It has been announced today that 2014 International Violin Competition of Indianapolis juror, Miriam Fried will abstain from Final round competition voting 'to avoid any possibility of jury partiality' - as 3 of this year's 6 Finalists are current or former Principal students.
Glen Kwok, Executive Director of the competition has this evening issued the following statement:
"One of the hallmarks of the International Violin Competition of Indianapolis (IVCI) has always been the integrity of its judging process. From a strict no discussion policy amongst the jury members, to abstentions by any jury member who has a student in the competition, to a sophisticated computerized scoring system which eliminates any possibility of score manipulation, multiple safeguards have been implemented to ensure a fair, honest and transparent process.For the first time in IVCI history, three of the six Finalists are students of a single jury member. Given this unprecedented scenario, the IVCI has decided to take the extraordinary additional measure of requesting that Miriam Fried recuse herself entirely from voting during the Classical Finals and Finals in order to avoid any possibility of jury partiality. "
Some furor has raged in social media, in recent days after the following statement was published on Curtis Institute of Music pedagogue, Aaron Rosand's facebook page - after the competition Semi-Final elimination of two of his students:
"It is not an easy task for a young artist to start a career! One of the principle catalysts can be to win a first prize in international competitions, and presently there are number of important ones. Unfortunately, most of these competitions are tainted owing to the fact that the teachers sitting on the jury have their own students competing. It is not an easy matter to be completely impartial in such circumstances. Although they cannot vote for their own pupils, they tend to give more lower marks for more worthy candidates and many injustices are the result.I propose that when accepting a position as juror, it should be mandated that you cannot have a student in the competition. On several occasions, when I sat on juries for international competitions, a juror would make a remark after a fine performance such as "that is not the way to play Bach" or "that is not Mozart". Several times I created a scene when asking if they knew the correct way or facetiously adding that it should be computerized to do away with personal ideas and tastes.Literal accuracy is not the only ingredient for fine artistry, and narrow minded jurors have eliminated many exceptional players in the early rounds. Invariably they have students in the competition and deliberately or subconsciously give poor grades to protect their students. This unfair practice of teachers and their students in the same competition must come to an end if we are to arrive at honest decisions!" - Aaron Rosand"
2014 Finalists, VC 'Young Artists' Tessa Lark, Yoojin Jang and Dami Kim have each studied with Ms Miriam Fried - as their Principal violin teacher during their college education at the New England Conservatory, in Boston.
Tessa, 25, who graduated from Ms Fried's class in 2012, is a former 1st prize winner of the Walter W. Naumburg International Violin Competition - and is a current recipient of a coveted Leonore Annenberg Fellowship.
Yoojin, 23, a current student of Ms Fried, is a former prize winner at the Menuhin, Seoul and Michael Hill International Violin Competitions – and was recently awarded 1st prize at the Munetsugu Angel International Violin Competition, in Japan.
Dami, 25 who graduated from Ms Fried's class in 2013, is a former prize winner at the Joseph Joachim, Paganini, Munetsugu Angel, Sendai, Michael Hill and Queen Elisabeth International Violin Competitions.
The other 8 members of this year's competition jury are: Jaime Laredo (Jury President), Ellen Taaffe Zwilich, Dong-Suk Kang, Boris Kuschnir, Cho-Liang Lin, Philip Setzer, Dmitry Sitkovetsky and Kyoko Takezawa.
The 2014 prize laureates will be announced on the evening of Saturday, September 20th.