Annabelle Taubl wins SF Ballet Audition

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Annabelle Taubl was named Principal Harp with the The San Francisco Ballet Orchestra following an audition on October 16. (The October audition followed one in July, 2013, won by Adrianna Horne; however, Horne subsequently left after winning the National Symphony Orchestra audition in October 2013.) Taubl was winner of the 2001 American Harp Society National Competition, Young Professional Division, and she served as AHS Concert Artist from 2001–2003. Taubl was featured in the July-August 2002 issue of Harp Column. Read more about her current activities on her website.

Follow Up (10/28/14)

We asked Annabelle to share her thoughts about the audition process and what the new job will be like for her:

“My recent audition for the San Francisco Ballet was an incredible experience. The city is beautiful, the audition was very well run and organized, and I met and saw so many fantastic harpists. The preliminary rounds were held over 2 days, and the semi finals, finals, and additional final round were held on one grueling day. We got to the hall to draw times for the semi finals at 8:15 on Thursday morning. I drew 11th, and had a little over an hour before my warmup time.

Normally I am of the coffee-as-a-necessity lifestyle, but on audition days I don’t let myself have any because of the caffeine shakes. I was feeling groggy, and quite tempted since Blue Bottle Coffee was literally steps from the hall (cruel universe, cruel), so I took a walk for an hour, up and up and up the hilly streets. The city is really something to see. I felt myself getting attached to the idea of living there (easy to do!), but reminded myself how far I still had to go that day.

One of the hardest things at auditions is hearing everyone else play. Warming up or in the actual room, everyone sounds fantastic. It is so easy to second guess everything from fingerings to tempos to phrasing—you name it. You have to trust your preparation, your decisions, and your playing.

It was a very long day of playing, but mostly of waiting. There was so much waiting. Luckily the group of harpists were great to be around, and as we were sharing our local San Francisco dark chocolate (our reward for the day), the personnel manager finally came in with the results. After such a long day, I could not have been happier.

Since the audition I have been looking for a place to live, trying to figure out a way to move across the country, and getting ready for Nutcracker season! I am so grateful for the opportunity, and cannot wait to start this exciting part of my life!

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