Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The Donati String Quartet

Ahh, youth. And, blessed youth when one is privileged with the leisure to imagine, learn hard, and work hard. Just before winter break, Oldest Daughter and three of her fellow musicians at Oberlin Conservatory decided to form a string quartet. Further, when they returned to campus the first of February they would work very hard attempting to make it into the live audition round (quarter-finals) of the prestigious Fischoff Chamber competition, held annually at Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana. So, during the first week in February rehearsals began in earnest (four-five hours a day on top of their other studies and musical commitments) and after just three weeks of playing together, the Donati String Quartet submitted their dvd--rushed by overnight express--to the competition judges. Below is one of the recordings they made for dvd audition.

The Donati String Quartet

Twas a thrilling moment when the Donati String Quartet learned they had made it to the quarter finals, being invited to the live auditions, held last week at Notre Dame. The weeks before Fischoff--about 12--were, in a word, intense. And while intensity described just about every aspect of their preparation, from rehearsing to learning music, to juggling other obligations, to learning about interpersonal relationships, it was wonderful all.

There really wasn't much disappointment when the quartet didn't make it into the semi-finals. Oldest Daughter said that their quartet didn't deserve to make it to the semi-finals--the groups that did were amazing, playing without error. This disqualification was hardly a loss to their quartet, who in the process of working hard, hard, hard, attracted the attention of the string faculty of Oberlin Conservatory, receiving many extra coachings along the way.

Also along the way, the Donati String Quartet entered and won a competition held by NPR's Performance Today (announced during the last three minutes of Hour 1) and thus will be flown to St. Paul tomorrow to receive a master class with artists-in-residence, The Parker Quartet. And at the end of the week they will fly to Washington D.C. to represent Oberlin at the Kennedy Center's Millenium Stage.

Then there is the matter of a few finals to study for and take when they return to campus--Feet-Back-On-The-Ground.