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by Daniel Hathaway

Sunday afternoon’s final round on January 17 offered a good-sized Warner Concert Hall crowd some great bassoon playing by the five finalists — as well as a couple of white knuckle moments and one session which ended abruptly when time was called. So it goes in the heat of competition.

As the audience took their seats, a special twelve member Oberlin string orchestra was tuning up under conductor and harpsichordist Webb Wiggins. The final rounds would require contestants to play the whole of Vivaldi’s 26th Concerto from memory as well as the last movement of Libby Larsen’s Concert Piece for Bassoon and Piano and a piece of each contestant’s choice. Read the rest of this entry »


Announced this evening (Sunday, January 17) at 7:30 pm:

First Prize: Amanda Swain

Second Prize: Shuo Li

Third Prize: Briana Lehman

Honorable Mention: Julie Link & Laura Miller

On Friday evening at 6pm, the co-founders of the competition announced the five finalists who will compete on Sunday afternoon at 3 in Warner Concert Hall at the Oberlin Conservatory:

1) Briana Lehman (Rice University)

2) Shuo Li (Oberlin Conservatory)

3) Julie Link (Cleveland Institute of Music)

4) Laura Miller (University of Texas at Austin)

5) Amanda Swain (Northwestern University)

by Daniel Hathaway

Semi-final rounds of the Meg Quigley Vivaldi Competition got underway early Friday afternoon as nine bassoonists took the stage in the Oberlin Conservatory’s Kulas Recital Hall. The nine (originally ten, but one withdrew due to injury) were chosen from a pool of 47 applicants through video submissions.

In order this afternoon, we heard Kelly Harrison (Oberlin); Laura Miller (graduate student, University of Texas at Austin); Shuo Li (Oberlin, from China); Marian Graebert (graduate student at the University of Akron), Amanda Swain (graduate student at Northwestern); Alex Zdanis (Colburn School); Briana Lehman (Rice); Julie Link (graduate student at CIM); and Micahla Cohen (graduate student at Yale).

Each contestant played three required pieces, cleverly chosen to demonstrate each individual’s technique and musicianship, interpretive skills and to measure how they projected their musical personality to an audience. Three judges would independently rank each player and cumulative scores would determine which five performers would advance to the finals on Sunday at 3pm in Warner Concert Hall.

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Daniel Hathaway
founder & editor
Mike Telin
executive editor
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