Yet another inside job: was the Beethoven Competition rigged?

Yet another inside job: was the Beethoven Competition rigged?


norman lebrecht

December 16, 2013

We reported earlier the victory of Soo-Jung Ann at the International Beethoven Competition in Bonn.

Now sooner was the news out than we received complaints that the winner is a student of the competition founder and jury chairman Pavel Gililov (pictured) at the Salzburg Mozarteum.



The winner in 2011 was also a Gililov student.

Like so many music competitions, it seems like the Beethoven is a hub of favouritism. When will the music world clean up these tawdry acts?



  • David H. says:

    Music competitions are nonsense and only serve the egos of the jurors. All competitions, no exceptions. Simple as that.

  • I’m sorry but there is no smoking gun here, except for the whiff of sexism and prejudice against the competition winner. No doubt Ms. Ann benefits from the competition-oriented instruction from her teacher and head of jury Pavel Gililov, but she still managed to convince the other jurors.

  • klaidi says:

    The other juriors are invited by him….this is very usual practic.

  • Doug says:

    A competition rigged? Who knew?

    [slaps forehead]

  • Hmmmm! I was under the impression she is a student of Teresa Fahy and John O’Connor at the Royal Irish Academy of Music!

    • Anna K. says:

      She used to be the student if John O’Conor who belonged to the jury of Beethoven competition as well. Currently she studies in Salzburg with Gililov. So whoever should still believe that there is no “smoking gun” here, is either hopelessly naive or just very far away from the music world.

  • Malcolm James says:

    Ultimately she still has to prove yourself and take advantage of the opportunities afforded by this win. Or she might well join that long list of competition winners who disappear back into obscurity after their 15 minutes of fame.

  • The only surprise is that anyone is surprised!

  • For competitions of Beethoven’s music, there should be a minimum age limit of 40 … just IMHO!

  • Baron Z says:

    The real fix is in who gets to compete. The first round of selections is made long before the jury enters the picture. Especially with an invitational competition.