Life - Part 12

“In the summer of 1965, Hirshhorn officially succeeded,” writes Leonid Girshovich, “passing through the selection process in Moscow for the competition in Genoa.”  Eyewitnesses tell us that at the auditions you had to play the First Concerto with orchestra by Paganini in the Grand Hall of the Conservatory.  This took place before the public, and when Hirshhorn finished, you could see in the stalls the absolutely pale face of Viktor Tretyakov (who a year later won the Tchaikovsky Competition with his performance of this very piece). As regards the competition itself, disputes continue to this very day over the award of second place to Hirshhorn. However, justice demands that we explain that under the terms of the competition there was the requirement to play three capriccios of Paganini, and Viktor Pikaizen (the winner) brought all twenty-four of them. This, of course, could not help but create an impression on the jury. Valdemar Sturestep, who watched from Riga the successes of his student, responded with a congratulatory remark in a newspaper.