Saturday, September 20, 2014

Executive director announces unprecedented change in judging the finals of the International Violin Competition of Indianapolis

With criticism of the International Violin Competition of Indianapolis coming from a prominent blogging voice abroad, who then got terse support from former jury member Aaron Rosand, the judging for the finals has been changed.

Glen Kwok
Executive director Glen Kwok early Saturday morning issued a statement announcing the change: Juror Miriam Fried has been requested to recuse herself from voting in the two stages of finals because half the finalists are or have been her students. Fried, formerly on the faculty of the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University, now teaches at the New England Conservatory.

Competition rules already prohibit judges from evaluating their own students, past or present, but allow them to score performances by other participants. The new change essentially reduces the size of the jury from nine to eight for the final stage, which began Wednesday and concludes tonight.

In his  statement, Kwok cited the competition's historic commitment to integrity, which is reflected in the 2014 IVCI as well: "From a strict no-discussion policy amongst the jury members, to abstentions by any jury member who has a student in the competition, to a sophisticated computerized scoring system which eliminates any possiblity of score manipulation, multiple safeguards have been implemented to ensure a fair, honest and transparent process."

Here is the list of finalists, as annotated by Laurie Niles, founder of violinist.com, with asterisks indicating 2014 jury members:

Tessa Lark, 25, United States
Miriam Fried*
Lucy Chapman
Kurt Sassmannshaus

Jinjoo Cho, 26, South Korea
Jaime Laredo (present)*
Paul Kantor
Joseph Silverstein + Pamela Frank

Ji Yoon Lee, 22, South Korea
Kolja Blacher (present)

Ji Young Lim, 19, South Korea
Nam Yun Kim

Yoo Jin Jang, 23, South Korea
Miriam Fried (present)*
Nam Yun Kim

Dami Kim, South Korea
Mihaela Martin (present)
Miriam Fried*
Aaron Rosand


Having heard Lark play the Walton Violin Concerto Friday night with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, I could easily put aside the controversy to admire her choice of this concerto — its first performance in nine quadrennial Indianapolis competitions  — and the way she played it. The score has a mercurial nature that seems to appeal to her. Her earlier playing in the IVCI, starting with the preliminary round, showed her to be a forthright, well-prepared, self-confident artist, solid technically and persuasive interpretively.

The flashes of brilliance in the orchestral scoring — the swelling of brass and percussion, the underlining of moods established by the soloist, especially in the Presto capriccioso alla napolitana — were duly brought out by the ISO under the baton of Joel Smirnoff.

Lark's place among the finalists seems well-earned. Tonight, Lim, Jang, and Kim will be heard from, playing the concertos of Brahms, Tchaikovsky, and Sibelius, respectively. Then the final standings will be announced, though it is doubtful that the criteria for choosing winners in this or any other competition will be universally applauded.
Don’t put teachers or professors in the jury. Put people who can support a young career: conductors, orchestras’ managers, journalists. - See more at: http://slippedisc.com/2014/09/some-questions-of-bias-at-the-indy-violin-contest/#comments
Don’t put teachers or professors in the jury. Put people who can support a young career: conductors, orchestras’ managers, journalists. - See more at: http://slippedisc.com/2014/09/some-questions-of-bias-at-the-indy-violin-contest/#comments
Don’t put teachers or professors in the jury. Put people who can support a young career: conductors, orchestras’ managers, journalists. - See more at: http://slippedisc.com/2014/09/some-questions-of-bias-at-the-indy-violin-contest/#comments
Don’t put teachers or professors in the jury. Put people who can support a young career: conductors, orchestras’ managers, journalists. - See more at: http://slippedisc.com/2014/09/some-questions-of-bias-at-the-indy-violin-contest/#sthash.UskCBv3o.dpuf
Don’t put teachers or professors in the jury. Put people who can support a young career: conductors, orchestras’ managers, journalists. - See more at: http://slippedisc.com/2014/09/some-questions-of-bias-at-the-indy-violin-contest/#sthash.UskCBv3o.dpuf
Don’t put teachers or professors in the jury. Put people who can support a young career: conductors, orchestras’ managers, journalists. - See more at: http://slippedisc.com/2014/09/some-questions-of-bias-at-the-indy-violin-contest/#sthash.UskCBv3o.dpuf