Organ Competition?
  • Carol
    Posts: 554
    I watched a public television program the other evening about the Canadian International Organ Competition and found it fascinating. I got to wondering if any of you have ever participated in this one or something similar. There was a moment when one poor contestant was reminding the assistant standing by to pull "the trumpets, the trumpets!" He was devastated and so was the poor guy who was so slow to move the stop.
  • I haven't done competitions yet (someday, God willing), but I watched that program myself a few months ago. Watching that boy begging for the trumpets was painfully relatable!
    Thanked by 1Carol
  • Richard MixRichard Mix
    Posts: 2,081
    I watched a bit after a Russian lesson, with closed captions still on: "Peaceful music", "intense music", "bittersweet music" &c.
    Thanked by 1Carol
  • ScottKChicago
    Posts: 318
    I find turning pages stressful...can't imagine being responsible for pulling the right stops during a competition! I avoid even page-turning if I can, although I haven't had a big disaster yet. A couple of good catches, though. One page had a foldout taped on it that I hadn't noticed, but as I turned the page, somehow I used just the right force that the foldout opened up nicely on its own. I acted like it was planned that way. But normally I'm a nervous wreck.
    Thanked by 1Carol
  • Carol
    Posts: 554
    Watching something musical with closed captions seems pointless to me, but if you can imagine the sound just from watching the hands on the keyboard I am extremely impressed!
  • JaredOstermann
    Posts: 439
    I was a finalist at the Canadian competition in 2011. As competitions go, it was one of my favorite experiences because they took care of us every step of the way (e.g. in addition to hotel and per diem we even had assigned drivers pick us up at the hotel for each of our practice times - luxury!). Still, the stress and pressure were intense. Three full programs in two weeks on three organs with a large audience and panel of judges. I got anxiety again just watching the Pipedreams documentary.

    My assistants were flawless for the CIOC, but I remember doing a competition in Ireland where I played the Liszt "Weinen Klagen" with the help of two assistants for registration and page turning. During the competition - partway through the piece, which is about 20 minutes long, the assistants lost track both of my registration directions and the page turns. So I had to play while shouting "turn the page" "add! add!" "reeds off" etc. Surprisingly, I was so absorbed in directing the assistants that I wasn't nervous at all - got good feedback from the judges and made it to the next round.

    Competitions are an interesting phenomenon on many levels. But I think they have a lot of long-term value win or lose. You meet colleagues and judges from around the world, play interesting instruments, and you have to push yourself to a higher level of preparation and performance. I was glad to see a major documentary on one.