As the slow movement of Bartok’s Divertimento seeps to its silent close, day one of the 2014 Donatella Flick LSO Conducting Competition comes to an end.
Or at least the competitive part of it does, and 15 minutes earlier than scheduled due to the withdrawal of that one candidate.
Meanwhile, the jurors make their way out of the hall to come up with the list of ten they want to see again when the competition moves across the road to the Guildhall’s new prize and joy, the concert hall Milton Court. They, of course, are vastly more experienced in observing conductors and orchestras working (or not) together so naturally I’m keen to see if their choices match up with mine.
I’ll let you know how I get on, but for the record I reckon at this stage there are about five front-runners (with one I’d put a sneaky tenner on), five with a bit more to prove and the others a little further behind. I didn’t see any who were obviously much weaker, however (there were last time, two years ago, to my mind). I slightly regret that only one hinted at a noticeably eccentric character (I reckon they will get through), and only two women made it this far. Less seriously, there were only two beards… and an awful lot of menswear from Zara, it would seem!