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Underrated Pianists of the 20th Century (Read 5105 times)

Offline john11inc

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Underrated Pianists of the 20th Century
« on: December 14, 2009, 08:28:50 AM »
Since the overrated thread about overrated pianists is so wildly successful, how about a thread for underrated pianists?

I'm throwing in votes for Pludermacher, Entremont,Tudor, Uchida, Kontarsky and Bauhaus.
If this work is so threatening, it is not because it's simply strange, but competent, rigorously argued and carrying conviction.

-Jacques Derrida


http://www.youtube.com/user/john11inch

Offline ahinton

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Re: Underrated Pianists of the 20th Century
«Reply #1 on: December 14, 2009, 09:38:01 AM »
Since the overrated thread about overrated pianists is so wildly successful, how about a thread for underrated pianists?

I'm throwing in votes for Pludermacher, Entremont,Tudor, Uchida, Kontarsky and Bauhaus.
I'd certainly agree about Pludermacher, of whom one hears almost nothing nowadays - Dichter, too - but which of the three Kontarskys?! Alfons and Aloys were of course the better known of them and their two-piano partnership was nothing short of astonishing; I cannot imagine any other such duo bringing so very much to both Rakhmaninov's Symphonic Dances and Stockhausen's Mantra! But unless you believe that Uchida is by far the greatest living pianist, I would have some difficulty in accepting that she is underrated; she gets plenty of public and critical exposure and no shortage of praise.

Best,

Alistair
Alistair Hinton
Curator / Director
The Sorabji Archive

Offline weissenberg2

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Re: Underrated Pianists of the 20th Century
«Reply #2 on: December 14, 2009, 12:55:18 PM »
Alexis Weissenberg (not terribly underrated, but does not quite get the public acclaim he deserves)

Berman (same as the former)

Alexander Korsantia (He is not famous at all, but he is a genius)


Aloys Kontarsky is good, but I do not know if he quite deserves it. 
"A true friend is one who likes you despite your achievements." - Arnold Bennett

Offline edwardweiss

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Re: Underrated Pianists of the 20th Century
«Reply #3 on: December 14, 2009, 06:06:48 PM »
Excellent Thread! Whilst still a child in the 'fifties I saw Lev Pouishnov play Tchaikovsky 1-an unforgettable experience. Inthe 'sixties I saw Katchen play Brahms Op.5 and Schubert's Wanderer Fantasy. In the '70's I watched Rudolf Serkin [at the RFH I think it was] play Reger's Op.81. I also saw Youra Guller play Bach-Liszt and Chopin Op.35. in the very early 'sixties. All somewhat underrated now, I think-all great performers.

Offline john11inc

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Re: Underrated Pianists of the 20th Century
«Reply #4 on: December 15, 2009, 01:46:34 AM »
I'd certainly agree about Pludermacher, of whom one hears almost nothing nowadays - Dichter, too - but which of the three Kontarskys?! Alfons and Aloys were of course the better known of them and their two-piano partnership was nothing short of astonishing; I cannot imagine any other such duo bringing so very much to both Rakhmaninov's Symphonic Dances and Stockhausen's Mantra! But unless you believe that Uchida is by far the greatest living pianist, I would have some difficulty in accepting that she is underrated; she gets plenty of public and critical exposure and no shortage of praise.

Best,

Alistair

Well, all of these pianists have incredible critical acclaim, but Uchida I rarely hear getting mentioned.  It seems like the only time her name ever comes up is if someone is talking about a Mozart concerto.
If this work is so threatening, it is not because it's simply strange, but competent, rigorously argued and carrying conviction.

