We’re into the final session of today’s rehearsals and it’s Stamatia Karampini who gets to round things off. She has a fair amount of work to do in her 50 minutes – her three movements of Prokfiev and the Weber overture (itself getting on for 10 minutes in duration). Is there a note of tension in the air, a slight sense of discomfort, of things being on edge? The players will certainly be aware of time ticking by and although there’s no question that they are worried about not being able to play the notes this evening, they will know she’ll be at a disadvantage if she doesn’t get at least a run-through of all the pieces. And contrary to what some believe, musicians are a sympathetic bunch really.
Sure enough, Mackenzie, chair of the judges, has a word with the orchestra leader and then with Karampini herself to remind her that the rehearsal must finish on time.
But she has just a few bars of Prokofiev to get through, which she and the orchestra do without any further alarm. Then it’s quickly over to the overture for the last few minutes. The players know this well, especially having played it with the other conductors, but it doesn’t leave Karampini much time to print her ideas on it. She’s leaving herself a lot to do in the concert itself, when, needless to say, she won’t be able to shout out instructions, or stop. And if there are any hiccups that crop up in the rehearsal, she’ll have very little time to soothe them.