She played like an angel. I was so proud. I didn't think there was any way she wouldn't get into the semifinals. Oops.
Piano Competitions are like Ice Skating at the Olympics. They're entirely subjective. While it was lovely that I thought Janet was a shoe-in for the semifinals, I didn't actually have a voice in the decision. That was up to the judges who'd heard every note that was played.
I had friends on the jury who I spoke with after the vote. They said that she had almost made it - that she had fans and it was very close. I don't know whether that made it better or worse. You want to know what DID make it better?
Getting eliminated from a piano competition is disorienting. You've spent all your time taking pristine care of yourself. Maintaining focus. Freeing yourself from distractions. Suddenly, you're free and you'd BETTER distract yourself.
If the weather hadn't been in the high 90's all week we would have been strolling around the beautiful gardens in the neighborhood.
Instead, we set up in the kitchen and family room of our temporary home and enjoyed something that felt like being snowed in - except the weather was on the other side of the thermometer. It gave us - three busy mothers - a chance to rest and renew. We slept in, cooked yummy food and enjoyed watching the entire semifinals of the Cliburn Amateur streamed live on our home entertainment system. (That way we could eat popcorn and not have to be polite.)
There were a few performances that knocked us all out. Particularly Gregory Knight, Michael Slavin, Xavier Aymonod and Thomas Yu. Watch for one of those four to win the Gold Medal.
Tomorrow afternoon we'll make the trek down to beautiful Bass Hall to see the finals of the competition. Unfortunately, three of the competitors are playing the same exact concerto movement - the first movement of Beethoven Third. That will make for a peculiar concert. Thomas Yu, a Periodontist from Calgary will finish the concert with a much-needed refreshing Saint-Saen Egyptian Concerto final movement.
Calling this an Amateur Competition is misleading. The playing is at a high professional level from all but a few competitors. The performers included doctors, attorneys, financial consultants, writers, lots of software engineers, and even two cell biologists. (One of my favorite current students is also a cell biologist!)
The finals will be streamed live at 3 pm Central Time on Saturday, June 24, 2016 at Cliburn.org. All of the previous performances are already available on YouTube. They're inspiring. My personal favorite is Janet Sommerfeld's performance of "Romeo Says Goodbye to Juliet" by Prokofiev in the Quarterfinals.