Edit ModuleEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Must Watch: Goosebumps on a Scale of One to OH!

The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra's YouTube search for a new soloist is down to the final four.

Photo by Dave DiCello, HDR Exposed Photography

My childhood was spent trying to convince various music teachers that I had indeed practiced my songs at home, despite the fact that my attempts at playing "The Entertainer" were no better than they were the week prior. In all honesty though, classes were practice, because that was the only practice I got.

I took six or seven years of piano with Mrs. Matta, an elderly lady who would get so frustrated with me that she would slam my fingers down on the correct keys each time I got it wrong. I got it wrong a lot. I'm surprised I'm not crippled. I'm surprised I didn't just give in and practice to save myself from the pain.

Three or four years of violin with Miss Hackett. I put the EEK! in screechy.

Now as an adult, I regret not practicing regularly, because maybe then I would have become skilled enough to take part in the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra's first-of-its-kind online YouTube competition to find a new soloist to play with the world-renowned orchestra, complete with a $10,000 prize. The winner will then have their debut performance conducted by Manfred Honeck. That the symphony is using this method to find a soloist has been widely covered in media outlets all over the country.

The symphony very recently narrowed down the submissions to these four finalists after a public vote.

First is Benjamin Wagner, a student at USC, on piano playing Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 3, which is over nine minutes long. The only thing I can play on the piano for nine minutes without sheet music is scales. I love the Josh Groban vibe he's giving off.

Also playing Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 3 is New York City's Manon Hutton-Dewys. I bet she never had her fingers jammed into the keys.

The third finalist is Angela Park, a 25-year-old cellist who lives in Berlin. I know absolutely nothing about the cello but I do know that cello music has never given me chills before. Until now. If you want record-breaking goosebumps, check out 4:41 in. You'll want to write a movie just so you can set a scene to that music.

And finally, you have Salt Lake City's 19-year-old William Hagen playing Brahms Concerto on violin. And here's the odd thing: It says he is unaccompanied as he plays, but he somehow manages to make it sound as though you're hearing an entire orchestra coming from his fingertips. It's unreal. And I don't think I've ever used the word unreal in writing before. It’s so good, it’s is unrealistic.

In June, these four will have a live audition in front of Manfred Honek to earn the coveted spot and prize money. I know who I'm rooting for, but I'm not saying it, should I jinx them. Who’s got your vote?

If you'd like a fifth option, I could play the theme from Star Wars on my kid's recorder for you.

I will nail it.

Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit Module

Edit Module Edit ModuleShow TagsEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags

The Latest

Is Your Pittsburgh Street on This Year's Road Repaving List?

The City of Pittsburgh has announced its street paving plan for 2019. You’re one click away from finding out if your street or route to work is on the list.

Watch: Pittsburgh Pirates Welcome You to Their Neighborhood

We thought this mashup of Mister Rogers and the Pittsburgh Pirates was perfect for sports fans searching for something to cheer about in the wake of the early end to the Penguins' season.

Downtown Pittsburgh Remains a Classic Rock Haven

PM intern Amanda Myers recounts the radio-rock adventures that life as a Downtown student has made possible.

The 400-Word Review: Master Z: Ip Man Legacy

The latest chapter in the Hong Kong martial-arts franchise gets a Pittsburgh release.

The 400-Word Review: The Curse of La Llorana

The latest chapter in the Conjuring franchise concerns a sinister spirit from folklore.

Details Shine in Metallic Hip-Hop Wedding

A graffiti-decorated cake, a sequined jacket for the groom and a violinist playing hip-hop covers wowed guests at this Strip District wedding.

New Restaurants Coming to Smallman Galley and Federal Galley

Look for New Mexican cuisine, customizable chicken and more as half of the Pittsburgh Galley Group concepts change in the next few months.

Design Goes to the Dogs with BARKitecture

Featuring innovative indoor animal shelters designed by local architects and artists going up for auction, the event at PerLora raises money for Animal Friends.

The 400-Word Review: Hellboy

The cult comic character gets a reboot in this R-rated action flick.

5 Best Spots to Hang Out with Your Dog

For those who can’t stand the idea of leaving their dogs home alone on a beautiful day, these dog-friendly stores, restaurants and bars in the Pittsburgh area welcome humans and canines alike.

The 400-Word Review: The Silence

Netflix's new horror film has a plot unfortunately similar to a giant hit. Can it succeed in spite of that bit of bad luck?

Popular Fried Chicken and Beer Hall Landing in Pittsburgh

The Cincinnati-based restaurant has signed a lease for a 6,000-square-foot space Downtown.

Who Will Be Pittsburgh's Radish Queen or King?

20 members of Teutonia Männerchor are competing to grow the finest Munchener Bier radish.

Rockaway Pizzeria in White Oak Will Expand This Summer

The New York style pizzeria also will pop up at Pittsburgh's Spring Hill Brewing starting next month.

Pens Don't Need to Overwhelm Islanders, Just Outlast Them

Patience, persistence and taking what the game gives is critical in Round One.