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#1832514 - 01/26/12 07:02 PM Rumors on Yoheved "Veda" Kaplinsky
1091Piano Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/25/12
Posts: 31
I've heard extremely rude and ignorant comments on Veda Kaplinsky, prof. at The Juilliard School. Where in the world did you get these rumors and beliefs? She is hands-down the best teacher I have ever encountered or heard of. She was a solution to any problem at the piano, and her technique is always backed up with a clear scientific explanation. Not only this, but she is an extremely warm, kind teacher/mentor. Just because she has many "Chinese" students, why is is it that people say she keeps "Chinese pets"? Who agrees with me?

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#1832594 - 01/26/12 10:00 PM Re: Rumors on Yoheved "Veda" Kaplinsky [Re: 1091Piano]
Skorpius Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/17/08
Posts: 751
Who is this thread directed toward?
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#1832598 - 01/26/12 10:04 PM Re: Rumors on Yoheved "Veda" Kaplinsky [Re: Skorpius]
Mark_C Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19664
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: Skorpius
Who is this thread directed toward?

I wondered too. I sure haven't ever heard or seen any such rumors....
_________________________
"Everything I say is my opinion, including the facts." :-)

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#1832599 - 01/26/12 10:07 PM Re: Rumors on Yoheved "Veda" Kaplinsky [Re: 1091Piano]
How you doing? Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/22/09
Posts: 81
On youtube, I've read various negative comments regarding Kaplinsky. However, I myself was also shocked by such comments. So, it's possible that the OP is talking about these comments. I have many friends who are students of Kaplinsky and I've only heard good comments about her.

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#1832609 - 01/26/12 10:44 PM Re: Rumors on Yoheved "Veda" Kaplinsky [Re: 1091Piano]
ChopinAddict Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/29/09
Posts: 6096
Loc: Land of the never-ending music
Comments on YouTube are not always serious or made by serious people, so you shouldn't worry...
_________________________



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#1832633 - 01/26/12 11:44 PM Re: Rumors on Yoheved "Veda" Kaplinsky [Re: ChopinAddict]
LaReginadellaNotte Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/23/09
Posts: 390
I know of one pianist (she made it to the semi-finals at the Van Cliburn Competition) who obtained her Bachelor's and Master's degrees under Kaplinsky and claimed that she didn't learn anything from Kaplinsky. However, that is only one opinion, and I have not spoken with any other Kaplinsky pupils.


Edited by LaReginadellaNotte (01/26/12 11:55 PM)

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#1832634 - 01/26/12 11:47 PM Re: Rumors on Yoheved "Veda" Kaplinsky [Re: LaReginadellaNotte]
Mark_C Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19664
Loc: New York
Well, she learned something good from somebody.... ha
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"Everything I say is my opinion, including the facts." :-)

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#1832692 - 01/27/12 02:04 AM Re: Rumors on Yoheved "Veda" Kaplinsky [Re: LaReginadellaNotte]
carey Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/13/05
Posts: 6224
Loc: Phoenix, Arizona
Originally Posted By: LaReginadellaNotte
I know of one pianist (she made it to the semi-finals at the Van Cliburn Competition) who obtained her Bachelor's and Master's degrees under Kaplinsky and claimed that she didn't learn anything from Kaplinsky. However, that is only one opinion, and I have not spoken with any other Kaplinsky pupils.


If she claims that she didn't learn anything from Kaplinsky, why did she continue to study with Kaplinsky for 5+ years ??? crazy
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#1832696 - 01/27/12 02:12 AM Re: Rumors on Yoheved "Veda" Kaplinsky [Re: carey]
LaReginadellaNotte Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/23/09
Posts: 390
That's a good question. Perhaps she felt that switching teachers at Juilliard would have had too many negative political ramifications. However, the pianist did decide to do her doctorate at a different institution and with a different teacher.

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#1832715 - 01/27/12 03:15 AM Re: Rumors on Yoheved "Veda" Kaplinsky [Re: LaReginadellaNotte]
stores Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/09
Posts: 6646
Loc: Here, as opposed to there
Originally Posted By: LaReginadellaNotte
I know of one pianist (she made it to the semi-finals at the Van Cliburn Competition) who obtained her Bachelor's and Master's degrees under Kaplinsky and claimed that she didn't learn anything from Kaplinsky. However, that is only one opinion, and I have not spoken with any other Kaplinsky pupils.


Students are often like children, who, of course, are more informed than their elders. wink
_________________________

"And if we look at the works of J.S. Bach — a benevolent god to which all musicians should offer a prayer to defend themselves against mediocrity... -Debussy

"It's ok if you disagree with me. I can't force you to be right."

