Last night, after a pleasant cappucino with our Grand Prize Winner Richard Birdsall we headed back to the hotel. I ran up to my room, grabbed Richards score and we sat down for a couple of hours and talked about this wonderful thing he has created. I repeatedly asked him why he chose to do this particular balance or that particular instrument combination and his answer was consistant: 'I thought it would sound good' This young man has a lot of very natural, organic ability. We spent quite a lot of time talking about what was most successful and less successful in his score. I was trying to focus his ear for the presentation of his first live work.
We met Gary for breakfast this morning and then headed over to the hall for the final dress rehearsal. Both Gary and I breathed a big sigh of relief to see that the various strategies we employed to facilitate the best possible performance seem to be working. Richards parents joined us for the reheasal and we headed to the balcony seats. The final dress rehearsal is usually in concert order as it was this morning so Richard's piece was first. Flanked by his parents and sister the four of them sat in awe of the moment. It was a truly beautiful experience. This is why we are musicians. A 19 year old kid, for a moment, united his family in something extremely touching. Both Gary and I feel that it was all worth it for that moment.
Its 3:45 in Olomouc right now. The concert is in 3 hours and 15 minutes and we are all very excited. We hope you will tune in to the internet broadcast or rebroadcast.