Montreal competition part 2

May 31, 2006 at 03:53 AM · I liked Marcus the most. I suppose he made some mistakes that might hurt his chances, but he played beautifully and is an excellent musician. In the latter department, I admire him the most. He got quite a good reaction, although the last player really won the audience over.

Although I didn't always like the intensity of his vibrato, but that's really beside the point that this guy is totally fantastic. I think he has a promising career as a violinist.


May 31, 2006 at 09:48 AM · I agree with Pieter over Tannenberger, only some littles mistakes but mistakes at last. He play excelentt, great pace and sound.

The best of night Kamio, what a shosty`s perfomance i like this player is intense.

Sadly Prokofiev 1 is not in my favorites but good perfomance from Park with sublime moments.

May 31, 2006 at 10:44 AM · I agree with Luis. Kamio is a perfect fit with the Shosty. She plays with amazing confidence and bravura. Marcus sounded fantastic. Park is a terrific performer but I thought her performance of the Prok. sounded rushed at times, although she did have some sublime moments, as Luis said.

After the first two nights, I'd favor Kamio, then Tanneberger, then Choi.

May 31, 2006 at 10:49 AM · Dear Martina,

I am happy that the final of Mozart comp was so strong. Of course depending on the circumstances it could also be a different lineup but i am convinced that the prizewinners have deserved it. I only heard Yura's first round and I got a very solid feeling from her playing. Even though perhaps to my ear some things were as it were a bit american but it is totally normal considering Yura's educational background. I was happy the jury didn't start picking her appart for being free with the bowings in Mozart and one or two glisses, coz in the end of the day the general ausdrück was very good. I already congradulated Yura in another post. As to Montreal I still didnt hear anyone. I will be in London tomorrow and maybe will listen a bit on my PC providing there is still something going on.

As to other competitions this year I think i will enter the football world cup. (I think I have a bigger chance there).

see you!


May 31, 2006 at 08:05 PM · I don't understand why the audience was so gaga for Kamio... her performance was technically flawless and the character was often quite good but 100% of the time her vibrato was the same, often not fitting the style of the composition... she also loves to press the wood against the string and to me, doesn't make a very nice sound at all. Most of the time it is very harsh. The first 2 to play Shostakovich were for me, equally able performers. Ye-Eun Choi, the 1st to play Shostakovich on Monday, did what Kamio, but better. She is an excellent technician, and did everything Kamio did technically speaking better, and without the extra right hand effort. Dan Zhu in my opinion, was the most musical, and obviously the performance was faultless. Kamio's playing was extremely exciting, but I just can't get over that type of tone. Her index finger must be ready to break off.

Marcus is such a wonderful player. To my taste, he overplayed the entrance. Too much vibrato on the octaves (if you listen, the top notes were a bit too wide). In the softer parts (I wish I had the score with me), I think he could have played less. Still, this guy is completely fantastic. His stage presence is so natural and I'd certainly buy a ticket to hear him perform. He has a wonderful soul, and he's been my favourite so far even though his performance was less "perfect" than the 3 Shostakovich performances. If there's one thing I would change about his playing that night, it would be the different colors in vibrato. He has a very exciting vibrato that works well in certain passages, but not so well in the 2nd theme in the lyrical passages... a little wider and slower.

The korean girl who played the Prokofiev is a great violinist. I didn't feel as if she was totally into it, especially in the Scherzo, which although very solid, wasn't as exciting as it could have been (and as exciting as I know she could play it). The last movement was her best in my opinion. At this point she fit well into the larger structure (since this concerto isn't like most others, in that the soloist isn't necessarily always that important).

I should say that I'm not at the level of any of these violinists, and I have the utmost admiration for their talents and hard work. Even though I really didn't like the way Kamio projected and her at times, animalistic aggresivity (which audiences seem to accept in any 20th century piece), I completely envy her abilities. It isn't that I didn't like her, it's that there are so many wonderful violinists playing at this competition.

