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Conversations with creators and organizers of the arts scene in West Michigan, hosted by Cara Lieurance

"Friendly" Stulberg International String Competition welcomes 2022 semifinalists to Kalamazoo

Stulberg International String Competition
La Li, winner of the silver medal in the 2018 Stulberg International String Competition

The Stulberg International String Competition will welcome 12 semifinalists from as far away as Germany back to Kalamazoo for the 47th annual event, after two years of having an online competition due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a conversation with Cara Lieurance covering the weekend's activities, executive director Megan Yankee says that because it's a competition for young and less experienced performers (under age 20), the organization has always worked hard to make the competitors feel at home and provide them with a good experience. Usually accompanied by family members, the semifinalists are also assigned local liaisons to help with orientation. They share mealtimes, and all receive valuable feedback from the adjudicators.

This year, the Bach Prize Award will be newly awarded on the first night of the competition when the 12 semifinalists play their Bach selections in Stetson Chapel at Kalamazoo College on Friday, May 20. The Concerto semifinals, which are free and open to the public, will be held during the day on Saturday, May 21 on the half-hour in the Dalton Center Recital Hall at Western Michigan University. The 47th Stulberg String Competition finals begin at 7:30 pm Saturday in WMU's Dalton Center Recital Hall. Both the semifinals and the finals will be livestreamed to the world.

Amit Peled
courtesy of the artist
Amit Peled

Cellist Amit Peled is one of the adjudicators. He spoke to Cara Lieurance about what he's looking for in a finalist's performance that goes beyond technical ability.

Amit Peled talks about the experience of being an adjudicator

Peled thinks being chosen as a semifinalist is an honor, and for those who come close but do not receive medals, he says, "Don't give up."

Peled and the other two adjudicators, violist Atar Arad and violinist Simin Ganatra, will teach masterclasses on Friday, beginning at 12:30 pm.

Cara Lieurance covers local music with live morning interviews, and produces WMUK's Let's Hear It weekday mornings at 10 am Mon-Fri, showcasing local interviews and performances. She also produces The Pure Drop, an hour of Celtic music, with musician Dave Marlatt.