Competition for Coveted Soloist Spots, Winners Announced

October 23, 2013

Ever wonder how the soloists are selected to play for the CIM Orchestra Concerts each season? Through meticulous planning and execution, CIM holds a Concerto Competition once each semester—inviting students to compete for the prestigious position of orchestra soloist. Top performers earn the privilege of playing in the spotlight of an upcoming Severance Hall, home of The Cleveland Orchestra.

Spring 2013 Concerto Competition winner Kyung Ah Oh, violin, will perform at the November 20 CIM@Severance concert. Other students will play in CIM@Home concerts and runners-up play for capstone recitals for our student conductors. Fall Competition winners were just announced.

The process to compete begins in the practice room. Each student consults with their applied teacher and picks an appropriate work, keeping in mind that they are not able to perform using any concerto that has been performed in the previous semester, due to repertoire repetition. Some students take a chance by selecting music composed within the last 50 years, while others go with repertoire that has been in the musical canon for a century or more.

The addition of a second round was added to the concerto competition format in the fall of 2012—when it became clear that more students were competing at a higher level. Previously, the competition was one round only during which the students would play 10 minutes of a concerto, including various portions of all movements to show their prowess. Adding an additional round to the competition increased the intensity of the competition. During the second round, competitors must perform the ENTIRE concerto, excluding tutti and repeats for brevity. The results of this second round proved an excellent addition for determining which musicians are truly prepared to step into the soloist spotlight.

Standing as judge and jury are members of the CIM faculty and administration. Each semester, a jury is selected that consists of four to six faculty members and Dean Adrian Daly. President Joel Smirnoff typically joins the group for the final round to make the ultimate decision. Each performance is given a numeric score from 1-100. Then, each jury member picks their top 6, assigning them a number from 5 to 30 (in 5-point increments). The scores are compared side-by-side for each round of the competition. If a juror has a student from their studio competing, do their scores are not included, and an average is determined by the remaining scores to determine winners.

Spring 2014 Soloists Announced
The Fall Concert Competition took place the week of October 14. CIM applauds the winners!
The winners, listed in alphabetical order, to perform with CIM Orchestra:

Jared Blajian
Shicong Liu

The following will perform on a conductor’s recital:
Do-Hyun Kim
Hyugrai Kim
Kaichao Yang

First Alternate:
Hannah Cooper

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