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Imogen Cooper Tempus Fugit
The Piano Visions recital series at the Art Academy in Stockholm welcomed British Pianist Imogen Cooper for two recitals in November 2021. The program offered a glimpse into her earlier life, by including repertoire by Ravel and Liszt, which she worked on during her student years in Paris and Vienna. Read more >>

Topic: A Terrible Experience  (Read 6548 times)

Offline kghayesh

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A Terrible Experience
on: March 21, 2005, 01:49:21 PM
I was supposed to participate in a local competition that took place a couple of days ago but a very unforgettable thing happened to me...

I was so enthusiastic about the competition and started to prepare the required programme. My teacher chose for me Prelude and Fugue no.1 in C from the WTC 1, Mozart's Sonata k.545 in C and Chopin's Nocturne no.20 in C# minor op. posth. I quickly learnt and nearly mastered the Nocturne and the prelude. I knew the Sonata before, so it didn't need much work, but there was only 1 week remaining and i can play only about 40% of the fugue. I became more and more nervous and afraid i won't be able to catch the competition and my teacher eventually told me that i'd better not enter the competition and wait until i am more prepared. I was somehow disappointed but i knew that was better than to enter while i am not much ready.

At the day of the competition, i went there just to watch the contestors and see whether i had a chance or not. Surprisingly enough, i found only one whose performance was very good and all the others were not at all what i expected. I became sure that if i had participated, on the worst case, i can get the second place.

Then i thought of 'Why not try my luck??'. I went to the jury and told them that i was ready but i will not play the fugue. They negotiated for some seconds and then i heard one of them say 'Let him play'. I became so concentrated and afraid that i forgot everything rather than how i am gonna play as it was my first appearance in this sort of performances.

I started with the prelude. In the begining i was somehow afraid but then after a few seconds i became gradually less tense until i felt as if i was playing at home!!! The prelude went ok and so the first movement (allegro) of the Sonata. At this stage i was so confident that i can get one of the top 3 positions. Then, all of a sudden, the mobile phone in my pocket rang :o . I told myself ("What the **** i forgot to turn it off") I began to stumble and to lose concentration and i repeated some part coz i forgot what was next. All this and the phone kept ringing and vibrating in my pocket.

The jury noticed that i was repeating some part many times, so they stopped me and told me to start the third movement. At this time, the phone has stopped ringing. So, i didn't turn it off as i thought it will be a negative thing in my criticizing. I started the third movement and began to regain my confidence and concentration and oops, the phone rang again.... The third movement was rondo and not easy like the second, so it needed more concentration. So, when the phone rang i nearlly totally lost my concentration and had a memory blackout and stopped a couple of times, which was really a disgusting experience. The jury stopped me again and told me to move on to the nocturne.

Luckily enough the phone didn't ring while playing the nocturne, but so what?? after i had nearly lost all my confidence and temper. However, i played the nocturne in an acceptable performance. The problem is that after the jury stopped me for the third time but this time it was not because of mistakes. I don't really know why did they stop me, but i think they did so because of the piece was a bit long for them.....

It was actually a terrible experience for me and it really lowered my self-esteem so much. I know it was an unpredictable thing to happen but i was so annoyed.

Offline jlh

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Re: A Terrible Experience
Reply #1 on: March 21, 2005, 02:49:51 PM
Not having heard your performance, I can't say for sure why they stopped you, but do realize that a competent judge will know everything they need to know about you as a pianist within the first 3-4 measures of a piece.  They don't need to hear more.  Sucke about your cell phone, but you should have turned it off after the first ring.  Since you didn't, and it rang 2 more times, I'm sure the judges were annoyed.
. ROFL : ROFL:LOL:ROFL : ROFL '
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Offline Hmoll

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Re: A Terrible Experience
Reply #2 on: March 21, 2005, 03:24:27 PM
This experience should not lower your self esteem, but I hope you learned something from it. If you play in competitions without being adequately prepared, that's what will happen.
"I am sitting in the smallest room of my house. I have your review before me. In a moment it will be behind me!" -- Max Reger

Offline allchopin

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Re: A Terrible Experience
Reply #3 on: March 21, 2005, 06:10:35 PM
I'm sure the most annoyed person that day was your mother on the side of the road with a flat tire trying to get a hold of you...  :P
A modern house without a flush toilet... uncanny.

