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Sweden: quarterfinals part two

To spare you the suspense: I was not selected for the semifinals. It is a disappointment, but I try to believe the cliches. When it comes to competing, not everyone can be a winner. I do believe that these kinds of experiences offer immense opportunities alongside there challenges. These include opportunities for personal growth just as much as musical. And in that way I do feel like a winner. For being selected and having most of this trip funded by the competition, by being exposed to new and challenging repertoire, by meeting many talented musicians from around the world. But still... I'm disappointed.

Last night was another sleepless in Sweden story. Considering the late hour here I trust I may have more luck tonight. I got in the smallest amount of sightseeing today: the huge church in the town center (with its new blue and yellow organ) and a few ancient manuscripts in the university library (including music by Mozart and the very unique "silver Bible").

Today I conducted Sven-Eric Back's Natten ar framskriden and Wikander's Forvarskvall. Both appear to be staples of the Swedish repertoire. All told I felt more comfortable today (though was taken aback to discover that we were working from different editions - theirs with no measure numbers and different pages - ah well). The repertoire is more straightforward, and I felt more comfortable asserting myself. I can imagine at least some of the judges' comments, but I really had fun making music. Forvarskvall depicts a Swedish spring evening and the beautiful snow covered landscape. What a treat to be serenaded by this young charming group.

It took the jury 1.5 hours to deliberate. I know this could not be easy on them. How difficult it is to be objectively measuring something so subjective. Personaaly I just want to think I've grown in the 6 years since I was last here. I do begin to realize that this is for me to decide. And I know my journey does not end here.