Recently, we witnessed the sad passing of Peter Talbot Westergaard — Princeton’s William Shubael Conant Professor of Music, Emeritus — at age 88. He was the most influential musical artist of my...
Congratulations to the winners of the 2019-2020 Princeton University Orchestra Concerto Competition:
Fumika Mizuno ’21: Samuel Barber’s Violin Concerto Op. 14
Hana Mundiya ’20: W.A. Mozart’s Violin Concerto No. 3 in G Major, K. 216
Allison Spann ’20: Excerpt from David del Tredici’s Final Alice
Vian Wagatsuma ’23: W. A. Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 21 in C Major, K. 467
This year’s competition was open to repertory written pre-1800 and post-1945. Seventeen students signed up for the preliminary round, judged by tenor William Burden, French Horn Faculty member Christopher Komer, and former competition winner and Department Outreach Manager Dasha Koltunyuk ’15. The final round was judged by conductor David Hayes.
Fumika and Hana will be featured in Princeton University Orchestra’s concerts this season on March 6 & 7 in Richardson Auditorium. Allison and Vian will appear with the orchestra during the fall 2020 semester.
ABOUT THE WINNERS
Violinist Fumika Mizuno is a junior in the Politics Department, pursuing certificates in East Asian Studies and American Studies. Born in Tokyo and raised in Portland, Oregon, Fumika has played violin for most of her life, pursuing her love of music on campus as a member of the Princeton University Orchestra, Opus 21 chamber music ensemble, and employee of the Mendel Music Library. Last year, she was also a recipient of the Humanities Council’s Haarlow Prize.
“The Barber Violin Concerto has one of the dreamiest, most lush openings. I've always wanted to learn the piece, and I'm thrilled to have the opportunity to perform it with some of my closest friends in the orchestra on stage with me.”
NYC-born violinist Hana Mundiya is a senior in the Comparative Literature Department, pursuing a certificate in Music Performance. This is the second time that Hana has been declared a winner of the Concerto Competition, having performed Sergei Prokofiev’s Second Violin Concerto with the Princeton University Orchestra in the 2017-2018 season. She made her concerto debut with the New York Philharmonic at age 13 as part of the orchestra’s Young People’s Concerts.
“I picked Mozart's Third Violin Concerto because I think it epitomizes Mozart as a composer (and human!)—this piece, even though it was written for violin, has so many characters in its three movements and beautiful sections within the movements that it resembles one of his operas. I've been performing this piece since I was little, and it gets increasingly difficult each time I play it to figure out exactly how I want to find a balance between interpreting Mozart's classical intentions and adding my personal voice to it. I really think that Mozart's music is in particular extremely human; and I will try my best to express my emotions and experiences through the music. I am so excited to be sharing the stage again with Maestro Pratt and my friends in the Princeton University Orchestra!”
Vocalist Allison Spann, hailing from Cranbury, NJ, is a senior in the Music Department, pursuing certificates in Theater, Music Theater, and Vocal Performance. Coming to Princeton with a background in musical theater as a graduate of Carnegie Mellon University’s Musical Theater Pre-College program, Allison has furthered her love of jazz and classical music throughout her undergraduate career as a member of the Program in Jazz’s Creative Large Ensemble, Glee Club, and artist-in-residence at Richardson Auditorium, writing several original new musicals.
“Thanks to the encouragement of many here, especially my teacher, David Kellett, I have been lucky enough to work on a technique that supports opera and classical repertoire as well as my work in other genres. With that, I am so thrilled to be recognized as a vocalist in this competition because it feels like both a culmination of the work I’ve done here and a jumping off point for whatever comes next. The versatility required by David del Tredici’s Final Alice felt like a juicy challenge, with spoken text, character work, and soaring melodic lines. Amidst all this, the piece sets us in the courtroom scene in the final chapter of Alice in Wonderland, with Alice frequently questioning the proceedings of the trial. For so many reasons, it felt like the right piece at the right time.”
Pianist Vian Wagatsuma is a first-year student from NYC, intending to concentrate in Chemistry and pursue a certificate in Music Performance. A graduate of the Juilliard School’s Pre-College Division, she has received prizes in the Kaufman Center and Cremona International Piano Competitions, in addition to placing in the Aspen music Festival and Juilliard Pre-College’s concerto competitions. She appeared on NPR’s From the Top, and was named a 2016 Jack Kent Cooke Young Artist.
“I have always been fascinated with Mozart's piano concertos, and I believe that no. 21 was the perfect way for me to explore and hopefully exhibit Mozart's constantly changing character. I'm really looking forward to playing with the talented musicians of Princeton's orchestra.”