Play with Ray.

August 11, 2019, 2:16 AM · Members of Violinist.Com,The following does give me concern.

Three competent violinsts are invited to L.A. to be wined and dined with typical American generousity, attend masterclasses and coaching, meet intereting musicians and use fine instruments All cost-free.
Whereupon one attractive young lady (sic!) mounts the podium to play one movement, one movement,(seriouly,one movement?)of Bach´s eternal Double Concerto with,in Laurie Miles word, SuperStar Ray Chen. The other two are allowed to sit in with the orchestra and play the same movement. Ray Chen then goes on to play four Vivaldi concertos. The guests travel home with happy memories. I cannot for my life undetand how a great L.A. Philharmonic of musical integrity, in a time , ss said, where fine orchestras are struggling to exist can lend itself to what is basically , I feel, a PR event well- orchestrated on behalf of the redoutabele Mr. Chen. Can we afford such spectacles? So, talk to me and tell me what I´m missing here! Danbel.

Replies (1)

Edited: August 11, 2019, 5:26 AM · So, Daniel, for me you're missing a few things.

I think the point of making this one movement of a relatively straightfoward piece of music was to make the competition accessible to a very wide range of musicians, something that just about all "serious" competitions don't. So I think one of the objectives was inclusivity - if the competition had been to perform Paganini Caprice 24 there would have been very few takers.

Ray Chen was, I think, attempting to encourage young and amateur players with a prize that very few could ever aspire to. He had entries from young children to those with several decades under their belt. I think he should be applauded for that encouragement.

The work of all responsible cultural organisations such as the LA Phil should include education and inspiration. So I don't feel that the LA Phil should be critised for doing the job it should.

And yes, there was publicity for Ray Chen and the LA Phil. Gosh, how awful! Making music at that level must be rewarded financially or else how do musicians such as Ray Chen through the back desk of seconds live whilst performing for others? And much of that publicity will be focussed again on inspiring youngsters to pick up their instruments and practice so they can aim to one day emulate Ray Chen's achievements. Is that really so reprehensible? It certainly isn't to me.

That said, the one thing I agree with you on is that all of the finalists were young females and the winner was already playing at a high level and had recognition in her home country. I would have been much more impressed if an older person had been selected too.


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