26 September 2016
One thing I've learnt is that I should never judge a music prize. I seem to come up with different results. Maybe that's how competitions are - despite all our training and rationality, we are still influenced by our own experiences and preferences - but do still have faith that the professionals do it better. I only caught the final two players and I won't go into reasons (although I have some) but I would have given it to the violinist over the guitarist. Then, in the end, the violinist got no prize. Strange and bewildering to my ear. I walked out chatting to a woman who had different choices again. I enjoyed the vivacity and application and variety of program that Joshua Hu presented: San Saens, JS Bach, a modern work by Eugene Ysaye, Paganini and Tchaikovsky. What a program! But the judges saw things I didn't. Strange how it works. But competitions have value to a performer, for the winnings but also for the CV and future career, so they demand serious thought. I'm sure they got it; I just thought differently. Not for the first time. BTW, guitarist Callum Henshaw (who I missed) came first.
The finals of the Whitworth Roach Classical Music Performance Competition was held on the stage at Llewellyn Hall. The finalists were Mia Huang (piano), Callum Henshaw (guitar), Hamish Strathdee (guitar) and Joshua Hu (violin).