Offline kghayesh

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Re: A Terrible Experience
Reply #4 on: March 21, 2005, 06:46:31 PM
No actually it was my brother who was supposed to show up at the competition but didn't know exactly the location, so he phoned to ask. :-\

N.B: The phone rang 7 times while i was playing.. Everytime it rings and rings until nobody answers and then rings again and again until nobody answers and so on.... :'(

Offline hodi

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Re: A Terrible Experience
Reply #5 on: March 21, 2005, 07:19:43 PM
WHY THE HELL do u keep a cellular phone in your pocket while playing?!

and by the way, the minute it started ringing, couldn't you shut it off and playing the piece again?

that's why i hate cellular phone and don't have one ;-)

Offline larse

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Re: A Terrible Experience
Reply #6 on: March 21, 2005, 07:49:01 PM
well, yes...you should'nt let it keep ringning...just keep calm, shut it off, smile selfironicly, and perhaps a bit embarassed to the jury and the audience, then take it from the top...

but those things are easy to forget, I know. My phone once rang during the audition to the Norwegian Music Academy, which ended really bad...

Offline Awakening

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Re: A Terrible Experience
Reply #7 on: March 21, 2005, 08:49:16 PM
I'm sure the most annoyed person that day was your mother on the side of the road with a flat tire trying to get a hold of you...  :P

Good one.

Offline galonia

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Re: A Terrible Experience
Reply #8 on: March 22, 2005, 03:43:13 AM
Sympathies, but I think the lesson here is that if you've already decided not to perform, you shouldn't suddenly, on the day, at the time, change your mind.  I would never do it - I have pulled out before, and I have gone in and performed a piece that I know isn't totally ready but decided to give it my best anyway, but never never never have I changed my mind like that.  To me, that would the most unsettling thing of all.

Online lostinidlewonder

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Re: A Terrible Experience
Reply #9 on: March 22, 2005, 04:45:39 AM
I can't believe the judges where dumb enough to let you continue with it on.
"The biggest risk in life is to take no risk at all."
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Offline anda

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Re: A Terrible Experience
Reply #10 on: March 22, 2005, 07:25:40 AM
your problem wasn't the phone - it was your attitude. "worst case scenario, i end up second". that's the worst attitude you could have when you have to play. and had you been really focused on playing, you wouldn't have been disturbed by the vibrating phone.

best luck next time

Offline thierry13

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Re: A Terrible Experience
Reply #11 on: October 16, 2005, 04:54:33 PM
and had you been really focused on playing, you wouldn't have been disturbed by the vibrating phone.

Hrmm... I don't think so. Hmm anyway I don't know how good the competitors were, but for a great competition, isn't your program a bit easy ? It doesn't show any technical brilliancy. And you really SHOULD have stopped the phone after the piece. And excuse yourself to the judges for this error of yours.

Offline pizno

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Re: A Terrible Experience
Reply #12 on: October 16, 2005, 06:20:11 PM
I don't think it is fair to yourself to decide ' at the last moment' to do this competition.  There is no way that you could be mentally prepared under those circumstances.  If you had been, you would have thought of your cell phone beforehand.  But, so what?  You will get over this, and you certainly will have learned from it!  You'll probably even laugh about it, and never forget your cell phone again!  I have had my cell phone go off during a piano recital when I was in the audience.  It was incredibly embarrassing, since I couldn't find it in my purse fast enough and had to actually leave, with the phone still ringing and lots of dirty looks.  I have known professors who have had theirs go off during a lecture.  I think your instinct not to do this competition was the right one, and now you know! 

Offline da jake

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Re: A Terrible Experience
Reply #13 on: October 16, 2005, 06:56:08 PM
Never compete under any circumstances unless you've mastered the repertoire. You would feel a bit bad about yourself even if you won with a crappy performance, 
"The best discourse upon music is silence" - Schumann

Offline kghayesh

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Re: A Terrible Experience
Reply #14 on: October 16, 2005, 10:40:19 PM
Hey, this post is ages ago.
Actually, when i remember this i totally regret what i've done, from deciding to play until not turning the phone off.

And to thierry,
Quote
but for a great competition, isn't your program a bit easy ?
Yes it is pretty easy coz that was all i played at this time  ;D
I just laugh at myself when i remember playing this programme at a competition. I think it is a 10 year old kid programme.

