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Bart Meijer

A students' concert and an audition

May 29, 2010 at 7:22 PM

How to describe a student performance, and how do you describe an audition? Perhaps on the basis of their purpose: a fun night for one and a place in an orchestra for the other. But a concert is a lot more fun than an audition! Both Joop, my piano partner, and I had fun playing Haydn; a combination of careful attention, immediate feedback and six other things I cannot remember give  rise to an experience that M. Csíkszentmihály called flow, which gives great satisfaction especially afterwards. The piano pieces played were equally enjoyable: a Haydn sonata, and pieces by Albeniz (Sevilla), Mussorgsky (the Old Castle, one of the paintings in an exhibition), and Grieg (Melancholy).
The experience of the audition today was instead more like stagnation: due to the tension of the moment the bow arm did not function properly. This resulted in a few
failed spiccato runs and not much worse, but it did not make for pleasant music. And the three men behind the table, with their pens and paper, must have heard.
I have to wait:
tomorrow I will know if I am accepted into the orchestra.

Meanwhile I'd better practice bulletproof musicianship.

Thanks again for your encouragement. Karen was right: this is the right amount of violin activity.


From elise stanley
Posted on May 29, 2010 at 11:11 PM

Rooting for you - and remember, all the other candidates had issues of their own.  Besides, a good judge does not fail for errors but passes for strengths. 

Good luck!


From Yixi Zhang
Posted on May 30, 2010 at 2:05 AM

Bart, wonderfully reflective piece of writing that is!

As for audition, it sounds like you did very well if only missing a few spiccato runs. Mistakes are given under such cercumstances I think. And speaking of the nerve, I recall my first audition (I was in my midteen) I was so nervous that my whole left hand was shaking. And it got worse, after I finished, one judge took my hand to look at my fingers. I guess he wanted to know, even though I played horribly, I might physically have some potential. But all my fingers would not stay still and shook like leafs in the wind. The funny part is, I wasn't so scared or something and It was simply amazing to watch this unfolding right in front of my eyes and there was nothing else I could do to stop it!

Good luck and finger crossed for you.


From Bart Meijer
Posted on May 30, 2010 at 5:09 PM

Thank you, Yixi and Elise!

I'm waiting for the phone to ring...

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