The Salomé Chamber Orchestra, New York’s electrifying and conductorless string orchestra, is announcing its first annual Young Artists Competition in 2013. The Salomé Competition will be open to violinists, violists, cellists and double bassists ages 18 and younger (as of October 1st, 2013), currently living in the United States. Eligible candidates must submit an application and audio CD by September 18th, 2013 with the Semi-final and Final Rounds being held in New York City on October 18th and 19th.
Applicants are required to perform one work from the standard repertoire (for violinists, the first movement of Mozart’s 5th Violin Concerto; for violists, the first movement of Hoffmeister’s Viola Concerto in D Major; for cellists, the first movement of Haydn’s Cello Concerto in C Major; for bassists, the first movement of Koussevitzky’s Concerto) as well as any work of their own choosing.
Once chosen from the preliminary round, applicants will compete in New York City at the Semi-Final and Final Rounds, the latter of which will be open to the public and include a ceremony and reception. Prizes will include a $3,000 Grand Prize, with the opportunity to perform with the Salomé Chamber Orchestra at a gala concert on a rare Italian instrument, cash prizes for First ($1,500), Second ($1,000), Third ($500), and Honorable Mention ($250) winners, and over a dozen cash Special Prizes including the “Audience Prize” and “Most Promising Young Artist Prize”.
The Jury Committee will be headed by star viola soloist and Artistic Director of the Salomé Chamber Orchestra, David Aaron Carpenter, and will include both acclaimed soloists and patrons of the arts.
The Salomé Young Artists Competition is graciously sponsored by Carpenter Fine Violins LLC, a leading international dealer of fine musical instruments based in New York City. The company is generously providing the Grand Prize Winner a rare Italian instrument (likely an Antonio Stradivarius) to perform on at the Salomé Gala concert in 2014.
The Salome Chamber Orchestra was co-founded three years ago by the Carpenter siblings, Lauren, Sean and David Aaron Carpenter. Hailed by the New York Times as “Crisp and polished,” it is comprised of the top graduates from the Curtis Institute, Juilliard, Princeton University, and Yale University. Salomé’s mission is to present classical music as relevant to today’s younger generations, while at the same time joining with philanthropic organizations to directly help those in need via charity concerts and events.
For a competition application, please click HERE or contact Lauren Sarah Carpenter at firstname.lastname@example.org or (516) 353-3927. For more information about the Salomé Chamber Orchestra, please visit www.salomechamber.org.
Check out the article featuring Salomé’s latest sponsor–the sleek and fabulous Thompson Hotel Group! https://www.facebook.com/6columbus/app_128953167177144
For all you fans of Salomé who can’t make our May 30th extravaganza, you can share in the joy of the Clarins Million Meals Concert via Livestream! The event will be at 8PM on Wednesday, May 30th and see us perform with John Legend, Natasha Bedingfield, Christoph Eschenbach, Alan Gilbert and David Aaron Carpenter!
Members of Salomé, solo violist David Aaron Carpenter, violinist Sean Avram Carpenter, cellist Mihai Marica, and pianist Gabby Martinez recently performed on the Metropolitan Museum’s Instrument Collection! This honor, so rarely bestowed upon instrumentalists, precedes Salomé’s residency at the MET during the 2012-2013 Season.
Here’s a sample of video footage of the momentous occasion!
For all the videos, check out Salomé’s YouTube Channel!
OCTOBER 11, 2011
by John F. Fleming
Professor Emeritus, Princeton University
“How do you get to Carnegie Hall?” You know the old joke question; you know also the answer: “Practice, practice, practice!” I have found that in practice, however, for the talentless the N, Q, and R lines are a better bet. So it was the Subway Route that took me there on Monday night for the Carnegie Hall début of the new Salomé Chamber Orchestra.
Among the pleasures of association with a great university are the opportunities to bask in the reflected glory of distinguished colleagues and to enjoy the varied and infinitely surprising talents of brilliant young people. During the last decade of my active service at Princeton the University Orchestra under the leadership of Michael Pratt–a teacher-musician of great talent–reached a very high level of excellence. I became a loyal fan, and all the more so since several of my own students played in it over the years. About the time I was retiring there were three siblings named Carpenter, each of genius quality, among the string players. Their pleasingly ecumenical given names were Sean Avram, Lauren Sarah, and David Aaron. I never taught any of them in class, but I made the slight acquaintance of the latter two simply by being a groupie. On a trip to Philadelphia to hear David Carpenter play the Walton viola concerto with the Philharmonic there I also met the young musicians’ charming mother.
