Eight new members join us after auditioning in Paris

By Emilia Campagna

February 1, 2024

With great enthusiasm, we are pleased to introduce eight talented young musicians who were carefully selected during our recent round of auditions held exclusively for historically informed string players in Paris. Without further ado, let us extend a warm welcome to the following new members joining the ranks of Theresia Orchestra:  Ariel Walton, an American double bass player from the Royal Conservatory of The Hague; Spanish violist Clara de Benito Forriol, from Escola Superior de Musica de Catalunya, Barcelona; and six violin players from various institutions — Italian Maddalena Bortot from the Conservatorio Claudio Monteverdi in Bolzano; Anna Freer, an Australian/Swiss talent from the Zürcher Hochschule der Künste; Italian Lorenzo Molinetti from Musik-Akademie Basel; German Anna Perl from the Universität für Musik und darstellende Kunst Wien; Camille Poirier-Lachance, a Canadian violinist from the Conservatorium van Amsterdam; and Jenna Raggett, an Irish musician hailing from the Royal College of Music and Royal Irish Academy of Music.

These eight new members were selected from a total of 38 applications, from which 14 candidates were invited to audition and showcase their skills in person at the Conservatoire de Boulogne-Billancourt in Paris on January 19 and 20. The focus point of the auditions was a musical workshop around Beethoven’s String Quartet No. 4, Opus 18. Candidates were also invited to articulate their motivations during comprehensive interview.

For the first time, Giovanni Antonini was on the jury, continuing an important collaboration that has already resulted not only in the renowned conductor leading our orchestra, but also in the apprentice project which saw four Theresians joining the ensemble Giardino Armonico on tour last Summer. Throughout the audition process, candidates worked closely with both Giovanni Antonini and Gemma Longoni, Theresia’s tutor and concertmaster, to explore Ludwig van Beethoven’s Quartet Op. 18 No. 4, both individually and as an ensemble. This innovative audition approach allows us to gain a deeper understanding of the musical qualities of our candidates, placing a special emphasis on their collaborative skills and ensemble work. Additionally, we are pleased with the constructive nature of the audition experience. Even for those who may not advance beyond the audition phase, the process provides a valuable addition to their educational background, ensuring every participant comes away with something meaningful from the experience.

All eight new members joining Theresia now, will participate in most of our projects for 2024 . Some are already gearing up for our upcoming residency in Italy, focusing on Haydn’s orchestral work for Easter: The Seven Last Words of Christ. 
For future auditions, always keep an eye out on our socials or website for updates on upcoming round. Or, why not sign up for our newsletter to be among the first to receive the latest information?

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About Emilia Campagna

Journalist and musician, Emilia is a blogger for Theresia