30.5. Gap day busy, too

Today is a ‘gap day’ between the first and second rounds. However, this doesn’t mean there’s not something going on all the time. The second-rounders began their hall rehearsals at nine this morning on the dot. This time each contestant has 45 minutes in which to practise in the Sibelius Academy Concert Hall. Annica Lönnqvist, an old hand at competitions here in the office, is supervising the hall rehearsals all day from nine to nine…The semi-finalists also call in at the office to fetch more lunch and bus tickets and to ask us more questions. At this stage there’s time to check the order in which they intend to perform their round-two works.

Those who did not make it to round two have other things to do. Some will be calling at the office during the course of the day to change their travel plans, to book new flights, and so on. Naturally they are all welcome to stay on until the finals if they wish. Right now the pianists who did not make it to the next round are listening to the jury’s comments. All seven members of the jury have a table of their own in the office, so that each contestant can hear the comments one-to-one. Many of the contestants have come along and many of them want to speak to each member of the jury. So far, however, there’s not been much of a queue and all has gone calmly. The jury have set aside plenty of time for each one and I can just hear a steady murmur in a variety of languages: English, German, Finnish, Swedish, French and even Japanese.

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