♪ ≠ $


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#1832830 - 01/27/12 09:23 AM Re: Rumors on Yoheved "Veda" Kaplinsky [Re: 1091Piano]
Kreisler Offline



Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 13763
Loc: Iowa City, IA
So we've established that one student had a bad experience with Kaplinsky and some Anonymous Cowards on YouTube have a problem with her.

I haven't had any contact with her, but I've known several people who attended Juilliard and other festivals she's associated with and haven't really heard anything bad. She seems to use her influence to help her students' careers, but that's a perfectly reasonable thing to do.
_________________________
"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)

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www.youtube.com/user/UIPianoPed

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#1832831 - 01/27/12 09:25 AM Re: Rumors on Yoheved "Veda" Kaplinsky [Re: 1091Piano]
Peter K. Mose Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/06/12
Posts: 1317
Loc: Toronto, Ontario
Originally Posted By: 1091Piano
Who agrees with me?


I do. Piano teachers inspire both tremendous loyalty and tremendous animosity, particularly those who are grooming performers for a career that is almost nonexistent in our present society.

I'm glad Ms. Kaplinsky was the right mentor for you. And thanks for letting us in on the world of childish rumors at a famous conservatory.

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#1833062 - 01/27/12 04:59 PM Re: Rumors on Yoheved "Veda" Kaplinsky [Re: Peter K. Mose]
1091Piano Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/25/12
Posts: 31
Thank you for the thoughtful replies. I wasn't directing this to any particular person, but just in general. I'm glad that there are people that agree with me: it means a lot. Many people think that Juilliard's level got lower because of Dr. Kaplinsky....I hope people will change their mind-sets on her. 
Read this article: 

Quote:

A teacher's torment
By Tim Madigan
Star-Telegram Staff Writer

FORT WORTH - For most of the past three weeks, Veda Kaplinsky has sat in the same seat on the right side of Bass Hall, listening as one of her students, audience favorite Joyce Yang, played her way to a silver medal at the 12th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition.

Under other circumstances, Yang's medal, awarded Sunday night, would have been a happy career milestone for Kaplinsky, the 58-year-old chairwoman of the piano department at The Juilliard School. Instead, the teacher says the past few months have been among the most trying of her life.

Kaplinsky has been the target of an anonymous, orchestrated smear campaign, consisting of harassing email messages, an anonymous letter, Internet postings, ominous late-night phone calls and a threatening statement overheard last week at Bass Hall.

The harassment has become increasingly menacing since Kaplinsky arrived in Texas, prompting her to contact Fort Worth police twice in the past week.

Investigators aren't certain who is behind the threats, although Kaplinsky blames disgruntled pianists. But the situation illustrates just how high the stakes are at the world's most prestigious piano competition, which can launch a pianist to a career of fame and fortune. (A Cliburn medalist gets $20,000 and three years of concert management.)

The personal attacks began early this year, when a five-person screening jury that included Kaplinsky listened to 147 pianists in Cliburn auditions around the world. Seven of Kaplinsky's students (out of eight that applied) were among the 35 pianists chosen in March to play in the Cliburn.

Kaplinsky and other Cliburn officials say the teacher abstained from voting on her students during the Cliburn auditions and went to great lengths to keep from influencing other jurors.

Although the practice invites widespread skepticism, it is not unusual for teachers to serve as jurors in competitions in which their students are being judged, according to an independent observer of piano competitions.

Nonetheless, the international piano community has been buzzing since the Cliburn field was announced and many of Kaplinsky's students were included. The resulting personal attacks have followed her from Tel Aviv in her native Israel to New York and, finally, to the competition in Fort Worth.

A threatening email Kaplinsky received last Friday came from the address youareadeadwoman@hotmail.com.

"How can you sleep at night?" asked the unsigned message, a copy of which was obtained by the `Star-Telegram.' "If I were you, I'd be concerned."

About six times during her stay in Fort Worth, Kaplinsky says, she has answered late-night telephone calls in her hotel room and heard only heavy breathing at the other end.

During the competition, Kaplinsky never mentioned the harassment to Yang, her star pupil.

"Wow," said Yang, 19, who learned of the threats on Monday. "That's terrible. ... She didn't show any kind of stress in front of me. I'm really kind of in awe that she can go through this by herself. I feel terrible.

"I could not have done this without her. ... I needed to see her every day and get that last hug from her before I went on stage. I owe this entire experience to her."

