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WQXR unveils “classical moonlighter” semi-finalists (and they’re really good)

Classical Moonlighters CompetitionMy favorite classical radio station has released thirty Vimeos of the semi-finalists for its “classical moonlighters” competition. I wrote about this when WQXR in New York City first announced the contest last year. These folks have posted vids of themselves playing various masterpieces and they’ve made it to first cut. The final finalists in this event will perform before judges and a live audience at The Greene Space. The top prize is private coaching with a major artist, then a performance at the Lincoln Center Rubenstein Atrium.

Holy smokes; these people elevate the concept of “amateur” to the nth degree. Here are some of the videos. First, Yiran Wang playing the fourth movement of Chopin’s B minor piano sonata:

Next, this video doesn’t identify the name and composer of the concerto, but whatever it is, flautist David Valderrama plays it to the hilt:

And here’s a lovely Valentine’s Day rendition of “O mio babbino caro,” from Puccini’s opera Gianni Schicchi. Thank you Karmyn Cobb:

If you want to vote in this contest, you can and lots of people already have. It appears that the software collects votes as Facebook likes. Voting ends a minute before midnight on March 20.

Huge kudos to ‘QXR for this contest. This is exactly what radio stations should be doing: helping people in their community help themselves, especially musicians. Good luck to all the performers.


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