May 18, 2021, 2:52 PM · I am very proud of my kids - their piano trio made it to the semifinals of the Fischoff this year (junior strings).  My son's a senior so it's his last year to do this with his sister.  It was quite competitive this year...I picked the first and second place winners (reversed), and after that there were just a lot of good groups.  There was even an all-family group of very cute little kids (like 8 and 11) playing a very credible Brahms quartet that reminded me of a Two Set competition video :-).

Another piano group in my kids' organization has two seniors this year, so we'll be combining these two groups to form a string quartet of players who already know each other well...will be getting a wonderfully good violist from the other group which can be tough to find in high school, so we are looking forward to trying again next year, hopefully in person.

Replies (8)

May 18, 2021, 3:52 PM · You sure are right to be proud Stan. Keep us posted on the progress!
Edited: May 18, 2021, 3:52 PM · A big congratulations to your kids, what a fantastic achievement! I enjoyed watching the entries this year.
May 18, 2021, 10:10 PM · That is definitely something to be proud of, especially this year! My son's program had three quartets make the quarters and two in the semis. A lot of groups, including my son's, did not even enter this year -- their 2nd violinist's family got COVID and they couldn't get together at all for nearly a month, missing the time when recordings needed to be done.

It sounds like your kids' group will be a force to be reckoned with next year!

Edited: May 19, 2021, 5:15 PM · Thanks everyone :-). Susan I have to admit I am a bit envious of the performance space your program has...super nice acoustics for chamber music. Even without a pandemic, getting a good space here is difficult, and we were so fortunate that a church where the kids did some master classes over the years let us record, but stone and brick and a huge reverberant space are maybe a little better for solo Bach.

My kids were hoping that the very cute little kids playing the serious repertoire would win this year so they didn't have to compete with them next time...thinking they will be the force to reckon with :-).

May 20, 2021, 8:32 AM · Stan -- our performance space is an old converted Church of Christ Scientist. Its acoustics are amazing, though they have altered it slightly to tone down the liveliness. But even more amazing is our recording engineer. He has literally a million dollars of equipment and exclusively records classical music. He's also great at working with the kids. And charges us half what any other recording engineer would.

As for Stars Aligned Siblings, I have a ton of respect for what they do, but right now they are mostly winning things because of their schtick (cuteness factor, memorization, ages). Their playing is not yet on par with the other groups they are competing against (though their musicality is). They probably only have a year or two of the cuteness factor left before they will be judged solely on their playing. Then again, by then their playing probably will be on par with the top groups.

Edited: May 20, 2021, 9:44 AM · Thanks for the post and congratulations on your kids' successes. There's a family in my town with a "built-in piano trio," and the boys are identical triplets -- they're so adorable. I would guess they're in the age range to start competing in this kind of thing, so I will mention this opportunity to the violin teacher as the boys are also very talented and, because they compete with one another for advancement (some would say "as boys do"), they are also very driven.

I agree that finding a good performance space to do a video with good lighting and sound quality is either difficult or very expensive. Even in our relatively small locality, we are fortunate to have a private music school that has a performance space with a grand piano, and members can use it for free, it's just a matter of scheduling. The ceiling is a little low is the only real issue.

Edited: May 20, 2021, 10:54 AM · Haha now I am even more envious Susan - great space AND professional recording :-). It was good to see that the review committee did not seem too biased against Dad recordings...there was everything from cell phone videos to professional videos in the submissions.

Link to one of my kids' pieces this year in case anyone wants to listen, (Good mics, Zoom field recorder, and Panasonic G9, nothing really fancy.)

May 20, 2021, 4:56 PM · Your recordings sound great! Don't underestimate yourself! What kind of mics do you use?

And if your kids do want to use our great space and recording engineer, I am sure they would be more than welcome in my son's program! Of course, then you would have to move to Chicago, but everybody loves Chicago anyway.

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