I'm going to the final performance tonight, and will sit through the long winded speeches and what not to wait to see who wins. Right now, Kamio is definately winning the audience prize (though before her, Marcus got the biggest reception). If my understanding of what wins competitions is correct, and if the competition ended last night, I'd say that Ye-Eun and Dan Zhu shoukd be the top two. What I'm eager to listen to would be somewhat different...

May 31, 2006 at 05:08 PM · Thank you very much, Pieter for your summary. I wasn't able to watch the final, because it's too late (in France). But I watched a little the semi-final (especially Kamio and Marcus) and I know what you mean about Kamio. From the beginning, I think she'll win the 1st prize... It's exactly the kind of playing violinist should have to win competition : nothing disturbing, great sound, intonation perfect... Maybe it's just me, but I'm not moved when I listen to that. I admire this perfection but I'm not attracted by. This safety of playing makes a little lose the charm in my opinion.

Tomorrow we'll see the results...

Good luck for the last finalists !


May 31, 2006 at 06:31 PM · I still have no idea how people think Kamio's was the best of the 3 Shostakovich so far... she played it like it's a Sarasate piece or something.

May 31, 2006 at 07:00 PM · Great comments, Pieter - thanks for taking the time to provide so much detail.

May 31, 2006 at 08:36 PM · Bron looked like he was falling asleep during someone's performance...

May 31, 2006 at 10:32 PM · Ok, I've got the sound thanks to advice here. Is it possible to get video, too?

May 31, 2006 at 11:13 PM · Hi. I know that Pieter is really close of the competition, he can apreciate a lot of details that we dont, but i disgree with he over Kamio, i guess that she dont play shosty like sarasate due she have a great tecnic and play this hard work with her tecnic. No wonder the audience`s reacion due kamio mixed in your perfomance a lot of feelling (drama, bravura, sad) with apropiate sound all the time IMO.

A lot of "semejanzas" with vengerov-rostropovich`s version, may be due bron influence then i guees that was a big perfomance from kamio. marcus play brilliant too, but not enough to win. Just cho ends your shosty`s version, Great after a big distraccion, she over come and play with the heart the audience aprove her perfomance too, like kamio, in diferent status. i like this girl i guess she have a big future. Thanks.

May 31, 2006 at 11:14 PM · Cho really touched me. She had courage and guts and for the most part she seemed totally in control. She recovered so completely from that mishap - it was almost as if she had planned it.

May 31, 2006 at 11:44 PM · Marcus is so cute, yes and has huge hands, but the wrist was so tight and the vibrato limited I feel. He needs confidence and to go deeper into his music, not forgetting the audience but, not so self aware and to loosen up those big ahnds a bit.

May 31, 2006 at 11:45 PM · Guao emily i guess is not planned but i agree with you "courage and guts" in cho`s perfomance was a big emotions.

May 31, 2006 at 11:47 PM · I heard them all, at least once, the winner is Mayuko, clearly; if technique and poignant playing count for much. She is a very special player. A vibrato that changed so beautifully, a bow so controlled but arms free. Her interpretation about making every note count. Bravo to her and her teacher!

June 1, 2006 at 01:51 AM · Jinjoo got 1st.

Kamio got 5th.

Markus got 3rd.

Dan got 6th.

June 1, 2006 at 01:35 AM · Wow! I'm glad that Jinjoo got first... I really like her. They were all great, though. Congratulations to all of the competitors!

June 1, 2006 at 01:45 AM · I am in shock for Kamio. I really cannot understand it. I saw all the performers and they all had some strengths and beauty but Mayuko was like watching Heifeits. She is other worldly. I think this might be a scandal in the music world or should be. No.1 was sweet and has a lovely sound but not the strength or maturity of Kamio in my mind.

June 1, 2006 at 02:11 AM · Who got second or fourth?

June 1, 2006 at 02:05 AM · Susan, is this Jacha Heifetz we're talking about?

