Special Prize for the Original Composition was established for the contestants of the Young Artist Award Competition at the Etude Club of Berkeley, CA, USA
In Winter 2004, during the 100th year in the history of the Etude Club of Berkeley, Ms. Rozalina Gutman was invited by Club’s President Ms. Janet Weinstein to take over the responsibilities of the Chairperson for the annual Young Artist Award Competition. Her piano students enjoyed participation in this event in the past. Therefore, it sounded as a mandate for Ms. R. Gutman to make room in her busy schedule for this demanding yet rewarding with satisfaction position.
During her two-year term Ms. R. Gutman accomplished several important upgrades in the logistics of the event, that were obvious to Ms. R. Gutman due to having multiple personal experiences of preparing her many students to participate in various Festivals, Conventions, Contests for young musicians. She immediately realized the need for the Club to have web presence, and moreover, she showed her generosity, volunteering to produce and to update continuously the webpage at no charge for the Club, reflecting the Club’s activities and specifically making available on line the info about the Competition. Ms. R. Gutman initiated numerous changes in the event’s procedures, bringing up to date Requirements Form and creating much needed Application Form, as well as the Club’s New Millennium letterhead (with the help of her friend, graphic designer Mr. Flavio Robles, who donated his artwork).
She put numerous efforts to raise the interest for the Competition in the Bay Area among music students and their teachers by attracting well-known musicians and music community activists to be affiliated with the Competition such as Maestro Edwin Outwater, Conductor of San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra, Wattis Foundation Music Director, Russ Irwin, President of SF Symphony League of Volunteers, John Evans, KDFC 102.1 Classical Radio station’s host.
Ms. R. Gutman approached well known musicians to support the cause and the violist/violinist Elizabeth Runnicles, pianist Reah Sadowsky, mezzo soprano Miriam Abramowitch, renowned composer William Bolcom (while he was serving as Bloch Visiting Scholar at UCB) –all very kindly and enthusiastically agreed to serve as judges for YAA contests.
During her second year Ms. R. Gutman was able to convince the Board members to add a new category of “Original Composition”, started successful fundraising campaign for the special prizes among enthusiastic members of the Club, as well as approaching many Bay Area colleagues-teachers and schools (both music and general education) in order to popularize the new concept of the event. The results were incredible: seven very talented young musicians were rewarded with prizes, including the 1st Prize Winner of the 1st Original Composition Award, Preben Antonsen, student of composers Molly Axtmann and John Adams, who went to New York several weeks later to collect BMI Student Composer Award.
Ms. R. Gutman, the Chair for YAA, presenting Awards to the Winners of Young Artist Award Competition 2005, at the Etude Cloub of Berkeley, CA, USA. To see the names of all the winners, please, click on the button "More About Etude Club"
During the Awards Ceremony Ms. R. Gutman followed her favorite motto “Let your life speak” and instead of the expected Chair’s Speech at the Winners’ Ceremony, she surprised everyone with the musical message of encouragement for the young participants to never stop being creative despite any twists of artist’s faith. Her newly composed piece “NEVERTHELESS” for voice & piano was masterfully performed by very talented tenor, San Francisco Opera soloist and Adler Fellow, Thomas Glenn http://www.thomasglenntenor.com/ and received enthusiastically by the audience, particularly by the young musicians. [Photo: Composer/pianist R. Gutman with tenor Thomas Glenn, at SF Opera, backstage, after his performance in the premier of "Doctor Atomic" by John Adams]
At the YAA Winners Reception at the Etude Club of Berkeley, CA, USA, May 2005
Ms. R. Gutman felt very rewarded hearing many grateful comments that Etude Club members, contestants’ parents, contestants and their teachers expressed in person during the official Desert Reception, as well as while reading thank you notes mailed to her from students-participants. It was satisfying to see how hard work and cooperation of dedicated Club members allowed the main goal to be accomplished – the unique for the Bay Area contest that promotes creativity and encourages young students to compose their own music was established and welcomed by music community of the Bay Area.
But, the main challenge for the 102 year old Etude Club still remains – new traditions should be nurtured and integrated into regular activities of the Club in order for it to remain appealing, meaningful and alive in its 2nd century of excitement and sharing of music making as well as maintaining the commitment to pass the legacy of sophistication in music for the new generations to come.