Senior clarinetist advances to Spotlight Awards semifinals

By Claire Hong 

Stefani Feldman ’11 advanced to the semifinals of the Los Angeles Music Center’s Spotlight Award in the classical instrumental section. She is one of 15 instrumentalists to advance in her section.

As part of the Spotlight program, the 15 semifinalists have opportunities to take part in master classes, during which they perform in front of a renowned musician and receive feedback on the performance. Classes are based on the instrument the student plays, with all students playing the same instrument placed into the same class. Feldman was the only clarinetist to advance in her section, so she had a private master class with clarinetist David Howard of the Los Angeles Philharmonic.

“It was a huge motivation to learn more about music,” Feldman said. “Spotlight is one of those competitions where I can learn and gain, as well as give back.”

For her audition, Feldman had to perform two pieces. 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. She chose her second piece because she believes that “it shows off the huge range of a clarinet.”

“[Solo de Concours] is just a really fun piece to play,” she said. “It’s really flashy, and I feel like it’s the epitome of confidence.”

This year was Feldman’s first year auditioning for the Spotlight Award. She first became interested in trying out when she went to a live Spotlight show held for the finalists at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion as a ninth grader.

“I really wanted to become a finalist because it seemed so cool to be up there performing on stage in front of such a nice audience and basically giving it your best – performing to the best of your abilities,” Feldman said.

Feldman will audition again on March 19 to determine whether she will be one of two finalists to advance to the final round. The results will be announced later that day. If she becomes a finalist, she will perform at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion with finalists from the other categories as well. The first place contestant from each section will receive $5,000.

“I would love to be able to perform at Dorothy Chandler,” she said. “It’d be like a dream come true because it’s an awesome venue, and through Spotlight you get to meet other really dedicated musicians.”