I arrived in New York on Thursday straight to a nice welcome lunch with Brian Zeger, leader of the exceptional programmes at Juilliard and the Metropolitan Opera which have produced a remarkable group of fine singers in recent years. And on Thursday evening I had dinner with my old friend and colleague from Chicago, Jim Gandre, now President of the Manhattan School of Music. He lives over the shop and above you can see the fine panorama he enjoys looking over the Hudson River.
And yesterday was auditions all day until 7pm . Early to bed, seven good hours sleep, and now another session of auditions from 10 am to 2 pm today.
So far in New York there is just one singer selected for the finals with a short list of those on the margins - on the waiting list which we will not begin to clear before we complete the auditions in London, Gothenburg and Munich. So mid June.........But I may have some other good ones from New York today. A first prize winner in 2013 was from New York - Nadine Sierra. And the winner in 2001 was Burak Bilgili who auditioned here. He was at the Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia at the time. Maybe New York will be productive again.
This evening I will be at Lincoln Centre for Susanna Mällki's debut programme with the New York Philharmonic - a nice Brahms programme with the bonus of a piece by Jonathan Harvey. Susanna was a colleague on the jury of the recent Nikolai Malko competition in Copenhagen. It will be so good to see her.