The scandal is Chapelle... the Beethoven was sublime. I loved it. She was in such control, and I found her interpretation tasteful, unaffected and didn't get caught up in the self indulgence that some of the Shostakovich performances did...

Jin Joo played with a lot of heart, and yea, the judges really made some interesting choices given that they gave her first (which I think you could make a strong case for), but gave the other Korean girl 2nd... the technical powerhouse of the competition, then Marcus who also made mistakes (though not as big as Jin Joo) who got 3rd. I was happy about this especially.

Kamio was very upset with her result it seemed, as was the girl who got 2nd place. I felt very happy for Jin Joo, she was in total shock when she walked on stage. The crowd loved her. The biggest shocker to everyone was the placement the American girl (she's also hot...). I felt bad for Schneider, who played really, really well. She has a gorgeous tone, my favourite of the competition. She pressed too hard on the octaves at the end of the 1st, and I think too much downward pressure on the artificial harmonics in the 2nd prevented them from speaking well, but other than that it was a great performance. She has a wonderful sound.

At the end of it all, I find the placements interesting to say the least. The judging forgave technical difficulties for performances one might say were the more artistically inspired, but at the same rewarded the Korean girl (I forget her name) who played first. It's strange to me that Kamio was at 5th given where the aforementioned came.

I still don't know what to think so maybe I'll be more coherent later.

June 1, 2006 at 02:27 AM · Pieter, Yes Heifetz... I am so wiped out after so many days of intense listening. I do adore Ji Joo's teacher, Paul @Cleveland. I sat in on his master class and was so impressed with his respect for musicians, and the music. He said so many great things, a very bright guy. Congrats to him!

June 1, 2006 at 02:51 AM · What exactly about Kamio reminds you of Heifetz? They both look good in heels?

Kamio is an excellent violinist but she doesn't play or sound anything like Heifetz...

June 1, 2006 at 03:00 AM · the beethoven i thought was sharp throughout. Jinjoo sounded fantastic though.

June 1, 2006 at 03:01 AM · There seemed to me to be an underlying passion that Jinjoo had that the other competitors lacked, not that they weren't good just not at the same level and to see that in someone so young, not to mention that overall (despite her slip in Shosty) she is a well rounded player who has a finess and technical ease to her playing.

June 1, 2006 at 03:33 AM · Brian, I didn't gather that. I thought her intonation was spot on. In fact, most of the violinists there thought she'd be in the top 2.

What did you think of her interpretation?

June 1, 2006 at 03:55 AM · i thought the interpretation was beautiful. Not anything unusual or too different, but it was very nice. Going back to the intonation, it was mostly in the 2nd movement, especially on the G naturals and the high D. There was one high note that was obviously sharp. It's just that for the beethoven, when a few notes are out of tune, it's very noticeable.

June 1, 2006 at 03:55 AM · Funny enough, I thought a few of her semitones were wide in the 2nd movement. But aside from that wonky shift she had, there was hardly an issue to be had with her.

Again, I have to say that all of this is totally beside the fact that all of these competitors are incredible, and I enjoyed listening to every one of them.

June 1, 2006 at 04:05 AM · i think if someone actually reminded anyone of heifetz, they would win... ;)

June 1, 2006 at 04:11 AM · but as beautiful as the beethoven was, I think jinjoo just played with more passion. And besides that, to win with the Beethoven, it has to be an incredibly special performance, because I don't think it's as good a competition piece as other concertos.

June 1, 2006 at 04:16 AM · You're right. The more I think about it, the less I have any clue as to how I would have picked the top 3.

June 1, 2006 at 01:02 PM · I agree with euna. in this level, with this big mistake, cho not must win the competition besides anothers great perfomances as marcus, kamio, chapelle or choi, but she is a great player without doubth.

Chapelle plays so beautifull but was beethoven, no competition piece due is not impresive, she deserve a good position in montreal IMO.

