Written by Laurie Niles
Published: September 17, 2014 at 4:10 PM [UTC]
I'm not going to take sides, but I'd like to explain the IVCI process, as I understand it.
Here are the rules, with regard to jury members and their own students (the rules are stated in the program, which you can read online at this link. The "scoring procedure" is outlined on page 37, and here is what it says with regard to this matter:
"In order to further reduce partiality, jurors are recused from voting for participants with whom they have had any past relationship as a primary teacher. By processing the scores to the same statistical distribution, players who are students of jurors will not be affected by their abstention."
In other words: Judges with students in the competition are not permitted to vote on their own students; scores for those students are based only on the scores from the other jury members. (This can actually work against those students, and some would argue that in the past, it has.) The finalists advanced based on a combined score: 70 percent of their semi-final scores plus 30 percent of their scores in the preliminaries.
The program also lists the teachers, past and present, for all the students. Here is that list for the finalists. (Current IVCI jury members are marked with an asterisk):
Tessa Lark, 25, United States
Jinjoo Cho, 26, South Korea
Jaime Laredo (present)*
Joseph Silverstein + Pamela Frank
Ji Yoon Lee, 22, South Korea
Kolja Blacher (present)
Ji Young Lim, 19, South Korea
Nam Yun Kim
Yoo Jin Jang, 23, South Korea
Miriam Fried (present)*
Nam Yun Kim
Dami Kim, South Korea
Mihaela Martin (present)
The members of the jury include: Jaime Laredo (Jury President), Ellen Taaffe Zwilich, Miriam Fried, Dong-Suk Kang, Boris Kuschnir, Cho-Liang Lin, Philip Setzer, Dmitry Sitkovetsky and Kyoko Takezawa. Many of these jurists are indeed some of the most prestigious violin teachers in the world, and their students win other competitions.
I hope this information helps. If you are wondering if the outcome of the competition is legitimate, I recommend that instead of looking at who is studying with whom, or worse, the racial profiles of the contestants, the best way to determine the level of everyone's playing, and to judge whether the outcome is fair, is to listen and watch these excellent young violinists play. Their performances can be found here:
Archived performances (ones that have already occurred)
Live-streaming (if you'd like to catch the performances tonight, and the rest of the week)
I've been trying to figure out the logics but it can go both ways. Student A has a teacher on the jury, now only 8 judges will vote. Student B has no teacher on jury, therefore gets all votes. You can say Student B has a disadvantage due to the cumulative average being brought down by the 9th judge, whereas Student A only has to worry about the 8 judges. But can also go the other way, in that A's average is higher than B's, whom needs higher individual averages due to have a zero from the missing judge. Lolol. Can go around in so many circles just trying to decipher what happened and how!
That aside, the ones who did advance were very deserving, even if there were a couple in there that were questionable vs. the others eliminated. I got two correct, three if counting the one that I knew would probably advance even if not a fan of her. =P
This particular competition is the most blatant example of politics I have seen recently. To have 3-4 of your own students (when you are judging) in a final round at the same time is not a coincidence.
These "competitions" are really merely a filter system for later success. Except that because they are so contrived, they become a problem, much like "teaching to the test."
Being a good musician is so much more than winning a competition.
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