South Koreans swamp Germany’s premier competition

South Koreans swamp Germany’s premier competition


norman lebrecht

July 25, 2019

The 68th International ARD Music Competition is coming up in Munich in six weeks time.

The rounds this year are clarinet, cello, bassoon and percussion.

The organisers say there were 590 applications from 50 countries. By farf the highest number of entrants came from South Korea, followed by Germany and France. There were 171 applicants in the bassoon category, 166 from cellists, 153 in clarinet and 100 from percussionists.

pictured: contestant Min Suk Cho, co-principal cello in Hamburg Symphony


  • Michel says:

    South Korea has become a Classical music super power !! I like that much more than to “play” with nuclear missiles like their northem neighbour.

  • Herman the German says:

    But Norman, where are the Brits? There is only one, a percussionist, of all 590 competitors. A fallout from the Brexit ?

    • Kölscher Jung says:

      Quite frankly English conservatories have dropped in quality compared to a few decades ago…

      • Peter Donohoe says:

        I really don’t think it true Mr. Yung. The ration of foreign students to Brits has certainly changed, but the overall level has gone up in my view.

    • Peter Donohoe says:

      Sadly, it has been my experience that in almost all international competitive events, including those held in the U.K. (eg Leeds I.P.C.) the number of British entrants has declined drastically in almost all instruments (conducting, percussion and singing may be exceptions) over the last 40 years. So Brexit is not the cause, although it may have put the tin lid on it. What the cause is warrants a very large-scale article, and I don’t think anyone can be sure because it is very complicated.

  • Kölscher Jung says:

    British* sry

    • Peter Donohoe says:

      Was that really worth saying, Bruce. It is not even possible to tell what you are replying to.