Tchaikovsky violin prize is won by judge’s pet

Tchaikovsky violin prize is won by judge’s pet


norman lebrecht

June 27, 2019

Professor Boris Kushnir’s pupil Sergei Dogadin won first prize in the violin section of the Tchaikovsky Competition, as he has done in every contest where his teacher was on the jury.

Second was Marc Bouchkov, third was the Korean Donghyun Kim.

The jury was chaired by Verbier chief Martin Engstroem.

The contest has lost any semblance of credibility.



  • Bachkovsky says:

    No need to be so sarcastic. Dogadin may have benefited from his contacts in the jury, but was also clearly the violinist with the best CV at the start of the competition. “No surprise” would be a better summary.

    • Forley says:

      If you have read the comments of the previous related thread,
      you might find his CV, the top prizes of the competitions are not convincing.

      Tchaikovsky Competition is the highest level competition of the classical world, not the manipulated small competitions.
      It was clearly said in the rules:
      “Jury members shall be independent and not have own students in the competition. ”

      No matter how he played, he shouldn’t be on the stage. It was not fair to other competitors and all the applicants.

      This is not sarcastic, however, it’s criticism of the behavior of disregarding the rules.

    • Wladek says:

      Now that he has won ……perhaps he will go the way
      of many other winners and will not be heard from again….which would be poetic justice………

    • Bill says:


  • Zelda Macnamara says:

    I am fortunate enough to have tickets to hear him at one of the opening concerts of the St Petersburg season in September, so I’ll judge for myself.

  • Tweettweet says:

    I have not heard the others yet, but I was very fond of Donghyun Kim’s semifinal performance. Great musicianship and tone.

    • Harry says:

      I liked Kim’s sound very much, but so many intonation mistakes in Mozart and especially Tchaikovsky – I could not believe ny ears.

  • Rob says:

    Somehow if he’s won every other competition when his teacher on the jury, one would find suspect his “meritorious” CV.

  • Shorvon says:

    Dogadin… To think this clown stands together with the ranks of kremer, mullova and kaler…

  • Morane C-L says:

    I’m not sure it lost any sense of credibility… level this year was so beautifully high! Compared to Queen Elisabeth competition also..
    Kim (3rd Prize) was in my opinion absolutely amazing, remarquable musician. I hope he’ll make a great career. If you haven’t, do listen to the early rounds! Unfortunately, haven’t listened to his final yet.

  • Peter says:

    Just go to to hear the truth. Dogadin is the best. Bushkov was given the second prize, although he played poorly and made two mistakes in Tchaikovsky concerto. His prize is 5-6. By the way, he studies with Wolfzon and Christoph Baraty in the jury …

  • Forley says:
    Curiously, this page was removed.

    Here attached is the snapshot taken from 2 days ago.

  • Gerry Feinsteen says:

    I’m no fan, but Dogadin already won 2nd (the top prize that year) at Tchaikovsky in 2011. As with the other joint prize winner that year, I believe neither had direct connections to the jury at that time. 8 year have passed. He’s won numerous other competitions, and there’s no denying his playing was exceptional these two weeks.
    BK has been on numerous juries where his students have not won (see: 2018 Indianapolis, for example).
    The 2nd Prize this year may ultimately have the bigger career.
    I’m ready to connect the dots, but this one’s a weak case

  • Stephen says:

    Good violinist but just way too political …

    Sergei Dogadin is clearly happy to play the old skool Russia mafia game – which is now actually completely irrelevant and obsolete.

    Are managers signing or presenters taking any interest in Kuschnir, Bron, Wegrzyn or Geringas students anymore?

    Will these games get any of them a career? Probably not …

  • Stephen says:

    I also have to say medici did a rubbish job at promoting year’s competition. I saw more action from Sendai.

  • Richard says:

    As if Isaac Stern did not influence any competition that he could, nor Gingold, nor anybody else… But especially not Dorothy Delay. She is the reason why I didn’t win two major competitions. Her students were competing and it was down to me and one of hers, for two years in a row.

    What is worse (than having your teacher support you at a competition) is when your teacher does not stand behind you. Gingold did that several times and it ruined his relationships with several of his students.

    But you should be lamenting the fact that very few countries are being represented today. They all brought different styles with them. Now everybody wants to sound like Perlman, especially the plethora of Asian competitors.
    But even Perlman was a copycat, because he sounds like Oistrakh.

    What would have been more interesting or helpful would be if you had left a link so that we could hear him play. Frankly, I really don’t care about your comments. Everybody has an opinion. I don’t even care to voice mine here.
    But, get real. If you’re going to complain, give us a sample of what it is that is so bad.

    • M2N2K says:

      If Perlman sounds like Oistrakh to you, then you have no business commenting about violinists. Unless of course you are talking about someone other than Itzhak and/or David.

    • Larry W says:

      So, Stern and Delay influenced for their students, but Gingold didn’t stand behind (favor) his students. Which is it that you object to? Since you think you should have won two competitions, why not put up a link and give us a sample of what you think is so great. Put up or shut up. Especially about Mr. Gingold.

    • Bill says:

      Maybe it wasn’t that Gingold wouldn’t stand behind his students, but rather that he voted for the competitor he thought played best that day, whether or not they were a student of his. You know, like an honest juror would do…

  • Richard says:

    One more thing. Your comments appear in my news feed and I have not signed up for you. The computer in my cell phone knows that I like the violin, but I think I would be wanting to take my words back before it was too late. It doesn’t make you look very professional.

  • Tim says:

    What rubbish! His Tchaikovsky was simply the best performance I’ve ever heard. Lose the attitude!

  • damian says:

    Marc Bouchkov totally ruined his final, not deserve the 2nd, maybe it is his contacts in the jury what you should be talking about, just hear his Tchaikovsky concerto and compare to other finalists.

    Absolutely fair first prize.

  • verbierviolin says:

    Just the fact that Martin Engstroem was chosen as jury chair shows that the competition has has lost any semblance of credibility. Martin is known for judging by his “eyes”; he doesn’t have ears. Obviously his appointment as chair was some favor to pay off another favor. This is how Martin does business at Verbier.

  • Lena says:

    Don’t forget The runner up is really the mess!