the orchestra world

the (really) younger generation

Elaine Calder emailed me this story – it’s about a 13 year old violist who just won an audition for the Saskatoon Symphony.

The SSO gig began last year, when auditions came up and Nina Drew decided to give it a try.

“You go behind a black screen. You can’t see them and they can’t see you — and you can’t talk at all,” she explains in an interview.

Ahead of time, auditioners are given a few things to practice. One of the judges tells the auditioner to start and when to stop. Drew played for 10 or 15 minutes, she thinks, and then went back to a dressing room to wait for two hours. Eventually, someone came to get her, and she went down to meet the judges.

“They just introduced themselves and told me I was in the symphony.”

Well, there was a bit more to it than that. The judges — the principal string musicians of the SSO and artistic director Douglas Sanford — couldn’t help laughing out of amazement that their new violist was so young.

“We were pretty surprised, but she played a great audition,” Sanford said in an interview. “I think it’s fantastic, bringing young kids along.”

Read the story here.

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