Kamio not sound like heifetz may be like vengerov just a little.

Kamio was my favorite she choked me with your temperament IMO she was the best without big different with marcus, chapelle, dan and choi.

In two competition in my country, teachers cant vote for your pupils. Cho is kantor`s pupil.

June 1, 2006 at 11:11 AM · Let me be clear regarding Kamio, I think she played with a force and drive and focus I often associate with Heifetz, (a memory). The others had wonderful performances at a high level, but not the precision I think one expects at this level. She is on another level, a real master already. I did not hear intonation or coordination problems, memory slips...just brillance. I wonder if we all heard/saw the same concerts.

June 1, 2006 at 11:54 AM · I didn't get to hear the memory slip or whatever that jinjoo made, but if that's what happened, then I'm not sure that I'd take it as the winning performance. Remember Indianapolis in 2002? Sergey Kachatryan (how do you spell his name?) had a memory slip in the 3rd movement of Sibelius in an otherwise beautiful performance. He got 2nd prize. No disrespect to Keleman, but I think if that memory slip didn't happen, Sergey might've won.

June 1, 2006 at 12:13 PM · Brian, Jin Joo had a huge memory slip in the 2nd... she started leaning over to look at the score, and just imploded. I felt awful for her. The conductor stopped and she restarted the movement... the slip was about a minute into the scherzo.

Susan, ask anyone who was there for the competition: if you want to talk about precision and faultless playing, Ye-Eun Choi was by FAR the best in this department. She was the best technician, made little to no mistakes at all and had a cleaner sound than Kamio. If you're going to like Kamio, appreciate her very extroverted style, but for me and anyone else who was there, it was definately the first Korean girl who played the most "perfect" concerto...

June 1, 2006 at 12:19 PM · wow. if I had such a memory slip and had to restart but still won a competition, I think I'd almost go and say sorry to the other competitors. That's really strange... That means the judges thought that even with the memory slip, she was still better than the others who didn't have such memory slips.

June 1, 2006 at 12:56 PM · I had a memory slip in that movement, and so did many other people on the circuit. It happens, and it certainly should not have affected the jury's decision.


June 1, 2006 at 01:04 PM · it`s rare in this competition´s level. Then i agree with brian in jury´s decision cho is better player that all others by far. To rare in a tight competition with excellent perfomances from choi, zhu, marcus, kamio and chapelle.

June 1, 2006 at 01:15 PM · just to clarify, I'm saying that it means the judges thought she was better, but if such a thing happened, I don't think she could be better if you factor such a mistake in.

June 1, 2006 at 01:11 PM · Pieter, ok my last words on Kamio and the Shost.

For me this piece is about scathing pain and persecution; there is nothing romantic or glossy about it. There is something humane, gentle and reaching in there but it is about the deepest intensity of human conditions and for the most part Kamio's style suited it to perfection. See Haylock's Strad reviews May 2006 re: this concerto. I did see and hear all these performances and the 1st player in finals did quite well but I felt was a little too tame with it. Nice chatting with you.

June 1, 2006 at 04:47 PM · Susan, your description is precisely why I thought Kamio's was not that great. Her playing was by far the most romantic, New York cheese cake version I've ever heard of the concerto. I can totally understand where you're comming from and I respect your opinion about why you thought it was great. I just don't agree. It was a wonderful violinistic performance in many ways, but to me didn't represent Shostakovich...

Ilya, memory slips happen even to the best of you, but my question is, is such a thing totally inadmissible as "evidence" in a competition? I'm not disagreeing at all, I just want to know if a jury really should disregard such a memory slip.

To be honest, by the end of the Passacaglia I had no recollection of that little moment.

I am most excited to see how Marcus, Jin Joo, Ms. Scneider and Mr. Zhu do in their professional careers.

June 1, 2006 at 06:48 PM · is this the jinjoo that is with Kanter and is going to Curtis next year?

