April 14, 2012 at 4:12 PMBEIJING -- Kenneth Arthur Renshaw, 18, of the United States has won the Senior Division of 2012 Menuhin Competition. Here is a list of all the winners (click on each name to reach their video performances page):
1st Prize: Kenneth Arthur Renshaw (USA), age 18
2nd Prize: Ji Eun Anna Lee (Korea), age 16
3rd Prize: Alexi Kenney (USA), age 18
4th Prize: Siyan Guo (China), age 20
Jury Chair Pamela Frank said that they had the closest scores among these finalists in the history of Menuhin competition. She told the winners that the numbers do not define them. They are defined by their soul and they all have a beautiful soul and will all have great future in music.
She also emphasized that this competition is not sports. Art is intangible and judging is very subjective, based on individual taste and chemistry.
Kenneth Arthur Renshaw plays the third movement of the Sibelius Concerto during the final round of the Senior Division on the 2012 Yehudi Menuhin International Violin Competition:
That being said, huge congratulations to everyone who participated; you're all way better than I'll ever be! Here's to long careers in music for all of you...
Edit - I like his Tzigane a lot better than the Sibelius. I wonder if it was the orchestra I'm not sold on...
So were there actually more interesting players who did not get first price? I would be interested in listening to them, but I don'T have time to listen to all of them.
sorry for my spelling, probably should sleep
No one seems to be entirely happy with either junior and senior final results, including the couple sat next to me last night who are closely related to one of the jurors. Yet based on a couple of dozen people(violin teachers, students, competitors and their parents, friends and relatives of some jurors and one Chinese music critic) I've talked to here, their rating is all over the map. I doubt even the jury can get consensus.
Even though it’s hard to avoid using sports analogy, this is not supposed be a sports, as the judging is not objective, just as the chair of the Jury said last night. What is clear to me (through watching these competition rounds and the feedback in masterclasses given by the jurors)is that the jury is not looking for just good violinists (technically strong players), but the musicians who move the listeners (give them goosebumps). There are tons of kids can play everything so clean and so in tune. They may impress us as violinists, but not this jury.
Also keep in mind that this completion was established by Menuhin himself in 1983, and his daughter Zamira Menuhin has been attending all the events during this competition. One of the prizes is donated by her.
please show them to me! :)
2.How is the sports analogy strange when it comes to "competition"?
3. A difficult point is this "musicality" wich is often mentioned when obscure decisions come across. First everybody is touched by different expressions and second everybody is touched by perfect technique, because it makes the playing something special and an ideal in the best sence of an "idea" to achieve...
sorry about that nummering technique i use, its late and i have to play tomorrow, but i had to write this shortly
I don't know any of the details of this competition but from one of the other posts, the idea that one of the jurors would have several of his or her own students competing -- that just sounds really bad. On the other hand everyone has biases, friendships, favors they owe people, etc.
Again the comparison to sports could be overblown but this is starting to sound like Olympic figure skating. Who's the Tanya Harding of classical violin?
This is not specific to this competition but I think is true in life in general that it’s just too easy to pick something one doesn’t like and go on speculating and criticizing. I did this a lot in my life but as I’m getting older, I understand it takes a lot more heart, brain and sweat to stay positive and make concrete effort to move things forward. For this reason, I’m not interested in engaging in emotional “Ping-Pong” debates and will not respond to questions and arguments of this nature.
I would have liked to hear the intro of the 1st movement. It takes a lot of fine-tuning and care to truly produce coldness in Sibelius, and the intro pretty much makes or breaks the concerto in my opinion. Vibrato, but not wide nor too much, piano but must be clear...
The 3rd movement also could have used a lot more choppy articulation. The rhythm and the tune is quite militaristic imho.
Perhaps the variability is just that - no one really shone so there was no shaddow either...
Btw. The best and most serious competition I have ever seen and heard was the 2010 Sibelius competition. There were still some sad decisions but everything was more or less predictable and reasonable. And the Orchestra for the finals was top!
Beijing Times April 13, 2012
Beijing Times April 15, 2012
But that’s exactly what causing those music students struggling and fighting for their petitioning for the international competition jury’s transparency.
Only few extremely highly achieved music students are capable and having the chance to participate the international level competitions. And only those handful students may encounter having the issues with the (rigged) jury systems. But for more than 99% or more of the rest of music students body, the international level competitions are too far to their reach. So they don’t care. Hence it allows the problematic jury systems keep flourishing.
Now, back to this 2012 Menuhin International Violin Competition. So far, you only see few video clips by very few specific contestants shown on the youtube, or picked up by this blog. Those video clips were cut from the complete round of each contestant’s program. Each video clip only give you a glimpse of a very partial impression the presenter wants you to see. If you are serious or curious about what’s really going on with this competition, or want to know what the Beijing Times, Beijing’s largest news media, were criticizing this competition about:
The Beijing Times, April 13, 2012
The Beijing Times, April 15, 2012
(Both articles are questioning the selection of the finalists with the Senior Group only.)
if you can’t read Chinese text, or if you don’t understand what the two columnists criticizing about, you should spend some time watching through the complete First Round and the Semi-Final Round videos performed by the following specific contestants. Those contestants are the ones whose names were specifically mentioned by the two different columnists. Those complete videos are available from the Menuhin’s official site, and I’ve listed their links below.
Since the levels of some of these contestants are so far apart, after you have watched the COMPLETE both First Round and Semi-Final Round videos, you would easily see why the two columnists and the Beijing audience were questioning how the finalists were selected by the jury. The first columnist labeled it as the biggest controversy of this competition. The 2nd columnist even called it ‘the flaw’ of this competition. Both authors mentioned that the audiences believed Zeyu Victo Li from China and Zenas Hsu from San Francisco should have been on the top-3 positions... etc..
Since all of the contestants are playing similar repertoires, thanks to the modern technology, it’d be easy for you to do “contestant vs contestant” side by side comparison with each same piece of the repertoire played by the contestants who are playing it. You’d be the judge to decide if the jury was correct or if the columnists and the Beijing audience were correct.
If you have much free time, you should watch ALL of the 22 contestants' videos. Otherwise, just take your time watching the complete First Round and Semi-Final Round performed by these specific ones named as part of "the controversy":
Zeyu Victo Li
Ji Eun Anna Lee
Kenneth Arthur Renshaw
It’s those 99% music students’ ignorance, "that's not my business" attitude, so they don’t participate the petition to urge the international competition jury process to become transparent.
It’s our laziness, so we are sitting here, being fed by the media with the processed (manipulated) info/video.
We don’t watch the complete set of the videos performed by every contestants, we then concluded that the video clips we are fed is the whole story.
The real cause of this, as you said it so well, is the vicious hydra. Yet the ignorant and lazy people are the direct or indirect supporters for the hydra.
I also want to clarify a bit about these blogs: I paid my own way to Beijing on my vacation and my blogs are from my personal direct observations. I have no personal, financian or political connection with any competitors or jury so I can safely say that I’m no more or less biased than anyone who is watching the competition near and far.
I understand where SY Chao comes from, although I don’t entirely agree some of his interpretation of the Menuhin competition, I respect his opinion. I still have more to write about this competition, including the other masterclasses and my interview with Kerson Leong, etc. Currently I'm in Shanghai visiting family. I'll try to get my next blgo or two posted as soon as I can.
Thank you all again for your interest!
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