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Conflict of Interest Concerns Raised at Poland’s ‘Young Paganini’ Competition

17 year old Sara Dragan from Poland has been awarded the Grand Prize at the 2017 ‘Young Paganini’ International Violin Competition

17 year old Sara Dragan from Poland has been awarded the Grand Prize at the 2017 ‘Young Paganini’ International Violin Competition, in Legnica, Poland.

A student of Zakhar Bron and Stefan Tarara at the Zakhar Bron Academy, Sara is a former prize winner at the Wieniawski and Lipinski International Violin Competition for Young Musicians, the New York International Artists Competition - and the Telemann International Violin Competition.

According to the competition's website, she will receive undisclosed ‘financial rewards’, a violin, case, bow and a number of concerto engagements.

1st prize in the 19 years and older category was awarded to Bartosz Skibinski from Poland.

1st prize in the 16-19 years old category was awarded to Milena Piorunska from Poland.

This year’s jury comprised Wieslaw Kwasny, Isabel Ceglinska, Dominika Falger, Jan Stanienda and Stefan Tarara.

Sara is the daughter of the competition’s founder and organizer, Alicja Dragan - and her teacher's teaching assistant, Stefan Tarara served on this year’s jury.

“My name is Alicja Dragan and I brought to life the Young Paganini contest … the main intention is to financially support the best violinists by high awards and funded scholarships … ” the competition’s organizer has said via the competition’s website.

Serious student/teacher jury concerns were also raised in September last year after it was revealed jury member Zakhar Bron had placed his 2 students, Mayu Kishima and Stefan Tarara in 1st and 2nd places with scores of 99 and 98 out of 100 - at the inaugural Shanghai Isaac Stern International Violin Competition.

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