My PRISMA experience was magical, as I think it was for everyone. What makes PRISMA special is how Arthur Arnold prioritizes performing with passion, energy and phrasing. For the PRISMA orchestra, it isn't just about putting the musical pieces together and playing in tune -- Arthur Arnold inspires students to take gutsy musical risks and play with heart so that we can reach audience members at a deep level. The orchestra's energy, "oneness" and the almost tangible connection with the audience gives me goosebumps, and has made a profound impact on me as a young conductor.
Furthermore, Powell River is a hidden gem, and the podium time was generous. There was nothing more I could have asked for from my PRISMA experience.
Tamara Dworetz, 2016 conducting student, Indiana University Bloomington, University of Texas, Austin
Learning So Much
The faculty really care about the students. We get so much attention and great opportunities—like being able to play alongside them—and then just the fact that so many coaches are at each sectional, basically the whole woodwind faculty. We’re getting input a mile a minute from all these amazing professionals. The faculty really care and I’m just learning so much from them.
I would love to do chamber music or get a job in an orchestra, and PRISMA is definitely helping with that, because I’m getting to play in an orchestra under an amazing conductor. Also, from the mock auditions that we’re having and the lessons with Roger Cole, I’m learning so much in such a short amount of time that I’ll be able to take with me and apply all year. It’s a lot of learning and it’s wonderful here.
Lydia Consilvio, 2016 oboe student, Yale School of Music
Love for Music
Home at last, but missing the wonderful place that I got to call home these last two weeks. I thought that I had known what to expect, this being my second year attending PRISMA, but the love that this community and these musicians have for music is so powerful, it blew me away again. Arthur Arnold's energy, passion, and love for music and just for life is infectious and all of us caught the bug. It's so easy to lose sight of why we are in this field when we are constantly competing and trying to win. What we sometimes forget is that we really do love this. And we have such a beautiful power in the form of music and we have to share that with everyone. It was such an honor to make beautiful music with such talented friends for such a wonderful community. See you next year, Powell River!
Maitreyi Muralidharan, 2014, 2015, 2016 violin student, Peabody Institute
It Includes So Much
The lessons at PRISMA make it more than only an orchestra project. You really have a lot of private lessons and masterclasses and excerpts and audition training. It includes so much.
Philipp Mellies, 2016 flute student, Conservatory of Amsterdam
Challenges You to Instantly Become Better
Playing in that caliber of an ensemble was incredible. Sitting next to world class players like that challenges you & pushes you to instantly become better. Watching them run rehearsals, interact with each other, exchange musical ideas (even when they didn't all agree), was definitely the most beneficial thing I was a part of at PRISMA. I wish I got to do that every day I was there!
Kelley Tracz, USA, 2016 student, University of Minnesota
Winning a Job
PRISMA 2014 is a fantastic festival. The orchestra rehearsals, audition training, concerto competition, and private lessons were exactly what I needed to be at my best to audition for and win my job with the Topeka Symphony.
Hannah Porter Occeña - Principal Flute, Topeka Symphony Orchestra, Royal Academy of Music, London
Unforgettable Prisma 2015
I felt myself the luckiest person yesterday night. Beside of playing with amazing people for the most enthusiast audiences, I got those beautiful flowers from the nicest conductor Arthur Arnold's hand!
It was such an honourable moment, thank you Maestro, it was an unforgettable Prisma 2015!
Güneş Hızlılar, 2015 harp student, Mozarteum Salzburg
Enthusiasm of the Audiences
Among many other things, the residents of Powell River, BC were one of my favourite parts of the festival. Just seeing the joy, excitement, and support that these people gave to the festival was amazing, and performances were made so much more enjoyable by the enthusiasm of the audiences.
Shannon Fitzhenry, PRISMA 2015 Concerto Competition Winner, Peabody Institute
The two weeks I spent at PRISMA were definitely the highlight of my summer. I could feel that this was a different sort of experience the minute I stepped off the plane onto the tarmac at the Powell River Airport and saw many members of the community holding up signs welcoming us to the town and PRISMA. The faculty were all very engaging, and they were always ready to help us with any questions that we had, whether it concerned orchestral auditions or solo repertoire. The orchestral program at PRISMA is top notch as well, and Maestro Arnold is a fantastic leader who is able to unite a group of students from all over the world for a common goal: to make beautiful music.
Nicholas Bentz, 2014, 2015 violin student, Peabody Institute
True Music Making
PRISMA is one of the few quality workshops that strives to create a safe, inspiring environment where egos are left at the door and true music making can happen.
Kyle Baldwin, 2014 conducting student, San Francisco State University
What a Privilege
I have always plotted escape from the distractions of the real world and a chance to completely immerse myself in music. That's what I found at PRISMA, from the moment I woke to the time my head hit the pillow super-saturated with Mahler and Bartok. Surrounded by the beautiful landscape of Powell River, and inspired by the teaching and example of musical masters, some of the greatest music ever written comes to life. It becomes our life, and we live in it, and it lives in us. And suddenly, we are a part of a new music – a symphony of life stretching back to the day the composer first set pen to manuscript, through time and history to our now, and beyond to those who will live and learn and play the music in every now that is yet to come. What a privilege!
Adrienne Joy Bassett - 2014 harp student, Bard College
I can’t overstate the value of my experience with Arthur Arnold and the Orchestra Academy. I had the chance to both study and perform with some of the greatest orchestral musicians in the world from orchestras including Chicago Symphony, LA Philharmonic, and others. The benefits were immediate. Since the course I have won three auditions for principal cello in orchestras around the world, something I could never have imagined beforehand!
Charles Brooks, Cello, Orquesta Municipal de São Paulo, 2009 student, Victoria University of Wellington, Griffith University
Essential Orchestral Playing Skills
The musical experience in Powell River was an important step in my musical development. The faculty challenged me to make music from my heart in every note that I played. From the very beginning, all the teachers were supportive and devoted to helping us grow as musicians and as people. The music that we played will always hold a special place in my heart because of the memories attached to them. Lastly, it provided me with essential orchestral playing skills and introduced me to great repertoire like Berlioz's Symphony Fantastique. Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 4, and Rachmaninoff's 3rd Piano Concerto.
Calvin Chan, USA, 2012 Student, Eastman School of Music
I'm currently in Auckland about to take my first professional audition, and if it wasn't for the audition training I received in Powell River, I probably would not have had the courage to book my plane ticket and play the audition! I will certainly apply again, and wanted to thank you for an experience I will never forget.
Emma L. Knight, Australia, 2012 student, University of Melbourne, Australia
Made possible by the Government of British Columbia, BC Arts Council, City of Powell River, PR Regional District, PR Community Foundation, PR Community Forest, RBC Emerging Artists Fund and the Powell River Council for Arts and Culture.