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Competition results: do they mean anything at all? (Read 1512 times)

Offline pytheamateur

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Competition results: do they mean anything at all?
« on: September 14, 2012, 07:59:21 PM »
How objective and valid are competition results really?  If you have done really well in one major competition, then wouldn't you be expected to do equally well in another one?

Looking at the names of some of the participants in recent major competitions, I see that this is often not the case.

Take the case of Ilya Rashkovskiy, pupil of the the late Vladimir Krainev.  Having won first prizes in a few minor competitions, he got third prize at the Rubinstein competition last year (1st prize went to Daniil Trifonov).  However, he got knocked out after the first round at the Leeds this year.

Or the Chinese pianist Kong Jianing, pupil of Dmitri Alexeev.  He was 6th prize winner of the last Leeds competition but did not advance to the second round in the Tchaikovsky last year.  Instead, he was offered a teaching post at the prestigious Purcell School.

If one gets a distinction at Grade 8 ABRSM, he wouldn't fail Grade 8 Trinity and Guildhall, would he?  Or presumably one can expect him to play better than someone who only got a pass at Grade 8?

Or is objective measurement of performance an illusion when it comes to professional playing.
Beethoven - Sonata in C sharp minor, Op 27 No 12
Chopin - Fantasie Impromptu, Nocturn in C sharp minor, Op post
Brahms - Op 118, Nos 2 & 3

Offline pianist1976

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Re: Competition results: do they mean anything at all?
«Reply #1 on: September 17, 2012, 11:24:59 AM »
Competitions mean very little. They are useful in order to grow the ego of some of the prize winners and been the battlefield of several teachers/schools/politics, but they doesn't really mean much more more than that. The true and charismatic artist will achieve success sooner or later (sometimes thanks to competitions, sometimes without them and other times despite of them. For instance, we have the strange case of the participation of Ashkenazy on the 1962 Tchaikovski Competition. Why the heck did he that? He was already a worldwide star!) Horowitz never participated on a competition, and so on... And for the other ones, they are nothing more than what the word means: prize winners, nothing else. Unfortunately most competitions in the world are a junkyard where political, relationship, connections, economical or whatever criteria is more important than the artistic one. That's just plain garbage.

I can't remember if it was Nadia Boulanger or Margeritte Long but she said that the parisien piano cafes were full of first price international competition winners.

Thank God, there are many means other than competitions to build a concert career.

Offline asuhayda

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Re: Competition results: do they mean anything at all?
«Reply #2 on: September 18, 2012, 04:42:10 AM »
The only thing a competition is good for is to push you to improve.  The results don't mean squat.

... unless you win of course.  ;)
~ if you want to know what I'm working on.. just ask me!