-Jacques Derrida


http://www.youtube.com/user/john11inch

Offline mikey6

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Re: Underrated Pianists of the 20th Century
«Reply #5 on: December 15, 2009, 04:04:47 AM »
Well, all of these pianists have incredible critical acclaim, but Uchida I rarely hear getting mentioned.  It seems like the only time her name ever comes up is if someone is talking about a Mozart concerto.
Read a London paper, trust me, she's certainly not short of exposure!
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Offline furtwaengler

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Re: Underrated Pianists of the 20th Century
«Reply #6 on: December 15, 2009, 04:28:50 AM »
This thread reminds me a lot of this current thread tucked away on the polls board:

http://www.pianostreet.com/smf/index.php?topic=35078.0

And on Uchida (you know she plays Kurtág too), from reading the surprisingly disparaging comments about her on other threads in this forum, I'd say if she's not underrated she is surely under appreciated, and that's a shame.  

And while I'm here, I'll add Christopher Taylor to the list. I love Christopher Taylor.
Don't let anyone know where you tie your goat.

Offline john11inc

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Re: Underrated Pianists of the 20th Century
«Reply #7 on: December 15, 2009, 11:19:52 AM »
This thread reminds me a lot of this current thread tucked away on the polls board:

http://www.pianostreet.com/smf/index.php?topic=35078.0

And on Uchida (you know she plays Kurtág too), from reading the surprisingly disparaging comments about her on other threads in this forum, I'd say if she's not underrated she is surely under appreciated, and that's a shame.

I certainly don't go into the miscellaneous section; it's too redundant in nature with the rest of the forum.  This is intended as a response to the thread regarding overrated composers.

Actually, I was under the impression that Mitsuko Uchida played nothing but Mozart's Piano Concerti Nos. 20 and 21, as per the statement you were quoting should suggest.

Glad to see with both like Pludermacher.  But just to help you avoid a possible, future faux pas, it is "Georges Pludermacher".
If this work is so threatening, it is not because it's simply strange, but competent, rigorously argued and carrying conviction.

-Jacques Derrida


http://www.youtube.com/user/john11inch

Offline ahinton

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Re: Underrated Pianists of the 20th Century
«Reply #8 on: December 15, 2009, 06:11:01 PM »
Actually, I was under the impression that Mitsuko Uchida played nothing but Mozart's Piano Concerti Nos. 20 and 21, as per the statement you were quoting should suggest.
Her repertoire is by no means as wide as that of some pianists, but she has played the Schönberg concerto and a fair few other works outside the most standard of standard fare; in view of your citing of her, I wonder if she's just not so well represented in US, as she is certainly very well known in Europe.

Glad to see with both like Pludermacher.  But just to help you avoid a possible, future faux pas, it is "Georges Pludermacher".
I was not aware that there was another one! - and, for anyone interested, his (sadly somewhat outdated) website is http://www.pludermacher.org

Best,

Alistair
Alistair Hinton
Curator / Director
The Sorabji Archive

Offline mikey6

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Re: Underrated Pianists of the 20th Century
«Reply #9 on: December 16, 2009, 12:31:29 AM »
Actually, I was under the impression that Mitsuko Uchida played nothing but Mozart's Piano Concerti Nos. 20 and 21, as per the statement you were quoting should suggest.
She started off playing Chopin.  I've heard her play Schumann, Schubert, Kurtag, Mozart of course, Beethoven, Schoenberg, Webern....
She has recorded the last 5 of Beethoven's Sonatas to critical acclaim as well as the Debussy etudes, a disc of Schoenberg Webern and Berg and more I'm sure....
Never look at the trombones. You'll only encourage them.
Richard Strauss

Offline john11inc

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Re: Underrated Pianists of the 20th Century
«Reply #10 on: December 16, 2009, 02:39:40 AM »
Here repertoire is by no means as wide as some pianists, but she has played the Schönberg concerto and a fair few other works outside the most standard of standard fare; in view of your citing of her, I wonder if she's just not so well represented in US, as she is certainly very well known in Europe.

She started off playing Chopin.  I've heard her play Schumann, Schubert, Kurtag, Mozart of course, Beethoven, Schoenberg, Webern....
She has recorded the last 5 of Beethoven's Sonatas to critical acclaim as well as the Debussy etudes, a disc of Schoenberg Webern and Berg and more I'm sure....

