This fall, Princeton University Concerts announced the third annual Creative Reactions Contest. This writing contest — designed to foster reflection on the impact of hearing classical music, as perceived by students on Princeton’s campus — has been a resounding success. Over the course of seven months this year, more than 80 students attended seven different concerts and were asked to capture the experience of hearing live classical music. The form of their reactions was flexible, allowing for prose, poetry, narrative, even lyrics. From a full field of entries, there were four winners - two First Prize Winners and three Honorable Mentions.
The winning reactions were all poems, reflecting a wide range of musical experiences. Marna Seltzer, Director of Princeton University Concerts, says “The Creative Reactions Contest is one of my favorite of our initiatives. It allows students to make an entirely personal connection to the concerts we present, and it offers the opportunity to hear the music we present in a different way. For our general audience, it gives them a glimpse into the thoughts of the next generation of concertgoers and music lovers. I congratulate this year’s winners, and continue to be astounded by the talent and creativity of Princeton students.”
The entries were read anonymously in three rounds by twelve judges.
ANNOUNCING THE WINNERS (please click on the title to read the winning piece of writing):
FIRST PRIZE, $500
Anna Leader, ’18 - "love songs between balconies" inspired by Mezzo-soprano Jamie Barton
David Ting '17 - "El barrio(lage) desconocido” inspired by pianist violinist Augustin Hadelich & guitarist Pablo Sáinz-Villegas
HONORABLE MENTION, $125
Isabella Bosetti ’18 - “Translation/Aphasia,” inspired by the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir
Xin Chua GS - “The Future Age,” inspired by the Takács String Quartet
Kirit Limperis ’19 - “With the Percussionist,” inspired by percussionist Colin Currie
The Creative Reactions Contest is hosted by the Student Ambassadors of PUC, a small group of classical music-loving students whose mission is to increase student interest and participation in Princeton University Concerts programs. The contest is funded by PUC. Each year PUC presents a professional concert series featuring renowned classical musicians from all over the world. The Creative Reactions Contest seeks to further PUC’s mission by connecting students to the arts and celebrating classical music’s unique contributions. The Creative Reactions Contest is dedicated to the memory of Vera Sharpe Kohn, a loyal member of the Princeton University Concerts Committee whose support and enthusiasm contributed to the health and well being of Princeton University Concerts.
The official announcement of the winners will be made at our final concert on Thursday, May 11 at 7PM. At that time, the winners will read their works. The 30-minute presentation will be hosted by Professor Scott Burnham and will also feature excerpts of the music that inspired these wonderful pieces of writing.
A complete press release announcing the winners works can be accessed here.
Congratulations to all of the winners!