My debut at Carnegie Hall: remembering New York

Today is the second anniversary of my debut at Carnegie Hall: this is the story…I can definitely say that my debut as a composer on December 12, 2015 at Carnegie Hall in New York City (see the post) was certainly one of the most beautiful and important experiences of my career to date, and since yesterday was the second anniversary I wanted to share it and remember it in this post.

A good start…

It is difficult to describe in words what I felt when I knew that I would make my debut at Carnegie Hall: one of the most prestigious venues in the world… the victory of Respighi Prize Music Competition 2014 opened a very important door for my career as a composer .

Respighi Prize Premio Respighi

luckily I was not alone…

Even more complex would be to describe the moment before the beginning … The Chamber Orchestra of NY, conducted by Salvatore di Vittorio, was ready to play and the tension was already accumulating for a while inside me: I was realizing that my debut at Carnegie Hall was approaching. While the program took place with the splendid performances of George Gershwin’s Lullaby and the beautiful (and masterly performed) Tchaikovsky’s Serenade for Strings, my emotional situation continued to “worsen”. Fortunately, there was Cristina by my side (who since last month has become my wife) and without her I think everything would have been very different, more incomplete and maybe I would not have been so good at managing so many emotions at once.

Pleasant moments of tension

When the music started it was like I was on stage playing: the same tension you feel when the audience is in front of you and you start playing the first note breaking the silence… I also began to feel the weight of the historical importance of the Carnegie Hall … I followed every gesture and listened to every note until the end of my piece and when the applauses began, showing that the audience was fortunately enthusiastic, the tension vanished in a flash but I did not imagine that what was about to happen would have swept me like a hurricane…

my debut at carnegie hall il mio debutto alla Carnegie Hall
il mio debutto alla carnegie hall

The realization of the artist through his art: the circle closes

In fact during the break many people from the audience came up to shake my hand and congratulate me for my piece. The same thing would happened also at the end of the concert after the last wonderful composition: the Shostakovich’s Piano Concerto No. 1 performed by the talented pianist Di Wu. I think I can say that the moments when people in the audience are approaching to compliment you after a concert, especially if your composition has been performed, is the most rewarding thing for a musician, in particular I think it was the most intense moment in which my goal as an artist was really accomplished. A bit like when you finish drawing a circle and you close it: after inspiration, the first draft of the main idea, the next phase of composition that gradually developed the work, the long orchestral and revision works that until the last detail gave shape to the piece and, last but not least, the long and almost interminable wait (2 years) before the work took concrete life in the live performance. All this is part of a process that from the beginning to the end represents the work and the composer and that binds them as a single entity, an entity not really realized until the moment in which the live performance takes place and the audience perceives in some way the meaning contained in the work. The communication process between audience and work – and therefore between composer and audience – is in my opinion what gave birth to art, what every artist should tend to, and what I perceived so intensely that evening that I hope in the future I will have the chance to feel it again.

Emiliano Imondi

Versione italiana

Cinque estratti da Three Variations on a Gregorian Theme (2013)

per orchestra d’archi | Emiliano Imondi