Yeah.  I'm going to start doing this.  [sarcasm] my comment [/sarcasm], so as to be less confusing to you guys.
If this work is so threatening, it is not because it's simply strange, but competent, rigorously argued and carrying conviction.

-Jacques Derrida


http://www.youtube.com/user/john11inch

Offline m

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Re: Underrated Pianists of the 20th Century
«Reply #11 on: December 16, 2009, 03:13:40 AM »
I don't quite understand what it means "underrrated" (or "overrated" for the same reason). To be a great artist one does not have to be well known, worldwide praised, or else having an extensive career.
To be a great artist all it takes is just... great artistry. There are plenty of great pianists, which for one or another reason are very little known and still by far superior artists than say Ushida, E. Ax, E. Bronfman, M. Pollini, or excuse me... Lang Lang.

Best, M

Offline thaicheow

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Re: Underrated Pianists of the 20th Century
«Reply #12 on: December 16, 2009, 06:20:32 AM »
Dang Thai Son.

Came upon an article in local newspaper yesterday. Reviewer fuzz about the pianist: Dang Thai Son, for his overshadowed by Pogorelich (the Chopin Warsaw competition in 1980).

Heard he is coming to Singapore and work with SSO. Don't think I am going to miss it. God Bless.

 [ Invalid YouTube link ]dang%20thai%20son&search=Search&sa=X&oi=spell&resnum=0&spell=1

Offline furtwaengler

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Re: Underrated Pianists of the 20th Century
«Reply #13 on: December 16, 2009, 07:37:02 AM »
I don't quite understand what it means "underrrated" (or "overrated" for the same reason). To be a great artist one does not have to be well known, worldwide praised, or else having an extensive career.
To be a great artist all it takes is just... great artistry. There are plenty of great pianists, which for one or another reason are very little known and still by far superior artists than say Ushida, E. Ax, E. Bronfman, M. Pollini, or excuse me... Lang Lang.

Best, M

If only this could end both discussions right here...but, if there is any merit to such conversations, it is for me to discover inspiring musicians' musicianship no matter how great or small their exposure is. I love performance, and I'm at a constant craving for more performers and performances...I noticed this in a long stretch of listening to Beethoven's op. 132 string quartet, a constant want for new experiences with the piece, even if my last experience was most satisfying. Similarly I get excited to here and attend new concerts and recitals. It's an immense and somehow liberating thrill.

Don't let anyone know where you tie your goat.

Offline john11inc

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Re: Underrated Pianists of the 20th Century
«Reply #14 on: December 16, 2009, 07:46:06 AM »
There are plenty of great pianists, which for one or another reason are very little known and still by far superior artists than say Ushida, E. Ax, E. Bronfman, M. Pollini, or excuse me... Lang Lang.

Is that meant to be Uchida?
If this work is so threatening, it is not because it's simply strange, but competent, rigorously argued and carrying conviction.

-Jacques Derrida


http://www.youtube.com/user/john11inch

Offline m

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Re: Underrated Pianists of the 20th Century
«Reply #15 on: December 16, 2009, 07:57:43 AM »
Dang Thai Son.

Came upon an article in local newspaper yesterday. Reviewer fuzz about the pianist: Dang Thai Son, for his overshadowed by Pogorelich (the Chopin Warsaw competition in 1980).

Heard he is coming to Singapore and work with SSO. Don't think I am going to miss it.

Indeed, don't miss it, he is (or at least was) a very good pianist.

Best, M

Offline m

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Re: Underrated Pianists of the 20th Century
«Reply #16 on: December 16, 2009, 08:01:21 AM »
..I noticed this in a long stretch of listening to Beethoven's op. 132 string quartet, a constant want for new experiences with the piece, even if my last experience was most satisfying. Similarly I get excited to here and attend new concerts and recitals. It's an immense and somehow liberating thrill.

