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 Post subject: Competition time!
PostPosted: Wed May 14, 2014 3:09 pm 
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Call me crazy, but one week from today I will be playing in the Chicago Amateur Piano Competition. As it approaches, I also think I am crazy because I just read all the bios from the other competitors and I am such a nobody compared to them. Most of them are doctors, dentists, engineers, or they have degrees in piano. I have none of those things! I entered for more of the social aspect of the competition, but still I am getting more and more nervous by the second.

Once again, they are streaming the competition online, so if you’d like to get a good laugh, you can watch me play my first round pieces (I’m sure I won’t advance to the second round). My time to play is next Wednesday, May 21st at 2:45 in the afternoon (Chicago time). Here is the link to the online streaming site:

http://gigity.tv/PianoForteFoundation/


Please pray for me.... :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: Competition time!
PostPosted: Wed May 14, 2014 8:43 pm 
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Location: New Jersey, USA
That is ultra-cool, Monica! 8)
Good luck, and if I'm home I'll catch that round!

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 Post subject: Re: Competition time!
PostPosted: Thu May 15, 2014 4:01 am 
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All right Monica! :)
What are you going to play?

(ps it seems unfair that people with piano degrees are allowed into the amateur competition)


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 Post subject: Re: Competition time!
PostPosted: Thu May 15, 2014 9:51 am 
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Location: Edinburgh, UK
Good luck! Don't worry about the other people! The best of your playing, such as some of the Spanish pieces, is very professionally presented and you have an evident affinity with it. You can't ask for more than that.

hreichgott wrote:
(ps it seems unfair that people with piano degrees are allowed into the amateur competition)


Yes, I've always thought it a curious anomaly that people with formal professional training are allowed into amateur competitions, so long as they "don't earn their primary income from teaching or performing" (not checked precise conditions here, but that's a standard clause).


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 Post subject: Re: Competition time!
PostPosted: Thu May 15, 2014 4:19 pm 
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Location: Edinburgh, Scotland
Why so nervous? Come on, get a grip! It's not like you've never done this before.
If you're not there to win, you've got nothing to lose. You're there to have fun, so just have fun!
You've practised your pieces, and it doesn't matter how the judges will grade you.
The best technical outcome for you will be that your playing meets the standard you have set yourself.

OK, you're crazy. 8)


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 Post subject: Re: Competition time!
PostPosted: Thu May 15, 2014 8:51 pm 
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Thank you Stu, Heather, Andrew, and Rainer for the words of encouragement. I can use all the encouragement I can get :!: :D
For my first round music I will be playing Rachmaninov’s Etude Tableaux Op. 33 in G-minor, Scarlatti’s Sonata K80 in G-major, and Barber’s Excursion no. 1. As you can see, I am already doomed because I’m not playing ANY Spanish music! :lol:

But I have worked so hard on these pieces. Last night as I was practicing, I was so tired (from working all day, etc.) that I actually closed my eyes and continued playing....like I was blind. So that means I have the notes down in my memory pretty well. I know I will still make a bunch of flubs anyway, but if I can just get to the end of the piece, I will be happy.

And yes, It is ridiculous how some of these people are able to be classified as amateurs!! :evil:

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my videos: http://www.youtube.com/user/monicapiano
my personal website: http://www.monicaalianello.com


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 Post subject: Re: Competition time!
PostPosted: Sat May 17, 2014 1:48 am 
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Location: Carbondale, IL
Monica,

I am looking forward to seeing you play through the webcast. I still remember hearing you play the Granados Goyescas piece in Summer 2012. While it does seem the respective terms "amateur" and "pro" have been used loosely, I think a lot of these players are closer to amateurs, even if they have degree in piano. I have a degree in piano, and I know where my limits are as a pianist. Seeing you play that spanish piece was a real treat. It was by the sound of it very technically challenging, rather long and surely no mere amateur could do that! :)

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 Post subject: Re: Competition time!
PostPosted: Sat May 17, 2014 7:44 pm 
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Hi Riley, that was fun meeting up with you in 2012. But I'm glad I didn't know you were in the audience when I played, though, because then I would have been even more nervous! :) I'll never forget that performance: I've mentioned this before, but anyway, that's the first time I ever got a migraine headache. I don't know how I got to the end of that piece because I could barely remain sitting at the piano and white lights flashed in my eyes the whole time. I'm going to do things differently this time around and try not to get so worked up before I go on stage.

My current dilemma is trying to decide whether or not to bring my music up to the piano or leave it behind.

One other thing: I learned that another competitor is playing one of the same pieces I am playing, and she plays directly after me. So I will either make her look good, or she will make me look bad. Wait...that's the same thing... :lol:

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"Simplicity is the highest goal, achievable when you have overcome all difficulties." ~ Frederic Chopin

my videos: http://www.youtube.com/user/monicapiano
my personal website: http://www.monicaalianello.com


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 Post subject: Re: Competition time!
PostPosted: Sun May 18, 2014 12:09 am 
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Location: Edinburgh, UK
pianolady wrote:
that's the first time I ever got a migraine headache. I don't know how I got to the end of that piece because I could barely remain sitting at the piano and white lights flashed in my eyes the whole time. I'm going to do things differently this time around and try not to get so worked up before I go on stage.

