I have an idea: we had the Honens International Piano Competition last fall, which invited two dozen competitors to Calgary for over a month of performance, assessment community participation, mentorship and finally, prize money. And right next door we have the Banff International String Quartet Competition (BISQC), which was founded over 20 years ago and, like the Honens, is intended to recognize and reward performers in the developing stages of their careers.
So if he Honens competition ended at the beginning of November, 5 months ago, and the BISQ competition begins in 5 months, at the end of August, what could be more appropriate, right here in the middle, than to have a meeting of the competitions? In fact, why not a General Assembly of the World Federation of International Music Competitions? And stuff.
It’s already set up? Oh. Great!
“Founded in 1957, the World Federation of International Music Competitions is dedicated to establishing a global network of internationally recognized organizations that, through public competition, discover the most promising young talents in the great tradition of classical music, and further their careers. . . . WFIMC is a member of the International Music Council (UNESCO), and its headquarters are in Geneva, Switzerland.”
Hmm. If I was a conspiracy theorist, I’d be consulting “The Da Vinci Code” right now. Oh wait, that’s a work of fiction, isn’t it?
So, from April 9th to 11th, representatives from more than 120 of the world’s leading music competitions will be in little ol’ Banff to discuss things related to piano, strings, voice, winds, percussion, composition, conducting, chamber music, jazz, world economic domination . . . maybe not that last one. But Stephen McHolm of Calgary’s Honens IS a Vice President of the WFIMC, so maybe he’ll advance some tar sands recommendations while everyone’s at the table. And I suspect you and I are not invited.
But to tie things up into a neat little bow, the Huang-Altstaedt-Vonsattel Trio (you know, the Ying Quartet’s Huang, cellist Nicolas Altstaedt, and Honens laureate Vonsattel) will play their Canadian debut performance April 6th at the Banff Centre.
See the bow? They’re no longer a soloist (Vonsattel) or a quartet-ist (Huang), and it’s just days before the General Assembly of the World Federation of . . . oh never mind. It’s a stretch, anyway.
Go listen to some live music.