Stulberg International String Competition

Courtesy of The Stulberg Competition

189 musicians from around the world applied to the Stulberg International String Competition by the deadline in February. Then the new executive director, Megan Yankee,  had to think fast when the coronavirus pandemic hit. This Saturday, May 16, the semifinalists won’t be waiting in the wings of the Dalton Center Recital Hall to hear the winners announced. They’ll be at home, watching online like everyone else. In an interview with Cara Lieurance, Yankee explained that she consulted with the Stulberg board, the adjudicators, and the semifinalists to see if they would agree to putting the competition online. 

The 12 semi-finalists will be judged on videos they already submitted when they applied for the competition. Each will also create a video of music by Bach. The videos will stream online beginning at noon Saturday, and the final results should be announced sometime after 3:30 pm. 

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The Kalamazoo Junior Symphony Orchestra will continue its season at 4 pm on Sunday, Feb 9 at Chenery Auditorium  with a program called "Defining Romanticism." It brings together music of three great composers of the 19th century: Richard Wagner, Camille St.-Saëns, and Robert Schumann. In a conversation with Cara Lieurance, conductor Andrew Koehler explains some of the ways each composer defined Romanticism, and they listen to excerpts of Wagner's Prelude to Die Meistersinger, St.-Saëns' Violin Concerto No. 3, and Schumann's Symphony No. 3, "Rhenish." 

Violinist Sory Park, the bronze medalist of the 2019 Stulberg International String Competition, will return as soloist. She is a student of Soovin Kim at the New English Conservatory of Music in Boston, MA.


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Nathan Le is the silver medal winner of the 2019 Stulberg International String Competition. Le and conductor Bruce Uchimura joined Cara Lieurance to preview the free season-opening concert at Miller Auditorium on Sunday, Oct 6 at 3 pm. Le will perform the Symphonia Concertante for Cello and Orchestra by Sergei Prokofiev, with Shostakovich's Symphony No. 5  and Festive Overture rounding out the program. 


Flickr user Ain't Looking For Nothing. All Creative Commons.

Each year, the Stulberg International String Competition receives applications from hundreds of violinists, violists, cellists and bassists, all age 19 and under. These applications are reviewed and narrowed down to just 12 finalists, who travel from all corners of the continent to perform not only for prizes, but for the experience and the opportunity to meet other top players of their generation. In these interviews, you'll hear nine of the talented young musicians talk about their backgrounds and the music they've prepared to play in front of the public and judges Paul Coletti, Emilio Colón, and Jennifer Frautschi on Saturday, May 18.

Semifinals run on the half-hour between 9 am and 4 pm, and are free to attend. The six finalists chosen from the field of 12 will perform in the Finals Concert at 7:30 pm in the Dalton Center Recital Hall, after which the awards will be announced. The Stulberg judges teach masterclasses the following day, and are open to the public.


Tchaikovsky, a genius at writing from the heart, was also a master at controlling the sounds of the orchestra, Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra music director Julian Kuerti's says of the beloved composer, whose Violin Concerto in D and Symphony No. 5 are featured on the next KSO program. The 2018 Stulberg Competition gold medalist Charlotte Marckx is excited to play her favorite concert with the orchestra. This performance was part of the prize she won at the competition last May. 

In a conversation with Cara Lieurance, the music director and the soloist share stories about past performances and experiences, and look forward to Afterwords, the post-concert mixer with musicians and audience together. The concert begins at 8 pm in Miller Auditorium on Saturday, Jan 26.

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