Our studio had a very good day last Saturday, January 29th, 2022. Our very own eleven-year-old, Gaia Daniel, was awarded First Prize in the Minneapolis Music Teachers Forum (MMTF) Mozart Concerto Competition. As a result, she will be performing the first movement of Mozart's passionate and darkly beautiful Concerto in C minor, K. 491 with the Kenwood Symphony Orchestra. The concert will be held Saturday, May 21st, at Hamline University's beautiful Sundin Music Hall. Jo Anne and I were unable to attend the event itself, but one of our trusted colleagues who was there described Gaia's playing as "electrifying, gorgeous, and artistic". We expected no less from this passionate, charismatic, burgeoning young artist. It will be such a thrill to hear Gaia on a lovely Steinway instrument in such a beautiful venue. She is our fourth winner in the past eight years. Gaia's playing reminds me of our world-famous Kenny Broberg, who won this same competition at the age of twelve in 2006. Our beloved Collaborative Artist, Kerri LeJeune - before we began to work together - was the judge!! How is that for connecting some dots?
No less impressive were the exquisite performances of Andre Peck and Ariella Kim who each received Honorable Mention. So, our studio captured three of the four awards presented. Andre played the highly virtuosic, youthful, and joyous Concerto in C Major, K. 467. He offered the stupendously difficult cadenza composed by the super-virtuoso Dinu Lipattii in the mid-20th century. It is certainly the most difficult and complex of all Mozart cadenzas known to this writer.
Ariella offered Mozart's final work in this genre, the Concerto in B-flat Major, K. 595. Composed in the final year of his life, David Dubal writes, "Yet this last piano concerto is sparkling, full of childlike spontaneity, optimism, and humor along with suppressed tears. It was being composed as he sketched the Requiem." Ariella gave a profoundly beautiful, flowing, and sensitive performance of this deep work.
All three concerti our students offered were incredibly unique as were their highly individual performances. Jo Anne and I knew we were sending three exquisitely prepared performances and were very gratified by the results. It had to be extremely difficult for the judges to choose one top prize among these three super-gifted representatives of our studio.
In additional news, Jo Anne and I are very happy to announce that Ariella has been invited
to present her Mozart Concerto in concert with the Golden Valley Orchestra. The concert will be Sunday, April 24, 3:00 pm, at Golden Valley Lutheran Church.
More later . . .
Yours in Music -
Joe & Jo Anne