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#1703354 - 06/28/11 01:35 AM Re: Boston International Piano Competition for Amateurs [Re: Cinnamonbear]
Mark_C Offline
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P.S. To Andy (CinnamonBear): About the judging in the Paris competition (which you used as a comparison): I guess that the way you described it reflects what you took from our earlier discussion, but I better point out that what you said in those two posts wasn't really how I described it. (Also you make it sound kind of bad. I don't view it as bad, and I certainly didn't mean to convey an impression that it is.) I don't think it's worth my trying here to repeat or clarify what I did say, but for anyone who's interested, here's a link.
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#1703368 - 06/28/11 02:04 AM Re: Boston International Piano Competition for Amateurs [Re: jazzyprof]
Nikolas Offline
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Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 5245
Loc: Europe
If I may ask something...

Those people performing on the 'amateur' piano competitions are VERY good in my opinion. I mean they can play some monstrous works, with amazing skills and our own Mark and Ken and others prove that (had absolutely no time to watch the recent competitions, so I'm referring to the Chilburn one... :-/ Sorry about that, this is why I was semi-lost as well).

My question is twofold:

1. What defines an 'amateur' from a 'professional'? It can't be just skills. I know it's been answered somewhere before, but I can't really find it in the hundred pages. Is it the 'make a living out of it'? Is it the 'what credentials you hold'? Is it something else? I mean could I take part in the amateur competitions and fail rightfully so? grin

2. For those who enter such competitions. I guess that part of the reason is the sheer fun on entering a competition. I actually love that thrilling sensation. It's also an opportunity to show off. But if someone is attempting to enter the 'pro' world of piano music, are you sure that this is the right way to go about it? By labeling yourself as an 'amateur'?

Sorry if these questions have been answered before, I haven't been online constantly over the past couple of weeks and I'm still fairly busy, so apologies in advance (and as always for my constant tpyos! grin)

EDIT: So, ok... there are two questions and not one twofold question... Big deal! :P (thank God I'm not an English teacher bouahahahaha)


Edited by Nikolas (06/28/11 02:07 AM)
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#1703370 - 06/28/11 02:12 AM Re: Boston International Piano Competition for Amateurs [Re: Nikolas]
Mark_C Offline
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Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19715
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: Nikolas
If I may ask something...

1. What defines an 'amateur' from a 'professional'?....

How about we let RonaldSteinway tackle this..... ha
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#1703371 - 06/28/11 02:14 AM Re: Boston International Piano Competition for Amateurs [Re: Mark_C]
liszt85 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/26/08
Posts: 3159
Originally Posted By: Mark_C
Originally Posted By: Nikolas
If I may ask something...

1. What defines an 'amateur' from a 'professional'?....

How about we let RonaldSteinway tackle this..... ha


Is he still around? Haven't heard from him in a long time..
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#1703379 - 06/28/11 02:28 AM Re: Boston International Piano Competition for Amateurs [Re: Mark_C]
Nikolas Offline
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Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 5245
Loc: Europe
Originally Posted By: Mark_C
Originally Posted By: Nikolas
If I may ask something...

1. What defines an 'amateur' from a 'professional'?....

How about we let RonaldSteinway tackle this..... ha
Isn't he more interested about what talent is, and so on? :P hehe...
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#1703394 - 06/28/11 04:06 AM Re: Boston International Piano Competition for Amateurs [Re: Mark_C]
Cinnamonbear Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/09/10
Posts: 3876
Loc: Rockford, IL
Musica71, thanks so much for that report!

MarkC, Sorry! I didn't mean to misconstrue what you said. I don't think the Paris judging idea is bad, per se, as long as everyone understands that that is how it is done. I found your description of the way things work in that other thread to be very interesting and thought provoking. I enjoyed considering the cultural differences that would generate that kind of judging model. I suppose I was trying to fit a round peg into a square hole by wondering if anything of that sort ever comes into play in competitions over here.
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#1703444 - 06/28/11 07:37 AM Re: Boston International Piano Competition for Amateurs [Re: liszt85]
RonaldSteinway Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/11/08
Posts: 1482
Originally Posted By: liszt85
Originally Posted By: Mark_C
Originally Posted By: Nikolas
If I may ask something...

