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#242111 - 09/25/04 12:05 PM Some Unfortunate news about Julliard
smith701 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/25/04
Posts: 1
For anyone that is interested in going to Julliard, particularly for piano studies or wants some important insider information, read the following, which was sent recently to all major donors and financial supporters of this "legendary institution":

Satans Ruling the Ball

All of a sudden, this title came to mind when my friends and I were discussing the path which powers at hand have decided to embark on, the path of distruction of one of the legendary musical institutions in the world, The Julliard School. Julliard is known worldwide as the school of Josef and Rosina Levin, Sasha Gorodnitsky, Adel Marcos, Anya Dorfman, Earl Wild, Beverige
Webster, Nadia Reisenberg, Bella Davidovich, Abbey Simon and the legendary Seymour Lipkin, Jacob Lateiner, Oxana Yablonskaya, Martin Canin, Herbert Stessin, Georgy Sandor who are still teaching to this day. So what is wrong
with this picture; what is the reason that this scary and terrible title of this article came to mind?

The reason is that the names and the talents of these great musicians and teachers are being wronged and tarnished by “unknown forces”. The fame and ability of the above-mentioned to produce the best musicians, and their complete dedication to the Music has become an eyesore and an obstacle for those who are "ruling” today. These Kaplinskys and Lowenthals, McDonalds,
Martins , Mushkatkols and Lawson-types who snake and manipulate their way into many music schools of the world, are lowering musical standards and are creating mediocre musicians that have no personality, in the end damaging the
fundamental individuality of Music. These people are endangering the great musical traditions through their questionable teaching practices that are more and more becoming acceptable norms in Competitions, Festivals, on concert
stages and in the classrooms. The reason that they are doing this is to limit competition for themselves, creating musicians out of their students that will never have a chance to surpass them in any way.
The word “MUSIC” does not exist in their vocabulary of these individuals; they are politicians. They substituted that word with "musical business", by creating political alliances and the circle of cronies who invite each other to participate in the Juries of the most prestigious Competitions worldwide (at
least they used to be).

The perfect example of all of this is currently happening at the Juilliard School of Music, which in the opinion of many fine and concerned lovers of Music is experiencing probably some the darkest days since the school’s opening
in 1905. Today, many of the young pianists who do not study at Juilliard are quietly mocking their contemporaries in Juilliard, saying that “they are not as good as they used to be”. The overall performing level of Juilliard students is
rapidly diminishing leaving them behind pianists from China, Poland, Russia, Italy, Japan, and Taiwan among others. At many competitions they do not even get past first round. This is clearly an indication of the decline of Music culture at Juilliard. How long must this take place before sponsors stop giving generously to the school which produces such poor results?

Although in this example such trends are happening in this case in the piano department at Julliard, they are also occurring in other instrumental departments as well. Last year, the 94 year old Professor of cello Harvey Shapiro was literally kicked out from Juilliard where he started at the age of 19. He is still widely considered the best cello teacher in the world!! Another example is Andre Emelianov, currently a Full-time professor in cello performance in both College and Pre-College divisions, which as a musician is mediocre at best. The same thing is happening in the violin department.The only
big name there is Itzhak Perlman, who has yet to produce a great violinist.

So how and when did it start to go downhill? Could it be in 1984 when Joseph Polisi became the President of Juilliard? Or maybe it started 1993 when Yoheved Kaplinsky squeezed her way into the piano faculty? Before we can answer that,
let’s take a look at Ms. Kaplinsky’s record. What did she have to offer at the time that she was hired? Not being a performing pianist herself and not being an accomplished piano teacher, the only way she could join such a prestigious school was to ... bring somebody with a lot of money to school. Kaplinsky took a dubious second prize at the Bach Competition, not in Leipzig, but in
Washington, DC; this is a very big difference! Maybe it was then that President Polisi gave her Cart Blanche to do what she wants? And how exactly was she hired by Mr. Polisi? Did she go through a round of interviews, was her
candidacy discussed at piano Faculty meetings, or did anyone have a chance to hear any of her recordings and /or written essays? None of this happened to the knowledge of anyone on the Faculty of Juilliard.
The many faculty members at the Manhattan School of Music and the Peabody Conservatory must have been thrilled when Kaplinsky left these schools only to be promoted to Juilliard!!! When she joined the Faculty, she was quiet and

In a few short years she was quiet no more! Very soon after her installation, she started to realize her far reaching goal to accumulate enough power so nobody could stand in her way, in particular many musicians of the world fame, who knew of her small, dismal persona with an ego of a giant that is anything but a great musician.

