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#2043926 - 03/06/13 01:11 PM Re: Van Cliburn Competition 2013 - Finalists announced [Re: fnork]
izaldu Offline
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#2043970 - 03/06/13 02:25 PM Re: Van Cliburn Competition 2013 - Finalists announced [Re: Mark_C]
Ataru074 Online   content
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Registered: 06/22/11
Posts: 339
Loc: Houston, TX
Originally Posted By: Mark_C
Originally Posted By: Ataru074
Why nobody did notice that there are SIX Italians ( I'm quite proud of that ) instead? At the end Italy is only 23 times smaller as population than China.

I modestly propose that at least 5 of the Italian candidates be stricken, and that the entire roster be revised to reflect proportional representation from every country and ethnicity, and from every conservatory, university, and teacher. smokin


Mark, if the italian economy keeps going down this fast they won't even have the strings on the piano to play by next month. :-\
:-p :-p :-p
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#2044088 - 03/06/13 06:58 PM Re: Van Cliburn Competition 2013 - Finalists announced [Re: pianoloverus]
fnork Offline
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Registered: 10/01/04
Posts: 1792
Loc: Helsinki, Finland
Originally Posted By: Numerian
This was reportedly how Van Cliburn won the first Tchaikovsky competition. One of the jurors, Sviatoslav Richter, gave Cliburn all 10's and all the rest of the competitors all 0's.

I'm not so sure Richter gave ALL contestants lowest marks with the exception of Cliburn. Richter's attitude seems to have been similar to what Charles Rosen discusses in "Piano notes: The world of a pianist" - that when he listens to a competition, he's giving a vote either in favour or against a concert career. In other words, what may seem completely "fine" and "average" at a normal music conservatory examination is of no relevance, hence Charles Rosen argued that if he'd give a decent mark (say, 6-7 out of 10) for a conservatory examination, he still would go for a lower mark for a similar performance in a competition situation.
I by the way studied with a pianist who participated in the very same competition where Cliburn won - while my teacher didn't get to the finals that time (he was in semi), he was on friendly terms with Richter after the competition. As far as I remember, they exchanged letters and so on.

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#2044104 - 03/06/13 07:30 PM Re: Van Cliburn Competition 2013 - Finalists announced [Re: sophial]
fnork Offline
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Registered: 10/01/04
Posts: 1792
Loc: Helsinki, Finland
Originally Posted By: sophial
It seems to me that a teacher who has students participating in a competition should automatically be ineligible to be a judge in that competition at any level because objectivity is compromised. There is an inherent conflict of interest. It is a principle in many other areas -- law, business, science. Not sure why it is so foreign to music .

It is also true that in many areas, this "connection" is simply impossible to avoid, especially within smaller "circles". To give an example, my dad has a professor position since many years in a university where he has been working for several decades, and when that job position was first opened, he not only had personal contacts within these small university circles (the job position was offered in his hometown, after all), but there were also people within those circles that knew his qualities very well and wanted him to get the position. What, then, was the solution when they needed to announce the job offer, if a certain person was on their mind already before the application process itself? It's rather simple - you look in advance at what 'specific' qualifications the person you are already interested in has in his/her CV, and you put these in the job offer announcment. It's a way of guaranteeing that one job applicant will stick out among the many that you might receive.

Perhaps this sounds a bit simple-minded, but I do think there's a fair amount of truth in it, within smaller circles in particular. I know several cases of people getting university positions in such ways.

Relating this to competitions isn't too difficult - the small circles are there, people go and take lessons from teachers privately or during summer courses/festivals and then they end up in competitions where the same people are judging them. It's somewhat surprising how the same names keep reoccuring among competitions worldwide. In the documentary "Why competitions", Geoffrey Swann made the observation that he had several colleagues during a competition (Busoni perhaps) who went STRAIGHT to Leeds right after that competition to judge, after which they also went to the Chopin competition. It's not entirely uncommon.

One solution regarding having teachers and their students in the jury is that if a jury member gives a plus to his or her own student (assuming there's a plus/minus system), it does not count unless the majority of the other jurors agreed with it.

