Violin competition gives prizes to video applicants

Violin competition gives prizes to video applicants


norman lebrecht

April 27, 2020

The Rubinstein International Violin Competition, based in Düsseldorf, unable to hold a live contest, has awarded its prizes to the best audition videos it received.

First prize went to Yuna Ha, 28, from South Korea, a member of the Esmé Quartet. Second went to Alexandra Weissbecker, 19, from Germany.

Is this sensible? admirable? ethical?


  • Player says:

    The problem with video is the sound. It’s very difficult, if not impossible, to hear quality, color, and dynamic range through computer speakers, even if contestants used a decent microphone. Maybe judges are more concerned with choreography?

    • Mr. Knowitall says:

      Why do you think that the panel listened through computer speakers?

      • ANDY LIM says:

        As probably the audition videos were not made and sent in with 192 Khz resolution, but with mobile telephones, it could even be possibly listened too on mobile phones! Today it is rare to find people appreciating and therefore investing in decent audio equipment, as unfortunately many don´t hear the differences anyway between mp3 files and high quality recordings.
        But nevertheless any winners should/could be congratulated!

    • Brian v says:

      Nothing like cds or vinyl for sound quality

    • PHF says:

      True, that’s why no one listen to recordings while live concerts are stronger everyday… no, wait…

      • Player says:

        I didn’t say no one listens to recordings. Making and producing recordings is a whole art unto itself. However, in a competition, judges are supposedly distinguishing between high level musicians, supposedly performing live. They listen to the applicants and compare sound, musicality, technique, stage presence, grace under pressure, etc. Prizes are awarded based on many subjective things, not to mention politics. Competition by video makes things even less fair. If you don’t have the competitors standing in the same room in front of the judges, you’re really comparing apples to oranges, as access to technology varies widely. We can also assume that some competitors are very adept at splicing/editing their recordings and adding video later.

  • Eric says:

    Who needs this at all? What for? Will Yuna or Alexandra start a world career after winning a prize at this unknown competition? Why wasting time and money on those things?

  • Steven Mendler says:

    How much was applications fee? How many peaple apply?

  • Bruce says:

    Sure, why not. It’s no crazier than having a live competition.