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The winning post

By | December 9, 2014 at 12:10 am | No comments

The news is that Elim Chan has been awarded first prize in the 2014 Donatella Flick LSO Conducting Competition. At the start of the day I really couldn't have told you which way the result would go – who would second guess a competition jury when the candidates all had...

Posted in: Donatella Flick LSO Conducting Competition Live Blog 2014

almost there

By | December 8, 2014 at 6:44 pm | No comments

That’s it, the rehearsals are over. Not only that, they are over 10 minutes early, thanks to Mihhail Gerts who generously lets the London Symphony Orchestra off the last part of his allotted time. So he certainly has the brownie points, not least because he also paid the...

Posted in: Donatella Flick LSO Conducting Competition Live Blog 2014

stravinsky was ‘ere

By | December 8, 2014 at 5:15 pm | No comments

Sure enough, we’re getting a fair amount of Stravinsky this afternoon. But Jiri Rozen wanted to tie up some loose ends with Scheherazade first – by the looks of it he spent the time after his morning appearance figuring out exactly which passages he felt most uncertain...

Posted in: Donatella Flick LSO Conducting Competition Live Blog 2014

rimsky business

By | December 8, 2014 at 2:12 pm | No comments

I have a confession: I find the first movement of Scheherazade quite the most tedious piece of music. Is it just me? Once the nice violin solo is out the way, it’s wave upon wave of unremitting string crossing and the same tune, which is only half a tune, isn’t it, when you...

Posted in: Donatella Flick LSO Conducting Competition Live Blog 2014

first up

By | December 8, 2014 at 12:09 pm | No comments

The first 50 minutes are up (I said earlier that the conductors each get 40 minutes per session, but it is in fact 50), and it is the Czech Jiri Rozen who has finished his first turn. A nice moment: after rehearsing a passage he drops his hands and says a big thankyou. The...

Posted in: Donatella Flick LSO Conducting Competition Live Blog 2014

Day 3: introduction (and an obvious pun)

By | December 8, 2014 at 10:07 am | No comments

The action today moves to the Barbican concert hall, and it’s the full might of the London Symphony Orchestra who will confront our plucky young conductors this morning. With half an hour or so to go before rehearsals begin, I’ve seen one of them wandering about the Barbican...

Posted in: Donatella Flick LSO Conducting Competition Live Blog 2014

The finalists are…

The finalists are…

By | December 7, 2014 at 6:19 pm | No comments

...Elim Chan, Jiri Rozen and Mihhail Gerts. Congratulations to all three, who now face a busy night preparing for the competition. Or will they decide, like the previous winner Alexandre Bloch, just to get a really good night's sleep? See you...

Posted in: Donatella Flick LSO Conducting Competition Live Blog 2014

Who will it be?

By | December 7, 2014 at 5:50 pm | No comments

It’s the final stretch of the gig for the Guildhall orchestra, the last hour of a pretty intensive two days. The last we see of the two soloists too. Personally, I love the Sibelius violin concerto so it was a pleasure to hear Rose Hsien play it so consistently well, and at...

Posted in: Donatella Flick LSO Conducting Competition Live Blog 2014

upright fashion

By | December 7, 2014 at 4:29 pm | No comments

The first part of the afternoon session is a tale of three upright men. I’m talking about posture, of course. Rafal Janiak, Mihhail Gerts and Giancarlo Rizzi are on the taller side anyway, but they all stand up straight. But you shouldn’t imagine that means they are rigid in...

Posted in: Donatella Flick LSO Conducting Competition Live Blog 2014

Eyes down

Eyes down

By | December 7, 2014 at 2:31 pm | No comments

I mentioned earlier that my vantage point today is in a balcony overlooking the stage at Milton Court. It’s a lot closer to the action than I was yesterday so I’m seeing things in much more detail. (One reason why I may have underestimated the beard count in round one – I...

Posted in: Donatella Flick LSO Conducting Competition Live Blog 2014

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