The following post is an excerpted version of a longer essay about Stella’s experience as a contestant in the 2019 Antonín Dvořák Composition Competition.
Imagine this. You’re alone in an attic. Holed up for eight hours a day, for the next five days. The hot sun bakes into your skin through a narrow window. English is not a familiar language. The only objects: a baby grand Steinway Piano and a large envelope with instructions. This was my reality this summer. This was my dream come true.