It was brave of the judges at the International Indianapolis Violin Competition to pick an all-women final line-up.
Braver still to agree that five of the six finalists should be Korean.
Heroic, when half of them are students of one of the judges, Miriam Fried (who must have recused herself from the selection).
Now, if these stats look a tad unbalanced, please note that 27 of the 40 selected entrants originated from South Korea, China, Japan or Taiwan.
How did that happen? Are we to believe that almost 70 percent of the best young violinists are now bred in the Far East? Or is it that teachers in Korea, China and Japan have learned to work the system, grooming their candidates to pass the entry level? Are any of the entrants, for instance, receiving state or corporate subsidies that are not available to European or North American contenders?
The imbalance is so blatant at Indy 2014 that official clarification is required.
One who missed the cut: Areta Zhulla (Greece)
UPDATE: Here’s a dose of clarity from Laurie Niles. It doesn’t do much to bolster confidence in the Indy process.
SECOND UPDATE: It’s unfair, says Aaron Rosand.