lark was all smiles and personality. I didn’t get the chance to speak to all of the girls, but the ones I did were not only incredible musicians, but also possessed incredible personalities as well.

Jinjoo was humorous and fun, taking my friend's phone and snapping a couple “selfies” of all of us. We didn’t get to speak long because there were people waiting to get a moment with her from all sides.

We managed to steal Tessa at a good time, so I spoke with her for a bit, and I told her that I didn’t know how they could hold up for so long, performing such varied works every day under scrutiny. As a young performer, the amount of repertoire they have at the ready is unreal.
She told me it was hard at times but “We all just really love to play the music.”

It was revitalizing to know that these young superstars whom I look up to also are just good, down-to-earth young women.

I only hope I can be even half as wonderful as them. Congratulations ladies! You’re all virtuosos and I can’t wait to follow your careers and see where the music leads you.


With Tessa Lark, Silver Medalist

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