One of the judges of the piano section of the Tchaikovsky competition was seen on television last night with tears in his eyes.
I asked him why.
‘Yesterday we had to eliminate 17 of the 29 for the second round,’ said Peter Donohoe, the 1982 joint silver medallist (gold was withheld), ‘and I personally wanted 26 of the 29 to be in the second round. It is not because I am a softy. Usually I find myself trying desperately to think of ways to make up the numbers for the second round. In this competition – for some reason – they are almost all wonderful.’
Peter is spending today speaking to the genuinely unlucky losers. ‘Never has a piano competition had such a level to my knowledge,’ he tells me.
That’s some assertion…
Here’s Peter, centre stage in the judges row, as the successful candidates are announced.
The following names have gone forward to round 2:
Alexey Chernov (Russia)
Seong Jin Cho (South Korea),
Sara Daneshpour (USA),
Pavel Kolesnikov (Russia),
Filipp Kopachevskiy (Russia)
Eduard Kunz (Russia)
Alexander Lubyantsev (Russia),
François-Xavier Poizat (Switzerland)
Alexander Romanovsky (Ukraine)
Alexander Sinchuk (Russia)
Yeol Eum Son (South Korea)
Daniil Trifonov (Russia).
And a second, more emotional shot.