I am very proud to announce on my website that I have won the second Lieksa Euphonium Competition.
It was a very tough competition with strong competitors from all over the world.
The competition started on the 21st of August with the first 21 competitors out of 38. The resthad to play the next day. As you could read on my not updated blog, I had to play on the second day. As draw number 34 I was one of the last players of the day on Saturday. The Vivaldi Sonate went really well and I was happy with Three Euphonics too. After I had played I went for a swim in the nice Lake of Lieksa with a few friends as it was really hot in Finland. The results were announced later that day in the Brass Week Office. I was very happy when they announced my name together with the other 7 players that made it too the second round later in the week. There were only 8 out of 38 left to play the pieces of the second round. These players came from all over the world with two french guys, a spanish and Portuguese euph player, Japan, Australia and an American. The draw stayed the same so I had to play second last. It was a though program and it was so hot on stage. The second round went ok. But I had some nerves when I went to the Brass Week Office again to find out who the three players are that made it to the finals.
A bit unlucky but the guy that announced the results turned his paper the wrong way so everybody could see the names of the finalists before it was announced. I was very happy to be in the final with my friend from the US Greg Battista and my new friend Kyohei Ando from Japan.
Now we had two days to prepare for the finals on thursday. With a chat with the conductor and a rehearsal with the finish Guard band of Helsinki on the day before the final. It was only a short rehearsal but the three of us did a good job. The conductor was very nice and patient so we worked very well with the wind band. The piece of the final was the lovely concerto for euphonium by John Golland. I really enjoyed playing in the church of Lieksa.
After the concert the chairman of the Lieksa Brass week announced the results.
Third place: Kyohei Ando, Japan
Second place: Greg Battista, USA
First place: Glenn Van Looy, Belgium
I’m really happy and want to congratulate the two other finalist for their brilliant performance!!!
What a nice evening it was with a self organized party with all the 38 participants.
I would like to thank my family and close friends for all their support and believe in me. Without them this victory wasn’t possible. Also a big thank you to my friend and roommate Kevin Van Giel and my two british mates Matt White and Lewis Musson for all the support during the week.