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#2044124 - 03/06/13 08:13 PM Re: Van Cliburn Competition 2013 - Finalists announced [Re: Mark_C]
fnork Offline
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Registered: 10/01/04
Posts: 1792
Loc: Helsinki, Finland
Originally Posted By: Mark_C
Originally Posted By: fnork
I was going to say that I see a rather large amount of students from the Juilliard school overall...

Oy. grin

Isn't that like expressing surprise over Nobel Prize nominees often coming from Harvard and Oxford?

Juilliard is a name familiar to everyone for sure, buth whether or not that name signifies the Highest Possible Standard among young musicians today I cannot really tell. Though I have heard some fabulous musicians coming out of this school, I can also say that there are pianists from there that supposedly "succeed" in the competition circuit but that I'd never bother to hear in concert. That includes some Juilliard names on the list of contestants of the 2013 competition.

I can offer you a few observations though - a friend of mine, brilliant pianist and competition winner here and there, studied with the very same teacher at Juilliard and Hannover (he switched to the former mainly because his teacher quit in Hannover), and said that this teacher had a better piano class in Hannover than in Juilliard. Also, did you know that the school in america that receives the LEAST donations among former students is...Juilliard?

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#2045592 - 03/09/13 05:36 PM Re: Van Cliburn Competition 2013 - Finalists announced [Re: fnork]
fnork Offline
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Registered: 10/01/04
Posts: 1792
Loc: Helsinki, Finland
It seems the discussion here just died...in any case, now that we are talking big piano competitions - the candidates for Queen Elisabeth later this year were recently chosen as well. It's probably a competition I'm more interested in following overall rather than Van Cliburn. But let's see...

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#2045675 - 03/09/13 08:26 PM Re: Van Cliburn Competition 2013 - Finalists announced [Re: fnork]
Mark_C Offline
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Registered: 11/11/09
Posts: 19798
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: fnork
It seems the discussion here just died.....

I don't think it "died." I think it's more like the discussion was complete for now, maybe until the next stages of the competition.

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#2046845 - 03/12/13 07:57 AM Re: Van Cliburn Competition 2013 - Finalists announced [Re: fnork]
Ridicolosamente Offline
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Registered: 07/08/08
Posts: 1467
Loc: Miami, Florida, USA
Originally Posted By: fnork
...Queen Elisabeth later this year... It's probably a competition I'm more interested in following overall rather than Van Cliburn. But let's see...
What makes you prefer QE? Last competition there were some great moments, but also some "meh.." performances if I remember correctly. I did enjoy Kuzhukin's performances though, and thought he was a rightful winner (unlike that disaster at 2009 Cliburn.) But I don't see Kuzhukin discussed at all in the States - too bad. I hope he's doing well overseas.

-Daniel
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#2046857 - 03/12/13 08:29 AM Re: Van Cliburn Competition 2013 - Finalists announced [Re: fnork]
debrucey Offline
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Registered: 01/18/06
Posts: 2606
Loc: Manchester, UK
I met Fanny Waterman the other day. She told us how she is extremely adamant that in the Leeds competition the judges are forbidden from discussing their thoughts with each other at all, they must deliberate in absolute silence and secrecy, and apparently in the past she has fired people for breaking these rules. I don't know how much truth there is in this, but it did seem very important to her that the process be as fair as possible.


Edited by debrucey (03/12/13 08:29 AM)

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#2046895 - 03/12/13 10:13 AM Re: Van Cliburn Competition 2013 - Finalists announced [Re: fnork]
Andromaque Offline
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Registered: 08/29/08
Posts: 3886
Loc: New York
It seems to me that removing Kaplinsky alone from the jury would address 70% of the problem, including most of the appearance of wrongdoing. A situation that is too complex for a perfect solution can still lend itself to partial remedies.
Moreover, refreshing the Jury would not be a bad strategy for this competition.