1. What defines an 'amateur' from a 'professional'?....

How about we let RonaldSteinway tackle this..... ha


Is he still around? Haven't heard from him in a long time..


You bet, I am still around! ha

This is my definition of amateur vs professional. Not making money from playing piano is not the only criteria. To me, we have to use one more criterion which is schooling. Why? Because schooling defines the intention (the real substantive test) of a person. If a person went to get a piano performance degree, one makes a clear statement that he/she has/had the intention to make money from piano related matters.Virtually nobody goes to pursue a degree just for fun. Getting into music school requires years of preparation, it is not just one or two years. Even more for big schools, Juilliard etc, it requires big investment too. You can see here, that the intent is so obvious. Does this mean that people who have piano degree play better than non piano degree people? Of course not, but very high percentage of these people do play better than non piano degree people, as we can see in most amateur piano competitions. I look at the list of Boston Amateur, the 5 of the 6 finalists got accepted to conservatories, some finished and some went half way. I did not watch the competition so I did not know how they play.

Daniel Chow = Master Degree
Carl = Two years in NEC
Ali = one year in Oberlin
Fischer = some kind of German conservatory
Lee = did not go to piano school (this is ok to be an amateur)
Abel = has degree


People like you, Mark Cannon (MC) are real amateurs. You play because you love to play piano. By the way, it was a big accomplishment for MC (a non degree person) to break the first round of Van Cliburn...Congrat.

Nikolas, you should compete in the amateur competitions too. Don't think that you can win easily. You will be competing against people at your level, they just do not make money from playing piano like you.

So far only Houston Chopin Society Competition that I view as a real amateur piano competition. We need more like this.....

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#1703504 - 06/28/11 09:52 AM Re: Boston International Piano Competition for Amateurs [Re: RonaldSteinway]
Tim Adrianson Offline
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Registered: 08/07/10
Posts: 1044
Ron, you touch on a point that has been an area of concern since the regional Amateur competitions began to take hold -- the presence of "semi-Professionals" with previous advanced training in Piano performance procuring the bulk of the semi-Final and all of the Final slots, at the expense of the rest of the contestants. There are a lot of these people around, and new ones show up at each Competition. The overall negative effect is to weight virtuosic choices inordinately over pianistic literature of more moderate demand.
Berlin is the one Competition I've seen that addresses this
to some extent: they have two tiers at which one can enter, one more modest than the other in terms of technical mastery. This presupposes that you have enough interested parties in each tier to make that work. Berlin did in 2010, and to me it looks like the Cliburn and Boston now have a large enough pool of interested parties in both "categories" to aspire to this approach. I'm very leery of limiting entries based on "too much" education: seems overly negative to me, and frankly I appreciate the excellence of the "semi-Professionals".

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#1703522 - 06/28/11 10:21 AM Re: Boston International Piano Competition for Amateurs [Re: Tim Adrianson]
RonaldSteinway Offline
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Registered: 03/11/08
Posts: 1482
Originally Posted By: Tim Adrianson
I'm very leery of limiting entries based on "too much" education: seems overly negative to me, and frankly I appreciate the excellence of the "semi-Professionals".


Tim,

Why is it overly negative? I think it is a more objective criterion. If we use making a living from piano as the criterion, it will allow some people to take advantage of this status, for example a rich wife who went to Juilliard, she does not make money from piano playing, but she has a lot of time to practice, take lesson from top notch concert pianis, play with chamber music orchestra etc. By using schooling as one of the criteria, it will eliminate this type of contestant from competing in the non degree category.

I totally agree with you regarding the two categories approach in an amateur piano competition. People with degree and people without degree. The non degree people can join the degree category if they want to, but not the other way around. I think this will solve the problem.


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#1703525 - 06/28/11 10:29 AM Re: Boston International Piano Competition for Amateurs [Re: Tim Adrianson]
Mark_C Offline
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Registered: 11/11/09
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Loc: New York
Each different organization addresses it their own way, with somewhat differing definitions, and to me, it's all mostly fine, and if I don't like how an organization defines it, I just don't go there. The main thing that IMO throws it off is if they don't make the bottom age requirement high enough; just about anything else I can take (within reason), but not that.

