Walkout pianist issues apology

End of the Monza saga.

pascal roge 2

Date: October 9th 2014

Message to Rina Sala Gallo Competition

I got carried away by my emotions and by the deep impression some of the semifinalists made on me.


Since I am not so frequently a jury member at international piano competitions, I gave my voting as an artist and I must confess that I did not realise sufficiently that my votes could be eliminated if they were higher or lower than the votes of the other jury members.


Looking back on my comment, I must admit that it was written in a moment that my enjoyment and expectation of fine music had suddenly been disrupted. Some of the words and qualifications which I used in my comment were indeed inappropriate, for which I would like to apologise.


I remain a dedicated musician and I hope that we can all make our own contributions to the fine art of classical music.

Pascal Rogé

 

 

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  • Sufficient? It’s an apology but considering the pages worth of comments some people have written, I highly doubt it…

  • Of course this is what I thought all along – and hats off to Pascal for being so honest ……..
    Some of the comments have been extremely helpful – I am thinking of Roberto Prosedda and Peter Donohoe in particular………. others very inappropriate ………..just like a “riunione di condominio” ….to be avoided at all costs…….. which is exactly what I did.

    • I’m afraid it’s a bit late to try to take the high moral ground now, Christopher, after having said what you did about the Busoni competition (“The jury must be able to recognise the talent they have in front of them and help and encourage rather than destroy them with politics as is obviously the case.”). But anyway.

      Mr Rogé’s apology might satisfy you, but it remains to be seen whether it is enough for those he has slandered. There have been inappropriate comments here and elsewhere, you’re right, but Mr Rogé chose to do what he did and accepted the initial wave of support from those who simply took him at his word, or those who would believe anything if it accorded with their prejudices. Now that his word has been exposed as unreliable, he has been forced to retract, but the manner of his retraction is, in itself, rather inadequate, in my opinion. It’s all been a shame, and I’m sorry for him and for the people he has maligned, but it’s not good enough simply to dismiss it all as if the consequences will not reverberate. I feel most sorry for the competitor he cruelly exposed to ridicule, and can only imagine that such a public humiliation by a master musician will remain traumatic for her for years to come. That’s why I’m not quite as ready as you to excuse Mr Rogé or to accept his minimal and rather self-justifying mea culpa.

  • Indeed this apology is not quite enough. But if lawyers are now looking into the issue, perhaps we will have some justice, eventually.

  • The rule of the highest and lowest votes being cast out is typical of government-funded Italian music competitions. It may seem peculiar to some, but it’s a safety check. In a best-case scenario, given that the jurors understand the rules (and obviously Pascal Rogé did not) then it’s a check against giving overrated scores on both the high and low ends. It’s also a failsafe for jurors who might otherwise be tempted to give the highest votes to their “favourites” and lowest votes to any possible challengers to their “favourites”. Ironically, this is precisely what Pascal Rogé thought was happening. Hopefully this will be a warning to all Italian competition chairpersons that the rules and regulations be carefully explained to all jurors before a competition begins.

    • This is ridiculous. The practise of eliminating both the highest and the lowest vote from the count is not only very common in music competitions outside of Italy, but it is also a general standard in a lot of sport competitions which involve a jury vote (ski jumping for instance). As far as the really simple mathematics go, please read SMV’s explanation a little below. And this voting procedure makes perfect sense IMHO.

  • The marks being revealed by the competition does not change anything to the story.
    Any professional musician knows MOST of the competitions are CORRUPTED
    and this is just a case among hundred others.
    I agree 100 percent with Pascal Rogé, and all pianists who are commenting against him should think about their integrity ;

    A computer vote is just a very easy way to dissimulate a “mafia” acting…
    By mafia, I want to say that in most competitions like this one nowadays, you always have few jury members that know each other before the competition, they have their favorite candidates and know what mark they should give to him/her to see him/her winning.

    Just look Facebook,
    why in the earth 6 adjudicators out of 8 are Facebook friends between them?
    Why some of the candidates (and maybe some of the prize winners…) are Facebook friends with sometimes 3, 4 adjudicators?
    Maybe one should not judge a candidate in a competition when they are Facebook friend each other?
    A perfect piano competition would be when adjudicators don’t know each other, and don’t know the candidates. (of course a candidate could know 1 or 2 adjudicators…but half of them, it is a lot!)

    I think professional musicians should have :
    – Integrity
    – Musical talent
    Pascal Rogé has both, and I want to thank him ;

    The competition that wants to suit him, that is just RIDICULOUS.

    • The fact is that somebody has to give the highest mark and somebody has to give the lowest mark, unless in the case of a tie of marks or something. It is not clear to me how avoiding giving high marks makes any difference, since it would turn what would otherwise be the second-highest mark into the eliminated one, and thus diminish the *average* mark.

      Whether or not Rogé’s allegations against the other jury members have any veracity, the fact remains that Rogé was deeply dissatified with the choice of finalists. It is, therefore, entirely understandable that he did not want his name associated with the result, so his decision to resign from the jury is, in and of itself, entirely reasonable (whether his comments on the competitors were reasonable is another matter).

  • The marks being revealed by the competition does not change anything to the story.
    Any professional musician knows MOST of the competitions are CORRUPTED
    and this is just a case among hundred others.
    I agree 100 percent with Pascal Rogé, and all pianists who are commenting against him on these blogs should think about their integrity ; a lot of them are president or jury members…
    A computer vote is just a very easy way to dissimulate a “mafia” acting…
    By mafia, I want to say that in most competitions like this one nowadays, you always have few jury members that know each other before the competition, they have their favorite candidates and know what mark they should give to him/her to see him/her winning.
    Just look facebook,
    why on earth 6 adjudicators out of 8 are facebook friends between them?
    Why some of the candidates (and maybe some of the prize winners…) are facebook friends with sometimes 3, 4 adjudicators?
    Maybe one should not judge a candidate in a competition when they are facebook friend each other?
    A perfect piano competition would be when adjudicators don’t know each other, and don’t know the candidates. (of course a candidate could know 1 or 2 adjudicators…but half of them, it is a lot!)
    I think professional musicians should have :
    – Integrity
    – Musical talent
    Pascal Rogé has both, and I want to thank him ;
    The competition that wants to suit him, that is just RIDICULOUS.

  • I wish to put on record that I apologise to the Busoni Competition for any unfair comments that I have made during these discussions.
    I had no intention of criticisiing the Busoni competition ,that I have followed for many years.
    My intent was to open a discussion about how to improve the Competition System.
    I apologise to Dott Kainrath and the Busoni Competition for any inappropriate comments that I made.My intent was to be constructive in a serious discussion and not intended as a personal slur on the Busoni competition or others and the people associated with it.
    I hope that these discussion can continue with the solo intent of improving what is not an infallible system but is ,in fact the only one we have to help the amazing young talent that is all too rapidly appearing.
    I realise that this is obviously not the right place for such important discussions .
    Christopher Axworthy

  • Stop the presses, stop the presses! The International Grieg Piano Competition has just ended. Held in Bergen, Norway, it was won by a Norwegian pianist born in Bergen. There were no less than THREE Norwegians on the jury (including the chairman). Judging by the logic of the whole Monza affair, where clearly the Italian jurors must be held responsible for having Italian pianists winning 1st and 2nd prize, this seems like your next competition story to cover. Clearly, there was a fix in Bergen this weekend, right?

    http://griegcompetition.com/

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