For years I was hunting for an old LP with Hungarian Quartet (with old members) playing this op. 132. I was so happy to finally find it... regardless of the performance.

Best, M

Offline furtwaengler

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Re: Underrated Pianists of the 20th Century
«Reply #17 on: December 17, 2009, 03:47:25 AM »
For years I was hunting for an old LP with Hungarian Quartet (with old members) playing this op. 132. I was so happy to finally find it... regardless of the performance.

Best, M

^I know what you mean. I've heard an mp3 transfer of that, but there's just something about having it. I don't have that, and I also don't have the Busch Quartet's Schubert D. 887, my other favorite quartet (but the Pearl transfer is satisfying).
Don't let anyone know where you tie your goat.

Offline burstroman

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Re: Underrated Pianists of the 20th Century
«Reply #18 on: December 19, 2009, 07:40:30 PM »
Evelyn Crochet, Grant Johannsen, Charles Rosen, and Natalie Hinderas.

Offline cmg

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Re: Underrated Pianists of the 20th Century
«Reply #19 on: December 23, 2009, 06:04:14 AM »
Uchida "underrated?"  She's the darling of the New York and British musical press.  Don't you ever glance at "Gramophone," that tired Brit rag of musico-celebrities?  And the NY Times??  

Entremont?  Philippe Entremont?  Please.  His recordings from the late Sixties are crude, but slightly  impassioned.  Still, passionate intent with excessive wrong notes and rhythmic distortions deserve to be underrated.

But, it's always gratifying to see after all these years and mutations from "soliloquy," "ikepedia" and god-knows-what-else, that "john11inch" -- and the blatant, tacky pornographic images the name is intended to invoke -- is still doted upon by ahinton and others.  Congratulations!  You're the cyber-classical world equivalent of America's "National Enquirer."
Current repertoire:  "Come to Jesus" (in whole-notes)

Offline john11inc

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Re: Underrated Pianists of the 20th Century
«Reply #20 on: December 23, 2009, 07:58:34 AM »
Uchida "underrated?"  She's the darling of the New York and British musical press.  Don't you ever glance at "Gramophone," that tired Brit rag of musico-celebrities?  And the NY Times??  

Entremont?  Philippe Entremont?  Please.  His recordings from the late Sixties are crude, but slightly  impassioned.  Still, passionate intent with excessive wrong notes and rhythmic distortions deserve to be underrated.

But, it's always gratifying to see after all these years and mutations from "soliloquy," "ikepedia" and god-knows-what-else, that "john11inch" -- and the blatant, tacky pornographic images the name is intended to invoke -- is still doted upon by ahinton and others.  Congratulations!  You're the cyber-classical world equivalent of America's "National Enquirer."

Firstly, that was "Ikedian".  You know, Ryoji Ikeda (actually, I'm sure you don't).

Search for "Uchida": Pages: [1] 2 3 4 5 6
Search for "Kissin": Pages: [1] 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13  ... 17
Search for "Lang Lang": Pages: [1] 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13  ... 17
Search for "Argerich": Pages: [1] 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13  ... 17
Search for "Hamelin":Pages: [1] 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13  ... 17  etc.

If these publications are "rags", perhaps we should disregard them and instead take a look at who is being talked about by other pianists, who is being appreciated by the many and not the few, as the many buy many albums, and the few buy few.

I wasn't aware Philippe Entremont's recording career spanned 1966-1969, firstly, not to mention that I can make an emotive case to support his recordings just as easily as you can make an emotive case against them.

I doubt Alistair appreciates the term "doting", although I wouldn't want to put words into his mouth like you have.  I'd also think Alistair's reading habits transplendently transcend "The National Inquirer": perhaps Joyce, Burgess, Beckett, Woolf.  So, by your analogy, I am, in fact, Ulysses (a book you don't understand and that is far beyond your level of comprehension, as your comments regarding my username indicate).  Infamous and famous; seems preferable to unknown, like you.
If this work is so threatening, it is not because it's simply strange, but competent, rigorously argued and carrying conviction.

