A Kremer-backed competition that keeps contestants anonymous

A Kremer-backed competition that keeps contestants anonymous


norman lebrecht

August 31, 2018

The first Tibor Junior Competition also put its jurors to work. Organized by Professor Vernikov and joined by Gidon Kremer, this week’s competition involved violinists aged between 14 and 17. Message received:


The Tibor Junior competition is based on unusual principles. Firstly, the guaranteed anonymity of the participants. The jury knows only the names, ages and nationalities of the candidates and has no access to their background or the identity of their teachers.

Duets were played either with another candidate or with a jury member. This addition places focus on communication, both sharing and listening, and puts the music, not the musician’s ego. At an educational level, the duet with one of the jury members also offers a magnificent learning opportunity for the candidates.

This notion of “collaboration” with the Jury was also embodied by the fact that the eliminated candidates automatically joined the ranks of the jurors for the following rounds. This proved an opportunity for these candidates to interact and exchange ideas with prestigious soloists and teachers whilst also developing their critical listening skills. The voice of these young jurors as well counted towards the final decision along with that of the musicians of the Kremerata Baltica orchestra, the group which very succesfully collaborated with the candidates in the 2nd and 3rd round.

14 candidates of 11 nationalities took  part in the final phase of the competition in Sion (Switzerland).

The jury, without a chairman, consisted of Ana Chumachenko (Germany/; Yuzuko Horigome (Japan); Miroslava Kotorovych (Ukraine); Gidon Kremer (Latvia) Kyung Sun Lee (South Korea) Svetlin Roussev (Bulgaria); Pavel Vernikov (Israel/Suisse).

The winners were:
1 Masha Lakisova (USA)
2 Iris Scialom (France)
3 Qingzhu Weng (China)
=3 Arthur Traelnes (Switzerland)


  • buxtehude says:

    My competition is still miles ahead of this one, since the winners as well as the losers remain anonymous afterwards, not to mention it having dispensed with all such non-musical elements as pretending to relate lovingly to strangers and flying under the icy gaze of stewardesses who wouldn’t kiss you on the lips if their lives depended on it!

    Just send in the money, only $249.00

  • Cyril Blair says:

    The participants are hardly anonymous if the jury knows their names, ages, and nationalities!