WEIMAR, GERMANY ― The Violin Channel recently caught up with 16 year old violinist Anne Luisa Kramb – who was last week awarded 1st prize in the 15 to 17 years old category at the 2016 8th Louis Spohr International Violin Competition, in Weimar, Germany.
In a VC-exclusive blog, Anne talks us through her experience at this year’s competition.
"Being part of an international competition is a unique experience. There is no other place (except for some festivals) where you can meet people your age, with your ambitions and understanding of your life. This has always been one of the biggest problems I had to deal with. The people who understand me and share my way of living are very rare. But not in a competition: young violinists from all over the world come together in one city and do what they live for – playing the violin.
I made great experiences in the last week, at the 8th edition of the International Louis Spohr Competition for Young Violinists in Weimar, Germany. My expectations were quite low, which was something I learned over the years. Hopes only make you fall deep if they don't come true. So I arrived in Weimar (which is actually not even 3 hours away from my hometown), knowing only 3 or 4 people which I met at former competitions or masterclasses. The time before the first round was quite exciting, so many young violinists who had a common goal: reaching the semi-finals. It was sad that some of the contestants could not see me and the other boys and girls as friends, but only as opponents – what we actually were, but there was no need in showing that, not talking to any other people and avoiding to say "hello" on the streets. Fortunately I found some very good friends later.
My first round took place at 10 am, and I started my day at half past seven eating a croissant I bought the day before and a large amount of coffee. The order was free to choose, so I decided to play in a quite unconventional order: starting with Spohr and ending with Bach. I guess, I have ever been the only one playing in this order. But for me, after Bach, there is nothing to follow.
Visiting the neighbour city on the next day, I missed the announcement of the results – a friend told me I made into the semi-finals, which took place two days later. Practice sessions of Beethoven, Ravel, Yun and always Bruch (you can never know..) followed. I helped my accompanist with her dress right before we had to go on stage and unfortunately I stitched a needle into my left thumb. It started bleeding, which made me even more nervous. But I made my second round as well and got a special prize: The prize for the best classical sonata, shared with my friend Sumina Studer from Category III. This kind of relaxed me, Beethoven sonatas were always very important for me and I got the prize which honoured me the most.
One day later the finalists were announced and the rehearsals with the Orchestra of the HfM Weimar and Nicolas Pasquet started. I admired their condition and patience of playing the same concerto 5 times in a row. Starting 20 minutes earlier than I actually should, with cold fingers and a little stressed atmosphere, I started the first bars of the Bruch concerto. It was not the most perfect interpretation, but it was completely mine, from my deepest heart. I love every note of this concerto. And this made me winning the first prize – although not everything was completely in tune. But, what made me so happy, the jury showed one more time that technical perfection is not what they look for, if there is a musician they listen to.