First of all, I must say, “Thank you very much” for all of you who have visited All is Yar since I began it twenty one days ago. I’m glad you have taken some of your busy time to see what I’ve shared, and I hope you come back often. Special thanks must go to these four people:
- Timothy Mangan, music critic and writer extraordinaire, for not only putting up with my comments on his blog for many years, but for discovering All is Yar in its infancy and taking the time to comment before any one else did.
- Brian (Out West Arts) and Lisa Hirsch (Iron Tongue of Midnight), longtime voices of musical opinion here on the West Coast, both of whom generously welcomed me into the blogosphere with mentions on their own well-visited sites.
- MarK, the distinguished and frequent contributor (via comments) on many well known musical sites — including all three mentioned above — and with whom I’ve had the pleasure to share some comments on these sites, for bringing his musical expertise, intelligence and wit to bear by joining in discussion at All is Yar too.
- Two crowd favorites, pianists Alexander Lubyantsev and Eduard Kunts, were eliminted before reaching the finals; Kunts didn’t even make it out of the first round. The crowd has not been shy about its disapproval.
- Pressure has apparently been applied on competition chairman, Valery Gergiev, to step in to influence (and perhaps overrule) the jury; so far, he has declined to do so.
- The use of an electronic scoring device has drawn criticism by many, including noted violinist and conductor, Vladimir Spivakov.
- Conductor Mark Gorenstein resigned after racist remarks he made about Armenian cellist, Narek Hakhnazaryan. The competition issued its own apology.
- The competition has been streaming performances online. While other obligations have prevented me from viewing much of it so far, I am making a point to watch the Gala Concerts tomorrow and the next day showcasing the competition winners
- Colburn School
seniorgraduate and California native, Nigel Armstrong, is one of the violin finalists. The student of Robert Lipsett, renowned violin pedagogue, has already won a 2,000 Euro prize for best chamber concerto performance. Bob Thomas (Class Act) has been tracking Armstrong’s progress throughout the competition and provided a review of his final round concert.
I’ll provide an update once winners are announced.