#7: The Cause is Music

  • #Flute
  • #Violin

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In an all Baroque program, flute semi-finalists gave extraordinary performances of such generosity, passion and finesse that they left commentators struggling for adjectives. Many of the young flute semi-finalists are already at advanced stages of their careers, holding orchestra chairs or regularly performing as highly billed soloists. The first four competitors all chose to present the CPE Bach Wq 22; baroque specialist, judge Rachel Brown stepped in at the intermission to reemphasize, as if any were needed, that technical wizardry is nothing if the audience isn’t stirred. No fear of that!  A barefoot Marianna Julia Żołnacz opened the second half, followed by Lívia Duleba, who alone chose to present the three Vivialdi Concerti from the highly circumscribed repertoire list. Joséphine Olech brought the semi-final full circle, returning us to the Flute Concerto in D Minor. The judges had a difficult choice to make, but regardless of outcome, it’s clear all six semi-finalists have bright futures ahead. Congratulations to outstanding finalists, all of whom have communicated unique character and distinction of approach.


Flute Finalists:

  • Rafael Adobas Bayog
  • Joséphine Olech
  • Marianna Julia Zolnacz


Over at the simultaneous violin semi-final, the Odense Symphony Orchestra, lead by concertmaster and juror Eugen Tichindeleanu, whipped through the peaks and troughs of Mozart’s Violin Concerti 3, 4 & 5 with tireless zeal, (most frequently the No. 5 in A Major) providing sterling support for all six semi-finalists. Coincidentally, all three finalists selected presented Concerto No. 5. The opportunity to hear this concerto repeatedly from different competitors was illuminating, as was the choice of some to play with the orchestra and others to remain separate. Tichindeleanu’s ‘ringside’ position must have afforded a fascinating perspective as juror, in particular. All the competitors grew energetically and musically into the energy of the larger hall and audience, notably so from their earliest outings and some to a remarkable extent. The day neatly illustrated a point made by Clarinet Senior Judge Paul Meyer during intermission: ‘music is very selective...  but a competition also… is a chance see where you are, a chance to meet your future colleagues, to share a moment, to learn and be together.’ It was abundantly clear that all the contestants had grown, and the competition can be said to be meeting its own metric of success. 


Violin Finalists:

  • John Dalene, 18, Sweden
  • Anna Agafia Egholm, 22, Denmark
  • Marie-Astrid Hulot, 21, France


What I wish for them...is that they never lose their curiosity... to stay on the journey. It’s in that journey that the joy lies. ~ Nielsen President, Nikolaj Szeps-Znaider

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