Behind the scenes at an orchestral audition

Posted on: July 9, 2012

In the July issue of Boston magazine, Jennie Dorris writes, “It’s close to 5 o’clock on a late afternoon in January when Mike Tetreault, a tall, lanky redhead, turns off Massachusetts Avenue and enters Symphony Hall through a side door. He checks in with the security guard and then heads for the basement, wrestling with more than 150 pounds of gear (mallets, snare drums, tambourines) in a backpack and a roller bag. The rest of the instruments he’ll need tonight will be supplied by the Boston Symphony Orchestra. He’s an hour and a half early. … At 33, Tetreault was putting in 100-hour weeks on a patchwork of gigs he’d pieced together … Waiting for his practice room in Symphony Hall, Tetreault reminds himself that if he can win a spot with the BSO, his very existence will be transformed. … The classical audition ranks among the world’s toughest job interviews. Each applicant has 10 minutes at most to play in a way so memorable that he stands out among a lineup of other world-class musicians. … Mark Volpe, managing director of the Boston Symphony, sums up the audition process this way: ‘I want someone to be so brilliant that there’s no question.’ ” The article follows Tetreault’s preparation process and audition itself, which eventually proved unsuccessful.

Posted July 9, 2012