My current dilemma is trying to decide whether or not to bring my music up to the piano or leave it behind.



I take precautionary paracetamol before going on stage. Do you get any rehearsal time? It's worth familiarising yourself with the lighting conditions that exist when you're actually sitting at the piano (especially if you're playing from the score).

Re the score, I'm a bit concerned that you haven't yet made up your mind about this. If you're playing from memory, you should be rehearsing from memory, preferably occasionally in front of friends and/or family, just to get yourself used to the experience. If I'm playing pieces in public from memory, in the week before the recital, I run through everything I'm playing from memory at least once a day, in strict programme order. And if you have memorised the score but (usually people do this for reasons of safety/nerves) are going to play with the score in front of you, rehearse playing explicitly from the score and NOT relying on memory. I've seen too many people have a moment of panic when they have the score in front of them but are in fact playing from memory, memory suddenly blocks up and they don't know where they are in the score! If you are using a pageturner, ideally you should also do one or two of sessions rehearsal with the pageturner so that he/she gets accustomed to how far in advance they should turn the page (different people tend to have differing requirements in that respect).


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 Post subject: Re: Competition time!
PostPosted: Sun May 18, 2014 1:25 pm 
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andrew wrote:
I take precautionary paracetamol before going on stage. Do you get any rehearsal time? It's worth familiarising yourself with the lighting conditions that exist when you're actually sitting at the piano (especially if you're playing from the score).

I get only three minutes at the piano that's on stage earlier in the day, and then I'll have an hour in a practice room upstairs right before my turn to play. Is paracetamol like an aspirin? I had already thought about taking something like that ahead of time too.

Regarding the score...I know....I've told other people the same thing before. I'll spend time practicing with the music up on the stand today. Still not sure what I'll do come Wednesday though.

Thanks for the tips, Andrew!! :)

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"Simplicity is the highest goal, achievable when you have overcome all difficulties." ~ Frederic Chopin

my videos: http://www.youtube.com/user/monicapiano
my personal website: http://www.monicaalianello.com


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 Post subject: Re: Competition time!
PostPosted: Mon May 19, 2014 11:25 am 
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Location: Edinburgh, UK
Yeah, just any cheap generic painkiller should be fine. I've found that the combination of lights, big sound coming from a grand piano with its lid up, and nerves/adrenalin is often enough to induce a headache.


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 Post subject: Re: Competition time!
PostPosted: Wed May 21, 2014 9:11 pm 
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Location: New Jersey, USA
Let me be the first to congratulate you on a fine performance.
The Scarlatti shows a lot of improvement since the last time I heard it, and the Barber was lots of fun as always.
BTW: You should have looked at the audience a little sooner when you were finished.
Also BTW: The dress looked fine on TV. Video has come a long way in the last 10-15 years. (In the 90's, the rule was don't juxtapose colors too much.) Of course, I know that the TV was not on anyone's mind in the competition.

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 Post subject: Re: Competition time!
PostPosted: Thu May 22, 2014 12:16 am 
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... and the Rachmaninov. I had forgotten this piece, and am happy to be reminded of it. I got out your recording of it (which I believe to be some years old since it has few tags :) ) and I think you've improved it - all the more so since this was live. I play this at home for the beauty but have not made sense of it, which I think you have. That Rachmaninov was a deep character.

Oh - I forgot to add
Quote:
good luck
! If you get to play again, I hope you'll have time to inform us.

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 Post subject: Re: Competition time!
PostPosted: Thu May 22, 2014 2:03 am 
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You can be proud of yourself. You got some very nice sounds out of the piano, and your playing was not remotely amateurish, by which I mean that a casual viewer would be hard pushed to deduce whether you were a "true" amateur, or an "amateur" (in name only) who has been through professional training. Well done.


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 Post subject: Re: Competition time!
PostPosted: Thu May 22, 2014 5:58 am 
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Thank you, Stu and Andrew! It warms my heart that some Piano Society friends took time to watch me! :)

Stu - I'm glad my dress looked okay! :D Regarding looking at the audience....I wanted to, and tried to, but the man who turned pages for me was talking to me and I didn't know what to do. So I just sort of looked back at the audience and waved...or something like that. Probably something stupid. I don't have the best stage presence. But you know what's funny? The page turner told me that he accidentally turned two pages, but I kept playing anyway and didn't even notice because I had the piece memorized and was looking down at the keys. I am so thankful now that I memorized the music!!!

Andrew - I'm happy to report that I did NOT get a headache this time. In fact, I felt great..aside from being nervous of course. I took two ibuprofen about a half-hour before I played.

Thank you both again for the kind words and encouragement. I wish I could give you a hug! Anyway, there is more of 1st round competitors tomorrow and then tomorrow evening we find out who advances. Bye for now.....

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"Simplicity is the highest goal, achievable when you have overcome all difficulties." ~ Frederic Chopin

my videos: http://www.youtube.com/user/monicapiano
my personal website: http://www.monicaalianello.com


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