Edited by Andromaque (03/12/13 02:38 PM)

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#2047021 - 03/12/13 02:31 PM Re: Van Cliburn Competition 2013 - Finalists announced [Re: fnork]
Orange Soda King Offline
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Registered: 11/25/09
Posts: 6070
Loc: Louisville, Kentucky, United S...
Kind of off-topic: what if there were also an audience (both live audience and people viewing online) voting option? It would not count for the actual judging, but it would be interesting. Thoughts?

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#2047027 - 03/12/13 02:52 PM Re: Van Cliburn Competition 2013 - Finalists announced [Re: fnork]
Kreisler Offline



Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 13798
Loc: Iowa City, IA
What usually happens is that someone starts campaigning for votes and the person who wins the "audience favorite" ends up being the person who was able to get the word out and create the largest audience for themselves. This happens all the time in various YouTube talent contests, for example. Competitor X is clearly better than Competitor Y, but Competitor Y's uncle works at a company with 1000 employees and puts a notice about it in the company's newsletter asking everyone and their friends and family to announce it on Facebook and put in a quick vote for his nephew. So competitor Y ends up with 5000 more votes than competitor Y.

The only way around it would be to require people to listen to the entire performance or be in attendance, but even then it's tricky. When I attended the Cliburn in 2005, it was clear that competitors who lived in Texas often had a friendlier audience than some of the unknowns from other countries. Or you'd get people voting against Kaplinsky students on ideological grounds.

In other words, it's a giant can of worms, the results of which wouldn't be nearly as interesting as one would think.
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#2047102 - 03/12/13 05:10 PM Re: Van Cliburn Competition 2013 - Finalists announced [Re: fnork]
Nikolas Online   content
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Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 5301
Loc: Europe
popularity contests (aka facebook likes and the such) are idiotic! The rest is explained in Kreisler's post clearly!
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#2047117 - 03/12/13 05:25 PM Re: Van Cliburn Competition 2013 - Finalists announced [Re: Orange Soda King]
1091Piano Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/25/12
Posts: 31
Originally Posted By: Orange Soda King
But at the same time, if someone is a juror, don't they abstain from hearing/submitting their feedback from their own students? For example, let's pretend there are 5 jurors for a competition. If a contestant is the student of one of the jurors, doesn't that juror abstain from any sort of judging for that student? Does the Cliburn work like that?


You are correct. Kaplinsky is definitely NOT allowed to judge her students in Cliburn.

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#2047135 - 03/12/13 05:47 PM Re: Van Cliburn Competition 2013 - Finalists announced [Re: Andromaque]
1091Piano Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/25/12
Posts: 31
Originally Posted By: Andromaque
I am also wondering who among today's top stage performers are former Kaplinsky students ?


There are plenty that I can think of just from the top of my head: Joyce Yang, Conrad Tao, Anderson & Roe Piano Duo, Peng-Peng Gong, Charlie Albright, and Naomi Kudo.

I'm sure there are many more that I forgot to add.

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#2047163 - 03/12/13 06:12 PM Re: Van Cliburn Competition 2013 - Finalists announced [Re: Orange Soda King]
bennevis Online   content
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/10
Posts: 5265
Originally Posted By: Orange Soda King
Kind of off-topic: what if there were also an audience (both live audience and people viewing online) voting option? It would not count for the actual judging, but it would be interesting. Thoughts?


The Leeds Competition has an Orchestra Prize, voted for by the conductor and the orchestral players: last year, the American Andrew Tyson won it. He came across in interviews as the most easy-going, relaxed and accommodating of the six finalists, and one would guess, the easiest to accompany in a concerto......
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#2047167 - 03/12/13 06:15 PM Re: Van Cliburn Competition 2013 - Finalists announced [Re: Kreisler]
Polyphonist Online   content
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/03/13
Posts: 7648
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: Kreisler
So competitor Y ends up with 5000 more votes than competitor Y.


Or competitor X, as the case may be. wink grin
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#2047304 - 03/12/13 10:23 PM Re: Van Cliburn Competition 2013 - Finalists announced [Re: fnork]
jdhampton924 Offline
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Registered: 01/13/08
Posts: 1009
Loc: Evansville, Indiana
I am not sure if somebody asked, but I know in a lot of smaller competitions. If your teacher is judging you are not allowed. Why is that not the case here? I mean, not like there are a shortage of big International competitions.

