"I have won the World Flute Championships" Sébastian Jacot burst out as he came off the platform after receiving first prize in the 2014 Carl Nielsen International Music Flute Competition in front of the jury and the audience in the Odense Concert Hall.
"There are only four or five competitions like this in the world, so it's a really big thing", says the twenty-seven-year-old from Switzerland. Sébastian Jacot has had a pretty chaotic competition. Two hours before he went on in the first round a crack appeared in his flute, but despite the difficulties this caused, he managed to win over the jury, as jury chair Pierre-Yves Artaud told us.
"He has all the qualities we were looking for. He has charisma, musicality, and technical prowess. I am so pleased that we have discovered this new talent", he says, acknowledging that the jury was well aware of the problems Jacot was up against.
"Well, we are flautists. We could hear that something was amiss, yet Jacot managed to overcome it. He carried on and was in control of the situation. That is what a true professional does. He played convincingly in every round", says the jury chair.
Dared not even hope
Because of the problems with his flute Sébastian Jacot dared not even hope for victory, he says.
"I didn't even think about winning. At first I thought about the damage, and in the final I was worried whether I'd be able to remember the Nielsen concerto by heart".
Sébastian Jacot is delighted with first prize, but his delight goes deeper than the thrill of victory. He sees his triumph as proof that he can now be a flautist, something he has otherwise had his doubts about.
"I have never won a competition or audition. I started entering competitions quite late, so I had no idea what I was worth. Last year I won my first competition and now I have won this one. Now I know that I can be a flautist", Jacot says. And he knows the first thing he will be spending his €10000 on:
"A new head joint", he laughs.