Pittsburgh Symphony Takes the Ball and Goes Home
The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra (PSO) announced on June 11 that a PSO judging panel did not pick a winner in its online concerto competition.
After the four finalists auditioned for a jury composed of PSO conductors, musicians, and staff, the organization decided against selecting a soloist to perform with the orchestra. “We were very pleased with the four finalists, but we always maintained the right not to pick a winner,” said Robert Moir, PSO’s senior vice president of artistic planning and audience engagement. The PSO was the first major American orchestra to hold an online concerto competition to find a soloist to perform with the orchestra. We would like to thank everyone who participated in this unique competition. We expect to conduct it again. It was an interesting experience for us. It was a very difficult decision not to choose a winner.”
Citing precedent like last year’s Tchaikovsky Violin Competition and 2010’s Paganini International Violin Competition, Moir said it was “not uncommon for a competition not to produce a winner.” The four finalists were violinist William Hagen, 19, of Salt Lake City and cellist Angela Park, 25, of Philadelphia; and pianists Benjamin Hopkins, 21, of Los Angeles, and Manon Hutton-DeWys, 26, of Bronx, New York. They competed for a chance to perform as a soloist alongside the PSO next season as part of a contest on the PSO’s YouTube channel.