John Giordano, the chairman of Cliburn juries since 1973, said the harassment was particularly perplexing because of Kaplinsky's reputation for integrity. So many Kaplinsky students were selected for the Cliburn, Giordano said, because they were "extraordinary musicians," not because of the influence of their teacher.

"This is so unfair," Giordano said. "I've never known anybody with more integrity than Veda. Either you're good enough to get in or you're not. Somebody has a vendetta. God. What on earth is going on? This is a piano contest."

Kaplinsky says she is determined to identify whoever is behind the harassment.

"Frightened? No. But angered? Yes," said Kaplinsky, who believes that one or two individuals, probably pianists unhappy with the Cliburn results, are behind most of the attacks. "And I'm saddened at the fact that musicians who are supposed to promote art and are supposed to have sensitive souls can turn against each other in such a way. ... I know I didn't do anything wrong. ...

"My reputation is something I've worked a lifetime to attain. I will not have some sick person ruin it with a pack of lies."

Vicious accusations

In mid-April, while Kaplinsky served on the jury of the Rubinstein International Piano Competition, she found a letter stuck beneath the door of her hotel room in Tel Aviv.

The anonymous letter, addressed to Cliburn Foundation President Richard Rodzinski and jury members in other competitions around the world, denigrated the audition results and called Kaplinsky "the most distasteful, vengeful, incompetent person who is trying to pollute the world of music by raising mediocrity at its very best. ...

"This little angry person pushed the legendary Juilliard School to the lowest level in its history," the letter continued.

"I was stunned. This came out of nowhere," Kaplinsky said last week in Fort Worth. "This was about as vicious as writing can get and painted me as some kind of monster that I didn't even recognize. I was livid."

Kaplinksy said she immediately went to the hotel's front desk to ask who had delivered the letter. She was told that a woman requested that it be distributed to all of the Rubinstein jurors. A few days later, back in New York, Kaplinsky began receiving anonymous emails in a similar vein.

She was also subjected to an atmosphere at Juilliard that she described as "pretty vicious ... against my students."

"If there were 25 Juilliard students who applied, and only 10 got in, that leaves 15 out in the cold, and that's not a very good feeling," Kaplinsky said. "There was a lot of talk. I explained to anybody who would listen, over and over again, and that goes from the faculty to the students, exactly how the process was done. I didn't have to defend myself. I just had to explain to them."

Kaplinsky said she discussed the situation with a couple of her students who had been chosen for the Cliburn field, asking whether they knew the source of the harassment. The students said they didn't.

One student described her as "really stressed."

Two of Kaplinsky's students, Yang and Gabriela Martinez, advanced to the Cliburn semifinals. Yang made it to the final six.

As the competition intensified, so did the anonymous attacks. In addition to the late-night phone calls and anonymous email, unsigned postings began appearing on the official Cliburn Internet blog.

"ok people, when are we going to do something about VEDA KAPLINSKY???" one posting read. "seriously, we need a revolution or something because this woman has done so much evil in this world that it simply CANNOT continue as it is! she is a scary creature."

On May 27, a man standing near Kaplinsky outside Bass Hall was overheard muttering, as if to himself, "I'm not gonna kill Veda Kaplinsky. I'm not gonna kill Veda Kaplinsky."

At the urging of Rodzinski, Kaplinsky reported the comments to Fort Worth police. Last Friday, she contacted police again to report the overtly threatening email messages. A police spokesman said Monday that an investigation was continuing.

The Cliburn's Rodzinski called the harassment a "despicable situation," and said Kaplinsky will be invited to serve on future Cliburn juries.

A decision to make

In November, Kaplinsky had offered to resign from the Cliburn screening jury because of the number of Juilliard students -- more than 20 -- applying for the competition.

Rodzinski immediately persuaded her to remain, reminding Kaplinsky how common it was for teachers to serve as jurors in music competitions that involve their students. (In fact, Cliburn juror Claude Frank had two students reach the semifinals.)

Gustav Alink, whose foundation in the Netherlands tracks international piano competitions, said in Fort Worth last week the practice is indeed common because of the relatively small and insular world of classical music.

"It's almost unavoidable," Alink said. "There are so many connections, not only student-teacher relationships [but] also through master classes, and jurors know pianists from other competitions. If a teacher has students [in competitions], they just don't vote for those."

Alink said that even with many of her students auditioning, he thought that it was reasonable for Kaplinsky to remain on the screening jury because those eight were just a fraction of the roughly 250 pianists who applied.