June 1, 2006 at 07:04 PM · Henry, I think they're all studying with someone on that jury...

June 1, 2006 at 07:11 PM · That's my point Pieter, I don't think that should be "inadmissible". I once saw a very good violinist have her shoulder-rest slip during one of wieniawski op.10s - I tell you that wasn't pretty. She made it though, becasue aside of that there was promise and very healthy playing. Then again, there was Menuhin on the jury, and he probably thought that girl was Repin.


June 1, 2006 at 07:23 PM · "It happens, and it certainly should not have affected the jury's decision."

"That's my point Pieter, I don't think that should be ' inadmissible' "

I'm probably being difficult but you've also said that this shouldn't be inadmissible, refering to my rhetoric. Ilya... it seems as if you're trying to say that a strong performance should afford a great player some leeway in a competition, but in the last post you said the opposite. I'm assuming there's a typo or something..

In any case, I agree and was very happy for Jin Joo. I thought someone else might win, but JinJoo was the one I had placed in my mind (as if they matters at all) in the top 2, along with some friends of mine. Funny story: while the conductor was pausing before restarting the Scherzo, a nice old lady (Ilya don't get too excited) asked a man next to her why they stopped, and he said "the orchestra went too fast"...

I heard that same explanation about 3-4 times outside... and Montreal is supposed to be a cultured city. Really what I think that means is that JinJoo didn't mentally implode and handled it all with class... although for a musician it was blatantly obvious she didn't know what to play (and feeling mortified on her behalf), she obviously kept her composure to a degree that no one noticed.

June 1, 2006 at 07:24 PM · absinthe is showing. I meant that a memory slip should not be a factor in jury's decision...


June 1, 2006 at 07:32 PM · well, a shoulder rest slipping isn't exactly the player's fault. A memory slip is.

June 1, 2006 at 07:34 PM · Yeah, but even a great violinist is only human, sh*t happens.

June 1, 2006 at 07:35 PM · Brian,

I don't think so. Noone is safe. Michelangeli apparently ended his career as a result of a nervous breakdown that was triggered by a memory slip in the Schumann Concerto, his only(!) memoty slip to date. How could he have possibly made sure that was never to happen?


June 1, 2006 at 07:38 PM · Cripes. A nervous breakdown after one memory slip! Wow, and I thought I was a perfectionist.....

June 1, 2006 at 07:42 PM · that was barely a memory slip too - he picked it up within a measure


June 1, 2006 at 07:46 PM · Jeez, the poor guy! What a way to go...kind of reminds me of that quote, "there is a very fine line between genius and insanity." To be a great violinist we must of course be perfectionists, but that can be dangerous too....

June 1, 2006 at 07:48 PM · In Michalengeli's case there was no line to begin with


June 1, 2006 at 07:49 PM · Not to mention most great composers were a bit insane. Maybe genius REQUIRES insanity. :)

June 1, 2006 at 08:00 PM · yes, memory slips happen. It's forgiveable in concerts. But for it to happen in a competition? I'm not so sure you can forgive it there.

June 1, 2006 at 08:02 PM · Brian,

what's the difference?


June 1, 2006 at 08:05 PM · well, I'll just put it this way. Would you give the gold medal at the olympics to a figure skater who forgets his/her routine and has to start over?

June 1, 2006 at 08:09 PM · come on Brian,

not comparable. That's sports, we are talking about music here, no?


June 1, 2006 at 08:17 PM · hmm, well, I thought it was comparable.

A memory slip is due to a lack of something. And to have it happen in a pressure packed situation implies many things. Now, perhaps it's not the competitor's fault. She didn't mean for it to happen and she prepared hard. But in any case, it is clearly a mental error. And besides that, Mrs. Cox takes off several points for stopping and starting again, lol. Especially on those bloody memory projects. Thank God it hasn't happened to me yet. I trust you do know who Mrs. Cox is, yes?

