Tuesday, March 06, 2007


Jaana and I should have gone to some competitions at this time of the year. For different reasons, we ended up staying here in Helsinki without going to any competition - me because of my stupidity... This had however, its good sides: Jaana worked with a string trio for her chamber music exam (which was postponed thanks to a broken cello...) and I played some lovely Ligeti (not to mention that I finally got my ass back to the piano chair for some serious practicing).

You see, competitions are a necessary evil in this business. They give musicians a serious motivation to practice a bit more intensively than the usual. They can teach oneself to be less self-centered and more open-minded. How? Well, one has to realize -in possible failures- that there's nothing personal when turned down in competition (it can be seriously personal if someone is being pushed by the jury, but I'm not going to get into that). Finally, one can learn from them that usually you work hard for almost no other reason than the personal progress.

On the other hand, almost nothing in competitions has anything to do with music making. But you learn how to play under pressure, to deal with all kinds of repertoire, and to adjust in different environments. Juries often mess up the whole thing, and this can be unfortunately very obvious now and then, especially in well organized competitions -no matter big or small... But than again, there also humans. Sometimes.

So, we missed all that fun, but we made some music. Hopefully.

At the end of the week a friend (un ami) is playing in the finals of another competition. I think he's going for the first prize, hope he'll do that.

I hate competitions for many reasons -"you never can win..."- and love them for just one.

Until next time.

buzz it!

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