I have had a useful and enjoyable time here and with lovely weather as a bonus.
Thursday evening's concert by the Danish Radio Orchestra gave me an opportunity to get the feeling of the place where we will be sitting for a week at the end of April sorting out the competing merits of 25 candidates for the prizes in the Nikolai Malko competition. The Danish National Symphony Orchestra, of which Fabio Luisi is to take charge in 2017, is a fine orchestra with a distinguished history. And their new concert hall, next to the Danish Radio headquarters, has fabulous acoustics thanks to Mr Toyota - and the concert room itself is a lovely space. The building, by Jean Nouvel, is less agreeable and struggles to welcome the audience.......but all is forgiven once one is inside.
Joshua Weilerstein was a mere 21 years old when he won the Malko in 2009. He has clearly grown in assurance since then but I would like to see what some time in the opera house might do for him! But that is my bias of course. Meanwhile he is growing and has recently been appointed to the Lausanne Chamber Orchestra as its principal conductor. That will be excellent both for him and for them. On Thursday he conducted an elegant performance of Mozart's 20the piano concerto with Jonathan Biss the deeply cultivated and musical soloist - no show off he, just playing of the utmost integrity. This was followed by an accomplished performance of Shostakovitch's 11th symphony - an excellent programme much enjoyed by the full house.
On Saturday I made it at last to Gothenburg to see the penultimate performance of their long run of Chicago Opera Theater's production of John Adams' A Flowering Tree which we mounted in 2008. It was such a pleasure to see this production again - it had been a great success with our public in Chicago and it is impressive that Gothenburg have managed to pretty well fill ten performances. It translated extremely well and was beautifully conducted, as for some of the performances in Chicago, by the rising Portuguese conductor Joana Carneiro. Now here is an example of a young conducteor spending time in the theatre as well as in the concert hall - and her experience in each benefits her performance in both.
I had the treat of lunch today with Toke Lund Christiansen, a delightful colleague whom I met on the jury of the Carl Nielsen competition in Odense last year. He is deeply involved in a Lied competition here in Copenhagen next October - I hope to get to it immediately after our Neue Stimmen finals on the way home to London. If you are in Copenhagen and enjoy good food and wine you should give the restaurant L'Alsace a try - it is a treat, quiet but conveniently located though neatly tucked away! A real discovery........it is the asparagus season, and fish are abundant, fresh, and delicious in these parts of course.
I am back in London tomorrow morning.