Saint Petersburg

St. Petersburg Conservatory

Here we heard 13 applicants from across the Russian Federation. In all, we will hear 27 Russian in auditions, which is the largest national majority. However, in these days many of the Russians study and live abroad.

Liszt and Rachmaninoff were the favorite composers for these applicants, and we did hear some wonderful Scarlatti. Whatever the acclaim of the ‘Russian school’ ~ factors of it are in transition. Time brings change.

It is interesting to note that the audiences in the Conservatory do not applause until the performance is ended, and even then the response is only polite.

The acoustics are wonderful, and the hall is richly beautiful. Over the last four years, the Conservatory has undergone major restoration for its public places ~ like most of the imperial buildings in St. Petersburg ~ utterly stunning. The city has a special glow this week as it celebrates the 65th anniversary of the end of the Seige of Stalingrad/St. Petersburg.

Today we leave snowy St. Petersburg and head for Lugano, Switzerland, and two days of rest ~ a welcomed respite on the schedule before four intense days begin. The auditions in Lugano will be streamed on our website ~ so take a look, beginning Saturday, 31 January. And, I will be back on the blog. We all send our hellos to everyone. We are still in tact and holding up! Alann

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