CLASSICAL EMBELLISHING AND IMPROVISING
Throughout keyboard history, great composers such as Bach, Beethoven and Chopin have also been master improvisers. We seek to rekindle this important tradition by offering this prize for the best demonstrations of classical embellishing and/or improvising.
Please note that in this category the word "classical" is meant in the broad sense (classical as opposed to jazz/pop/rag) -- not classical as in "Classic period" only.
Performances need not demonstrate literal improvisation. At the least, however, performances should sound spontaneous, as if improvised on the spot.
CONCERTO CADENZAS AND LEAD-INS
Performances need not demonstrate literal
improvisation. Cadenzas and/or lead-ins may be worked out in advance. At the least, however, they should sound
spontaneous, as if improvised on the spot by the contestant.
Please let us know in the application form
if the student has written (or will improvise) a concerto cadenza and/or lead-in, so we will know that the concerto movement performance qualifies for this prize. Unless a contestant is improvising literally
, we would encourage contestants to write out by hand (or print by computer) their original cadenza(s) and/or lead-in(s). (Lead-ins are short enough that they could perhaps be penciled into the score.) It would be ideal to make two extra copies of original cadenzas for the judges. If a cadenza is semi
-improvised, it would be appropriate to present a rough (even penciled) sketch and write “ad libitum” in the places where the student may deviate spontaneously from what is otherwise written out. Since the emphasis of this festival is on creativity and spontaneity, students should feel free to deviate from their "planned" cadenza(s) or lead-in(s). A written out cadenza may be useful for the judges to look at, but it should not be a straight jacket!
We understand that students must get help from teachers, books, articles, etc. in order to learn how to write or improvise cadenza(s) and lead-in(s). In the end, however, the student must be the primary
author of cadenza(s) or lead-in(s) to qualify for this prize. We will rely on the ethical assurances of students, teachers, and parents in this regard. (If the teacher -- or someone else -- is the primary author, the performance can still qualify in one or more other categories, however.)