Aram Khachaturian Cello Competition: Day 4

There was an incident on day four. I was the cause of it. See my confession in the video below. I felt very very ashamed. Very ashamed. 

That aside, a cracking day hearing Beethoven 3 and Brahms 2 under the fingers of spirited players whose performances widened and made hands sore.

A note about today’s video

I’m reminded that I’ve reached the age where long hair really doesn’t suit me. It’s thinning. You can see that. I can see that. It’s embarrassing. If I’m daring, I’ll get it done here. If not, I’ll make the first thing I do when I get back to London.

Observations from the second round

A couple of slightly surreal moments stick in my mind.

First, seeing from auditorium seat one competitor post-performance pacing up and down on the phone outside a cafe whilst the next performer was on stage.

Then later, while the jury deliberated seeing each of the semi-finalists walk back to the building to get the results. It was like waiting to get my final degree results in Lancaster in 1994. Nerve-wracking, exciting and very public.

The highlight of the second round has undoubtedly been discovering the Brahms No. 2 sonata – my new favourite thing. I love the shameless exploitation of harmonic progressions that mess with the emotions. Textures too. The pizzicatos in the second movement, and the growly string playing that accompanies those ‘four big chords’ in the first movement make this a riveting watch.

The finalists

Two finalists will perform concertos on Tuesday and Wednesday next week. The finalists and the works they’re performing are: 

Fedor Amosov (RUS) – Tuesday 12 June – Khachaturian Concerto-Rhapsody
Rustem Khamidullin (RUS) – Tuesday 12 June – Khachaturian Concerto-Rhapsody
Chae-Won Hong (SKR) – Wednesday 13 June – Khachaturian Cello Concerto
Jonathan Swensen (DEN) – Wednesday 13 June – Khachaturian Concerto-Rhapsody

Watch all of the daily reports from the Aram Khachaturian Cello Competition on YouTube.

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