The Cliburn, at its first amateur competition, said you needed to be at least 30. They seemed immediately to realize that 30 was too young, and so they made it 35 the next year, and ever since. But oddly, most of the competitions that have followed in their footsteps have let you be even younger than 30, sometimes as young as 21. To me, that's ridiculous. How can someone be an "amateur" musician when they're too young to have established anything as a career? Plus, many of those very young contestants are people who are fresh out of a conservatory or piano-major program. The problem isn't that these young people dominate the later rounds and the prizes; they don't. It's that their presence, in subtle ways, changes the atmosphere for everybody. The emphasis tilts from "let's see what everybody can do" to "how 'correctly' do they play," and what you get (IMO) is something of a schoolchild environment. (I'm not talking now about age, I'm talking about emphasis.)

About the "separate categories" thing: I would hate for there to be more competitions that do that, and I don't think I'd ever go to one. I pray that the Cliburn, at least, never does it.
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#1703536 - 06/28/11 10:49 AM Re: Boston International Piano Competition for Amateurs [Re: Mark_C]
RonaldSteinway Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/11/08
Posts: 1482
Originally Posted By: Mark_C

About the "separate categories" thing: I would hate for there to be more competitions that do that, and I don't think I'd ever go to one. I pray that the Cliburn, at least, never does it.


If we did not win in open amateur (semi-professional) competitions, we can say that there are so many degree people (semi-professionals). But if there are two categories, we cannot use that excuse anymore...... ha

The only way is to still join the degree category.....

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#1703542 - 06/28/11 10:58 AM Re: Boston International Piano Competition for Amateurs [Re: RonaldSteinway]
Mark_C Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19715
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: RonaldSteinway
.....The only way is to still join the degree category.....

A couple of problems:

-- What if they just "put" you in categories? One competition seemed to be planning on doing that (before they fortunately scrapped the whole idea).

And more importantly, regardless of that:
-- Having separate categories dilutes the event.

Each organization and each event should just keep deciding what their definition of amateur is, and have a single focused competition with that definition.

And besides, why just 2 categories?
If you want to start breaking it down, there are at least 3.

How do I know?
Because arguably I'm not clearly in either of the two categories y'all seem to be talking about. I'm in between.

And if 3, why not 4? smile
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#1703555 - 06/28/11 11:36 AM Re: Boston International Piano Competition for Amateurs [Re: Mark_C]
RonaldSteinway Offline
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Registered: 03/11/08
Posts: 1482
It can be broken down to any numbers of categories (like little kid piano competitions).

1. Degree --> Bachelor and drop out or Master or DMA
2. Non degree --> 0 to 5 years experience, 5 to 10 years, 15 to eternity etc

Kidding aside, in practicality, due to time and fund constraints, I think two categories is reasonable. They cannot put a person like you who do not a degree in music to be in the degree category, but you can request to be moved from non degree to degree category if you want to.


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#1703558 - 06/28/11 11:47 AM Re: Boston International Piano Competition for Amateurs [Re: jazzyprof]
musica71 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/04/08
Posts: 424
Loc: Bend, Or.
Regarding Abel in Boston last year, Tim Adrianson hit the nail on the head...his repertoire in the final round was insane (to me anyway). He is superb!
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#1703561 - 06/28/11 11:51 AM Re: Boston International Piano Competition for Amateurs [Re: RonaldSteinway]
Mark_C Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19715
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: RonaldSteinway
.....I think two categories is reasonable. They cannot put a person like you who do not a degree in music to be in the degree category, but you can request to be moved from non degree to degree category if you want to.

If there were a "non-degree" category and some of the contestants were people like me, I guarantee you it wouldn't be long before there would be complaints about that!

Many people would feel competitors who don't have a piano degree but who have studied seriously most of their lives and have done a lot of serious public performing aren't "real" amateurs either and have an unfair advantage over people who fit the more usual concept.
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#1703562 - 06/28/11 11:53 AM Re: Boston International Piano Competition for Amateurs [Re: musica71]
RonaldSteinway Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/11/08
Posts: 1482
Originally Posted By: musica71
Regarding Abel in Boston last year, Tim Adrianson hit the nail on the head...his repertoire in the final round was insane (to me anyway). He is superb!


