Competition president: ‘The winner is…. my daughter’

Competition president: ‘The winner is…. my daughter’


norman lebrecht

May 02, 2017

Even in the shady world of violin competitions, this result looks a bit odd.

Winner of the Young Paganini international violin competition in Poland is Sara Dragan.

Her mother, Alicja Dragan, is the competition’s founder and president.

Sara is a student of the controversial Zakhar Bron.

And Bron’s assistant, Stefan Tarara, was on the competition jury.

It’s all starting to make sense.



  • Ungeheuer says:

    Well, if Trump has free rein with nepotism at the White House, what’s stopping anyone else from following suit?

  • Dad says:

    My daughter was once selected for a major prize in her field which bore the name of her late father-in-law. He had died before she met her husband, and she had never met him (actually, once when she was six years old!). None of the judges were related to her in any way. She declined it, avoiding any suggestion of nepotism.

  • Jon H says:

    How many more times… It encourages the young player to continue to cut corners in their playing and in their life. Hope that’s a good enough reason.

  • Evan says:

    She has the looks and maybe she can even play with some musicality, who knows? Has anyone not related to her or her teachers heard her and can share an objective opinion?

  • Sanda Schuldmann says:

    The music scene is just depressing. Sad for the young innocent artists.
    They should do away with this system. Turn them all into awards, just like they did with the Leventritt. Everyone knew it was rigged. Finally they came clean and now it is an award. At least young innocent hard working kids have no false hopes.Breaks my heart.

    • Ungeheuer says:

      It is a cesspool. If the sexy daughter had an ethical bone in her, she would surrender the prize. And her mommy should resign.

  • Daniel Nodel says:

    Why don’t you post a link to a video of her? It’s easy to suspect the obvious, but isn’t it possible that she’s good? Better than the others? Sounds quite good to me. The other question is if it’s such a smart choice to play a competition run by your mother…

  • Old Man on Tinder says:

    Who takes this stuff seriously? The most important thing is she looks hot in the photo. And she comes from money. So we should all quit complaining on this thread and spend more time on our Tinder profiles.

    • Max Grimm says:

      “The most important thing is she looks hot in the photo.”

      Not the most considered comment about an underage girl, coming from someone calling himself ‘Old Man On Tinder’…

  • Mirel Iancovici says:

    Judge yourself:
    She is really good.

  • Steve says:

    She happens to be an excellent musician who has and continues to reap awards internationally. Presumptions of bias can be overcome with evidence. The presumption is not absolute, as everyone here is so swift to judge. If you were to review the performances from that competition you would concur that the award was deserved. The mother happens to be the harshest critic of this musicia.