Of those, 147 were invited to auditions in Russia, the Netherlands, Switzerland, New York and Fort Worth. What is remarkable and perhaps unprecedented, Alink said, was the number of Kaplinsky's students ultimately selected for the competition.

"I told the kids ahead of time that, statistically speaking, about two of them had a chance of getting in," said Kaplinsky, who served on the Cliburn jury in 2001. "They had to get ready for the fact that not all of them would get in."

The Juilliard students auditioned in February at Rockefeller University in New York. Kaplinsky said she abstained from voting on her students, although not on other Juilliard students she does not teach, and also insisted on not knowing how other jurors voted.

Yet despite the precautions, the teacher said, she grew uneasy when so many of her students began appearing on the audition stage, playing at such an obviously high level.

"I could see the outcome because they were playing well, and I was uncomfortable," Kaplinsky said. "I have to make very clear to you that I was uncomfortable with the perception. I was never uncomfortable with my role because I knew what I was doing."

Nevertheless, she said, when the Cliburn field was announced in March and all but one of her students was promoted, "I was shocked."

"I know how hard it is to get in," she said. "I knew they played well, but so did other [pianists]. I had very mixed feelings. I was very happy for my students. They had worked so hard.

"But I immediately saw trouble. I foresaw a perception that I had something to do with it because it is so unique. I expected the raised eyebrows. I expected I would have some explaining to do. I never expected the viciousness."

Kaplinsky said she will think hard before accepting another invitation to serve on a Cliburn jury, particularly if future students audition.

"If I had to do it all over again, in view of what has happened, I probably would have convinced Richard that because of the multitude of students, that I should have stayed away from the process in order to not taint it in any way," Kaplinsky said. "But whoever is doing this is totally obsessed with this issue and has totally lost any sense of proportion or logic.

"We'll try to find out who it is and make him suffer the consequences. You cannot try to ruin another person's reputation based on outright lies."
-----------------------------------------------------------
Tim Madigan, (817) 390-7544 tmadigan@star-telegram.com

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#1833107 - 01/27/12 06:16 PM Re: Rumors on Yoheved "Veda" Kaplinsky [Re: 1091Piano]
Mark_C Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19664
Loc: New York
Thanks for posting that -- now we can have a better idea of where you were coming from. Despite my having been to Fort Worth many times, including in amateur competitions that she judged (and meeting and speaking with her), I never heard of any of this.

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#1833142 - 01/27/12 07:04 PM Re: Rumors on Yoheved "Veda" Kaplinsky [Re: Mark_C]
wr Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/07
Posts: 7767
Originally Posted By: Mark_C
Thanks for posting that -- now we can have a better idea of where you were coming from. Despite my having been to Fort Worth many times, including in amateur competitions that she judged (and meeting and speaking with her), I never heard of any of this.


Do you have any idea of the date of that article? I think it makes a bit of a difference, in the context of this thread.

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#1833158 - 01/27/12 07:21 PM Re: Rumors on Yoheved "Veda" Kaplinsky [Re: wr]
Kreisler Offline



Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 13763
Loc: Iowa City, IA
The article is from June of 2005 and pertains to that year's competition. (I was there!)

Originally Posted By: wr
Originally Posted By: Mark_C
Thanks for posting that -- now we can have a better idea of where you were coming from. Despite my having been to Fort Worth many times, including in amateur competitions that she judged (and meeting and speaking with her), I never heard of any of this.


Do you have any idea of the date of that article? I think it makes a bit of a difference, in the context of this thread.
_________________________
"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)

www.pianoped.com
www.youtube.com/user/UIPianoPed

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#1833176 - 01/27/12 07:37 PM Re: Rumors on Yoheved "Veda" Kaplinsky [Re: Mark_C]
Kreisler Offline



Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 13763
Loc: Iowa City, IA
Originally Posted By: Mark_C
I never heard of any of this.


There's an enormous amount of politics involved with piano competitions. I've seen petitions go around calling for more openness and fairness in judging.

This is especially true of the Cliburn I think for two reasons. First, it has the highest profile of all the competitions in North America. And second, because the Cliburn doesn't just pick based on artistic merit. The jury includes producers and critics, and their decision takes into account the fact that whoever they pick needs to be ready to embark on an immediate and strenuous concert tour. This means selecting mature musicians who have a good chance of being successful in the "real world" of classical music. This is partly due to the problems with Sultanov, who at the age of 19 was thrown into a world of concertizing before he was ready. Nowadays, Cliburn winners don't just get their medals and leave, they become part of the Cliburn family. The Cliburn Foundation takes its role in these musicians' lives very seriously, even beyond the competition.

