By Claire Hong
Clarinetist Stefani Feldman ’11 is one of two finalists for the Los Angeles Music Center’s Spotlight Award in the classical instrumental section.
As part of the Spotlight program, 15 semifinalists auditioned March 18 and then attended a luncheon with family and friends. After the luncheon, Director Jeri Gaile announced the finalists.
“They called me first, and I was screaming inside,” Feldman said.
For her audition pieces, Feldman performed the two pieces she played for her semifinals audition. The first piece had to come from either the Baroque or Classical time period while the second piece had to be either a Romantic or Impressionistic piece. She chose Mozart’s Clarinet Concert in A Major, K. 622 for her first piece and André Messager’s Solo de Concours for the second. She chose her second piece because she believes that “it shows off the huge range of a clarinet.” Feldman had to bring two different clarinets for her audition, as each piece required a different range of sound.
Before her audition in front of the judges, Feldman had an opportunity to warm up her pieces in a practice room. She said she tried not to get too nervous because “whatever happens will happen.” Right before she entered the audition room, Gaile gave her a quick motivational talk.
“I really just wanted to enjoy the fact that I was playing for an audience that was listening to me and to enjoy performing because that’s what I love doing,” she said. “I love being able to communicate music in that way.”
During her audition, Feldman said she just tried to give it her best and not stress on the outcome, and after her performance, she believed she couldn’t have performed her pieces any better.
“This is the most beautifully I’ve ever played,” she said. “The tone was so warm and consistent, and I tried to make it sound as elegant as possible. During a part of the piece, I imagined a part from ‘The Great Gatsby’ because this piece to me embodied the love Gatsby shows to Daisy. And it worked in the way I wanted to convey it. This is the first time I’ve used an outside experience to help my playing.”
Feldman will perform at Dorothy Chandler Pavilion on April 30 with the finalists from the other categories. From there, the judges will announce the first and second place winners from each category. The first place contestant from each section will receive $5,000 and the second place contestant will receive $4,000. As a finalist, Feldman will also have the opportunity to attend the Aspen Music Festival on full scholarship during the summer after her freshman year in college.
Feldman also recently came in first place in the American Fine Arts Festival and will travel to Russia this coming summer to perform with the Kostroma Symphony Orchestra.