Beethoven Competition is won by chairman’s pupil

Beethoven Competition is won by chairman’s pupil


norman lebrecht

December 13, 2015

Will they never learn?

The winner of the Telekom Beethoven Competition in Bonn last night was an Italian, Filippo Gorini.

He is a student of the jury chairman, Pavel Gililov.


The system is rotten, through and through.




  • Michael Korstick says:

    Surprise, surprise …
    And no, Norman, they will never learn. The 2013 edition provoked a scandal when the first prize winner who got barely twenty per cent of the audience vote was booed after the announcement of the results – which were, of course, of course, ” based on the previous rounds”.

  • Oliver Rivers says:

    It’s Pavel Gililov, not Gilikov.

  • Alvaro says:

    Chopin competition winner is from one of 2 nations that still buys CD’s, after DG announced that they will make a live release of the winner (something that has never been done, it was always a studio recording)

    Why LIVE? Its cheaper, which means that DG is managing for cost and has a great incentive to hedge their bet by choosing someone that SELLS.

    Yet NONE of that raises your eyebrows Norman?

  • Michael B. says:

    All competitions should be abolished, prestissimo. They have no proper place in classical music. Save them for sports.

  • Marcato Sempre says:

    Before flat-out damning the competition, examine the judging rules and find out if Gililov recused himself from voting for his own pupil.

  • Fryderyk says:

    It doesn’t matter whether Gililov voted or not as regards his student Filippo Gorini who just won the competition. Gililov is the chairman of the Beethoven competition. He invited the jury. Difficult to deny that he’ll have had a hell of a lot of influence over the jury and the final outcome.

  • Yuliya says:

    1995 Queen Elisabeth Piano Competition. First three prizewinners had their teachers on the jury. I won the fourth.

  • RW2013 says:

    Whatever the drama, compliments to the competitors for performing in such a sterile, uninspiring space (complete with pink Telekom lighting), in stark contrast to the classier venues of the Tchaik, Chopin etc.
    Is there nothing better in Bonn?

  • Ray Osborn says:

    On the other hand, in this case, Gorini won the audience prize by a substantial margin, so it seems a little unfair to tarnish his achievement, unless you think the whole hall was invited by Gililov.

    • Li Li says:

      Indeed, this time Gililov is rather lucky… otherwise the scandle would be too obvious. Let’s see how long will this “love story” continue between Telekom and Gililov…

  • Aw says:

    The problem is not the competitions. The problem is taking competitions too seriously.

  • Gerald Robbins says:

    Beethoven in the above portrait certainly does not look happy at all. He looks downright disapprovingly. Is he trying to tell us something about competitions?

  • Albrecht says:

    I agree on most of your remarks about competitions!

    However in the specific we should honestly recognize that:
    – to my knowledge, Gorini is NOT a pupil of Giliov, he just participated in some master class by him
    – I followed closely this edition of the Beethoven (did you?), and I agree with the opinion of audience and jury that this 20yrs Italian is outstanding.
    Just my opinion, respectfully.
    Up with good music and good pianists.

    • Li Li says:

      Gorini was once a pupil of Gililov, that is checkable in the internet (in Italien though…). We’re not saying that he is not an outstanding pianist – It’s not his fault, he is more likely a victim of this tradition.

  • Milka says:

    By to-night if not already it will all be in the dust bin of music history.