Post by Andy Evans
I was pretty angry and disillusioned by the judging of this Chopin competition.
I just don't believe the judging was completely fair, and I prefer to put the whole thing behind me. I watched a lot of the competition up until the last stages when I simply gave up.
Another point of view. I looked at the scores that Graham provided, and they reinforced my feeling that the judges decided fairly and expertly according to their experience. Of course opinions will vary and everyone will have their favorites. One formula that I go buy is the fact that no single pianist embodies all virtues, but as one very savvy judge put it, the winner is someone who evaluates their strengths and showcases them while admitting their weaknesses, and choosing repertoire accordingly.
Bruce Liu’s greatest strength is brilliance, widely varied articulation, virtuosity and clarity, and he demonstrated those faultlessly and continuously, with a one-pointed concentration that was highly impressive.
I enjoyed quite a few of the other contestants as well, but I don’t buy into the point of view that sensitivity trumps all other virtues. Not even in Chopin. It’s a part of great playing, not all or even most.
This is why I believe that in 2005, Kate Liu failed to take first prize, and Mr. Cho won. I thought the judges did a fine job in that competition as well.
Frankly, from watching Bruce Liu’s interviews, I’m not sure he even wants a performing career. There’s no telling where any of the contestants will be in 5 years.