The best run Orchestra Audition and The Worst!

Discussion in 'Orchestra / Solo / Chamber Music' started by orchtrpt, Oct 1, 2004.

  1. orchtrpt

    orchtrpt Pianissimo User

    Mar 4, 2004
    Id be curious to know for those who have been on the audition circuit at some point what was the best run audition and what was the worst run audition you have ever attended. The way they are run is something I try not to focus on when I am there at the audition but having taking some auditions in my day there are for sure groups that do it well and groups that don't!
  2. wiseone2

    wiseone2 Artitst in Residence Staff Member

    Nov 19, 2003
    I was in the finals the year that Phil Smith won the New York Philharmonic job. I was invited to play in a early round of auditions. Philharmonic Hall was being "fixed" for the umpteenth time, so it wasn't available for these auditions.
    The audition was held in the Beacon Theater, right down the street from Philharmonic Hall. It was brutal. There was no heat in the Beacon Theater.
    It was so cold my teeth were chattering.

    I was the first player after their lunch break. They were late and I was,as always, very early. Mehta come rushing back from lunch, a liquid one I suspect, and I went back on stage. I had cold feet............and everything else was frozen :roll: Mehta wore a short sleeved Polo shirt. Yeah, he had a liquid lunch :twisted:

    The finals were held at Philharmonic Hall. Again I had to wait. They were having the Principal Oboe finals and they were having a hard time making up their minds.

    The hall for some reason was a hot as an oven.
    When Jimmy Chambers,the personnel manager, walked by I called out to him,"Hey Jimmy, what next....... the flood?" He scowled and kept walking.
    I did not make it into the next round with Phil and Lou.

    Was it something I said?

  3. RG111

    RG111 Piano User

    Nov 12, 2003
    Mr. Wise,

    If you ever decided to write a book your career, it would be a really interesting one to read.
    Thanks so much for your posts. I really enjoy them!


  4. Tootsall

    Tootsall Fortissimo User

    Oct 25, 2003
    Yee HAW!
    Aww, come on, Roy. If Wilmer did that all the skeletons (well, MANY of the skeletons) would fall out of the closet and we'd have nothing to conjecture about except whether cryogenic freezing works or not! :lol:
  5. trombapaul

    trombapaul Pianissimo User

    Sep 30, 2004
    Detroit, MI
    Best and worst, hmm! I can't really say there was a BEST and WORST run
    audition on a whole but there have been some incidences:

    Second time out auditioning for the 4th spot in the CSO, the warm-up
    room I was given had a broken thermostat. Each room has their own
    climate control and the heater in mine wouldn't stop running. It was
    104 degrees in there
    . I asked for a different room and was basically
    told they had on others and to deal with it. :shock:

    Third time out auditioning for the 4th spot in the CSO, I realized after
    arriving in Chicago I'd left my copy of the Haydn in Detroit. "No big deal"
    I thought, "it's memorized". I got into the room to play and decided it
    would be nice to have a copy as a safety net. BIG MISTAKE!!! I asked
    the proctor if there was an extra copy in the room and he went and asked
    the panel. I believe it was Mark who said quite loudly "tell him it's in Eb".
    Needless to say, that really pissed me off and I started to play right then.
    Played it better than ever (anger IS a good motivator sometimes). Played
    the next 3 excerpts very well also. Got canned anyway. I'm sure the
    panel decided before I played a note I wasn't worth their time. Not only
    was his response extremely rude and uncalled for, how did he know I was
    a "him" if their blind auditions are actually blind? Hmmmmmmm! :evil:

    Possibly the best run was in St. Louis during a 2nd spot audition. I was
    being taken upstairs to a warm-up room when coming the other direction
    was Susan. We smiled and nodded at each other and that was the end of
    it. Within minutes, the Auditions Coordinator was in my room asking if I
    knew anyone on the panel. I explained that Susan and I merely
    acknowledged each other on the stairs and I didn't know her nor did she
    know me from anybody else. In the interest of ensuring anonymity in
    the process, the gave me a different time. Even though it wasn't
    necessary, I was thoroughly impressed with the efforts they took to
    maintain the integrity of the audition process.

  6. orchtrpt

    orchtrpt Pianissimo User

    Mar 4, 2004
    St. Louis is hard core about that. The person who was playing the one year for that spot was not allowed to audition because of something that went on before the audition.

  7. robertwhite

    robertwhite Mezzo Piano User

    Nov 11, 2003
    This isn't really a "badly run" situation, but the woman at the check-in table for Grant Park was not very nice. She had an accent (british, maybe austrailian - I can't remember).

    Anyway, I thought I had played quite well but no dice. I asked her if there was any contact info so I could get comments. I said "if they don't usually do that, I understand. Not a big deal". She goes, "well, I can tell you all they'd say is 'play in tune and in time'." This from someone who didn't even listen to my audition! What a bee-yotch!
  8. ertatta

    ertatta New Friend

    Oct 19, 2004
    hey paul-
    seems to me that there's some pattern of opinion forming that mark ridenour is, to say politely, not the most gracious person out in the trumpet world. it was somewhat disturbing to hear your story and i must say that with all i've heard about in his dealings with a certain trumpeter from texas, this seems to be in line with the kind of behaviour u can expect from him. i don't know mark, but it seems as though the means by which he goes about to accomplish his agenda is in conflict with his professed christianity.
  9. orchtrpt

    orchtrpt Pianissimo User

    Mar 4, 2004
    Yup that is the word on the street.

  10. robertwhite

    robertwhite Mezzo Piano User

    Nov 11, 2003
    When I met him, he was super nice. Really positive.
    Maybe we should lay off him a bit, since this is a public forum? We should only dog on crappy personnel managers! :twisted:

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