Top 3 prizes go to chairman’s students

Top 3 prizes go to chairman’s students


norman lebrecht

December 02, 2021

The 10th Johann Nepomuk Hummel International Piano Competition in the Slovak capital, Bratislava, would not normally catch our eye.

The prizes are relatively small and the prestige limited.

But the results of this year’s final are causing a bit of a stir.

The winners are:

1st Robert Bily, Czech Republic
Joint 2nd Sunah Kim, South Korea and Leo de Maria, Spain.

All three are students of Pavel Gililov, who chaired the jury.

He has done this before. And even more here.

If the World Federation of International Music Competitions had any credibility, it would suspend such events from membership until they cleaned up their act.


  • Wurm says:

    Making a mountain out of a mole-hummel?

  • V.Lind says:

    It seems so blatant. The guy is clearly shameless.

    Not fair to the students, either — some or all of them may well have deserved their placements, but there will always be questions as to the fairness in the face of this man’s disregarding of rules.

  • Sir David Geffen-Hall says:

    “If I can’t pick my own students, who do you expect me to pick?”

  • Terence says:

    The best option for the ‘winners’ is to slink back to their home countries (next door for one) and bury this in the CV.

    And say “please judge me on my playing”.

  • Nicholas says:

    One positive aspect to this story is at least there’s a piano competition named after Hummel! There should be more small piano competitions named after lesser known pianists who made a significant contribution to piano performance, pedagogy, or composition. The three that come to my mind are Clementi, Moscheles, and Kalkbrenner. I’m sure there are alot more and they deserve recognition to a broader audience.

  • Pianist says:

    I do not understand. Why young people are playing along? Why are they entering this competition and very honestly thinking that their teacher is fair. And would never vote for them if they really do not deserve.
    It’s so embarrassing. Why do people like Gililov are still taken seriously and allowed, invited to chair competitions?

    Why can’t our young generation just decide – let’s not do it anymore! Let’s not play along and leave this old fashion corruption in the past.
    Let’s make the world to the better place.

    Why can’t we all just get little more pride and professional dignity?