Aram Khachaturian Cello Competition: Day 1

Today has been a predictably demanding day at the AKHIC Cello Competition: eight soloists presenting a 40 minute recital featuring a mixed programme of ‘set works’ from which one piece is obligatory and the others can be chosen from the competition list.

Hearing multiple instrumentalists play the same work reveals the complexity of the performance demanded of musicians. It’s a punishing work for musicians and judges alike but utterly enthralling for the rest of us in the audience. 

Of the eight competitors I’ve heard today, I have already identified a personal favourite of mine who played the Schubert Arpeggionne Sonata first movement exquisitely), one who I’m really keen to see play a Beethoven sonata, and two others I think are a definite for the next round.

There are two others who are my personal wildcards – they didn’t blow me away so to speak, but there were moments where they shone expressively and whom I’d like to see perform again.

I’ve decided not to name anyone in these blog posts I’m writing until the announcement for the next round has been made (on Friday evening) – there’s an intimate feel to the competition and I’m staying in the same hotel as jury and competitors. So you know, for the sake of my breakfast I think its best. 

I’ve also experimented committing some of my thoughts to a vlog (see above). I used to make these kind of things a lot ten years ago, so its been nice to revisit the format. I’m not entirely sure it works nor whether I can publish one every day, but any feedback on that front would be much appreciated.

The first round of the Aram Khachaturian Cello Competition runs until Thursday 14 June 2018. Follow me on Instagram and Twitter for the latest updates. 

The Thoroughly Good Blog is an independent blog celebrating classical music and the arts. Please consider supporting its development in 2018 by giving a donation using this PayPal.

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