Jury president stacks competition with 13 of his students

Jury president stacks competition with 13 of his students


norman lebrecht

November 21, 2014

A list of 31 contestants has been announced for the Boris Goldstein Competition, founded in memory of his own teacher by the eminent violin teacher, Zachar Bron. Professor Bron will be president of the jury.

We understand that 13 of the participants admitted are Professor Bron’s students.

We wish the best of luck to the rest.

boris goldstein

The list:

Benjamin Baker (UK)
Marie Bégin (Canada)
Vlada Berazhnaya (Belarus)
Yejin Byun (S. Korea)
Mizuki Chiba (Japan)
Soo Jin Hannah Cho (S. Korea)
Maxime Gulikers (Netherlands)
Victoria Gusachenko (Ukraine)
Mone Hattori (Japan)
Ryan Howland (Canada)
Alexander Kuznetsov (Russia)
Joanna Lee (USA/S. Korea)
Furong Li (China)
Sean Yongjoo Lim (USA)
Petya Lundstrem (Russia)
Sofija Nikoska (Macedonia)
Kana Ohashi (Japan)
Ami Oike (Japan)
Marek Pavelec (Czech Republic)
Alexander Read (Canada)
Siena Sanchez-O’Brien (USA)
Arsenis Selalmazidis (Greece/Russia)
Aleksey Semenenko (Ukraine)
Dmitry Serebrennikov (Russia)
Stefan Tarara (Germany)
Hannah Tarley (USA)
Shiori Terauchi (Japan)
Yuna Toki (Japan)
Xin Wen (China)
Takuya Yamamoto (Japan)
Arata Yumi (Japan)


  • John Humphreys says:

    Disgraceful if that’s the case. No competitor should be allowed to enter if they have studied with a member of the jury (let alone the President) within the previous twelve months.

  • Milka says:

    Bron ??? ……must be a joke…….
    Soon as we saw his name the laughter began ………..

    • Harold Lewis says:

      From Wikipedia:

      “His students have included Vadim Repin, Gwendolyn Masin, Daniel Hope, Maxim Vengerov, Vadim Gluzman, Igor Malinovsky, Denis Goldfeld, Daishin Kashimoto, Tamaki Kawakubo, Mayuko Kamio, Mayu Kishima, Christoph Seybold, Sayaka Shoji and Nikolai Madoyev.

      “Before he was well-known, he taught privately in Novosibirsk. Since then, he has taught at the Royal Academy of Music in London, the Conservatory of Rotterdam, the Musikhochschule Lübeck and the Escuela Superior de Música Reina Sofía in Madrid. In 1997, he took up a position at the Cologne Musikhochschule.”

    • Erik says:

      Who are “we”? you and your mother? You and your fiddle? You and your dog?
      Anyway, probably his or any teachers laughter would begin as soon you take the fiddle in your hand or or even worse, if you would put your bow on the string to make a funny sound…
      Milka Milka. What a sweet name.

      • norman lebrecht says:

        You are trolling. Stop it.

        • Erik says:

          Dear Mr. Lebrecht,

          the real person trolling is the person I replied to. I would, at any point, stand up for every word I wrote. If that person would also, not only in the anonymity of Internet, I would accept it. Bit I am pretty sure, that this person is trolling. Feeling strong in Internet. But when I confront them with there behavior, no reaction. You have so many readers, me being one of them for such a long time and enjoying slipped disc. But this kind of trolling against, in this case, Zakhar Bron, and all his pupils, who are working very hard I would guess,whether one may like him and them or not, shouldn’t get such disgraceful comments.
          All I want to state is, if one wants to say something, that person should be prepared for the reactions. I surely overreacted, it’s not worth it, but I enjoy going to concerts to much and can not take it, if people talk about people who achieved so much, like that.
          So I try to understand, where that jealous, negative, unfair, incompetent and vicious thoughts come from.
          I can only suggest, from that persons own fails and there weaknesses. Actually I read those kind of comments with pity. Slipped disc shouldn’t be the place, where that kind of people gather and start to troll on some people of public life, just to satisfy there small self esteem.

  • Luis says:

    Bron is known in Europe because his goal is prepare students to competitions. That means that his students are in almost every competition around. Knowing this it looks a little suspicious to find 13 of them in a competition where he is the president of the jury

  • Milka says:

    Of all his students only two are
    outstanding to any degree , Repin
    seemingly more intelligent of the two
    and Vengerov . The rest are in the dust bin of violin history . Repin as he gets further away from his violin origins
    seems to get better and better and may
    yet if he continues enter the pantheon of great violin artists . Vengerov while
    sportin a good technique is rather
    laughable , you wonder at times does his brain power ever get into 1st. gear.
    To question his intelligence one
    has only to see his Auschwitz
    chaconne…..with the mittens and cut out fingers as he walks along and supposedly plays the work in the dead of winter …..that he lent himself to this lunacy does raise a question to whatever brain power he has .He and Bron show up together at
    many competitions ie. Wieniawski etc.
    Bron is everywhere , a busy little bee
    and Vengerov not far behind.
    That violinists with claims to any sort of
    intellectual function would enter this
    competition is indeed strange

    • Fiddleman says:

      Vadim Gluzman and Daniel Hope are first-rate violinists and musicians.

