Bright beautiful sunlight today, but its bitterly cold. I love that combination. I slept for 13 hours last night with a sleeping pill from my Oboe maker. That dark chocolate velvet sleep was just delicious but its going to take me a while to wake up.

I discovered today that my Mozart Concerto on You Tube, first movement, has had nearly 160,000 hits. I’m slightly astounded but delighted about it. You can see it and type in nicholasdanieloboe into the search box or go to Also on there is the Elliot Carter Concerto I love so much playing, and Oboists might like to know I did both performances with the same reed 2 weeks apart. I got told off by my eldest son the other day for wearing make up to play on those performances, but I tried to explain that it was with strong TV lights and I had my own BBC make up lady who said I would look like a corpse without it. Anyway I sweated so much as iot was not air conditioned and mid summer that there wasn’t much makeup left at the end so it didn’t count!!

Our concerto final is at 14.00 today, with a permanent, professional but young orchestra specifically put together and paid to play for the conducting department of the Moscow Conservatoire. Brilliant idea that, and maybe a reason why Russian conductors are going retain a strong presence in the music world in the future. Its conducted by Anatoli Levin, who I haven’t met yet.

I had a text message from Kyeong Ham saying he had had a big memory slip in his (only) rehearsal with them yesterday. I texted back something like ‘memory schmemory, enjoy your first ever Mozart!’ Of course he has me here so he’s not completely alone, but actually I can’t see him too much or support him openly in discussions, as that would be wrong. In fact I’m not sure how we will be voting today, with marks or positions, so far we just voted Da or Niet, and I don’t know whether I will be, or should be, allowed to vote for him at all, I don’t mean to win or not, I mean at all.  The same goes for Alexei Utkin who has 3 in the final. I guess we will vote in a certain way, all of us honestly from our hearts, and that if its a clear result then no further votes need to be taken. If it looks like one person’s vote is skewing the result then we may have to vote in a different way.

I have a feeling that it will be clear and unanimous, so well has this panel bonded and, judging from the Masterclasses I heard, so well do we contrast and concur with each other’s style.