The competition office is now open for business!
The FS&MM blog team is naturally curious, what the atmosphere is like inside and has gone to MUMUTH*, the host of the FS&MM headquarters during the competition.
Today, serves as the arrival and registration day for our Lied duos, but we have also discovered the odd piano trio. They are easy to spot. One person carries a cello case, the second, a violin case whereas the third person, the pianist stands „instrumentless-ly“ – empty handed – next to their colleges.
The participants, shrouded in thick jackets and scarves, come rolling trolleys, many look shy and unsure in the competition office and are immediately received with a warm laugh from the FS&MM team.
Additional information lies neatly stacked on the tables and is quickly rifled through by curious participants. Beside these lies the menu for the week for the university canteen, that has even been translated into English.
Participants from all over the World
You can immediately notice that the participants come from all different corners of the world. In the space of a few minutes we’ve heard several different languages flying about the room; German, Korean, Japanese, French, Italian etc.
Wherever the participants come from, one question unites them all – ‚is there a wifi?‚
I had the chance to speak to Lyndsi Maus, one of the American pianists studying in Graz. She introduces me to her duo partner, Lawrence Halksworth, who, in turn, comes from the UK and lives in Berlin. ‚Yeah, we rehearse sometimes in Graz sometimes in Berlin‘ laughs Lyndi. A Graz-Berlin connection, so to say.
The soprano Martha Matscheko and her pianist Elias Gillesberger explain that they both study at the Anton-Bruckner Private University, they are looking forward to the first round „Through this competition we’ve learned a lot from the new programme, that we would have otherwise perhaps never have encountered.“
I approach a small group of two duos that seem to know each other. They study in Germany (Leipzig and Mannheim) and Austria (Vienna). However, I learn that they come from very different countries, Baritone-Bass Modestas Sedlevicius is from Lithuania, his pianist Anna Anstett comes from Ukraine; Soprano Kristin Sveinsdottir comes from Iceland and her duo partner Elena Postumi is from Italy.
We are happy that the Lied duos found their way to Graz and wish them all a pleasant time at the competition and good luck for the first round!
P.S. A big thankyou to the central information service team that fixed our technical issues in just a few minutes.
*What is MUMUTH
The acronym stands for Haus für Musik und Musiktheater (House for Music and Musical Theatre), that’s stood on campus for 9 years now. MUMUTH was designed by Ben van Berkel from the Dutch architecture firm UNStudio after an internationally advertised competition with 212 submissions. The project was also the Austrian submission for the Venice Biennale. (Completed: November 2008, opened 1st of March 2009)
Since its opening, MUMUTH has served as a platform for discourse surrounding the modern and experimental art forms. During the competition it will serve as a headquarters as well as the performance space for the Piano Trio category. This year for the first time the final concerts of all three categories (Lied duo, Piano Trio and String Quartette) can be experienced one after the other here: What’s new at the FS&MM 2018.
Blog post: The Schubidu Quartet / Chia-Tyan Yang
Photos: The Schubidu Quartet / Thomas Raggam
English Translation: Natasha Howls