Volume 8 / Chapter 260
The house was much simpler than expected. He thought that it might be a tremendous mansion because it is in an area where only the super rich live, but there wasn’t even a swimming pool. Instead, there was a large forest reminiscent of a park.
“But Amelia, what’s that other building on the side?”
Jun Hyuk was pointing at a building far from the main house.
“Oh, your studio. I put all of the audio, recording, and instruments in there. Oh right. The audio system is a gift from me to you. I spent all the money I made playing piano all year until my fingernails fell out, so treat it how you treat me. And I made the basement into a recording studio. I won’t even go near it, so it’s completely a place of your own.”
Jun Hyuk smiled from ear to ear and walked toward the annex building when Amelia yelled.
“You want to die? You’re going to go to your studio without seeing our bedroom first? I’m going to bulldoze it.”
Amelia was not able to spend even 10 days in the bedroom she loved so much. She went back to her routine and had to start living like a nomad with her manager again. What had changed was that she was getting around more comfortably without having to take longer routes with Jun Hyuk’s private plane.
After Amelia left, Jun Hyuk’s life was just him going back and forth between his studio at home and the studio at the JS Center.
Unlike Jun Hyuk’s simple life, the outside was noisy with his news everyday.
When it was revealed that they would be establishing an orchestra for JS Center and the details came out, professional musicians and conservatory students in classical music were stirred up.
Everyone’s jaws dropped at the salary that was three times the amount of other orchestra and Jun Hyuk was said to be the conductor for life, but it was also because of the recruitment ad that obviously showed who the owner of the orchestra is.
It hinted that the main repertoire would be Jun Hyuk’s works and the best treatment and working environment would be provided, but they need to agree to the condition that they can be fired at any time if they do not show improvement and development if they want to apply.
It was unconventional that there will not be any separation in aspects like 1st or 2nd performer, and positions will change frequently with the pieces they perform.
It was also unusual that the audition will not look at names or experience, and progress with registration numbers. The intent to look only at current ability showed clearly.
Applying was just leaving an e-mail and instrument part on JS Center’s temporary homepage. The purpose of the e-mails was only to notify applicants of the audition date and time.
Tens of thousands of people applied, including the truly strong musicians, those who call themselves exceptional, performers who are not that great, and those who applied because of the money.
“This is troublesome. It’ll take 1 year to audition all of these people.”
“Isaac. We would need to see 100 people every single day to make it in a year. It was reckless not to look at experience.”
“100 people in a day? That’s not realistic either. We’ll need to hold auditions for at least 2 years.”
“Exactly. Even though it’s Maestro Jun’s orchestra, we should have persuaded him.”
President Stern and the staff racked their brains for a method, but nothing clear came out. There was something that they were forgetting however. That is Jun Hyuk himself.
“What are you thinking about so hard? We should be done in a week at most.”
“What? One week? How?”
“200 people can fit in the basement studio. We can have rounds of 200 people perform for 10 minutes by instrument parts, and pick from there. I’m just worried there won’t be able performers in the entire number of applicants.”
At first, no one knew what Jun Hyuk was talking about. However, they all hit their knees and started laughing.
“I see. We were forgetting the maestro’s incredible listening skills.”
The first day of auditions was the violin. The thousands of people who gathered at JS Center with their violin cases were surprised by the number of people auditioning. There was even bustling when they discovered a known violinist among them.
The first 200 people were called in numerical order and took the elevator down to the basement studio. Their jaws dropped at the tremendous scale of the huge studio.
Staff members escorted 200 violinists into the recording booth, and they looked at each other bustling. At first, they thought that they were going to be told how the auditions would proceed. However, the way they were evenly spaced out in the room felt like they were in position as an orchestra, so they felt even more nervous.
Shortly after, the recording booth door opened and the famous young maestro came in. Jun Hyuk stood on the podium and spoke in a businesslike manner.
“A score will come up on the screen momentarily. When I send the signal, play according to that score. If you miss my signal and start late or early, you will be eliminated automatically. Missing the conductor’s signal is a mistake that not even amateurs make.”
When Jun Hyuk raised both of his arms, the applicants put their violins to their chins and prepared to move their bows at any time.
As Jun Hyuk said, a score came up on the screen. But it is music that they are seeing for the first time. While they tried to read over the score quickly, Jun Hyuk’s baton moved.
The applicants did their very best not to lose the score and Jun Hyuk’s baton. However, they quickly realized that the baton would simply help them keep the beat.
When the 10 minute performance ended, Jun Hyuk used his baton to sort out the applicants.
“Number 4, 36, 168….. These people stay behind and the rest can go back. Thank you.”
The 200 people were in a state of confusion after Jun Hyuk’s dry announcement of the results because they could not figure out what was going on. The 3 people whose numbers were called were also bewildered.
“Um Maestro. I’m sorry, but is this the audition?”
While the eliminated violinists were packing their violins and leaving the recording booth, someone burst out in discontent.
“Of course it is right that the decision is made based according to the maestro’s standards… but isn’t this too much?”
“What’s too much?”
Jun Hyuk frowned and looked at the applicant who was objecting to his method.
“200 people played a song that they saw for the first time and you choose from among them? Honestly, this is the first time I’ve seen an audition like this. It’s hard to accept its fairness.”
“Fairness… What’s your number?”
“Then you performed from that spot, right?”
“You missed 2 notes, 3 fingering mistakes, you lost the tempo once. Even if it’s the first time you’re seeing this score, you made all of these mistakes in a short 10 minutes… If I were you, I’d disappear quietly out of embarrassment. Don’t you think you’re being shameless?”
Number 143 gulped under Jun Hyuk’s sharp reproach. While he could not say anything, the other applicants had looks of disbelief.
It may be difficult if all of the instruments are different, there are conductors who are able to pick out where mistakes were made. But they are all violins with the same timbre. He not only pointed out that something was strange, but how many mistakes were made and how many times. The impossible was happening in front of them.
“And Number 143, you’re left handed?”
“Excuse me? Yes. That’s… that’s right.”
“Left handed people need to hold the elbow of the hand with the bow 3 to 5 centimeters higher than right handed people do. That’s how a clear sound comes out. Unless you fix that, you won’t pass any auditions.”
The candidates froze as they were leaving the recording booth. He picked up on not only mistakes, but that the performer is left-handed?
“The audition is fair. And I hope the people who passed understand that this is just the 1st round. Not even I know how many rounds there will be. If there is anyone else who has a problem with the way our auditions are being held, speak up. Just keep in mind that you might hear something more harsh.”
Everyone except the 3 people whose numbers were called, left the studio as though running away. The 3 who passed were so tense that they wanted to follow after them as well. Performing under a conductor like that?
Their burden reached its peak.
When the 2nd group of candidates came down, there were far less people.
“Huh? Why are there so few people?”
Less than 100 people were holding their violins and waiting for him.
“They all left. The people who were just eliminated told them how the auditions are held… and one candidate revealed that he used to be with the Munich Philharmonic. It seems they made a fuss and ran away.”
“Then these are all of the violin candidates left over?”
This was not just the case with violinists. When talk of the 1st day of auditions spread on the internet and social media, only a little over 100 people out of tens of thousands of applicants showed up for each instrument.
Due to this, they were able to hold higher quality auditions with great performers. 82 people passed the auditions until the 3rd round, and they became the founding members of Jun Hyuk’s orchestra.
They moved to New York a month later and stepped back into the large studio in JS Center again.