He has an amazing brain.....the others are also very very smart people.

Too bad, I did not watch the competition. Did they save the performances somewhere?

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#1703564 - 06/28/11 11:55 AM Re: Boston International Piano Competition for Amateurs [Re: RonaldSteinway]
Mark_C Offline
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Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19715
Loc: New York
(BTW I think she meant Chicago)
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#1703571 - 06/28/11 12:17 PM Re: Boston International Piano Competition for Amateurs [Re: Mark_C]
RonaldSteinway Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/11/08
Posts: 1482
Originally Posted By: Mark_C
Originally Posted By: RonaldSteinway
.....I think two categories is reasonable. They cannot put a person like you who do not a degree in music to be in the degree category, but you can request to be moved from non degree to degree category if you want to.

If there were a "non-degree" category and some of the contestants were people like me, I guarantee you it wouldn't be long before there would be complaints about that!

Many people would feel competitors who don't have a piano degree but who have studied seriously most of their lives and have done a lot of serious public performing aren't "real" amateurs either and have an unfair advantage over people who fit the more usual concept.


People cannot complain regarding the length of the study.
I am not sure how old you are, of course, you must have learned for awhile. But the quality of your piano study cannot be objectively measured.

We can ignore public performances, because very few people who have this experience, may be only you, Ricker Choi, and Chris. On the other hand, piano degree people have many public performances experiences.

Again, degree people have much more solid background than MOST of non degree people. Therefore, they should be in different category. In very few occasion do non degree people can beat degree people as had been proved from many amateur competitions. Christopher Shih can be one of the very very few non degree person who won amateur piano competitions. Is it a surprise, NO....he is good in anything....so he is not a typical person that we can use as a sample for our discussion.

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#1703598 - 06/28/11 01:05 PM Re: Boston International Piano Competition for Amateurs [Re: RonaldSteinway]
Mark_C Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19715
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: RonaldSteinway
....We can ignore public performances, because very few people who have this experience, may be only you, Ricker Choi, and Chris....

Well you sure chucked that off pretty easily. ha

No, you can't ignore that, if you want to be serious about suggesting new approaches for the competitions, among other reasons because there are more people of this type than you think.

And you also disposed pretty offhandedly with the issue of how seriously people have studied music and piano. If you're going to ignore whatever you feel like, then sure, things become very simple. smile
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#1703658 - 06/28/11 03:27 PM Re: Boston International Piano Competition for Amateurs [Re: Mark_C]
RonaldSteinway Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/11/08
Posts: 1482
Originally Posted By: Mark_C
Originally Posted By: RonaldSteinway
....We can ignore public performances, because very few people who have this experience, may be only you, Ricker Choi, and Chris....

Well you sure chucked that off pretty easily. ha

No, you can't ignore that, if you want to be serious about suggesting new approaches for the competitions, among other reasons because there are more people of this type than you think.

And you also disposed pretty offhandedly with the issue of how seriously people have studied music and piano. If you're going to ignore whatever you feel like, then sure, things become very simple. smile


We can use you as a sample to build the model for a real amateur competition. You are basically close to the top tier of real amateur. People like Ricker or Chris are not common, therefore, we can ignore these two for building the competition rules. Even a real amateur like you is not common, very few who can reach your playing level. We should not worry about people who do not represent the population like you, Ricker, or Chris, especially the last two. If you think every single possible permutations, you will never come up with rules. More over if we still allow the real amateur compete in the degree class, it will be more exciting for those amateurs who are able to compete against semi-professional. Therefore, people like you who are on the top of non degree category can join the degree category if you want more challenge. Or if you want to win, you can just stay with other real amateurs.

I really do not see what makes you object to this proposed format. It allows you to choose which category you want to compete. But it will prevent people with Doctorate degree from Moscow Conservatory to compete against somebody who just took lesson once a week between the age of 8 to 15, or even worse people who started late in their life. In addition, it is not fun to watch a fluctuation of quality in a competition. Mr. X graduated from Juilliard plays like a concert pianist, and then the next Mr. Y who took piano lesson once a week when he grew up plays at 10 levels below Mr. X's playing. Unless, people enjoy seeing somebody getting embarrassed caused by this kind of thing. I do not think it is a fair game.