It is a known fact that when you are not a great specialist in a particular field of expertise, the only way you can survive is to gather political power, which then results in the political manipulation of other people. The next
course of action is to invite your friends to your current institution, so that you can protect yourself and your power; these friends that will never say a word, never argue with a command that you have given them, or betray you. How
many great musicians do any of you out there know who would be so thirsty for power? They simply don't need it - they belong to their art.

A couple of years after Kaplinsky appeared at Juilliard, she was elected Chair of the Piano Department. Nobody at that time realized what that meant not only for her but for the whole music department of one of the most famous music
schools in the world. It was then that her rapid rise to power began. The first time she was elected, all of the professors were asked to nominate the person of their choice. Last year, Dean Clapp simply announced that Kaplinsky would be the Chair for three more years without any prior warning or discussion with Professors. It seems that they have somehow changed the Julliard Charter without anyone knowing.

In 1999, Kaplinsky brought two of her followers from Peabody to Juilliard, Robert McDonald and Julian Martin. And again, as in the case of her own hiring, there is no record of hiring procedure. What here has happened to democracy and justice?
They were not hired under a federal policy of equal employment; no one even knew how they managed to get into Julliard.

Is this another one of shady Polisi-Kaplinsky deals? It certainly smells like it. These are hard facts.

And now,” the rest of the story”:

When these people started teaching, the true and tragic reality hit those great musicians who had helped to make the Julliard School great. Students started to disappear from their studios and appear on the roster of Kaplinsky, Lowenthal,
McDonald and Martin . Students were shamelessly approached by Dean Steven Clapp or by any one of those four and asked to switch to their studio again through fraud and manipulation. The students were actually told that they did not improve their performance level and should switch teacher. They were even given preferred names of those teachers. So, in two, three years the studios of Kaplinsky’s group were filled up to the "brim" and studios of others depleted to embarrassing levels. This practice is illegal and should be prosecuted. In legal terms it is called harassment and character assassination and is not
permitted in any school. Kaplinsky and Lowenthal amassed such large number of students that they decided to “share” them among themselves and, once again, McDonald and Martin. How is it possible for a student to be taught by four
Professors at the same time? If they are all great teachers as they claim to be, then where is their personal teaching method? Aren’t they all supposed to be unique in their own artistic approach to teaching? And what does this
accomplish for the poor student, except to confuse them and to rid them of their own musical personality? This is just another way to keep control and domination.

And now, onto the subject of master classes at Julliard. What about inviting teachers from other schools to give Master classes at Juilliard? Kaplinsky always brings somebody to serve her own interests, despite various other names of well known artists being discussed at faculty meetings. She invites these associates of hers because they invite her back, and do her other “favors”.

Suddenly, the teachers with whom students from all over the world wanted to study become unimportant and useless to the Julliard School. The students of these "less fortunate" professors stopped winning Juilliard Concerto competitions; in particular Julliard’s Gina Bachauer, and were stopped from participating in other important events. But when students of these “four”
participate in International Competitions where Kaplinsky and or her associates are not on the Jury, they more times than none fail to advance even in the second round and very seldom reach the final stage.

Methodically, the great ones are pushed out of school for the lack of incoming students to their studios. How is it possible that no one wants to study with such legends as Abbey Simon and Bella Davidovich? Can anyone believe this? THIS
For three years not a single person? Actually, that's not true at all. There are plenty of examples of people applying to their studios. What about such famous events of the not-so-distant past when Faculty members played recitals
in Alice Tully Hall and Juilliard Theater? There are no such recitals in the last 6-7 years because Kaplinsky does not perform and neither does Martin.

How can Sponsors be happy with this situation and continue to pour millions into an institution which sunk so low?! It is certainly appears to be

The power at hand does not care for the great level of artistry which this renowned school has been known for nearly a 100 years for. Teachers that are on such a high level should not be fired, but should be accommodated so that they
could continue to raise worldwide level of artistic skill. According to sourcesin Julliard, they are fired because they are too old. Their age should have nothing to do with their employment. They are still giving concerts all over the world!!!! Do you hear this Mr. Polisi? Only names like theirs attract people who want to learn from the best, only these names create great schools.

To Mr.Polisi: you have done the exact same thing with these world famous musicians as you did with Earl Wild, one the greatest pianists of the 20th
Century who has played for 5 Presidents of the United States. You must remember the day he came to you with his resignation and you did not even came out of your big office to shake his hand and thank him for the excellent service he
provided for this Fine Institution!

So, let's hope that everybody in the world will find out what is actually happens in Juilliard School and raises very serious questions about this scandalous and very dangerous situation.

Adam Smith

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#242112 - 09/25/04 02:01 PM Re: Some Unfortunate news about Julliard
BruceD Offline

Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 20123
Loc: Victoria, BC
I have two questions :

1) Who is Adam Smith who posted this "rant"?

2) Is the Julliard School he writes about the same as the Juilliard School he (also) writes about?