A couple of subsequent pleasant experiences kept them in my mind; and my ears naturally pricked up when I heard that the three siblings, along with a group of other beautiful young people, were forming a chamber orchestra called Salomé, with David Aaron Carpenter as artistic director. Naturally I showed up for opening night at Carnegie Hall.
When I got to the Weill Recital Room and examined the playbill, I noted with some interest that the program was divided more or less evenly between W. A. Mozart and Joseph Martin Kraus. I should amend the narrative to say that I noticed this fact with interest and some alarm. “Who,” I found myself blurting out to my neighbor, “Who is Kraus”? My neighbor was an Asian-American woman of striking, mature beauty, and I immediately sensed that she was not particularly happy to be blurted out to by strange men. But she answered quite civilly: “Kraus is the Finnish Mozart. It says so right here.” What the musical notes actually said, when I tardily read them, was this: “Very little is known about the music of Joseph Martin Kraus, a composer referred to as the ‘Swedish Mozart’ as he lived almost the exact same dates as his contemporary.
Ordinarily I don’t like this mode (“the gorgonzola of wines,” “the Ghengis Kahn of Shakespeare Scholars”) of comparison, because one is never sure what is actually meant. And it can be worse. Recently someone assured me with a straight face that “the Alfa Romeo is the Rolls Royce of cars”. If you insist on using such comparisons, they should be reversible, and they rarely are. I attended a small liberal arts college in Tennessee, Sewanee. It was a good place, but its aspirations to excellence had seduced its more enthusiastic admirers to an uncautious bumper-sticker: “Sewanee: the Harvard of the South.” Then, over the years, I began to have commerce with people at or associated with Harvard University. Great was my disappointment to discover that not a single one of them thought of that institution as “the Sewanee of the North”. Even the movie Amadeus, which did everything in its power to turn Mozart into a twit, stopped short of turning him into “the Austrian Joseph Martin Kraus”.
Nonetheless, as interpreted through the viola of David Carpenter, Kraus really is a Scandinavian Mozart. (Actually, he was a German, but let it pass.) And he is unlikely to remain so obscure in the future. Somehow the Salomé came up with two very arresting pieces (a concerto for viola, cello, and orchestra and another simply for viola and orchestra) that so far as anyone knows had never before been played. So not merely was I privileged to be present at the début of an exciting new musical ensemble, I was hearing the world premiere performances of two major works by Joseph Martin Kraus, aka the Swedish Mozart!
Saint Augustine found the emotional experience of listening to music so intense and passionate as to be morally hazardous. I vaguely understand his concern. The experience of the listener is probably always an unstable compound wrought of the objective laws of physics and private, subjective associations. For such private and subjective reasons the viola solo, especially in its higher ranges, had for me come to be plangent, echoing with loss and regret. Salomé and Kraus between them may have rescued me.
One most encouraging feature of the evening was the age and enthusiasm of the audience. It was mainly composed of young people. I suppose many of them were personal friends of the players, come out to lend support and encouragement for such a worthy initiative. But the audience also clearly responded to a kind of “mission statement” on the group’s website: “New York City compels young adults to be at once adaptable, optimistic, multi-faceted and resourceful. At Salomé, we feel that the very survival and evolution of classical music within such a fast-paced, cosmopolitan environment requires a dynamic balance of novelty, tradition, and hard work.” The evening’s final (pre-encore) piece was “Primavera Porteño” by Astor Piazzolla, the Monarch of Tango. It was brilliant even without—dare I say especially without—the accordion! Sort of like this– only better yet.
As Salomé just achieved 501c3 non-profit status last month, we just received word that an anonymous donor has agreed to match $10,000, dollar for dollar that we raise, for a kickstart fundraising campaign! We’re asking our friends and fans to consider supporting Salomé, not only because it is the fastest growing orchestra in NYC right now, but also because there are some *fantastic* benefits to joining at the various levels (in addition to your contributions being tax deductible).
