7 Juilliard students in China finals

When China announced a world-record $150,000 piano prize last month, concerns were raised that members of the jury, chaired by Juilliard’s Yoheved Kaplinsky, might favour their own students.

Today, the list of 22 finalists was released.

Among them are seven pianists who are, or were, students at Juilliard.

The competition has issued an assurance that no student of any jury member has been invited.

Here’s the list:


Alim Beisembayev (Kazakhstan)

Central Music School of the Moscow State Conservatory

Royal Academy of Music, London

Leonardo Colafelice (Italy)

Bari Conservatory of Music “N. Piccinni”

Anna Dmytrenko (USA)

Universität der Künste, Berlin

Royal Academy of Music, London

The Juilliard School, Pre-College Division

Giuseppe Guarrera (Italy)

Hochschule für Musik Hanns Eisler, Berlin

Barenboim-Said Akademie, Berlin

Anna Han (USA)

The Juilliard School

New Century Conservatory, Arizona

Honggi Kim (South Korea)

Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst, Frankfurt-am-Main

Hochschule für Musik und Theater Munich

Korea National University of Arts

Bowen Li (China)

China Conservatory of Music

Alexander Malofeev (Russia)

Gnessin Moscow Special School of Music

Mackenzie Melemed (USA)

The Juilliard School

Sandro Nebieridze (Georgia)

Tbilisi State Conservatory

Luka Okros (Georgia)

Royal College of Music, London

Moscow State Tchaikovsky Conservatory

Linzi Pan (China)

The Juilliard School

Curtis Institute of Music

Changyong Shin (South Korea)

Curtis Institute of Music

The Juilliard School

Dmitry Shishkin (Russia)

Gnessin Moscow Special School of Music

Moscow State Tchaikovsky Conservatory

Andrei Shychko (Belarus)

Moscow State Tchaikovsky Conservatory

Belarussian State Academy of Music, Minsk

Hans H. Suh (South Korea)

Hochschule für Musik, Theater und Medien Hannover

Columbia-Juilliard Exchange Program

Mannes College of Music Preparatory Division

Arseny Tarasevich-Nikolaev (Russia)

Moscow State Tchaikovsky Conservatory

Anastasia Vorotnaya (Russia)

Escuela Superior de Música Reina Sofía, Madrid

Central Music School of the Moscow State Conservatory

Rio Xiang (Australia)

Oberlin Conservatory

Tony Yike Yang (Canada)

Harvard University-New England Conservatory of Music Program

Oberlin Conservatory

Jialin Yao (China)

China Conservatory of Music

Tony Yun (Canada)

The Juilliard School, Pre-College Division

And the jury:
Li-guang Wang, president of the China International Music Competition, chairman of the Global Music Education League, and president of the China Conservatory of Music

Yoheved Kaplinsky, chairman of the jury of the First China International Music Competition, chairperson of the Piano Department and artistic director of the Pre-College Division, The Juilliard School

Dmitri Alexeev, piano professor at the Royal College of Music

Jan Jiracek von Arnim, artistic director and chairman of the jury of the International Beethoven Piano Competition

Lydia Artymiw, professor of piano at the University of Minnesota

Boris Berman, head of the Piano Department, Yale School of Music

Michel Béroff, pianist and conductor

Fabio Bidini, piano chair at the Colburn School

Warren Jones, pianist, conductor, and renowned operatic vocal coach

Katarzyna Popowa-Zydroń, jury chairman of the International Chopin Piano Competition

Arie Vardi, artistic advisor and chairman of the jury of the Arthur Rubinstein International Master Competition


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  • It is sad that UK competitors are absent from this and the other recent lists, though a number have studied in the London conservatoires.

  • If no student of jury can enter, why is there Dmitry Shishkin’s name?

    According to the Hochschule für Musik Theater und Medien Hannover on 12 Nov 2018:
    “Der Pianist Dmitry Shishkin, Student der Soloklasse bei Prof. Arie Vardi, hat am 8. November 2018 einen von zwei 1. Preisen im Internationalen Musikwettbewerb Concours de Genève gewonnen.”

    Apparently, either the school or the pianist is lying.

  • So the Kaplinsky-Vardi mafia are at it again: Mediocre pianists themselves, they have been manipulating the Rubinstein & Cliburn competitions for years now.

  • There are always lots of pianists from Juilliard in big international competitions. Should they have excluded Juilliard students/ alumni from this one?

  • As a member of the Juilliard Ass’n, I’ve heard some astounding piano students in recital or concerto performances there. Are they to be penalized simply because Veda Kaplinsky is chair of Juilliard’s piano dept. and its pre-college division? It seems this blog’s Kaplinsky-bashing knows no bounds.

  • Judging from major international competitions and the careers of the youngest pianists today, Juilliard is not a dominant piano school anymore. That’s why it’s concerning to see so many Juilliard students in this competition.

  • ALl those competitions are no different than dog shows, or beauty contests. ALL FIXED! That’s why most, if lucky, get a teaching job someplace. Has little to do with ART or MUSICIANSHIP. Look at the jury. Name 1 artist on it. That’s why its called the MUSIC BUSINESS! Nothing new. Remember EGOROV?

    • There are indeed 2 very fine artists on this Jury: Michel Beroff & Lydia Artymiw. Both have performed throughout the world with distinguished conductors and have recorded extensive discographies.

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