Curious minds want to know - before we can devote time to digesting this post.
- - - - -
Estonia 190

#242113 - 09/25/04 02:14 PM Re: Some Unfortunate news about Julliard
Keith D Kerman Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/12/03
Posts: 3662
Loc: Gaithersburg, MD (Washington D...
I consider myself to be incredibly lucky and honored to have been a student of both Julian Martin and Yoheved Kaplinsky.
Juilliard, with all of its illustrious history, is dramatically improved to have these two on their faculty.
Both are generally considered among the world's great piano teachers by those that know.
Kaplinsky has the best understanding of how to teach how to play the piano of anyone I am aware of.
Julian Martin's musicianship is extraordinary, and his approach to making music is fantastic. His ears are legendary and intimidating to even the most accomplished musicians.
Students at conservatories know who the hot teachers are, and gravitate towards them. In the political environment of a music school, this creates much jealousy, and resentment.
Both Kaplinsky and Martin are attracting and turning out extremely successful students, and this also is creating jealosy and resentment among more insecure and less successful faculty.
I was never a student of Bob McDonald, but he is a superb pianist, and one of the most in demand collaborative pianists in the world.
Jerome Lowenthal is a monster pianist and musician, and has been one of the world's top teachers for years.

None of these folks need me to defend them in the least.

I am also good friends with some who resent the hell out of the success these folks have had at Juilliard. The classical piano world is very insecure, backstabbing, jealous, and unhealthy.

I think the political agenda of the letter writer is transparent.

I have tremendous respect for most of the musicians mentioned in the first paragraph.
Keith D Kerman
Rebuilding & Sales of vintage and pre-owned Steinway and Mason & Hamlin
New Steingraeber, Estonia, Baldwin
check out www.sitkadoc.com
www.twitter.com/pianocraft www.youtube.com/user/pianocraftchannel/videos

keith@pianocraft.net 888-840-5460

#242114 - 09/25/04 02:19 PM Re: Some Unfortunate news about Julliard
QuirtEvans Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/30/04
Posts: 978
Loc: U.S.A.
"The classical piano world is very insecure, backstabbing, jealous, and unhealthy."

As opposed to any other branch of academia. \:\)
If you use lines like "a hyena with hiccups", you might be a redneck.

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#242115 - 09/25/04 02:19 PM Re: Some Unfortunate news about Julliard
Brendan Offline

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 5544
Loc: McAllen, TX
Originally posted by Keith D Kerman:
The classical piano world is very insecure, backstabbing, jealous, and unhealthy.
ding ding ding ding ding

#242116 - 09/25/04 11:31 PM Re: Some Unfortunate news about Julliard
JoeB Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/03
Posts: 671
Loc: Northern California
I can see the writer in my mind.

He is gripping the pencil - a death grip.


He picks up another pencil - and screams at the unfairness of it all.


Now the hand holding the pencil slowly drips - not blood - venom.


Finally the screed is done - the paper smokes lightly as it cools.

And now the whole world will know of the INJUSTICE of this DANGEROUS SITUATION and the minions of SATAN who have taken over the hallowed (recital) halls of the forever venerated Julliard.

Yes, indeed, it's a script for Columbo.

And still the paper smokes.
"How, Monsieur, you care not for music? You do not play the clavecin? I am sorry for you! You are indeed condemming yourself to a dull old age!" - Fouquet

#242117 - 09/26/04 04:43 AM Re: Some Unfortunate news about Julliard
pqdtw Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/06/04
Posts: 135
Loc: Netherlands
Who is this poster?? A regular contributer who logged in under a different name or a renegade posting in the wrong place on the forum?

#242118 - 09/26/04 05:03 AM Re: Some Unfortunate news about Julliard
mikhailoh Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/20/04
Posts: 4288
Loc: Cincinnati
Wow..first thing I read this morning.. need more coffee to chase this bad juju away...........


He is so solemn, detached and uninvolved he makes Mr. Spock look like Hunter S. Thompson at closing time.'

#242119 - 09/26/04 12:02 PM Re: Some Unfortunate news about Julliard
byebye Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/18/03
Posts: 1426

I was accepted to Juilliard in 1979 and chose not to attend.

As for this issue:

A scandalous book was written about Juilliard many years ago. What I experienced in auditioning there pretty much confirmed what the book said.

I believe that Joseph Pollisi was brought in to clean things up.

Fred Chiu studied with Abbey Simon at Juilliard for graduate studies. It is my understanding that he was not accepted into the doctoral program. (I wouldn't bet my life on that statement.) While he did not make the finals in the Van Cliburn he has had a better career than many of the gold medalists. BTW, his teacher through high school and undergraduate was Karen Shaw at Indiana University. She had three students (two former, one current) in that particular Van Cliburn.

