The process of reducing the candidates by a further 50% yesterday took time! The collective wisdom of the jury eventually crystallised and we decided on Giedre Slekyte (Lithuania), Stilian Kirov (Bulgaria), Risto Joost (Estonia), David Niemann (Germany), Jesko Sirvend (Germany), and Tung-Chieh Chuang (Taiwan)
However it could really have gone many other ways, and the disappointed candidates will know very well that a competition, a tiny moment in time, is not something to fret about. And the eventual winner should make no assumptions. It is worth pointing out that the winner of the recent LSO Donatella Flick competition was one of yesterday's disappointed candidates.
The real competition, if competition is what you are looking for, is out there in the profession, making music and inspiring colleagues to achieve excellence on a daily basis. And each of these young people, winners or not, will face these daily challenges in their careers to come - joys and frustrations in equal measure no doubt........some of them will go on to great things in the public eye, others may have more deeply satisfying careers keeping the flame of music alight in cities and communities nearer to home.
So today we will go from six down to three! And it will take us all day to get there. The individual jury members have a different take on what it is that makes a conductor. My opera colleague Dominique Meyer and I think opera of course! And an opera conductor tends to develop a wider range of personal attributes, and certainly needs to. We have members of the orchestra on our jury, a handful of conductors including our really special jury president Sakari Oramo. And we have orchestra managers whose daily preoccupation is ensuring that the podium is occupied by the best of the best. By 5:30 this afternoon we should see some light!
Remember you can keep in touch with our "progress" through the Malko website.