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#1703664 - 06/28/11 03:51 PM Re: Boston International Piano Competition for Amateurs [Re: jazzyprof]
musica71 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/04/08
Posts: 424
Loc: Bend, Or.
Regarding Abel in the previous post..yes I did mean in Chicago, that weird contemporary thing which of course he played perfectly I'm sure, but I don't know the piece (nor do I wish to). Now regarding this discussion of Competitions and rules, maybe we should have a Competition for people that aren't very good (just kidding) and call it the Losers Competition, the Lower Level Competition or the Bring your Earplugs Competition. ? ? Maybe it should be like some little kids summer camp game where everyone gets a gold sticker. A Competition is a COMPETITION and there are many good pianists regardless of degree or not. Just buck up and do it! After you have done this a few years you recognize names. If you don't want to compete against a really outstanding Pro-Am then don't enter, or withdraw. Isn't every Competition a learning experience anyway, no matter if you advance or bomb out or whatever??
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#1703668 - 06/28/11 04:02 PM Re: Boston International Piano Competition for Amateurs [Re: musica71]
Cinnamonbear Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/09/10
Posts: 3876
Loc: Rockford, IL
Originally Posted By: musica71
Regarding Abel in the previous post..yes I did mean in Chicago, that weird contemporary thing which of course he played perfectly I'm sure, but I don't know the piece (nor do I wish to). Now regarding this discussion of Competitions and rules, maybe we should have a Competition for people that aren't very good (just kidding) and call it the Losers Competition, the Lower Level Competition or the Bring your Earplugs Competition. ? ? Maybe it should be like some little kids summer camp game where everyone gets a gold sticker. A Competition is a COMPETITION and there are many good pianists regardless of degree or not. Just buck up and do it! After you have done this a few years you recognize names. If you don't want to compete against a really outstanding Pro-Am then don't enter, or withdraw. Isn't every Competition a learning experience anyway, no matter if you advance or bomb out or whatever??


Steel sharpens steel! You rock, musica71! (You just gained another fan--for sheer attitude! grin )
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but at least I'm slow.

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#1703669 - 06/28/11 04:05 PM Re: Boston International Piano Competition for Amateurs [Re: RonaldSteinway]
Lingyis Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/15/09
Posts: 805
Originally Posted By: RonaldSteinway
Originally Posted By: Mark_C
Originally Posted By: RonaldSteinway
....We can ignore public performances, because very few people who have this experience, may be only you, Ricker Choi, and Chris....

Well you sure chucked that off pretty easily. ha

No, you can't ignore that, if you want to be serious about suggesting new approaches for the competitions, among other reasons because there are more people of this type than you think.

And you also disposed pretty offhandedly with the issue of how seriously people have studied music and piano. If you're going to ignore whatever you feel like, then sure, things become very simple. smile


We can use you as a sample to build the model for a real amateur competition. You are basically close to the top tier of real amateur. People like Ricker or Chris are not common, therefore, we can ignore these two for building the competition rules. Even a real amateur like you is not common, very few who can reach your playing level. We should not worry about people who do not represent the population like you, Ricker, or Chris, especially the last two. If you think every single possible permutations, you will never come up with rules. More over if we still allow the real amateur compete in the degree class, it will be more exciting for those amateurs who are able to compete against semi-professional. Therefore, people like you who are on the top of non degree category can join the degree category if you want more challenge. Or if you want to win, you can just stay with other real amateurs.

I really do not see what makes you object to this proposed format. It allows you to choose which category you want to compete. But it will prevent people with Doctorate degree from Moscow Conservatory to compete against somebody who just took lesson once a week between the age of 8 to 15, or even worse people who started late in their life. In addition, it is not fun to watch a fluctuation of quality in a competition. Mr. X graduated from Juilliard plays like a concert pianist, and then the next Mr. Y who took piano lesson once a week when he grew up plays at 10 levels below Mr. X's playing. Unless, people enjoy seeing somebody getting embarrassed caused by this kind of thing. I do not think it is a fair game.


wow... i think people forget the spirit of an AMATEUR competition is to give people chances to perform. stratification has its own set of issues as well (such as need for further stratification, a more need for "vetting", audience attendance, perceived complexity, higher costs, etc). i think while of course everybody wants to do well, i think it's a bad thing if everybody is in it to win it.

if the purpose of stratification is so that some people in their "weight class" can win, then a much more simple solution is simply create more prizes, like a number of special prices like "Best Pianist without Music Degree" or something. os like the Gold/Silver/Bronze award system i mentioned earlier. that way it "keeps everybody happy".

