Watch: Tchaikovsky soloist is bemused by bird on stage

Watch: Tchaikovsky soloist is bemused by bird on stage


norman lebrecht

July 01, 2015

As the German violinist Clara-Jumi Kang began her round 3 performance of the all-important Tchaikovsky concerto, a small bird – possibly a sparrow – flew above the stage, circling the oloist for a while.

Clara-Jumi seemed perturbed at first but discipline and nerve prevailed. The bird kept flyng back into her view but she played on, pretty impressively. Watch the performance on Medici.TV here, starting at 0:52.



clara-jumi kang

Maybe it was the soul of Tchaikovsky, sent by way of blessing.


  • Mike says:

    She will win!!!

  • Michael says:

    that’s the beethoven concerto. not the tchaikovsky concerto.

  • Alex says:

    It was a dove, it flew and sat very high up and behind the orchestra, not into her view. She noticed him prior to the second concerto, smiled and continued to play.

  • Robert Roy says:

    This is wonderful music making. A real talent to watch out for.

  • Jewelyard says:

    She is a fabulous talent no doubt. Very accomplished and passionate. Is it me or does the orchestra sound like ****? Totally not with her, too slow and plodding and generally just not first class. Seemed she wanted a more moving tempo in the first movement especially. Nevertheless she is surely a candidate for the grand prize.

    • Andrew Condon says:

      I agree. The conductor has been a bit of a disappointment in these finals. He totally mucked up the attacca into the finale of the Shost 1 on Sunday – agreed, the soloist made a slight error at the end of the cadenza, but the conductor, with all his vast experience and knowledge of this very dangerous spot could have been a bit more quick-witted than he was. Given the circumstances I thought Ms Kang played exceptionally well in both pieces yesterday and as was commented upon afterwards her Tchaikovsky finale was stunning – easy to start at a fast and adventurous tempo – far more difficult to maintain it for the whole movement. I hope she does well tonight

  • violin fanatic says:

    She was really exceptional. True artist who projects her personal message so well throughout. Have you noticed that she doesn’t use a shoulder rest?
    I wish her brightest future ahead!

  • Olga says:

    I was impressed by her performance of Tchaikovsky concert. She is a brilliant violonist. Good luck, Clara for this evening. Hope that you will be announced as winner.

  • AZ Cowboy says:

    And…she plays Tchaikovsky’s concerto the way he wrote it – none of those obnoxious Auer cuts!

  • Freddy says:

    She is amazing like another competition hound of a previous generation, Ilya Kaler. Unfortunately she will recede into oblivion just like he in a couple of years…..

  • Mahlerfan says:

    To me, a lot of these violinists are sounding the same. It’s all sweet and nice but no individuality, no grit.

  • tommwi says:

    Super violinist, but the conductor… he must have made the bird very unhappy with this dreadful micro management. No drama, no puls, no forward momentum… no Beethoven! LOL

  • Tweettweet says:

    Pity…she deserves better than a 4th prize…

    • Louise says:

      I am shocked that she did not place higher — but I shouldn’t be. Rarely is my favorite the one the experts judge to be the best. Regardless, I hope to have the chance to see more of her in the future.

  • violin fanatic says:

    She clearly deserved better place. I am just shocked. I thought it would be either between Haik and Clara. Three third places? What a shame. Please someone sign this unique, soulful musician!

  • Giovanni says:

    Her Beethoven (which I applauded as a choice in the finals) after the Sibelius/Brahms onslaught from the Queen Elizabeth finalists, was utterly self-indulgent.

    Birgit Nilsson said it best, “An artist who cannot forget themselves in the moment they are creating art….is no artist.”

  • Andrew Condon says:

    Very disappointed at her 4th place. She is a vastly experienced player, having already won the Indianapolis and other competitions. I see she has already recorded a solo violin CD for Decca, though this doesn’t seem to be available at the moment. Lets hope her career goes from strength to strength – she certainly deserves a higher profile here in the UK.

    • Robert Roy says:

      It’s available from and dispatched from Japan. Pricey at almost £20 but worth it!

      • Andrew Condon says:

        Thanks Robert but cant see this on Amazon uk – looking for her Decca recording of solo violin works entitled “Modern Solo” released in 2011. Its not on Amazon Japan either as far as I can see.

  • Pinky says:

    i can’t help to think the first prize :
    1) better be a Russian
    2) better not be a woman
    3) better the country of the contestant pay for all the expenses
    But I might be all wrong …….