Monday, April 1, 2013

Auditioning via DVD Follow-up

Auditioning via DVD

A friend of mine wrote me today with some great comments engendered by his reading of my recent post about DVD auditions.

Here's what he had to say:

"I'm always interested in thoughts on auditions because . . . I've served on juries at the (Vienna) State Opera many, many times. Awesome, the advantages made available by modern technology.
On occasion, I've advised young people on how to approach an audition. String players should tune as quietly as they can and thereby demonstrate bow control and how well the pegs on their instrument are maintained, for instance. Regarding the music itself I agree that it should be clear from the musical presentation — the playing itself — that the player knows the required excerpts IN CONTEXT — that they know what is going on around them while they are performing. Any member of the jury will immediately notice, as you say, whether the candidate knows the music or is simply trying to get the notes right. And in Vienna it is very important to be familiar with the style and traditional Viennese interpretations of these works — in the vein of the "picky" part of your blog. (How often have I heard: "great playing, but that's not the way we do it in Vienna!")
If, for whatever reason, at a live audition a candidate is interrupted by a member of the jury (which can actually be a very positive sign) and asked to play a passage differently, it will always impress the jury if the candidate can spontaneously and professionally respond to what is asked of him or her.
Given the always stiffer competition I agree that the more professional tape may very very well make the difference, all other things being equal. It is also a sign of respect to the adjudicators, who are human beings and react unconsciously to subliminal signals."

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