Thursday, August 08, 2013

8 Jul 2013: The SCL Festival Workshop

The Summa Cum Laude International Youth Music Festival is a very thoughtfully planned festival. Other than the opportunity to perform in Wiener Musikverein, participants have the chance to take part in workshops to enhance our musical knowledge. The workshops are conducted by members of the festival's jury.

In the morning of 8 July 2013, members of the National University of Singapore Symphony Orchestra found our way to the University of Music Vienna to take part in the festival workshop. I felt thankful that the organisers of the festival have considered the logistical aspects of the moving of bulky instruments. That has certainly made it easier and faster to move the bulky instruments to the venue of the workshop. Our orchestra was ushered to the Öhlberger Studio.

Before the start of the workshop.

In the Öhlberger Studio, our orchestra took part in two interactive workshops. The first workshop was conducted by Christoph Ehrenfellner and the second workshop was conducted by Aleksandar Markovic.
During the workshops, we learnt about the results of the festival competition. Our orchestra was awarded a second place in the Symphony Orchestra category with excellent success. Christoph Ehrenfellner shared with us the jury's comments and suggestions for improvement for our orchestra. The orchestra was given positive comments for good ensemble playing and a good free sound.

In the workshop with Christoph Ehrenfellner, I greatly appreciated how he highlighted the relationship between the various instruments, especially how the cellos and double basses could relate to the first violins during the start of the fourth movement of Beethoven's First Symphony. It is fascinating how understanding the relationships between various instruments could help make the music come more alive!

When it was our second workshop, Aleksandar Markovic lent us insights to the performance of a waltz. The selected workshop piece was Frühlingsstimmen by Johann Strauss. As best as I have remembered, I learnt that essentially Viennese Waltz is elegant and airy in style. It was fun to work on a waltz! I felt I could dance all day and night with the music.

In summary, I have had a fruitful learning experience at the SCL Festival Workshop. Many thanks to the people who have made the workshops possible.

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