On Saturday, February 6, at noon, the Conservatory held the Spring 2016 Conservatory Concerto Competition. The field of nine—reduced to seven by a couple of late cancellations—was exceptionally strong, and the small crowd that gathered in Whitman Theatre was treated to many beautiful performances. The soloists’ instruments were as many and varied as the pieces performed and presented the judges with several potential winners. In the end, however, it was the haunting playing of Hila Zamir, performing Stephen Hartke’s Clarinet Concerto, Landscapes with Blues, that won the day. Professor Rothman, who directs the competition each year, was ebullient in his praise for all the musicians and their performances: Dear All, I am very pleased to report that we had a wonderful Concerto Competition this Saturday afternoon with a robust and diverse group of contestants. I would like to thank our fine judges who served this year, Alexie Lewis and Bruce MacIntyre, who awarded our professional studies student clarinetist Hila Zamir as this year’s winner. Hila won with an outstanding performance of Stephen Hartke’s Clarinet Concerto and will perform the work on the Orchestra’s April 8 concert in Whitman Theatre. I hope you will join me in congratulating all of our outstanding contestants—Dwayne Beach, Louis Carrollo, Laurence Cummings, Samuel Parsons, Matthew Rosenthal, and Kyulee Seo—who performed beautifully and deserve special recognition for their hard work preparing for this competition. Thank you, George Rothman We look forward to a fine performance of this daring work by Ms. Zamir, an advanced diploma candidate in the conservatory’s new Professional Studies Program, with the orchestra, on a program that will also feature Schubert’s Overture in E minor and Sibelius’ Symphony No. 6.