Ashley Carter at the Aeolus Competition

Ashley Carter is a trombone student at the Australian National Academy of Music (ANAM). He has performed as a casual musician with MSO, QSO and TSO, and completed his undergraduate studies at the Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University. 

Ashley CarterI have just finished one of the most educational experiences of my career. Even though the result I achieved was not what I had hoped for, I can proudly say I am happy with my efforts and have learnt a great deal. I am currently sitting at the Düsseldorf International Airport writing this, reminiscing about how much I have achieved over the last four months preparing for the Aeolus International Competition for Wind Instruments.

Preparation

It all started four months ago when I completed the application to enter the Aeolus competition….

The competition was set out in four rounds with various pieces in each round, so I purchased the entire repertoire list to help me begin my preparations.

First round: Dutilleux’s Choral, Cadence et Fugato and Wagenseil’s Concerto for Trombone.

Second round: Hindemith’s Sonata for Trombone, a choice between Leopold Mozart’s and Albrechtsberger’s alto trombone concertos (I chose the Leopold Mozart) and an unaccompanied piece of own choice composed after 1980; for this I chose Folke Rabe’s Basta.

Third round: Frank Martin’s Ballade and a choice between Launy Gröndahl’s Concerto for Trombone and Henri Tomasi’s Concerto for Trombone.  The Gröndahl being one of my favourite pieces in the repertoire it was an easy pick for me, not to mention that I had already prepared it for the ANAM Concerto Competition.

Fourth round: Niño Rota’s Concerto for Trombone to be performed from memory with the Düsseldorf Symphony Orchestra.

With all of this repertoire sitting in front of me and knowing I only had four months left to prepare it I started to feel a little overwhelmed.  I decided the only way I was going to properly prepare this repertoire to a consistent standard was to set myself out a practice schedule for each day.  It was also clear that I needed to perform all of this repertoire before I left Australia – luck being on my side ANAM had scheduled my recital for the 30th of August, just 3 days before I left! With all of this in mind, I started my journey.

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