I thought it might be interesting to blog here about the Competition
I’m judging here in Moscow, under the auspices of the Tchaikovsky

Its taken a lot of hard work on the Visa front to get here including
demands for 3 months of bank statements and a scary health test, both
waived after direct intervention at the Embassy in London from my
wonderful agent. My student Kyeong Ham (remember the name) who is
Korean and studying with me in Germany, had an even more ghastly time
but I gather he and his pianist Narey Park arrived yesterday,
although they had nowhere to stay, poor lambs! I’m so happy he’s come
to participate. When I was here for masterclasses last year the level
was so high, and at around the same age as him, 17. He came to study
with me aged 15 and is doing a Batchelor Programme, in the German

I arrived in Moscow on the train from the airport 10 minutes ago, we
are in horrendous traffic going to the Conservatoire for the opening
concert, in which I am playing, that starts in 25 minutes!

I gather I am staying at the Azerbaijani Embassy. All the other
judges are staying at their own embassies, but the British Embassy
didn’t want to know anything about it or me, so I’ve been rescued by