Offline lisztisforkids

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Re: A Terrible Experience
Reply #15 on: October 17, 2005, 02:03:25 AM
Word. I had some bad expierences to. I MEAN REAL BAD.
we make God in mans image

Offline pianistimo

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Re: A Terrible Experience
Reply #16 on: October 17, 2005, 02:19:25 AM
what's the absolute worst that can happen to a performer?  could it be like haydn's fairwell symphony where audience members get up one at a time and leave?

Offline hodi

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Re: A Terrible Experience
Reply #17 on: October 17, 2005, 05:00:49 AM
Word. I had some bad expierences to. I MEAN REAL BAD.

tell us
share your feelings
we are here to help you ;D

Offline crazy for ivan moravec

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Re: A Terrible Experience
Reply #18 on: October 17, 2005, 10:06:40 AM
my worst experiences are when i am told to play at the end of a party after a bottle of wine, hahaha. suggestion diabolique sounded like brahms. in another party, brahms sounded like prokofiev!
Well, keep going.<br />- Martha Argerich

Offline timothy42b

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Re: A Terrible Experience
Reply #19 on: October 17, 2005, 11:02:43 AM
WHY THE HELL do u keep a cellular phone in your pocket while playing?!



Perhaps it would be a good idea not to have a cellular phone turned on while anyone else is playing, either.  It could just as easily have been one of the others who was distracted by it while playing. 
Tim

Offline gruffalo

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Re: A Terrible Experience
Reply #20 on: October 17, 2005, 12:55:19 PM
Perhaps it would be a good idea not to have a cellular phone turned on while anyone else is playing, either.  It could just as easily have been one of the others who was distracted by it while playing. 

agreed

Offline lisztisforkids

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Re: A Terrible Experience
Reply #21 on: October 17, 2005, 08:34:45 PM
tell us
share your feelings
we are here to help you ;D

A couple of months ago i went to competition. I played the Brahms b minor rhapsody. I won first place. 2 weeks later at the winners recital when i played it is a different story... EVERYTHING WAS WRONG. I mean everything. It was to fast, every note was blured or wrong. My foot was shaking so badly i couldent even pedal correctly. I even skipped through 2 sections of the piece. It was one the most horrifying expiernce's I have ever had. I could even hear people in the audience whispering about me. I felt like a giant falling. A soon i was finished I went outside and had a breakdown. But i had to come back in and accept my prize with all the other contestants. And worst of all, this was the first time my father had watched me play.

we make God in mans image

Offline classicarts

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Re: A Terrible Experience
Reply #22 on: October 23, 2005, 04:24:53 AM
Was this a true story????  omg..sad. :(

Offline perfect_pitch

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Re: A Terrible Experience
Reply #23 on: October 23, 2005, 06:33:46 AM
Here's what I ALWAYS do before performing.

I don't have ANY jewellery on whilst playing and I take it all off beforehand. No watches, no necklaces - nothing.

I also put my phone on to silent and make sure it doesn't vibrate. That way, after - if someone called you - you know they called, and can ring them back.

Offline Jacey1973

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Re: A Terrible Experience
Reply #24 on: October 23, 2005, 03:27:32 PM
Here's what I ALWAYS do before performing.

I don't have ANY jewellery on whilst playing and I take it all off beforehand. No watches, no necklaces - nothing.

I also put my phone on to silent and make sure it doesn't vibrate. That way, after - if someone called you - you know they called, and can ring them back.

Me too - for my recital in June i wouldn't even wear this tiny dangly earrings because i find when i perform i'm hyper-sensitive to the slightest sound and i thought they might distract me! I always wear comfy clothes, flat shoes (i have horrible visions of tripping up on stage or making a huge noise when walking in heels! Plus i never wear them anyway). I also make sure my hair is completely tied up, so it can't distract me in anyway.

I never would take my mobile to the recital never mind having it in my pocket!  :o But i can see how it was easily done, as you didn't know you were performing to the last minute by the sounds of it, i think i'd be a bit flustered too and do something like that.

Giving a recital is stressful enough, so i like to think of absolutely eveything non-musical that could go wrong before hand! Planning is EVERYTHING.
"Mozart makes you believe in God - it cannot be by chance that such a phenomenon arrives into this world and then passes after 36 yrs, leaving behind such an unbounded no. of unparalled masterpieces"
 

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