Isaac Stern drops Zakhar Bron

Isaac Stern drops Zakhar Bron


norman lebrecht

August 07, 2019

The Shanghai Isaac Stern International Violin Competition has announced its 2020 lineup and – guess what? – the influential Zakhar Bron has been omitted from its judging panel.

The jury will be co-chaired by Isaac’s son David Stern and Professor Vera Tsu Weiling, with the judges including former agent Martin Campbell-White; exNY Phil concertmaster Glenn Dicterow; Emmanuel Hondré of the Philhrmonie de Paris; Shanghai Quartet violinist Weigang Li; violinist Ning Feng; Emerson Quartet violinist Philip Setzer; violinists Maxim Vengerov, Hagai Shaham, Joel Smirnoff, Kyoko Takezawa; and cellist Jian Wang.

In 2016, Zakhar Bron tilted the jury towards one of his identikit students. In 2018, his proteges were rejected. Now he’s been dumped, too.


  • Wladek says:

    The whole sorry mess should be dumped into the dust bin.

  • Manu Hernz says:

    I think it is not the best approach to this kind of professionals. Zakhar Bron is a great teacher, just because he gave to the world this kind of violin players. Here is from my point of view the excellent performance on the internet the ‘Paganini 6 VIOLIN CONCERTOS in 1 evening by heart’. Will be nice if people who are doing that will listen to it before dumping someone. Here is the link: “

  • Alexander S says:

    If violin competitions want credibility and integrity, then they ought to begin by prohibiting judges from participating when they have their students in the competition. It’s that simple. Anyone can see that a major conflict of interest arises when someone like Prof. Bron is serving both as a teacher and judge to his students. Where’s the fairness and objectivity in this? As much as I admire Oistrakh and Kogan, they too were also “guilty” of serving as judges at the Tchaikovsky competition where their students were invariably prize winners. Heifetz would see through this ruse and thus prohibited his students from entering competitions where the odds were always stacked against them.

    • Manu Hernz says:

      Then you also have to dismiss the whole jury because some of them may have some of the relationships with Zakhar Bron.

  • Greg Bottini says:

    Kyoko Takezawa – a supremely great violinist and musician.

  • muslit says:

    Isaac Stern died in 2001.