“The Soloist” Invites Amateur Classical Musicians to Compete

Whether you are 10 or 110, if you are a talented classical musician (instrumentalist or vocalist) who hasn’t been discovered yet, the Cape Cod Symphony Orchestra wants to hear from you—and, potentially, give you a chance to perform on stage with the orchestra.

The CCSO announced “The Soloist,” a concerto competition, last spring, just for New England-area amateur musicians who, for one reason or another—family obligations, financial strain, or lack of appropriate opportunities—would benefit from a big break, much like that given to pop singers and performers on American Idol, the X-Factor, America’s Got Talent, and other such shows.

Talent is important, but Jung Ho-Pak, artistic director and conductor of the orchestra, is looking for more, a special connection to the audience.

“We’re looking for someone who plays with a contagious passion that engages not only the audience, but also the musicians,” said Pak when the contest was announced.

Pak is hoping for hundreds, even thousands of applicants. To apply, musicians must submit an application form and submit a video recording of themselves performing a concert (or, for vocalists, a classical vocal work) to the CCSO by November 1. (This is a change from the original deadline of October 1.) All instruments are eligible—including banjo and kazoo, said Pak—so long as they are playing classical music.

The CCSO will choose 8 finalists who will be asked to perform before a live audience and a panel of judges on February 9, 2013. Then online voting will be opened from February 12 to 19 to fans from around the world who will vote for the top three musicians. The final three will perform with the Cape Cod Symphony on May 4 and 5, and cash awards will be made. The first-place winner will receive $3,500, the second-place winner will receive $2,000, and the third-place winner will receive $1,000.

Pak’s goal is not merely to encourage classical musicians and discover new talent; he is also looking at the competition as a means of drawing public attention to the classical music and musicians. He is interested in the stories behind the musicians too: what were their early studies like; what factors prevented them from achieving their dreams. And he wants to promote the CCSO as “one of the most innovative and courageous orchestras in the country.”

The CCSO has put two videos online to further explain the competition.

The original 23-minute announcement of the competition on April 13, 2012:

A 2-minute summary statement by Jung-Ho Pak on August 21, 2012 :

For more information on this exciting competition, visit www.capesymphony.org.

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