Or is it a case that it is easy to be vague about who is or isn't your teacher?

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#2047470 - 03/13/13 05:21 AM Re: Van Cliburn Competition 2013 - Finalists announced [Re: jdhampton924]
fnork Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/01/04
Posts: 1792
Loc: Helsinki, Finland
Originally Posted By: jdhampton924
I am not sure if somebody asked, but I know in a lot of smaller competitions. If your teacher is judging you are not allowed. Why is that not the case here? I mean, not like there are a shortage of big International competitions.

Or is it a case that it is easy to be vague about who is or isn't your teacher?

I've been to smaller competitions where there hasn't been a single jury member who did NOT have a connection of some sort with some competitors. The competition that came to my mind the most was one in Italy though, heh.

Being vague about teachers is another route jurors/competitors might take. For instance, there was a major competition sometime ago where two friends of mine were in the finals and their ex-teacher was in the jury. While he did not have the possibility to vote for his students, he also by himself decided not to participate in the discussions after the finals when his ex-students participated. However, one of them was his student for merely half a year, and about 5-6 years prior to the competition...and it turned out that another competitor had been taking "private lessons" every now and then from another juror who seemingly didn't count that as having studied formally with her - in other words, she was still free to vote for him. I don't know if she even acknowledged it, until it was uncovered by others.

In competitions that employ the simple +/- system, there's one thing one can do. The juror who has students participating is still allowed to give a + to his students, but it counts ONLY if the majority of the other jury members agree.

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#2047474 - 03/13/13 05:43 AM Re: Van Cliburn Competition 2013 - Finalists announced [Re: 1091Piano]
fnork Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/01/04
Posts: 1792
Loc: Helsinki, Finland
Originally Posted By: 1091Piano
Originally Posted By: Andromaque
I am also wondering who among today's top stage performers are former Kaplinsky students ?


There are plenty that I can think of just from the top of my head: Joyce Yang, Conrad Tao, Anderson & Roe Piano Duo, Peng-Peng Gong, Charlie Albright, and Naomi Kudo.

I'm sure there are many more that I forgot to add.

Are those pianists what they are (whatever you consider that to be) thanks to Kaplinsky? She's the head of a top school in America where there are basically only 4 active piano teachers (the list of teachers looks more impressive, but when you look at how many students each teacher has, it's pretty clear that the majority of students are split between Lowenthal/Raekallio/Kaplinsky/McDonald). It's hard not to end up having some good students...Out of those mentioned however, I heard Conrad and don't think I would bother again, and Peng Peng basically just sits and composes all day long (couldn't find a single youtube clip of him playing something else than his own nonsense music). I listened a bit to Charlie which was much more interesting - from the list of names you mentioned he seemed the most interesting one perhaps. In any case, the stories I hear of the "teachings" that Kaplinsky offers her students leaves room for doubts on her abilities as a pedagogue. A friend was accompanying a Kaplinsky student in Prok 3 in a private lesson, and she kept stopping my friend because he was "rushing" (more likely, just playing the music he felt it should go, and how he had rehearsed it with Kaplinsky's student). Each and every time the tempo was too rushed for her liking, she kept slowing it down, slowing it down, eventually hammering out the 4th-note pulse banging with her left hand on the piano, until they were roughly somewhere around half of the original tempo...

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#2047477 - 03/13/13 05:47 AM Re: Van Cliburn Competition 2013 - Finalists announced [Re: Ridicolosamente]
fnork Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/01/04
Posts: 1792
Loc: Helsinki, Finland
Originally Posted By: Ridicolosamente
Originally Posted By: fnork
...Queen Elisabeth later this year... It's probably a competition I'm more interested in following overall rather than Van Cliburn. But let's see...
What makes you prefer QE? Last competition there were some great moments, but also some "meh.." performances if I remember correctly. I did enjoy Kuzhukin's performances though, and thought he was a rightful winner (unlike that disaster at 2009 Cliburn.) But I don't see Kuzhukin discussed at all in the States - too bad. I hope he's doing well overseas.