We encourage everyone to check out our Support section for this exciting upcoming season–including World Premieres of works written in the 19th century at our Opening Night in Carnegie Hall, a string orchestra performance of Bach’s Goldberg Variations on Bach’s birthday at St. Bart’s Church, our first annual Young Artists Competition for string players under the age of 18, and collaborations with the FEED and Trevor Projects. For all patrons under the age of 30, there’s also the Young Patrons of Salomé program which entitles you to free cocktail dance parties and private receptions. And for all of you musicians, there are various tiers of patronage that will enable you to perform at Salon concerts with the incredible members of Salomé at Steinway Hall.
Of course, we welcome any corporate gift matching programs, so please consider that to get you to the next level of sponsorship! Our goal is to create a viable artistic organization that promotes classical music to a younger demographic of audience members through collaboration with other non-profit organizations and innovative programming and your support–no matter how small or large your contribution–will help us achieve it!
Check out Salomé’s new blog, Clef Notes, where we delve into the world of classical music with topics ranging from our favorite wedding ceremony music, to the fine instrument market (hello, Stradivarius!), to some fabulous pre-concert eateries around NYC! We love hearing from our readers with suggestions about other topics so be sure to write us!
Tune to National Public Radio’s Performance Today or listen online from Monday, June 6th until Monday, June 13th! Hear the complete performance of Joaquin Rodrigo’s beautiful Fantasia para un Gentilhombre with Sharon Isbin and Salomé from our recent concert at the MET Museum of Art. Performance Today is broadcast on 260 public radio stations across the country and is heard by 1.3 million people each week. Happy listening!
A Classical Guitarist Making Herself Heard
By ALLAN KOZINN
Published: May 15, 2011
The classical guitar is mostly a solitary instrument, partly because the greatest works written for it are in the solo repertory. So even though its concerto repertory has grown prodigiously since the late 1930s and is plentifully available on recordings, opportunities to hear guitarists play concertos in concert remain comparatively rare.
The technical problem should no longer be so daunting now that guitarists routinely use subtle amplification, as Sharon Isbin did in her performance with the Salomé Chamber Orchestra on Saturday evening at the Metropolitan Museum. Ms. Isbin uses a system that lets her be heard but preserves the poetry and warmth of the guitar’s timbre: her sound was rounded and buttery throughout the instrument’s range.
The evening was very much hers. Though the orchestra, which performs standing and without a conductor, gave a glowing account of Elgar’s Introduction and Allegro (Op. 47), it mostly collaborated with Ms. Isbin on concertos and a chamber piece.
The program opened with Vivaldi’s Concerto in D (RV 93), originally for the lute. Ms. Isbin took a relaxed, easygoing approach, even in the bright outer movements. But if her focus was on precision and directness, she sacrificed nothing in energy. As in her Virgin and Warner recordings of the work, she was generous with ornamentation in the repeated sections. In the Adagio especially, she expanded freely on Vivaldi’s slow-moving, introspective melody and adorned phrase endings with cross-string trills, which, unlike the easier and more common single variety, have the clarity and definition of a keyboard trill.
Ms. Isbin took a similarly mellow approach to Rodrigo’s “Fantasía Para un Gentilhombre,” a 1954 meditation on dances by the 17th-century Spanish composer Gaspar Sanz. Usually this fantasia is played as a straightforward dialogue between guitar and orchestra, each presenting Rodrigo’s elaborations on the Sanz pieces with equal zest. Ms. Isbin, instead, created the illusion of historical distance, as if the guitar line represented Sanz’s voice, with the orchestra providing Rodrigo’s commentary. (That said, she was at her most arresting in the very un-Sanzian harplike cadenza in the finale.)
Between the Vivaldi and Rodrigo works, Ms. Isbin and a quartet from the orchestra (a quintet if you count the castanet and tambourine player, who joined in for the Fandango finale) gave a brisk account of Boccherini’s Quintet No. 4 (G. 448). Ms. Isbin also played two solo works: a lovely account of Tárrega’s “Capricho Arabe” in which her rhythmically free reading of the introductory filigree suggested the sound of an oud, and Andrew York’s pleasant “Andecy.”