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#1703671 - 06/28/11 04:06 PM Re: Boston International Piano Competition for Amateurs [Re: musica71]
DaleC Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/26/10
Posts: 41
Loc: US
Originally Posted By: musica71
... maybe we should have a Competition for people that aren't very good


How about a competition for old people with degrees who aren't very good? smile

Kidding aside ..... it's wonderful to be in such distinguished company, meaning the company of so-called semi-professionals. I wouldn't change a thing. If you want a challenge and enjoy the environment and stress of these competitions, go for it. If not, find something else to do with your time and money .... it takes a lot of both.

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#1703673 - 06/28/11 04:10 PM Re: Boston International Piano Competition for Amateurs [Re: musica71]
RonaldSteinway Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/11/08
Posts: 1482
Originally Posted By: musica71
Regarding Abel in the previous post..yes I did mean in Chicago, that weird contemporary thing which of course he played perfectly I'm sure, but I don't know the piece (nor do I wish to). Now regarding this discussion of Competitions and rules, maybe we should have a Competition for people that aren't very good (just kidding) and call it the Losers Competition, the Lower Level Competition or the Bring your Earplugs Competition. ? ? Maybe it should be like some little kids summer camp game where everyone gets a gold sticker. A Competition is a COMPETITION and there are many good pianists regardless of degree or not. Just buck up and do it! After you have done this a few years you recognize names. If you don't want to compete against a really outstanding Pro-Am then don't enter, or withdraw. Isn't every Competition a learning experience anyway, no matter if you advance or bomb out or whatever??


Why don't they just open the professional piano competitions for all ages then. Why do we have amateur piano competitions then? Why not just a piano competition. Because to make the activity fun when you compete against people from the same level. Yet, if these real amateurs wants to compete against Pro Am, they should be allowed.

By the way, do you know that many of the top tier amateur pianists (Pro Am as you say) actually do not like to listen or see many of these not so good pianists compete in amateur competitions. Of course, they will not tell in front of our faces. ha

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#1703679 - 06/28/11 04:15 PM Re: Boston International Piano Competition for Amateurs [Re: DaleC]
RonaldSteinway Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/11/08
Posts: 1482
Originally Posted By: DaleC
Originally Posted By: musica71
... maybe we should have a Competition for people that aren't very good


How about a competition for old people with degrees who aren't very good? smile

Kidding aside ..... it's wonderful to be in such distinguished company, meaning the company of so-called semi-professionals. I wouldn't change a thing. If you want a challenge and enjoy the environment and stress of these competitions, go for it. If not, find something else to do with your time and money .... it takes a lot of both.


Bjorn Borg plays for fun these days, he does not compete in amateur tennis competitions.

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#1703682 - 06/28/11 04:18 PM Re: Boston International Piano Competition for Amateurs [Re: Lingyis]
RonaldSteinway Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/11/08
Posts: 1482
Originally Posted By: Lingyis

if the purpose of stratification is so that some people in their "weight class" can win, then a much more simple solution is simply create more prizes, like a number of special prices like "Best Pianist without Music Degree" or something. os like the Gold/Silver/Bronze award system i mentioned earlier. that way it "keeps everybody happy".



I think it is an excellent idea....no special arrangement is needed.

