Guitarists Kimberlee Fischer and Scott Mitchell Jr. are used to receiving feedback from their music instructors at Lincoln-Way East High School as well as clinicians at various competitions.
They never dreamed they would hear from a famous composer, however.
But that’s exactly what happened when a fan videotaped their performance of Per-Olov Kindgren’s difficult piece “A Dream” at a recent school concert and posted it on YouTube.
“WOW! What a nice surprise and gift,” the Swedish classical guitarists, composer and music teacher wrote in the comment section below the video. “I am really impressed how well you play this rather difficult piece! Thank you both from the bottom of my heart!”
The young musicians, as well as their instructor, Lincoln-Way East music teacher Michael Teare, were shocked to see Kindgren’s response.
“We receive feedback all the time from community members,” said Teare. “On occasion, we perform for various clinicians, who are usually college guitar professors, and the feedback is always positive. This is the first time that our students have received feedback from the actual composer of a piece and also the first time that we have received feedback from someone outside of North America. I thank Scott and Kim for bringing international attention to our guitar program. I could not think of two finer ambassadors of our school.”
Scott decided to engage the Swedish composer further by thanking him for his feedback.
“Thank you so much,” he wrote Kindgren. “It means a lot hearing that from the composer himself. I agree that it is deceivingly difficult. We’ve interpreted the unmarked dynamics so many different ways while learning this piece, and I even added some random colors spontaneously during the performance! It was an absolute pleasure of ours playing your music in front of nearly 1,000 people!”
Teare also contacted Kindgren via email to thank him for his kind words. The composer responded with inquiries about East’s music program.
“I hope to remain in communication with Mr. Kindgren and in the event that he visits the United States, I hope that Lincoln-Way is a place that he would like to visit,” said Teare. “I truly hope that we are able to maintain a relationship with Mr. Kindgren in some fashion.”
Scott is already planning to learn another Per-Olov Kindgren piece, “Suite del Sur,” and to possibly perform it at a future school concert.
“I hope to buy Suit del Sur on your website and perhaps perform it at our guitar class’s next concert,” he wrote Kindgren.
The video of Kimberlee and Scott’s performance can be found at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1UvpfE-OXUQ.