Several months ago, I posted a “Call for Scores” to composers to submit multi-hand duets that could be sightread on one piano. My blog was picked up by several composition newsletters and websites. Even Google was keen to let the world know about this quest. [Just google “multi-hand duets” and you’ll get the drift.]
Unfortunately, several things happened that prevented a full-scale sightreading competition.
- Most of the scores I accepted because they looked interesting to play turned out to be not easily sightreadable.
- The pianists that liked to play in a soiree preferred to play pieces they have studied for performance. Few such pianists would like to attend a sightreading event, much less be judged in a sightreading competition.
- Listening to work that is being sightread is not as enjoyable as listening to work that has been studied, rehearsed, and perfected for performance.
The sightreading competition of Sunday 15th May 2011 in San Francisco was rebranded as a sightreading workshop and piano soiree. Still, the rumour that some composers may come deterred some pianists to participate. As much as I wanted to broadcast to invite the 30 composers (and they in turn to extend the invitation to their friends, family, and fans), I had to refrain from doing so. In the end, just two composers who lived near the venue came to the event. [Visit the webpage for details about the 15th May piano soiree and feedback.]
Most of the duets did not get played. I still intend to write about those that did.
I carried the heavy binder from Hawaii to Holland, and along with it, the responsibility of getting pianists to look at the new works by living composers and try them.
At the end of June, two American pianists, Nathanael May and Brendan Kinsella, will come to the Netherlands to give concerts from our Monument House in Utrecht. Besides organising the house concerts of 1st July and 2nd July, I am calling pianists to look through my collection and choose pieces to study and perform for 3rd of July.
Details of the Sunday 3rd July 2011 concert is given on High Note Live, a new concert and audience management web application.