Koncon Alumni win auditions

12 June 2023

The Royal Conservatoire congratulates two of our Classical Music alumni who recently won an audition: Jules Beaten will be the first clarinettist of the Philharmonie Zuid Nederland. Juan Pedro Martinez will be the second oboist / English horn player of the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra. They took some time to tell us about their audition and their expectations for their new job.

Juan: 'The audition is always a complicated process where you have to give the best of yourself in a few minutes. There is no margin for error at all. Add to that the fact that you are competing against colleagues and even friends for the same job, and you have a day full of tension and emotion. But of course, it was very gratifying to hear my name when the jury announced the result of the audition.
Working with NedPhO is very varied because you get to work with different programmes throughout the season, but what I'm looking forward to most is playing symphonic concerts in the Concertgebouw, one of the most important concert halls in the world. It's also very exciting to make music with the great musicians I will have as colleagues.'

Jules: 'I felt a lot of pressure to prove myself at this audition, as I would also be playing in the orchestra as a guest principal clarinettist later that week. With next season being PhilZuid's 10th anniversary, there is so much great repertoire to look forward to. I am very much looking forward to meeting all my new colleagues and being part of this wonderful orchestra.'

Finally, Juan and Jules have some tips for students who will be auditioning in the future:

Jules: 'If you have the chance to practice in the audition hall, do it! What I find very useful is trying to imagine yourself standing in that hall and playing your audition. Imagine where the jury will be sitting, what the acoustics will be like and everything else.

Also, most of us get nervous during an audition, which causes our heart rate to increase. Try to recreate that feeling by running down the stairs or down the corridor before playing your excerpts or concerto.'

Juan: 'I always say that orchestra auditions are like a marathon (except for a few who get the job at their first audition). It is really important to gain experience in auditioning for young orchestras. In my case, the training I did at the conservatory for orchestra auditions helped me a lot. I think it is very important to have the whole programme ready at least 2 or 3 weeks before the day of the audition and then to use the last few days to consolidate what you have worked on.

Another way to prepare for the big day is to play in front of some musician friends who will act as a jury and get some feedback from them. This will help you to be prepared for any nerves you may have on the day of the audition and will also give you a different perspective on your performance. It's very important to prepare yourself not only physically but also mentally for the day.'