June 1, 2006 at 08:42 PM · It's possible the judges had a memory slip and forget her's happened. In which case they would certainly be able to empathize, if they had remembered any of it that is. I forgot to watch the finals, but then I'm not the competitive type.

June 2, 2006 at 12:15 AM ·

June 1, 2006 at 10:52 PM · Apparently the judges agreed with Eric in this situation. Maybe the judges aren't given enough credit?

June 1, 2006 at 11:30 PM · what about two memory slips? three? four? The analogy you used doesn't make any sense because you can keep restarting paintings or writings. You can't just go on the concert stage and keep restarting. It's just a bad comparison. Perhaps if compared to a composer that analogy might make sense. The figure skating one is much better. There's no going back and erasing and then fixing in our art. That's what practice sessions are for. You prepare your art, and you perform it. The performance would be comparable to just displaying a finished painting or writing.

What you're implying is that one memory slip is excusable in a competition. Then theoretically, we could have every competitor restart their pieces once. Does that sound OK to you? Having every competitor start playing on stage and then restarting? It's just a bad concept overall to think it's ok to excuse memory slips in competitions.

June 1, 2006 at 11:43 PM · I think if the flow of the piece is not disrupted, then it's fine. But to actually stop and start means that you have led the audience into something, but then interrupted that. Surely that affects the performance in general, and how the audience perceives it.

June 2, 2006 at 12:00 AM · My point was that it is the overall presentation that counts.

June 2, 2006 at 12:02 AM · I never trashed anyone. Where am I trashing someone? I said that I disagree with the judges' decision, but I never trashed Jinjoo. She's a wonderful player and I said earlier that I felt she played with the most passion.

If I won a competition with a memory slip, I'd feel very surprised but gladly take the prize.

I'm not comparing the concerto to Mrs. Cox's class... All I'm saying is memory slips get deductions in that class, and that's how it should be in competitions as well. I'm sorry, I really can't take so many false accusations. Please stop attacking me for something I never did.

June 2, 2006 at 12:04 AM · From Brian Bak

Posted on June 1, 2006 at 7:19 AM (MST)

wow. if I had such a memory slip and had to restart but still won a competition, I think I'd almost go and say sorry to the other competitors.

Something isn't lining up quite right here...

June 2, 2006 at 12:08 AM ·

June 2, 2006 at 12:13 AM · is that considered trashing her? All I was trying to say was that I'd feel very surprised and almost guilty for winning, because memory slips to me are a very big deal. But of course, I wouldn't actually say sorry to the other players or anyone else. That's why I said "almost." I would just gladly take the prize cause if I say I don't think I deserve it, I'd be saying the judges were wrong, which they might've been but it's still better to not say that to them, yeah?

Eric, why do you keep attacking me for something I never said? All I'm saying is that on the most basic level, in this case ear training, we don't just excuse memory slips, because it is an error, a mistake. On the big stage, in this case the competition, a memory slip is a bigger mistake because everything is magnified. Are you saying that memory slips are excusable?

I realize that the Shostakovich is an unbelievable powerfully emotional piece, and I realize that jinjoo is a wonderful violinist. All I'm saying is that a memory slip cannot be without deductions.

June 2, 2006 at 12:31 AM · I agree with Brian-a mistake is a mistake, no matter what kind of mistake. I think a memory slip for sure should not be important when comparing competitiors that are at different levels of skill and musicality, but when overall the competitors are generally at the same level, then it obviously be takin into consideration, as I think that while you have technique and musicality to consider, well, for performers you must consider the aspect of mental preparation and concentration, of which memory slips are clearly a part of

June 2, 2006 at 12:31 AM · hey Henry. Are you going to ENCORE again this summer?

June 2, 2006 at 12:33 AM · yeah, I might go "off-core" this summer, for maybe 4 weeks. you?

June 2, 2006 at 12:33 AM · I'm just staying home doing absolutely nothing.

