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A Word from the Jacques Lancelot 2016 Finalists

Han Kim (1st Place Winner)
“For the competition, I had to learn the new pieces that I have never played before – there was always one piece that I was not familiar with in every round.

Therefore, for the preparation, I have concentrated mainly on the pieces that I did not perform before, in order to bring them up to the standard.

I still cannot quite believe that I am the winner of this competition, but I am extremely happy that I now received the opportunity to show myself in the musical society, and get recognised in it.”

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“The instruments were the main factor of my whole journey here.

On the day that I arrived in Paris, which was three days before my first round, my instruments got stolen in a hotel near the airport. I went to the police to report, and everything did not quite work out. However, I somehow thought that I would regret so much if I give up at this point, and therefore on the day I’ve lost the clarinets, I have bought a set of Buffet Tosca in the music shop Cyrille Mercadier.”

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“Everything was new- the instrument, the mouthpiece and reeds, etc. However, somehow I have felt very comfortable on these new instruments, and they were extremely homogenous and had a very warm timbre, although the dynamic range was not quite developed yet (but I am sure it will!).

Therefore, the lucky fact that this set of new instruments somehow suited me really well from the beginning enabled me to play how I wanted to play as usual.” – Han Kim

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Cristina Mateo-Saez (2nd Place Winner)
“My main goal when I play is to present my own voice and who I am as a musician. I have been playing on Festival clarinets (both B flat and A), because this model gives me a very warm sound and a very special ring in my sound that I really like as well.

My teacher and I decided that it would be a good experience for me to prepare for this prestigious competition. The preparation was a really hard process, since it was a very long program to learn.

I wanted to play everything technically perfect, but also to find music in every note, to find the different characters in every piece and most importantly to tell my own story.”

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“Winning this prestigious prize means a lot to me and gives me a great sense of accomplishment. It is very rewarding to see that all my preparation and hard work have paid off, especially considering the very high level of all the candidates in the competition. I went to Rouen just to fulfill my musical mission and I feel that I luckily achieved most of it.

It is for me a great honor to receive this recognition in the Lancelot International Clarinet Competition, which also motivates me to keep working very hard for further musical goals.” – Cristina Mateo-Saez

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Kevin Spagnolo (3rd Place Winner)
“The International Competition in Rouen was really important for me, and was actually my first serious International Competition for which I studied really hard since my application.

For the pre-selection, I chose to play Weber’s Concertino, a piece that means a lot for me, and which I used to work for my personality and ideas. After this pre-selection all the candidates had the opportunity to play a very rich and complete Repertoire that crossed all the historical periods until today, with the Masterpiece of the Fuminori Tanada in the final round.”

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“Romain Guyot helped me a lot to improve my personality and musicality during my master. And I thank Fabrizio Meloni and Carlo Failli who both supported me and helped develop my skills.

I play a Tosca clarinet from Buffet Crampon, a model that has many good qualities, like the projection and a nice, clear sound. But I may change one day to another one of Buffet Crampon’s clarinets, with all the great models they offer.”

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“For me it was really important to win this prize in this prestigious competition.

I learned a lot from the experience and it confirmed that I’m working in the right way.

I will continue in this direction and will see what happens in the future!” – Kevin Spagnolo

(all photos by: Arnaud Bertereau for the Mona Agency in Rouen, France)

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