Who won the Salzburg Mozart Competition? The chairman, obviously

Who won the Salzburg Mozart Competition? The chairman, obviously


norman lebrecht

February 11, 2020

Finalists have been chosen at the 14th international Mozart competition, at the Mozarteum in Salzburg.

The three pianists are:

Yu Nitahara
Su Yeon Kim
Elisabeth Waglechner
The top two are students of Pavel Gililov, who is president of the jury. The third, who won, is his private student.
It’s a university. Will they never learn?
The rule is: all music competitions are rigged unless proved otherwise.


  • TIMS says:

    his passion for “musical instruction” will never die, lol.

  • CYM says:

    When I was living and studying piano in Paris, there was an unconfirmed rumor about the Marguerite Long International competition in the early 1960s, presided by pianist Marguerite Long in person.

    During the first round, a candidate with a very common French name (which I won’t mention – such as an American ‘John Doe’), and Madame Long directed the jury to dismiss that candidate, saying roughly : « With a name like that, he will never have a career ! » … to the dismay of one or two jury members who resigned from their jury duty ! …

  • Nepotism? Sounds like it. Here in Dudley (www.dipc.org.uk) no candidate might apply who has studied with any member of the jury during the previous twelve months. This should be the rule for competitions world wide.

  • Leopold says:

    Well at least with Elisabeth Waglechner a very fine if not great pianist won who doesn’t have anything to do with Gililov.

  • Eleanor Hope says:

    Well then you’ll need to know that the competition was won last night by Elisabeth Waglechner.

  • Stefan Vladar says:

    Sorry to interfere…
    Elisabeth Waglechner is my student in Vienna…
    Just to stop any more conspiracy rumors…
    Stefan Vladar

    • esfir ross says:

      I once suggest to Pavel Gililov student to find better teacher after his poor rendition of Mozart sonata at competition. He wanted to stick with PG because his student win competitions.

  • fflambeau says:

    I don’t think all contests are rigged. Note the Olivera violin competition (you had a story up on it) won by Julian Rhee who is a young student not affiliated with any of the judges. In fact, the group noted this:

    “The 2020 jury comprised: David Cerone (Chairman), Andrés Cárdenes, Ilya Kaler, Sung-Ju Lee, Silvia Marcovici, Gerardo Ribeiro, Barry Shiffman and Kathleen Winkler.

    In accordance with the competition’s scoring policy, juror Silvia Marcovici was not permitted to cast any votes or opinions on the performances of her current student, finalist Vikram Francesco Sedona.

    Juror Ilya Kaler was not permitted to cast any votes or opinions on the performances of his current student, finalist Jun Min Choi.”

    To me, this was very well handled.

    Note too that Julian Rhee has won several competitions.