Angela Cheng, who had studied with Gorodnitzki at Juilliard, was a finalist in the Van Cliburn. Her teacher at the time was Menachem Pressler at Indiana University.

So Juilliard students have done just fine in piano.

Juilliard is probably run much better than in the past.

#242120 - 09/26/04 06:00 PM Re: Some Unfortunate news about Julliard
Ypiano Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/03/04
Posts: 131
Loc: Europe
Some people are just too brave...

#242121 - 09/27/04 07:36 AM Re: Some Unfortunate news about Julliard
Grotriman Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/07/04
Posts: 724
Loc: New York City
So the record is set straight. There are no "professors" of piano at Juilliard in the traditional term. They have no tenure, no benefits, and they can all be fired next week if that suits Polisi.

The real problem is what to do when the Lateiners and the Sandors are gone. They have done nothing to recruit true new talent. And the good talent they have is leaving (cf NE Conservatory - new piano chairman).

From what I hear from the inside. The politics are so acrimonious it has become dysfunctional.


#242122 - 09/27/04 08:44 AM Re: Some Unfortunate news about Julliard
NeoDavinci Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/03/04
Posts: 201
Loc: Oklahoma
Originally posted by MarkS:
Her teacher at the time was Menachem Pressler at Indiana University.
Menahem Pressler, actually. (Sorry, couldn't let it slip by) ;\)

#242123 - 09/27/04 08:49 AM Re: Some Unfortunate news about Julliard
irving Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/14/03
Posts: 705
Loc: Irvington, NY
Originally posted by Grotriman:

From what I hear from the inside. The politics are so acrimonious it has become dysfunctional. [/b]
In the 1960's, when Sara was in the prep division at Juilliard, the politics were so acrimonious that the place had become dysfunctional. In the 1970's and 1980's when Sara was interacting regularly with contemporaries at Juillard, the politics were so acrimonious that the place had become dysfunctional. It's nice to know that traditions at great institutions of learning like Juilliard don't change.
Faust Harrison Pianos
We sell new Bechsteins, Yamahas, Mason & Hamlins, Brodmanns and W. Hoffmanns, and rebuilt vintage Steinways. All rebuilding is done in our own factory. www.faustharrisonpianos.com

#242124 - 09/27/04 08:51 AM Re: Some Unfortunate news about Julliard
byebye Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/18/03
Posts: 1426

Sorry about that!! It was easier to spell "Karen."


Who is the new piano chair at New England?

#242125 - 09/27/04 06:31 PM Re: Some Unfortunate news about Julliard
Hank Drake Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/31/01
Posts: 1708
Loc: Cleveland, Ohio
Whoever Adam Smith is, his writings echo the rumblings I've been hearing about not only Juilliard, but Curtis and the Cleveland Institute of Music as well. This is not an endorsement of everything he wrote. But there may be more than a few kernels of truth in his rantings.

As for Jerome Lowenthal, last year he gave the single worst performance of Beethoven's G Major Concerto is has ever been my displeasure to hear. I can only assume that for some, the old standard still applies: Those who can't do, teach.
Hank Drake

The composers want performers be imaginative, in the direction of their thinking--not just robots, who execute orders.
George Szell

#242126 - 11/08/04 02:11 PM Re: Some Unfortunate news about Julliard
Thracozaag Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/06/04
Posts: 1981
Loc: Salt Lake City
No comment (until I graduate, that is)

koji (STSD)
"I'm a concert pianist--that's a pretentious way of saying I'm unemployed at the moment."--Oscar Levant


#242127 - 11/08/04 05:49 PM Re: Some Unfortunate news about Julliard
Norbert Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/03/01
Posts: 15191
Loc: Surrey, B.C.
Isn't it always nice to know that the greatest artists and performers of our world come often from other places than "schools".

They are born.

Greater Vancouver B.C. piano dealers for : Estonia, Brodmann, Ritmuller
604-951-8642 www.eliteheritagepianos.ca Edmonton, Alta dealers for Estonia,
Brodmann 780-405-8908

#242128 - 11/08/04 06:00 PM Re: Some Unfortunate news about Julliard
pedagogue Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/06/03
Posts: 99

It sounds like the business world! I am agahst that an academic institution would put up with this! I guess some things never change. In almost any arena this letter could be applied. From the people I know who have chosen to go to Julliard...it still produces fine musicians. From those who have forgone Julliard for other schools or to study privately...they probably turned out ok too.

To each their own.


#242129 - 11/08/04 07:01 PM Re: Some Unfortunate news about Julliard
Thracozaag Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/06/04
Posts: 1981
Loc: Salt Lake City
As I've said before, it's just a school, no more....no less.

koji (STSD)
"I'm a concert pianist--that's a pretentious way of saying I'm unemployed at the moment."--Oscar Levant



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