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#1703692 - 06/28/11 04:33 PM Re: Boston International Piano Competition for Amateurs [Re: jazzyprof]
liszt85 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/26/08
Posts: 3159
How about Professional, Semi-Professional and Amateur categories? So the people who attended a top conservatory (whether that person finished or not) should automatically be assigned to the semi-professional category. People who attended lower ranked (since there is no other way to assign people to categories) universities for music may choose either the semi-professional or the amateur categories (I agree that this is extremely crude but this is just off the top of my head, better ideas might come up later). The trouble with having people compete in amateur competitions, who went to NEC, Oberlin, Julliard, Curtis, etc but didn't finish, is the issue of unfairness. Like RS said, they went to these places fully intending to be serious pianists. They were good enough already (at the age of 18-20 or whatever) to get into Curtis. They probably had the best teachers and facilities up until then (which is why they were good enough to get into these conservatories in the first place). So what really is the purpose of an amateur competition? It is for people who do not make a living out of playing the piano alright but that's just what the current rules state.. what really is the objective behind all this? I believe it is basically meant to encourage people who are full time professionals in other fields but find the time somehow to study the piano. They manage to squeeze in an hour or so everyday out of their busy lives to spend time on the piano. These Curtis folks who are now professionals in other fields have had most of their technique and essentials nailed by the time they were 20. Even if they spent just 10 minutes per day on the piano since then, it would still be an unfair competition if their competitors are people who never had the chance to study piano full time and are still figuring out their technique, etc under not the very best teachers money can buy (again this is statistically speaking.. I'm sure there are people, including people like Mark, who have excellent teachers but I'm assuming that many don't).
_________________________
Current:
Beethoven: Sonata Op.31, No.2 ("Tempest")
Debussy: Danseuses de Delphes (Prelude 1, Book 1)
Next in line:
Chopin: Ballade No. 1 in G minor, Op.23
Debussy: Le vent dans la plaine (Prelude 3, Book 1)
Debussy: Les sons et les parfums tournent dans l'air du soir (Prelude 4, Book 1)

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#1703712 - 06/28/11 05:24 PM Re: Boston International Piano Competition for Amateurs [Re: liszt85]
RonaldSteinway Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/11/08
Posts: 1482
Originally Posted By: liszt85
How about Professional, Semi-Professional and Amateur categories? So the people who attended a top conservatory (whether that person finished or not) should automatically be assigned to the semi-professional category. People who attended lower ranked (since there is no other way to assign people to categories) universities for music may choose either the semi-professional or the amateur categories (I agree that this is extremely crude but this is just off the top of my head, better ideas might come up later). The trouble with having people compete in amateur competitions, who went to NEC, Oberlin, Julliard, Curtis, etc but didn't finish, is the issue of unfairness. Like RS said, they went to these places fully intending to be serious pianists. They were good enough already (at the age of 18-20 or whatever) to get into Curtis. They probably had the best teachers and facilities up until then (which is why they were good enough to get into these conservatories in the first place). So what really is the purpose of an amateur competition? It is for people who do not make a living out of playing the piano alright but that's just what the current rules state.. what really is the objective behind all this? I believe it is basically meant to encourage people who are full time professionals in other fields but find the time somehow to study the piano. They manage to squeeze in an hour or so everyday out of their busy lives to spend time on the piano. These Curtis folks who are now professionals in other fields have had most of their technique and essentials nailed by the time they were 20. Even if they spent just 10 minutes per day on the piano since then, it would still be an unfair competition if their competitors are people who never had the chance to study piano full time and are still figuring out their technique, etc under not the very best teachers money can buy (again this is statistically speaking.. I'm sure there are people, including people like Mark, who have excellent teachers but I'm assuming that many don't).


+1. There are people like Mark, and others, but not many, so it is ignorable.

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#1703716 - 06/28/11 05:27 PM Re: Boston International Piano Competition for Amateurs [Re: RonaldSteinway]
DaleC Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/26/10
Posts: 41
Loc: US
Originally Posted By: RonaldSteinway
Originally Posted By: DaleC
Originally Posted By: musica71
... maybe we should have a Competition for people that aren't very good


How about a competition for old people with degrees who aren't very good? smile

Kidding aside ..... it's wonderful to be in such distinguished company, meaning the company of so-called semi-professionals. I wouldn't change a thing. If you want a challenge and enjoy the environment and stress of these competitions, go for it. If not, find something else to do with your time and money .... it takes a lot of both.


Bjorn Borg plays for fun these days, he does not compete in amateur tennis competitions.


Do you know of any well-known, former professional/concertizing pianists who are past their prime and compete in amateur competitions?

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