Concerto competition winners announced

Arts & Entertainment

Concerto competition winners announced

Six finalists compete to perform with two orchestras
Conservatory Artistic Director Matt Albert, right, congratulates Keaton Garrett, grand prize winner in the Conservatory Concerto Competition.
Davies
Hofheins
Wylie

Concerto competition winners announced

Conservatory Artistic Director Matt Albert, right, congratulates Keaton Garrett, grand prize winner in the Conservatory Concerto Competition.
Davies
Hofheins
Wylie
The Ott Concerto for Alto Saxophone

Securing orchestral scores at the last minute for a relatively new work “was a challenge,” Diane Wylie, said in an interview Tuesday night.
Wylie is the Music in the Mountains librarian, responsible for securing orchestral scores for every work to be performed in the Festival.
After the Concerto Competition concluded Monday night, she learned that 2003 David Ott Concerto for Alto Saxophone and Orchestra had suddenly been scheduled for the July 29 concert. Most likely, it would be new to festival musicians and maybe even Guillermo Figueroa, who would have to learn the music in a hurry. Time was of the essence.
“It’s unusual in many ways,” Wylie said. “It’s unique and a bit obscure. But if you know who to call, the search may not take too long.”
Wylie started making phone calls Tuesday morning, starting with the Educational Music Service. “It’s who you know, and I have a lot of contacts in the music industry.”
In no time, Wylie found the publisher: “Lauren Keiser Publishing,” she said. ”I had it all settled by 10 a.m., and because Keaton Garrett is a student in the Conservatory, the company gave us a break on the overnight delivery costs.”
This is the first time the Festival has chosen a wind instrument winner.
“It’s another marker for how the Conservatory is growing,” Wylie said.
Since the concerto competition began in 2009, performing contemporary music has been rare. Standard repertoire, concerti by Mozart, Beethoven or Brahms, for example, are most likely chosen by the Conservatory students. So David Ott’s concerto was a surprise.
Ott, 59, is a contemporary American composer. He completed composition degrees from the Universities of Wisconsin and Indiana and a completed a doctorate at the University of Kentcucky. The concerto is one of several for different instruments including piano and flute.
The Concerto for Alto Saxophone was commissioned by the Knoxville Symphony Society and premiered in 2003 at the University of Wisconsin in Platteville. You can listen to a complete recording on YouTube by the Slovak Chamber Orchestra with Debra Richtmeyer soloist.
With new music, it’s a good idea to listen more than once to achieve some familiarity and appreciation. Here’s a chance to do just that before Keaton Garrett performs with the Festival Orchestra next Friday.
Judith Reynolds is an arts journalist and member of the American Theater Critics Association.

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