I think it's admirable that the Cliburn takes their role in these musicians' lives seriously. The idea of finding a hidden gem and turning it into an overnight success is an alluring idea, but it's not always the healthiest route (as so many Hollywood child actors have discovered.)
_________________________
"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)

www.pianoped.com
www.youtube.com/user/UIPianoPed

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#1833214 - 01/27/12 08:25 PM Re: Rumors on Yoheved "Veda" Kaplinsky [Re: Kreisler]
Opus_Maximus Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/27/04
Posts: 1480
Originally Posted By: Kreisler
Originally Posted By: Mark_C
I never heard of any of this.


This is partly due to the problems with Sultanov, who at the age of 19 was thrown into a world of concertizing before he was ready.


Would you say that Haocheng Zhang, also 19 when he won, is "ready"? I have no idea either way, just curious to see if you think there is a difference between the two.

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#1833224 - 01/27/12 08:48 PM Re: Rumors on Yoheved "Veda" Kaplinsky [Re: Opus_Maximus]
Kreisler Offline



Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 13763
Loc: Iowa City, IA
I think they'll see to it that he has competent and involved management.

I also suspect it's one of the reasons they picked two winners - it takes a bit of the stress off each one's plate.

Originally Posted By: Opus_Maximus
Originally Posted By: Kreisler
Originally Posted By: Mark_C
I never heard of any of this.


This is partly due to the problems with Sultanov, who at the age of 19 was thrown into a world of concertizing before he was ready.


Would you say that Haocheng Zhang, also 19 when he won, is "ready"? I have no idea either way, just curious to see if you think there is a difference between the two.
_________________________
"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)

www.pianoped.com
www.youtube.com/user/UIPianoPed

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#1833233 - 01/27/12 09:06 PM Re: Rumors on Yoheved "Veda" Kaplinsky [Re: Kreisler]
carey Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/13/05
Posts: 6224
Loc: Phoenix, Arizona
Originally Posted By: Kreisler
The article is from June of 2005 and pertains to that year's competition. (I was there!)


So what, if anything , has changed during the past 6+ years???? Did they ever find out who was behind the harassment???


Edited by carey (01/27/12 09:08 PM)
_________________________
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#1833251 - 01/27/12 09:42 PM Re: Rumors on Yoheved "Veda" Kaplinsky [Re: carey]
1091Piano Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/25/12
Posts: 31
I don't think anyone found out about the mystery. Since the big incident in 2005, I think everyone got scared about openly announcing their opinions on Kaplinsky. This might be because they fear on what kind of consequences they might get. Now, "secretly," rumors and bad comments are still going around about her - just not in an attacking way. Just because she has many successful students winning competitions, it doesn't mean that people should get "jealous" of her reputation and make her look like a "nothing."
After all of this, there are still many that respect her very much. Once you get to meet and get to know her, she is one of the most wonderful people you will meet.


Edited by 1091Piano (01/27/12 11:18 PM)

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#1833261 - 01/27/12 10:07 PM Re: Rumors on Yoheved "Veda" Kaplinsky [Re: carey]
wr Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/07
Posts: 7767
Originally Posted By: carey
Originally Posted By: Kreisler
The article is from June of 2005 and pertains to that year's competition. (I was there!)


So what, if anything , has changed during the past 6+ years???? Did they ever find out who was behind the harassment???


Well, she was on the jury for the 2009 competition and, AFAIK, there were no reports of this sort of thing going on. So that changed.

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#1833276 - 01/27/12 10:28 PM Re: Rumors on Yoheved "Veda" Kaplinsky [Re: 1091Piano]
How you doing? Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/22/09
Posts: 81
Well, I've heard some bad things about her from my Julliard friends. However, these friends aren't particularly trust able because I have noticed they tend to exaggerate about music life trying to sound impressive. I find it rather strange phenomenon that I've noticed in many of my music major friends haha!

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#1833282 - 01/27/12 10:33 PM Re: Rumors on Yoheved "Veda" Kaplinsky [Re: How you doing?]
carey Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/13/05
Posts: 6224
Loc: Phoenix, Arizona
Originally Posted By: How you doing?
Well, I've heard some bad things about her from my Julliard friends. However, these friends aren't particularly trust able because I have noticed they tend to exaggerate about music life trying to sound impressive. I find it rather strange phenomenon that I've noticed in many of my music major friends haha!


Not strange at all - just human nature (unfortunately).
_________________________
YouTube channel - http://www.youtube.com/user/pianophilo

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