The Meg Quigley Vivaldi Competition

Meg Quigley Vivaldi Competition and Symposium

Much of my win­ter break (and count­less hours in the pre­ced­ing year) were devoted to the 2012 Meg Quigley Vivaldi Com­pe­ti­tion and Sym­po­sium, which I co-hosted with my friend and col­league Nico­lasa Kuster, of the Uni­ver­sity of the Paci­fic Con­ser­va­tory of Music. The Com­pe­ti­tion is for young women bas­soon­ists from the Amer­i­cas (North, Cen­tral, and South), and was founded in 2004 by Nico­lasa Kuster (then of Wichita State Uni­ver­sity) and Kristin Wolfe Jensen of the Uni­ver­sity of Texas at Austin. The Com­pe­ti­tion takes place every two years, and has pre­vi­ously been held at UT-Austin (2005), Ithaca Col­lege (2007), and the Ober­lin Con­ser­va­tory (2010).

This year, we hosted the com­pe­ti­tion at the Uni­ver­sity of the Paci­fic. From the ini­tial pool of recorded entries, our Pre­lim­i­nary Round judges nar­rowed the field to ten Semi-Finalists. These ten young women trav­eled to North­ern Cal­i­for­nia for live Semi-Final and Final Rounds of com­pe­ti­tion. All ten are very tal­ented play­ers, and the com­pe­ti­tion was fierce. I’m glad that judg­ing was not among my respon­si­bil­i­ties! For the Semi-Final Round, each com­peti­tor per­formed the third move­ment of Anto­nio Vivaldi’s Con­certo in d minor, RV 481, and Margi Griebling-Haigh’s Sor­tilège, a piece that Bar­rick Stees com­mis­sioned specif­i­cally for MQVC 2012. Five Final­ists emerged from that round. In the last round of com­pe­ti­tion, each of the five per­formed a work of their choice with piano and the entire Vivaldi con­certo from mem­ory, backed by a string orches­tra con­ducted by Stephen Paulson, Prin­ci­pal Bas­soon­ist of the San Fran­cisco Sym­phony, and Music Direc­tor of Sym­phony Par­nas­sus.

In brief, the results were as fol­lows:

First Place: Ananta Kar­ilun Díaz (Venezuela)
Sec­ond Place: Sarah Ruiz (Costa Rica)
Third Place: Alex Zdanis (United States)
Final­ists: Rachel Koeth and Kelly Swensson (both United States)
Semi-Finalists: Julia Bair, Carly Gomez, Kara LaM­oure, Danielle Osbun (all United States), and Atao Liu (China)

Con­grat­u­la­tions to them all for won­der­ful per­for­mances! For biogra­phies of the com­peti­tors and other infor­ma­tion about the com­pe­ti­tion, please visit

Next time: all about the three-day Bas­soon Sym­po­sium sur­round­ing the Com­pe­ti­tion.

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