Bass Alumnus Takes on Coveted Audition in Sweden

Jonathan Reed earns two-month trial with the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic.

As part of the audition process, Jonathan Reed took the stage with the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic for a concert at the Konserthuset Concert House in Stockholm, Sweden.
After the concert, Jonathan joined his parents Steven Reed and Susan Dietrich-Reed on stage to capture the proud moment.

Jonathan Reed came the closest he’s ever been to realizing his dream when he flew nearly 5,000 miles across the ocean to Sweden.

For the last two months of 2016, the MSU College of Music alumnus and double bassist performed as a trial member of the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra as part of a rigorous application process. While he didn’t secure a permanent post, Reed has no regrets. Instead, he takes pride in being accepted for an audition, and in being among the finalists for an open position with the esteemed orchestra.

“Having this experience just confirmed that this is what I want to do,” says Reed, who earned his bachelor’s in music performance in 2009. “It was so important to me to have success like that and to realize the possibility is there to be in an orchestra full-time.”

Jack Budrow, Reed's lead professor at MSU, concurred that even getting an audition with the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic is astonishingly difficult, let alone being selected as a finalist.

“The professional orchestral market is very tight,” says Budrow, a professor of double bass. “You have to be in the top two percent of musicians to get an audition, and then it’s a blind audition by committee with several rounds. I was extremely proud of him.”

Reed says his experience at MSU and his studies with Budrow gave him the skills and confidence to pursue a career as a professional musician. Today, he’s a fellow at the New World Symphony in Miami Beach, Fla.—a renowned orchestral academy that prepares highly gifted graduates of distinguished music programs for leadership roles in orchestras and ensembles worldwide. Reed is also a freelance double bassist and a registered Suzuki bass instructor.

“I grew fast in those four years,” says Reed. “MSU taught me how to think and to problem solve and allowed me to be around people who were in other disciplines. But the highlights were my lessons with Budrow. He was an inspiration and always lit up the room with being amazingly positive.”

Budrow shared a similar sentiment on his former student, as well as the other students he teaches through his studio each year.

“Bassists have to learn the technique of the instrument and the repertoire, and they often learn and practice in a solitary way,” says Budrow “It’s a lot of hard work, and Jon is one of those people who proves that. He’s an extremely talented guy.”

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