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IU Violinist Frederieke Saeijs wins the Long-Thibaud International Violin Competition

The IU School of Music is pleased to announce that Artist Diploma violinist Frederieke Saeijs, a student of Mauricio Fuks, recently won the Long-Thibaud International Violin Competition in Paris. The prestigious event, with more than 60 competitors, was held October 21-31, 2005. The jury consisted of Koichiro Harada (president of the Jury, Japan) Guido Alberto Borciani (Italy) Roland Daugareil (France) Patrice Fontanarosa (France) Mauricio Fuks (Canada) Ulf Hoelscher (Germany) Liana Issakadze (Georgie/Germany) Jean-Jacques Kantorow (France) Josef Suk (Czech Republic).

In addition to being the overall winner, Saeijs won the prizes for Best Performance of the Concerto, Best Performance of the competition's commissioned work Pour Elia by Marc-Olivier Dupin, Best Performer (voted by students of the conservatories), and Best Performer (voted by the members of the Orchestre National de France). In total, her prizes amounted to more than 45,000 Euros.

Upon their return to Bloomington yesterday, Saeijs and Fuks were able to talk about their experience and the indescribable joy of their success. In some ways, though, the win didn't surprise Fuks, who stated that, "whatever the outcome, she was a clear winner for me. Her preparations were outstanding, instrumentally, musically, and psychologically." The excitement of the win was nothing short of exhilarating.

Saeijs exulted, "I still can't believe what just happened…I think I need to take a few more ice-cold showers before I can!" Speaking of her path towards this point in her life, she said that in September 2004, she began her studies with Professor Fuks in Bloomington. "I had met him during his master classes at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague (The Netherlands). The first semester in Bloomington, we worked on improving some aspects of my basic technique. I had to go back to zero and play scales and basic exercises for about two months. After that, we started to work slowly on some repertoire again. By the time of the spring semester (2005), we were looking for a challenge such as a competition to work towards as an inspiring motivation to become familiar and comfortable with the new aspects in the technique."

The task of preparation was an arduous one. She commented that "for the competition I had to prepare 12 works. In the summer, I followed Professor Fuks to his courses in Sarasota (Florida), Orford (Canada), Salzburg (Austria), and Villefavard (France) to continue working on the repertoire. Just before I left for Paris, I played three recitals at the IU School of Music to make myself comfortable with the pieces in a public setting."

And about the competition itself, she reflected that "it was great to be in the lively and artistic city Paris! And it was such a surprise for me to win the first prize. Of course, I dreamed about playing all the pieces I had prepared for the people in Paris, but I never expected that it would really happen."

As a result, Saeijs now has a chance to play to an ever-expanding audience, with recitals in France, Italy, Switzerland, and Germany. The competition will also present her as soloist with orchestras in France and Japan. "It is like a dream come true," she said.