June 2, 2006 at 01:21 AM · Guys... Brian is a respectable guy and he isn't trashing anyone. I don't necessarily agree with him, but he makes a point that is worth considering... since a violin competition isn't necessarily about extolling the purely artistic merits of a performance, it is a bit of a horse jumping meet, so it does make some sense that she should get docked points. Do I appreciate and admire the judges' insight in still giving her 1st? Definately... am I happy she did? Yeah, I'd say so.

June 2, 2006 at 01:21 AM · I admit that I didn't hear everyone play but I felt Jinjoo was more well rounded and generally solid technically and musically that girl has a lot to offer. I don't think anyone was cheated by giving her the first prize. Flawlessness is never a guarentee with any performer (can you believe I've actually heard James Ehnes mess up Bach before in a performance??) and I think that Eric made a wonderful point about how one mistake does not reflect the significance or true level of playing that it takes to be a performer. Anyone can learn notes and be technically secure but to be technically secure, musical, have a passion and understanding for the works that cannot be taught. Jinjoo had a passion that none of the other competitors had and she had it in every one of the pieces she played.

To make a point... If I were stranded on an island, I would way rather take a recording of Kreisler playing Twinkle musically to listen to for all my days on that island than take someone who can play all the right notes at the right time but not go beyond that...that would drive me to suicide. If you start to put perfection over passion then I am sorry, that's not a satisfying career or one that I agree with.

June 2, 2006 at 02:01 AM ·

June 2, 2006 at 02:07 AM · Eric, you're saying that people aren't entitled to their own opinions as to who they thought played better. You're basically saying she won, so that's it, and if you say anything else against it, you are being disrespectful. Sounds like some kind of dictatorship. It's disrespectful to the art of music to claim that someone was the best, no questions asked. Because it is a subjective art, we are allowed to discuss it, and especially at the level we heard, it is open to discussion. Now there ARE teachers and major violinists who feel memory slips in competition mean that you shouldn't be the first place winner. If one of those people were on the jury, then jinjoo may not have won. That's why this is a subjective art.

We all respect Jinjoo's playing abilities. I take it your "certain people" comment is directed towards me. I've said it several times now. I respect Jinjoo's playing abilities very much and believe she's a wonderful violinist.

June 2, 2006 at 02:01 AM · I agree that a memory slip is a mistake- but it should not necessarily be weighted any more than a bunch of wrong notes that have been played, and there have certainly been competitions where the winner did not have all of the notes. I am just tired of hearing flawless, technically perfect performances at competitions that leave me entirely empty. I used to be a figure skater- I would have rather seen Michelle Kwan than Tara Lipinsky win the 1998 Gold medal, because she was the better artist. Jin Joo did make a major mistake but I believe the audience was so taken with the rest of her performance that they forgave it. If the performance is great enough to persude an audience/jurors like that, then she deserves to win. There are very few people who are so riveting that they can be forgiven of a major mistake. I don't think that it will lead to people winning who have made 2 or 3 or 4 memory slips. It's all in the context. Music is still an artform, not the latest muscle-man competition.

I know many may disagree with me, but I stand strongly in my beliefs on competitions and performances. They should be one and the same, especially since many of the prizes include playing with major orchestras! The way you perform should be the way you compete. Unfortunately, many juries and competitions don't agree with that. I think it's wonderful that a great violinist, who had a major shortcoming in her performance, was able to still take home the prize. It lets me know that not everyone is looking for robot violinists- they're looking for the rest of us fallible humans (not to put myself in the league with Jin-Joo, I've gone to school with her for enough years to know how great she is).

