Berkshire Symphony

Berkshire Symphony Student Soloist Competition

The Williams College Department of Music will present the annual Berkshire Symphony Student Soloist Competition.

Berkshire Symphony Student Soloist Competition winners appear with the Berkshire Symphony in the fourth and final regular season concert on Friday April 30, a concert that showcases the remarkable talents of our Williams students.

The Berkshire Symphony is conducted by Ronald Feldman and includes nearly 70 members, half of whom are students and half of whom are professional musicians. The ensemble presents four major concerts each season; the programs balance orchestral standards with contemporary works.

The competition is open to Williams College students who have completed certain required instrumental or vocal studies and are enrolled in qualifying courses.  The students must be recommended by their instrumental or vocal teachers. The works may be one movement from a concerto, a single-movement work, a concert or operatic aria, song cycle, etc. for soloist and orchestra. The students are accompanied by professionals in both the recital and the competition itself.

A distinguished panel of judges consisting of professional musicians from outside the Williams community chooses the winners.  This year the panel welcomes Michael Sussman, clarinetist and professor of music at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst; Pianist Judith Gordon, assistant professor of music at Smith College and Joel Pitchon, associate professor of violin and chamber music at Smith. The auditions are overseen by David Kechley, Chairman of the Department and Ronald Feldman.