well up until two weeks ago I was hoping to do the Israel harp competition but I really aspire to do the USA International Harp Competition or the Lily Laskine competition. What do you think? which is better to choose? F.Y.I. I play with the French style and soon might be studying with June Han at Julliard precollege.
Hi Zach, I think that the most important thing you have to consider is the repertoire. It will be a lot of work for evryone of these competitions, it is harder to do it if you don’t like wath you’re playing. In this period the three competitions that you mentioned have very different repertoire, Israel is all original works for harp, there are a lot of never recorded pieces, and lot of contemporary music, laskine is more free choice repertoire, Bloomington is very interesting also. Check with your teacher wich repertoire you like the most, personally I like the Isarel repertoire, but this is really personal taste.
I don’t think your technique should be involved in your decision, at this level I think it depends WATH you do, not How you do it 🙂
Hope this was helpful
I don’t have much experience with the Laskine competition, but here’s what I can say Israel vs. USA.
The Israel competition is generally considered to be more prestigious – but this is mostly because it’s been around longer. The repertoire it chooses is usually more on the “standard rep” side of things, and yes, it does focus on original compositions for harp. I’ve heard that the USA competition is perhaps a bit nicer, too. In general, it will mostly come down to which repertoire you’d like to play.
Another consideration is that the USA competition is in the USA… it’s not that far away and you speak the language of the natives. Also, you don’t know what will be happening in the middle east in 1.5 years, so that’s another aspect.
I think Israel is widely considered the most important. I don’t know about the Laskine, but it is fairly recent, as is the USA. One difference is that Israel is every three years, so you have up to three years to prepare, and only two with the USA.
I was under the assumption that the Israel Competition and the U.S.A. overlapped repertoire so that potential contestants would not have to choose one or the other competition to play.
Zach- I would suggest that you listen carefully to the advice of your teacher. If she says that it’s not the right time for you to go, then take her advice. What you might consider(it sounds like you are quite young) is to go and observe the first time. Just see how the whole thing is run, which contestants advance from stage to stage, what can go wrong in a performance, etc. That could be the best preparation for actually entering a competition and giving a strong performance. Again, if you are young now then time is on your side.
Just to let you know: My teacher, Pierre Jamet, was the one who came up with the idea of an international harp competition and was part of the original organization that founded the Israel Competition. But their original plan was to hold the competition in a different country each time, not always in Israel. They chose Israel for the first competition because of the story of King David. But as soon as the first competition took place, the Israeli organizers took hold of it and kept it in Israel. I’m not sure how practical it would have been to move the location for each competition, so I’m not complaining about Israel. Maybe what they could consider is having a second location, say in Europe or in the U.S. and alternate between the two.
I want to thank you all so much. I actually decided against Israel…It seems a little unstable an environment for now. I actually am going to prepare for the cite de arts harp competition in Paris next November, and then If I have Time I will do the USA International. I must say it is sort of funny to receive a letter saying that “we’re very sorry but the competition will be postponed due to a war that is going on. sorry!”
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