Welcome, Theresians!By Emilia Campagna
July 25, 2022
Theresia’s annual auditions at a glance
It was in mid-July that we held Theresia’s annual auditions: for the second time they were in Schloss Frohnburg in Salzburg, thanks to a partnership with the Mozarteum. And, as it always is when it comes to Theresia, it was an intense and rich experience.
One day for string players, one for woodwinds: our Concertmaster, violinist Gemma Longoni, and oboist Alfredo Bernardini, one of Theresia’s principal conductors, coordinated the full two days of rehearsals, as Theresia’s auditions are not merely hearings where you play your piece of music in front of a commission, but it goes way beyond that.
Of 28 invited candidates, we chose nine of them: they were awarded the Learning Grants that will let them participate in Theresia’s learning activities for the period August 2022 – November 2023. Plus, we included in a ranking seven eligible musicians who may be called for single projects and can participate in selected capacity building activities as well.
In the ranks of strings, new members are: Violinists Melanie Gruwez (Belgium), Natascha Pichler (Austria) Guillermo Santonja di Fonzo and Julia Hernández Sánchez (both Spanish); violist Hannah Gardner (UK) and German cellist Ena Market. As for woodwinds, we welcome Spanish oboist María Jesús Moreno Ciudad, Dutch horn player Hugo Pieters and Taiwanese flutist Ching-Yao Wang.
Eligible musicians are: Italian clarinetists Elia Bianucci and Carolina Guiducci, flutist Tommaso Simonetta Sandri (also from Italy), bassoonists William Gough (UK) and Francisco Javier Sánchez Castillo (Spain), Costarican hornist Andres Alberto Sanchez Trejos, and Hungarian violinist Zsófia Noémi Bréda.
Getting to know the candidates
We are looking forward to starting working with new members of the orchestra, who will be involved in August projects. Nevertheless, we had the chance to know them, their experiences and their expectations, during a series of interviews conducted by Elena Gaboardi (Board Member at Fondazione ICONS, the organisation supporting the Theresia project) and Charlotte Michi (Director at Fondazione ICONS).
As Charlotte Michi explains to us “our main purpose when interviewing the candidates is to know their motivations, and their attitude to commit to a project like Theresia.” In particular, interviewers asked about candidates’ interest in the HIP (Historically informed performance): “Most answers pointed out that this kind of performance gives you a complete and richer view of the music you are playing; generally speaking, string players tend to go on playing both period and modern instrument, while woodwinds players usually stick to the period one, for technical reasons mostly. Almost everybody has a strong attitude to exploring and deepening the historical and artistic aspects connected with the music they study. In this way, they also become better at communicating to the audience interesting facts related to the repertoire. By the way, improving communication techniques is something many candidates are interested in, and we are happy we will be able to help them effectively with our training modules.”