-Jacques Derrida


http://www.youtube.com/user/john11inch

Offline tsaij

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Re: Underrated Pianists of the 20th Century
«Reply #21 on: December 23, 2009, 08:02:29 AM »
Pludermacher, Entremont,Tudor, Uchida, Kontarsky and Bauhaus.

backhaus you mean?

i might toss in paul jacobs and håkon austbø, who for my money have the best recorded cycles of debussy and messiaen, respectively.

Offline visitor

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Re: Underrated Pianists of the 20th Century
«Reply #22 on: March 28, 2016, 06:55:19 PM »
"Valeri Kastelsky(1941-2001)- russian pianist, studied in Moscow Conservatory under prof. H.Neuhaus (yes, man, one of my absolute favs, so been searching out students of his class(es)). Since 1992 he held the post of vice-president of Alexander Scriabin Foundation."




Offline louispodesta

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Re: Underrated Pianists of the 20th Century
«Reply #23 on: March 29, 2016, 10:29:09 PM »
Since the overrated thread about overrated pianists is so wildly successful, how about a thread for underrated pianists?

I'm throwing in votes for Pludermacher, Entremont,Tudor, Uchida, Kontarsky and Bauhaus.
Since I have now reviewed the OP associated with overrated pianists, it seems clear to me (as a pianist/philosopher) that the predicate for that and this post is based on concert pianists from the middle to late 20th  century.  Rarely, other than Schnabel, maybe even Horowitz, did someone discuss a pianist who was grounded in the 19th century (in terms of their matriculation).

So, in terms of establishing a predicate for the pianists I will list pianists, supposedly underrated, that were most certainly not rated that way during their lifetimes.  Accordingly, I first list the link to my video, which portends an 18th, 19th, and early 20th century epistemology:



Accordingly, I will list four pianists all of whom studied in the 19th century and played in what I term the original performance practice.  That is, as the composer/pianists themselves, rolled their chords in both hands (when appropriate), played the bass note slightly ahead of the soprano (in order to accentuate the melodic line), altered rhythms, improvised, and then modified tempos.

The first pianist is Fanny Davies, who was Clara Schumann's TA for 20 years.



The next is Carl Friedberg, who was coached by Clara Schumann, and was the first person to ever be personally coached by Johannes Brahms.  He taught at Juilliard for 23 years until he was unceremoniously fired supposedly due to his age of 73.  Parenthetically, this is the only recording of the Brahms 2nd Concerto in the original style.



Thirdly, there is Mortiz Rosenthal, whose teachers were Franz Liszt, Karol Mikuli, and then was later used as a rehearsal pianist by an aged Johannes Brahms.


Finally, there is Mieczyslaw Horszowski, who taught at Curtis for 43 years, was a student of Theodeore Leshetizky, and performed live as shown in these links until late in his 90's.  Peter Serkin has stated that this was his favorite teacher.



Enjoy.


Offline richard black

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Re: Underrated Pianists of the 20th Century
«Reply #24 on: March 30, 2016, 09:33:04 PM »
I'm sure lots of pianists have vanished, or were never very well known in the first place, despite having lots to say. Ever heard Jean Hubeau, for instance? Wonderful colourist. Thomas Rajna - left some really splendid recordings of Messiaen and Granados. Elisso Virsaladze - still playing (as far as I know) and excellent in classical and 19-century music. And so on.
Instrumentalists are all wannabe singers. Discuss.

