Asian takeover at Wieniawski Competition

Asian takeover at Wieniawski Competition


norman lebrecht

October 18, 2022

The finalists at the 2022 violin competition in Poznan are:

Hana Chang (Japan / Singapore / USA)
Jane Hyeonjin Cho (South Korea)
Meruert Karmenova (Kazakhstan)
Hina Maeda (Japan)
Qingzhu Weng (China)
Dayoon You (South Korea)

Past winners include Ginette Neveu (pictured) and Igor Oistrakh.


  • Really ? says:

    If they are the six best are all Asians …. then this outcome is not a problem. And if they tried artificially to balance the racial mix to bring in more from other races, then it would be a problem.

  • Margaret Koscielny says:

    That the talent and interest and support of music has moved around the world is a positive thing. There is great talent in Asia, as in the rest of the world. We should celebrate the Universal nature of Music and not see this trend as a “threat.” Where there is Music, the is Love.

    • Jason says:

      That’s an illogical statement based on emotion but not facts of anything tangible. Why only if it’s non white is it supposed to be good?

  • Editorial Standards says:

    Why does it matter if they’re Asian? The headline should be about their playing, not the colour of their skin

  • Wow says:

    “Asian takeover” sounds hostile, please consider rephrasing even if you did not intend to sound racially disparaging.

  • Entertainment Promoter says:

    The chairman of the judging committee, Maxim Vengerov, invited Japanese who had not yet entered to participate in the competition, and he also conducted the judging on his own.
    This became a big topic for the violinist, and he was dismissed at the next competition.
    Of course, this competition has always been unimportant, but now the fact that he won first place in this competition does not open the way for soloists in the world, so good violinists do not participate. .

    • David K. Nelson says:

      As opposed to what kind of takeover Mr. L?

      “This competition has always been unimportant” … so good violinists do not participate” – oh really? Look at the names for 1935 (Neveu’s year) and look at the names right down to 9th (Bronislaw Gimpel). 1952, 1957, 1962 (Charles Treger’s year), and so on. The impressive thing is that placing well even if not coming in first in this competition has often furthered a
      very good career. Henri Temianka, Ida Haendel, Julian Sitkovetsky, Wanda Wilkomirska, Vladimir Malinin among them.

      Somewhere in the list of this year’s winners there is, I suspect, a good violinist or two. Or six. And maybe some “entertainment promotor” somewhere will find them worthwhile.

      And by the way, Japan absolutely dominated the Wieniawski as early as 1981 (5 of top 6 prizes). Maxim Vengerov was 6 years old and presumably had very little to do with that.

  • zeno north says:

    The positive nature of the comments (so far) is very heartening.

    • Marisam says:

      You cannot escape bias in a competition. The very nature of the process is slanted in different ways. It must be. Or else how could one choose?
      I would rather see new competitions established instead of squabbling over one or the other.
      There is no limit to talent in the world or the creative spirit in art…. except in the minds of critics and politicians.

  • Pil says:

    what kind of title is that? are Asians likely barbarians taking over the Holy Roman Empire?

  • Gigi says:

    And the Cliburn, the Chopin…
    What is your point, Mr. L???