An article that appeared yesterday on the Strad magazine’s website and social media is now nowhere to be found online after a rush of reader objections that it contained racist stereotypes.
The article is apparently still due to appear in the next print issue of the magazine.
Written by a German violinist, Viktoria Elizabeth Kauzner, the article was titled ‘Why do South Korean string players do so well at competitions?’
It is full of sweeping genralisations, such as: “… ‘tiger moms’, who videotape lessons and ambitiously review them with their child at home. Some parents of female instrumentalists are working to the agenda of acquiring suitable husbands for their daughters – for just as daughters of the well-to-do in Europe’s patriarchal bourgeoisie societies of the past practised the piano in preparation for becoming accomplished housewives, talented Korean daughters have a better chance of capturing the attention of a ‘good husband’.”
UPDATE: An apology from The Strad
The Washington youth orchestra coach Samuel Thompson was among many protesters:
While I do not know your magazine’s editorial protocol, the fact that this statement was “fit to print” does a grave disservice to the hundreds of Korean musicians who work tirelessly due to their dedication to the craft: furthermore, does the author NOT remember that the great Kyung Wha Chung assured Mr. Galamian that she would NOT give up her career for marriage?
Ms. Chung’s story aside, you have done a tremendous disservice by allowing this statement to be printed, and as the many comments on the article show, a retraction and an apology are definitely in order.