-Daniel

Well, Kozhukin is doing great of course, and has a busy-enough concert schedule. As for QE in general, well, I'm not entirely sure of course about the overall level, but just from reading the guidelines and repertoire requirements it gives a rather different and a rather more serious impression to my mind. Also, I know some talented people taking part, so...

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#2047797 - 03/13/13 06:16 PM Re: Van Cliburn Competition 2013 - Finalists announced [Re: Ridicolosamente]
wr Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/07
Posts: 7892
Originally Posted By: Ridicolosamente
Originally Posted By: fnork
...Queen Elisabeth later this year... It's probably a competition I'm more interested in following overall rather than Van Cliburn. But let's see...
What makes you prefer QE? Last competition there were some great moments, but also some "meh.." performances if I remember correctly. I did enjoy Kuzhukin's performances though, and thought he was a rightful winner (unlike that disaster at 2009 Cliburn.) But I don't see Kuzhukin discussed at all in the States - too bad. I hope he's doing well overseas.



Kozhukhin is the transliteration he uses - and he's had two orchestral dates in the US this season (Baltimore and Seattle).

He's about the most interesting competition winner I've heard in the last decade or so, I think. His Prokofiev 2nd at the QE was quite memorable. And it had the effect of showing just how vapid most performances of that piece in competitions are.

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#2047928 - 03/13/13 11:02 PM Re: Van Cliburn Competition 2013 - Finalists announced [Re: wr]
Brendan Offline



Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 5318
Loc: McAllen, TX
Originally Posted By: wr
Originally Posted By: Ridicolosamente
Originally Posted By: fnork
...Queen Elisabeth later this year... It's probably a competition I'm more interested in following overall rather than Van Cliburn. But let's see...
What makes you prefer QE? Last competition there were some great moments, but also some "meh.." performances if I remember correctly. I did enjoy Kuzhukin's performances though, and thought he was a rightful winner (unlike that disaster at 2009 Cliburn.) But I don't see Kuzhukin discussed at all in the States - too bad. I hope he's doing well overseas.



Kozhukhin is the transliteration he uses - and he's had two orchestral dates in the US this season (Baltimore and Seattle).

He's about the most interesting competition winner I've heard in the last decade or so, I think. His Prokofiev 2nd at the QE was quite memorable. And it had the effect of showing just how vapid most performances of that piece in competitions are.


Agreed. He had a very interesting Rach 2 in Leeds a few cycles ago.
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#2048694 - 03/15/13 12:10 PM Re: Van Cliburn Competition 2013 - Finalists announced [Re: fnork]
jdhampton924 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/13/08
Posts: 1009
Loc: Evansville, Indiana
Originally Posted By: fnork
Originally Posted By: jdhampton924
I am not sure if somebody asked, but I know in a lot of smaller competitions. If your teacher is judging you are not allowed. Why is that not the case here? I mean, not like there are a shortage of big International competitions.

Or is it a case that it is easy to be vague about who is or isn't your teacher?

I've been to smaller competitions where there hasn't been a single jury member who did NOT have a connection of some sort with some competitors. The competition that came to my mind the most was one in Italy though, heh.

Being vague about teachers is another route jurors/competitors might take. For instance, there was a major competition sometime ago where two friends of mine were in the finals and their ex-teacher was in the jury. While he did not have the possibility to vote for his students, he also by himself decided not to participate in the discussions after the finals when his ex-students participated. However, one of them was his student for merely half a year, and about 5-6 years prior to the competition...and it turned out that another competitor had been taking "private lessons" every now and then from another juror who seemingly didn't count that as having studied formally with her - in other words, she was still free to vote for him. I don't know if she even acknowledged it, until it was uncovered by others.

In competitions that employ the simple +/- system, there's one thing one can do. The juror who has students participating is still allowed to give a + to his students, but it counts ONLY if the majority of the other jury members agree.


Ahh, that clears a lot of things up...Thanks!

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