    • Leo says:

      Do not agree in the least. Bron is far from being a nice person, but his teaching method can not be denied. His best pupils are capable of winning any competition. They have basic skills perfectly tuned up, no high elbows with screechy forte or hissing piano as a consequences, fingers moving independently, everything as it should be. Also, he knows how to make playing interesting on the basic level (and if anyone wants to go further, he has a good start. But of course he is a politician. He was thrown out of most first rate violin events and what is he to do but organize his own?

    • Erik says:

      Who are you Milka? Don’t hide between a funny name and disgrace some people, who have nothing to do with Bron’s attitude. It’s not your place to write like that. Would love to talk to you in person. If you really stand up for what you just wrote, tell is all your name. If not, you just dare to write like that in anonymity..let’s see!

  • The Incredible Flutist says:

    Flutists are once again proving that we are a cut above when it comes to running our competitions. The Geneva International Flute Competition is underway right now without even a hint of the scandals or politics so prevalent in piano and violin contests.

    The Carl Nielsen Flute Competition in Denmark was a stunning success last month! There was complete transparency, fair decisions, and not a hint of scandal. Every phase of the competition was live streamed, and audiences followed from around the world enthusiastically.

    The Geneva International Flute Competition, celebrating its 75th anniversary this year, is off to a superb start. Everyone is quite satisified with the organization, the selection of the jury and candidates, and the presentation to international audiences via social media, their web site and the upcoming streamed finals on Dec. 1.

    Maybe these violin and piano competitions should take a look at what we flutists are doing right!

  • Boring Fileclerk says:

    What? Another competition that’s fixed? Who knew?

  • withheld says:

    I can guess the possible finalists: Hattori, Tarara, Kuznetsov & Semenenko!

  • Milka says:

    Don’t fancy oneself a critic just
    knowledgeable of the art , something one suspects you ain’t .

  • stopthemusic says:

    In 1971, Zachar Bron got the 12th prize at the Queen Elizabeth competition in Brussels (and Miriam Fried won 1st prize). The prosecution rests!

    • Milka says:

      Stopthemusic -12th . no less …hearing
      him play one feels it is a fair award as
      prizes go …..he has a music school to
      keep up…which explains a lot ….many
      of his former students taught at his school one time or another , one wonders if this bodes well for the future of the violin world………….

  • Erik says:

    Milka is the name of a cheap chocolate from Europe owned by nestle

    • Milka says:

      Erik – I’ve noticed that when intelligence
      is low ,personal attacks are high .

    • Erik says:

      Which attack? Your name is funny. That’s all about your chocolate name.
      But funny part aside.
      Your comments are extremely low…so intelligence is just a word without meaning to you.
      You are, I would guess, an untalented, frustrated, lazy, ignorant, selfish, sad, and also unfortunate violinist/musician/piece of chocolate. Why unfortunate? Because you picked the wrong profession. Now, please don’t cry. It’s ok. There are many Milka’s who play in concerts. But your level of misjudging peoples achievements in a disrespectful way is quite something.
      After achieving two notes in tune, you may reply. Otherwise, go practise and don’t attend competitions, where the level is medium. You will only experience disappointment and put the blame on the unfair world around you. It’s just your laziness.
      Attend concerts of great artists, and be thankful, that they are so good so the music doesn’t sound like a cheap chocolate.
      Everybody with intelligence understands that after reading your comments….

  • Joshua Geren says:

    But, who really cares? Boris Goldstein Competition? Ok, whatever. It used to mean something when someone got a top prize in an international competition. Nowadays, it’s just a nice thing to put on your bio (after winning a prize which is probably 1/5 or less of the annual salary of a section job in an orchestra, getting a year or two worth of small-time concerts, and then vanishing into obscurity).

    Yes, Bron has had A LOT of great students. His “method” involves spending hours with each student and teaching them FAR more than one hour/wk, which is what most students in music schools get. I believe in the hr/wk myself. Competition oriented students can be spoon fed and play the competition repertoire extremely well, but not be well-informed musicians, thus failing to parlay their prizes. (ok, Evgeny KIssin is a VERY special case of a genius who’s teacher left her teaching career to focus on him)
    That’s funny that someone mentioned Repin and Vengerov, but had the impression that Repin was the more interesting of the two. I don’t think so at all.
    And for the comment about the technique being “tuned up” because there are “no high elbows”, are you serious? Are you a watcher or listener? A certain Mr. Heifetz played with a very high elbow, but he was a magician on the violin. A certain Mr. Szigeti played with a very low elbow and he was also a magician on the violin.

  • Felix Ang says:

    Yes, finally! This isn’t 60 years ago when there were like three major violin competitions a decade. They don’t mean anything beyond filling space in a bio and proving some stamina.

    Why is it a surprise Bron admits his own students? For one thing, his students are almost always on the major Eurozone competitions anyway. it’s his competition, let him run…you can make your own competition!

    I agree that politics are at play, and but with very few artists surfacing from these contests, just let them go. The more we care about competitions as a functioning device for proving musical and stage-worthiness, the further we get from the artistry of the past. All these great technicians are working hard to please [the same] jury–it’s only the violinists that buck that trend and develop their own voice…they are the artists.

    Let competitions compete with each other for supremacy in the field of sport…

  • PVer says:

    Pitting students against each other. how is that not fair??????

  • BYG says:

    Dear Milka, how many of your students have successful solo careers? What competitions have you won yourself? And by all means, do open a music school and ask your students to help you out, wish you the best of luck!

  • Alexander Brown says:

    I think the consensus among the intelligent is that competitions are generally a waste of time and money – as has already been pointed out – after all, how many competitions did the great instrumentalists and singers of today win? I think the list would be very short…..