Offline louispodesta

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Re: Underrated Pianists of the 20th Century
«Reply #25 on: March 30, 2016, 11:17:21 PM »
I'm sure lots of pianists have vanished, or were never very well known in the first place, despite having lots to say. Ever heard Jean Hubeau, for instance? Wonderful colourist. Thomas Rajna - left some really splendid recordings of Messiaen and Granados. Elisso Virsaladze - still playing (as far as I know) and excellent in classical and 19-century music. And so on.
For those who want to hear the highly acclaimed Ken Caswell digital stereo piano rolls (acclaimed for their accuracy), I proffer the following "Not rated" (per this OP) of the meticulously composer/pianist recordings.

As related to me personally by the producer/engineer, the first Debussy recording took 15 years to record.  This was in order to verify whether it was the true/actual roll, and then how the Welte reproducing tension on any piano was to be replicated .

Accordingly, I list the following links of personal actual composer/pianist recordings of Debussy, Ravel, Scriabin (AND Granados), meticulously recorded by Mr. Caswell, which can also be accessed for free through any public library:

http://www.amazon.com/Claude-Debussy-Composer-Pianist-Collection/dp/B00005IC03
http://www.amazon.com/Composer-Pianist-Conductor-Maurice-Ravel/dp/B00008BNTE
http://www.amazon.com/Welte-Mignon-Recordings-Alexander-Scriabin/dp/B0001LY9VY
http://www.amazon.com/Enrique-Granados-Composer-As-Pianist/dp/B000051ZMS

Offline huaidongxi

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Re: Underrated Pianists of the 20th Century
«Reply #26 on: March 31, 2016, 12:30:21 AM »
methinks many of the nominees put forward here weren't underrated at all by their audiences and musical peers. they wouldn't get widely heard, however, without the right circumstances favoring concert and/or recording exposure. Horszowski was immensely respected, made a number of well distributed recordings, but probably preferred other aspects of work(teaching) or taking long holidays in Italy to concertizing extensively.  he received much acclaim while very young and stopped concertizing as a young adult to study at the Sorbonne.  for varying reasons, personal, political, economic, many or most of the nominees didn't gain prominence via recordings and concerts.  Maria Yudina did make it onto the roster of the philips/decca 'great pianists of the century' series, but had limited access to the major western record companies and international concert tours.  Virsaladze has made it out to the wild west of SF once (maybe twice) in her long career.

Offline louispodesta

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Re: Underrated Pianists of the 20th Century
«Reply #27 on: March 31, 2016, 10:23:59 PM »
methinks many of the nominees put forward here weren't underrated at all by their audiences and musical peers. they wouldn't get widely heard, however, without the right circumstances favoring concert and/or recording exposure. Horszowski was immensely respected, made a number of well distributed recordings, but probably preferred other aspects of work(teaching) or taking long holidays in Italy to concertizing extensively.  he received much acclaim while very young and stopped concertizing as a young adult to study at the Sorbonne.  for varying reasons, personal, political, economic, many or most of the nominees didn't gain prominence via recordings and concerts.  Maria Yudina did make it onto the roster of the philips/decca 'great pianists of the century' series, but had limited access to the major western record companies and international concert tours.  Virsaladze has made it out to the wild west of SF once (maybe twice) in her long career.
Very well said

However, and not necessarily off topic, is the current yardstick for so-called greatness.  And, that is what piano competition/competitions did this pianist win, starting at the age of five!

I call it the Cliburn legacy, which is what it is.  Today, if you have a DMA, and you have not had success in these worthless politically corrupt exercises in piano acrobatics, then you are done.

That is why any school district in America can get a DMA to teach K-5 for squat.  And, that is also why the competition winners themselves have to put up the own money to form their own recording label.

A perfect example of this is Gregory Allen, who placed and won major competitions.  His only recording is that of the "Complete Piano Works of Joaquin Rodrigo."  Everything else is You Tube videos.

And, this guy sits on all undergraduate and graduate juries and committees at the University of Texas at Austin.

The point is: instead of worrying about overrated and underrated, why shouldn't our energies be better spent on reforming/improving the totally outdated university music school system of instrumental performance;  and its related overrated competition system of determining performance excellence.