Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Vinayak Vikram | 3rd Prize | Winds & Percussion | 10th Edition | ENKOR Int'l Music Competition


My recorder experience started at 6 with the Waldorf pentatonic recorder. In second grade, I started learning the soprano and alto recorders, and I now play tenor, bass and sopranino recorders as well. Music was primarily a hobby for me until I had my first orchestral experience, playing the Moldau by Smetana. This was the first piece that truly accelerated my passion for music and elevated it to a love. Toward the end of the same year, I arranged a segment the Moldau for alto, soprano and sopranino recorders and subsequently recorded it. The next significant event for me was in July 2023, where I performed as a soloist with a Baroque orchestra. The piece I performed was the third movement of Vivaldi's Recorder Concerto in C minor (RV 441). I realized at that time that the scope of repertoire for recorder is limited, and started arranging solo literature. I began with Sibelius’ Violin Concerto, followed by the Chaconne from Bach’s Partita in D minor. Recently, I arranged both of Mendelssohn’s Violin Concertos, Bach’s Concerto in A minor, and Sarasate’s Zigeunerweisen. In my free time, I love arranging and recording large-scale ensemble works for large recorder ensembles. I also record my own compositions.

My compositional style is modeled on the early romantic and classical eras, primarily Mozart and Mendelssohn. I also enjoy studying the works of Bach, Sibelius, and Tchaikovsky to learn about elements of composition that they used. I also founded and am the leader of the composition club at my school. My notable compositions are the first movement of a symphony in E major and quartets in D and G minor. My concertante works include recorder concertinos in A minor, E minor and D minor, and a concertino for violin in A minor. At the moment, I am working on a large-scale recorder concerto in E minor. 

My two current teachers are both wonderful and supportive people, but in differing ways. My recorder teacher allows me to explore, while sharing all the specialized knowledge she has to offer about the instrument. My violin teacher is a more involved person, using her expertise with the repertoire I am arranging to help me incorporate the musicality required by the repertoire. I joined the Virtual Menuhin School in the Spring of 2023, and have weekly violin and musicianship lessons.

Apart from music, I love robotics, chess, and nature walks. I often take my composition sketchbooks on my nature walks and campouts, and have found that some of my best melodic ideas have originated on them. I especially enjoy playing ensemble and orchestral music with my youth orchestra, various adult orchestras, and a recorder ensemble that I direct. My  primary musical ambition is to attract people back into the world of classical music through the works of the great composers, as well as increase the prominence of the recorder.

Chaconne from Partita in D minor by J.S. Bach; 7'34"

3rd movement of Violin Concerto in D minor, Op. 47 by J. Sibelius, 7' 33"