Volume 5 / Chapter 194
“As you were already told, this year’s final stage will be held differently from that of other years. There will be 2 performances per day, for 3 days.”
The competition committee put a box in front of the piano and violin finalists.
“We’ll decide on each of your performance times through a raffle. You’ll already know, but I’ll say it again. I’m sure you don’t think that it’ll be to your advantage to go later? Looking at statistics, there are more mistakes due to pressure when going later. So I hope you don’t hold the day and time you go responsible for your performance. Then let’s go through and each pick one.”
The 12 finalists put their trembling hands inside the box and picked out a piece of paper each.
Danny felt his heart beat faster as he unfolded the paper. The performance he chose in the first day, 2nd stage.
“I’m sure you’ve all checked your performance times?”
An employee of the committee checked each paper, recorded the order of performance, copied it, and handed it out to everyone.
“Now, I’ll tell you about the final song. Concerto for Violin and Piano in D Minor. It is the song that won the composition section and it is a double concerto.”
They started murmuring when they heard that it is a double concerto.
“The people who have the same performance times will be on stage together. Check who you will be performing with.”
Danny’s jaw dropped when he saw who he would be performing with.
“So we meet again. To think that we’re in the same performance. Let’s do well together.”
Han Ye Ji held her hand out to Danny.
“Wow. How could this happen! I’m lucky since I get to perform with the best pianist. Ha ha.”
While everyone was busy finding the person they would be performing with, the committee let them know the last important aspect.
“This is the last thing we have to tell you. The orchestra you will be performing with is the Belgium National Orchestra. And 2 people will be dividing up the conducting. One person is someone you know well, Maestro Pierre Boulez. The other person is the winning composer. He’s better known as Jun, the composer of Inferno.”
As soon as he said Inferno, the murmuring grew louder than it had been before. There were even people whose faces had turned white. They were probably remembering Inferno. There was even someone who cursed without thinking.
No matter how famous Jun Hyuk had become through Inferno, there was no comparing careers. And even if he is the composer, they thought that there is a large gap between him and Maestro Pierre Boulez.
The committee member rose both of his hands to silence the murmuring.
“If you think that it is a disadvantage to be paired with the young composer as your conductor, that is a big mistake. We can say it with the competition’s honor on the line. It is impossible to distinguish between whose conducting is superior and inferior. The only difference is in their interpretations of the song.”
Even though the committee was assuring them, there remained people with looks of distrust. These people did not see how the committee members were looking at them pathetically. Those who do not realize that it takes their own skill to survive in a fierce competition can never win.
“The first performances of the first and last days are Maestro Jun. The second day and last performance are Maestro Pierre Boulez.”
Han Ye Ji and Danny met eyes. Danny was especially happier. The day had finally come for him and Jun Hyuk to stand on a formal stage.
“Then do we have to go back to Chapelle Prison – no – Conservatory?”
Someone raised his hand and asked.
“Of course. You will go in turn in considering fairness. Keeping the performance schedule in mind, you can start going in tomorrow in intervals. You will receive the score at Chapelle Conservatory. You will also be informed on the details of your schedules once you are at the conservatory.
The BOZAR great hall was also full of reporters. The release yesterday of the winning composer being the composer of Inferno is the competition’s biggest scoop.
“Tara. Since it’s a joint press conference, don’t you think I could just slip out? Maestro Boulez is there.”
“This is the interview for the composition section. Maestro Boulez will only be discussing the final performance. And don’t worry too much. These reporters are all specialized in music. They don’t ask about gossip topics. Anyone who asks something personal or gossip related won’t be able to enter the competition starting tomorrow.”
Tara pushed Jun Hyuk into the press conference room. When the committee released the information that Jun Hyuk is the winner of the composition section, the media predicted that this would become the biggest news in the world of music this year.
The committee had expected this kind of reaction and prepared a joint press conference to hold before the fever dies down. The Chairman of the competition committee introduced Jun Hyuk after a long greeting.
“Boston Symphony visiting conductor, Inferno’s composer. I’d like to introduce the winner of the Queen Elisabeth Competition, Jun.”
When Jun Hyuk got up from his seat to greet everyone, the reporters’ flashes started going off.
“The title isn’t Choral Concerto. I heard that it is similar to Beethoven’s Choral Symphony. Is this true?”
The first question is provocative from the start.
“It is true that I wrote it with Choral Symphony in mind, but they are not similar.”
Jun Hyuk responded calmly to the question because he had already been expecting it. From the way they are talking about the rumors, it seems the committee has leaked some information.
“Then can you explain the difference between the two songs?”
“Wait a little for the answer to that question. I will explain it precisely on the final stage with music.”
There is nothing to do but hear the difference in music. No matter how it is explained in words, it is difficult to understand until it is heard. The reporter who asked tried to ask another question, but the reporters did not stay still.
“Please explain in detail what you mean when you say that you kept Beethoven in mind when you were composing. Did you keep Beethoven in mind as a composer? Or do you mean that you kept Choral Symphony in mind?”
“It is both.”
“Excuse me? Does that mean that you were comparing Beethoven and yourself?”
“Comparisons aren’t done by the subjects, but by an objective third person. I’m sure someone will compare us when the performance starts and the song is revealed.”
As soon as Jun Hyuk responded, Tara clenched her fists. It is a great response.
“Then I’ll ask again. What do you think when you compare your music to Beethoven’s? From the perspective of an objective musician.”
The question is asking him what he thinks of his song in comparison to Beethoven’s, not asking him to compare himself to Beethoven the person. It is asking him to compare the songs as a composer, but it is also asking about his ability as a composer. They used different words, but all of the reporters wanted to hear the same answer.
“Hm… The piano sonata can’t follow Beethoven and the orchestral song is within a range to catch up.”
Tara collapsed to the ground before she could even feel the strength relax from her clenched fists.
The room fell into a mess when the cameras flashed like fireworks and the reporters started asking questions without a thought to others. A few music reporters cursed and left the conference room.
The committee chairman on stage was trying his best to abate the confusion, while Maestro Pierre Boulez was looking at Jun Hyuk in shock.
Jun Hyuk’s response meant that he is plenty capable of creating a song like Beethoven’s.
This press conference is being aired live on a cable channel and on the internet. This is the moment where Jun Hyuk turned lovers of classical music all over the world into his enemies.