23 January ~ the fourth day in Hannover

Eberhard, amateur pianist and founder of the Berlin Amateur Competition, shares our passion of giving amateurs opportunities to express their love of making music. He and Richard want to organize a federation of international amateur competitions to enhance networking and coordination of events.

The world of music is like any other ~ small and connected. Here we saw Maria Mazo, 2005 Cliburn Competitor, who is studying at the Hochschule in Hannover and had a master class with Veda Kaplinsky. She shares a bite with Marcello when she came to say hello at a reception for the Jury and celebration for Richard’s birthday.

And we all sang ~ HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

Steinway is a wonderful sponsor and partner! Steinway provides pianos for the recitals in all the venues. Gerrit travelled from Hamburg, international headquarters for Steinway, to greet the Cliburn delegation and to hear the performances.

Friday evening, the hall was filled ~ not an empty seat! Throughout the day, audiences were coming to support their various favorites. One doesn’t have to know the spoken language to understand the appreciation of an artist and a performance. There definitely was a buzz ~ bravos and numerous curtain calls for several of the competitors. Truly, this was a day and night of exquisite performances.

Saturday is the last day in Hannover. We leave early Sunday morning for St. Petersburg; therefore it may be a few days before I get back to the blog. Everyone is well ~ thank goodness! Alann

Hannover ~ the half way point at the Hochschule auditions

The Hochschule in Hannover, one of Germany’s prestigious music conservatories, welcomed the Cliburn Screening Jury with a warm reception following a Press Conference which featured an interview of Richard for German television and interviews with Veda and Richard for German radio. The Hochschule has made a great effort to publicize this event which will fill the hall for the entire week; these lively posters are everywhere on campus.

Audiences crowd to see the schedules for the first day of afternoon and evening auditions.

Applicants are coming to Hanover for the auditions from many countries: Belgium, Canada, Finland, Georgia, Germany, Great Britain, Japan, Korea, Russia, Spain, Ukraine. This international representation gives much meaning to the spirit of the Cliburn ~ the power of cultural diplomacy.

All bundled up for the walk to the Hochschule. John is proud of his new hat, and Marcello sports a special sparkle ~ always!

On Tuesday, competitors showed off many composers, even though Chopin headed the list; in one evening there were performances of his Twelve Etudes ~ Opus 25 and Opus 10. The audiences are enthusiastic and applaud warmly, calling back their favorites for two or three bows. Thursday night, it was almost a full house, as many came to encourage ‘the home team’, Hannover Hochschule artists.

Richard tells Linda Engelhardt how much we appreciate all the arrangments and hospitalaity she made possible at the Hochschule for the Cliburn Auditions.

Richard tells Linda Engelhardt how much we appreciate the arrangements and hospitality she made possible at the Hochschule for the Cliburn Auditions.

Linda and Richard served together on the Executive Committee of the World Federation of International Competitions for many years. Linda is recently retired Executive Director of the Celle Violin Competition. She encouraged the Hochschule in Hannover to roll out the red carpet for the Cliburn. Wonderful success!

As a matter of protocol as Chairman of the Competition, it is not proper for me to comment on the performances. I am anxious not to show any preference that I shy away from taking photographs of applicants backstage or pacing the halls waiting to go on stage. However, I do want to note the high level of talent, the earnestness and desire of these young artists to communicate and to share their incredible gifts. There have been many memorable moments. I wish all could share in the experience. Alann