June 2, 2006 at 02:15 AM ·

June 2, 2006 at 02:20 AM · yes Christina, I agree. Concerts and Competitions should be played in the same way. But there's no doubt that this competition was far more significant than a concert in a school in Buffalo, NY. Because the significance of it is greater, every mistake becomes magnified and more important. My position on this is that basically, you can receive a perfect score in a competition, but then at the end, there should be a deduction for the memory slip. I know I make it sound too technical, but it IS a competition. Assuming it's possible to get a perfect score, you shouldn't be able to get a perfect score for a performance with a memory slip, because the memory slip no doubt causes the performance to be imperfect. If Jinjoo received such deductions and her final score was still better than those without memory slips, then so be it. The amount of points deducted would all depend on the jury's perception as to how important a memory slip is. In this case, it obviously wasn't important to them, but if there were other members in the jury, they might've thought differently. Here's another thought: I don't think a person would be able to win the Indianapolis competition or the Tchaikovsky competition if they had a memory slip in the final round as big as Jinjoo's. It's just an honest opinion, no disrespect to Jinjoo.

Once again, Eric, you saying it's disrespectful to say Jinjoo should not have won because of that big memory slip is disrespectful in itself. You're still claiming that you're right and a memory slip is not significant. To others, it may be a significant matter and you must respect those opinions. You can give your opinion, but you can't just stake claims like that.

June 2, 2006 at 02:33 AM ·

June 2, 2006 at 02:34 AM · "it is possible for a performance with a memory slip to be more effective overall than a performance without a memory slip."

I agree, and the discussion we're basically having is whether Jinjoo's was that when put up against her competitors. Some people, like you, believe she was. Others don't believe it, and that's really all there is to it. No hard feelings!

June 2, 2006 at 04:37 AM · I resent likening Olympic figure skating to art. While professional figure skating may very well be that, Olympic figure skating could only be like someone playing The Last Rose with judges giving or taking away points for every difficult passage. That has nothing to do with music.

When did Ms.Cox become a Mrs? Did I miss something?


June 2, 2006 at 05:50 AM · In my opinion it is perfectly ok for somebody to win a gold medal even with a memory slip. I remember reading a book of Menuhin's where he says that he frequently had memory slips and had to consult the conductor's score. And of course there's that story of Kreisler and Rachmaninoff in Carnegie Hall...

Let's say Jascha Heifetz himself had to enter the Montreal Competition...plays everything perfectly but makes a memory slip...can he now not get first prize, even though he clearly played better than anybody else for the rest of the things?

I think it depends how many positives add up to cancel that negative (the memory slip). If somebody has a gorgeous tone, perfect intonation, solid rhythm, beautiful phrasing, a heart-wrenching vibrato and a real feel for the music, like is evident in all the greatest violinists, then I see no reason why a single memory slip (which doesn't really detract from the music if it is done discreetly) should be considered such a crime.

For me, it is far more of a crime to play constantly a little out of tune in Bach or something...

June 2, 2006 at 12:02 PM · How cn you watch this vs just listen?

June 2, 2006 at 04:37 PM · this competition was SO weird. first of is it possible that their own teachers judged them?>?

June 2, 2006 at 04:43 PM · Susan, it would seem that most competitions are weird then.

June 2, 2006 at 05:52 PM · Hmm Alexandra... I see what you're asking.

I loved Marcus Brahms, but I felt like he suffocated some parts and needed to let them breath, which caused some tension for the listener. I'm very happy that he got recognized like he did, but I can see why JinJoo Won. Could Marcus have won? I think so, for sure. Not with that particular performance.

June 2, 2006 at 06:11 PM · I remember in sport that the clavadist Gregg Louganis was a ugly jump before last jump in a olimpic games. Last jump was perfect, Louganis win the gold. May be like cho.

June 2, 2006 at 06:41 PM · you people have a lot of nerve criticizing these people this way. i cannot beleive this site it makes me sick. we should all look up to these people with great admiration. it takes a lot to go up there and compete against all of these people. so many people drop out of these compeittions at the last minute because they don't have the balls to show up and lay it down. i have so much respect for all of these violinists. just getting there is a great accomplishment.

June 2, 2006 at 07:03 PM · getting to be president of the united states is also an accomplishment


June 2, 2006 at 08:08 PM · rimshot......

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