Undeniably, Unforgettably Moved by Music

Guest blog post by Reed Tetzloff

2013 Artist Division Semifinalist
2014 Artist Division Finalist

The French writer Léon Bloy once said, “Man has places in his heart which do not yet exist, and into them enters suffering, in order that they may have existence.”  During my adolescence, a symphonic masterpiece which moves from deep suffering to glorious redemption engendered one of those places in my heart.

We’ve all played Beethoven’s Ode to Joy – on the recorder in third grade – and I even witnessed a lady humming it as she left the polling place one Election Day, with made-up lyrics that clearly hinted at her candidate.  In preparing to write this blog entry, I was asked to think of some of my earliest memories of concert-going, but I could barely think past the frigid February evening in 2006 when I heard the Minnesota Orchestra play the real thing, the great Ninth Symphony.  I was already fourteen, and had been playing the piano for almost ten years, but it was the first time I was undeniably, unforgettably moved by music.  It’s as if that experience divided my musical memory bank in half: before the 9th and after.

it was the first time I was undeniably, unforgettably moved by music.

I sat in the third row, right behind Minnesota’s beloved conductor, Osmo Vanska, who led a performance both crisp and immense.  I was stunned by the sweeping first movement, the high-voltage Scherzo, an Adagio like the embrace of God, and, of course, the famous choral finale which breaks free of the world.  From that night on, I have tried to somehow chase after that experience in my own studies and the way I approach music.  The goal is elusive, perhaps never completely attainable, but the pursuit of it is forever rewarding.

About Reed

Reed Tetzloff made his Lincoln Center debut at Alice Tully Hall in 2011 and has been presented at the Kaufman Center’s Merkin Concert Hall in a solo recital debut in 2012. Past orchestral engagements include performances with the Lake Superior Chamber Orchestra, Mississippi Valley Orchestra, and the Minnesota Orchestra. He has given solo recitals in the United States, as well as at both the China Conservatory of Music and Peking University in Beijing.

Mr. Tetzloff has taken first prize in the Beijing International Music Festival and Academy Concerto Competition, the American Protégé and Bradshaw and Buono Competitions, as well as and the silver medal in the Schimmel International Competition. He has appeared on NPR’s From the Top, and has had performances aired on Minnesota Public Radio and WQXR New York.


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