The qualifying stages on the previous two instruments have been subdued. Decent performances, safe list of finalists, nothing to set the heart racing.
It was much the same last time, and the time before. You have to go back to 1982 to find the last name-drop artist to win the violin competition. (Don’t even mention the voice contest.)
The piano, though…. that’s where the action is.
There are three or four hotly-tipped winners out of six finalists, all of them high-calibre. We’re still calling it as a Lucas vs Lukas showdown, but there’s an excited following for the American George Li, and an air of anticipation for each of the other three.
It’s all down now to fingers on keys.