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Taran Plamondon, AB

Edmonton , Alberta , CANADA

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01. How old were you when you started playing your instrument?/ Quel âge aviez-vous quand vous avez commencé à jouer votre instrument ?

02. Why did you choose your instrument?/ Pourquoi avez-vous choisi cet instrument ?
My grade 7 band teacher lent each student a trumpet and the clarinet, to see if each student was better suited to a brass or a woodwind instrument. My clarinet playing was passable but my trumpet playing was horrendous, so initially I thought a single-reed instrument like the saxophone might be a good choice for me. Yet there was something compelling about the horn that made me gravitate towards it instead; maybe the gorgeous mellow sound, the exciting "cuivré" sound, even the sheer challenge of playing it well and understanding how it works.

03. Describe some of your professional goals./Décrivez quelques-unes de vos ambitions professionnelles.
I want to become the best hornist I can possibly be, and eventually I hope to win an orchestral position. I also love chamber music, in particular woodwind quintet. As a composer, I think I have something interesting to offer and hope I can continue to get commissions here and there. I also want to learn how to write a solid fugue.

04. What are your other interests and/or hobbies?/ Quels sont vos autres intérêts ou passe-temps?
Sometimes I have to remind myself there's more to life than music. In no particular order: I enjoy board games with friends, sipping tea, classic Rollercoaster Tycoon, going to art galleries, and lately I've started learning German (fueled by a desire to understand Mahler's convoluted tempo markings!).

05. Do you write/arrange your own music?/ Êtes-vous compositeur ou arrangeur de votre propre musique ?
Yes indeed - I've written music for several chamber ensembles, as well as the Edmonton Symphony!

06. Who is your favourite classical musician?/ Quel est votre artiste (musicien) préféré ?
Radek Baborák. Or Gail Williams. Or Bramwell Tovey. Too difficult to choose just one!

07. What is your favourite piece of music?/ Quel est votre morceau préféré ?
I'm a sucker for Debussy's Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune.

08. What is your favourite concerto for your instrument?/ Quel est votre concerto préféré pour votre instrument?
Reinhold Glière's op. 91. For now.

10. What made you decide to pursue classical music?/ Pourquoi avez-vous choisi une formation en musique classique ?
A combination of interest, ambition, and stubborn defiance. I come from a family with virtually no classical music lineage, and I've lived all my life in a very pragmatic-minded prairie province that (on the whole) does not value the arts as much as I would like it to. As my interest in classical music grew, my practicing became more intense, and I began to reject the notion of a "financially stable" career as simply uninteresting to me. If I'm going to be spending the majority of my time doing something, I want it to be something fascinating, fulfilling and unpredictable.

11. What do you think is the biggest challenge you face in your pursuit of a career in music?/ Quel est le plus grand obstacle à surmonter afin de poursuivre une carrière en musique ?
Comparing myself to others, especially in audition settings. It's easy to forget that musical skill isn't a linear scale. I could very well win an audition against a much more talented player than I, simply because they had an off-day; on the other hand, I could just as easily lose an audition to a much less experienced player if I have an off-day.

12. Why did you choose to apply to NYO Canada?/ Pourquoi avez-vous choisi de poser votre candidature pour NYO Canada?
It has been a goal to get into NYO Canada since grade 12, when I heard about it from my horn teacher.

13. How do you feel you will benefit from participation in NYO Canada?/ Comment bénéficierez-vous de votre participation dans le programme de NYO Canada?
I had the privilege to get a lesson from Gabriel Radford at the end of April, and although it was only an hour the way he teaches really resonated with me. I really look forward to studying under him more this summer at NYOC. Also, I believe this is a great opportunity to form new meaningful friendships and connections.

14. Were you accepted to any other summer music programs this year?/ Avez-vous été accepté/e à tout autre programme musical estival cette année?
Domaine Forget, PRISMA and Orchestre de la Francophonie (I wish I could do them all!)

15. If you weren’t touring with the NYO Canada, what would you be doing during the summer?/ Si vous n’étiez pas en tournée avec NYO Canada, que feriez-vous cet été?
I would likely be at some combination of PRISMA, VSOIW, Orchestre de la Francophonie, and/or at home, composing up a storm.

16. What was the proudest moment of your music career thus far?/ Jusqu’ici, quel est le moment de votre carrière musicale qui vous a apporté le plus de fierté?
Aside from finally getting into NYO Canada, probably hearing my orchestral overture, "Flight," premiered by the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra.

18. What awards, if any, have you won in the past year?/ Quels prix, le cas échéant, avez-vous remporté au cours de la dernière année?
The University of Alberta Symphonic Wind Ensemble Concerto Competition.