The Well-Tempered Ear

Classical music: How useful are piano competitions? You can watch them live now via streaming.

October 17, 2010
5 Comments

By Jacob Stockinger

I have to admit that I like watching music competitions, especially piano competitions — and especially piano competitions where i know the repertoire.

I think live streaming is still pretty amazing.

Which is why I spent part of this past week watching the 16th International Frederic Chopin Competition in Warsaw, which runs through Oct. 23.

It has been streamed live, which often seems like magic to me — one of the major blessings of the web and the Internet and personal computers. Here’s a link:

http://konkurs.chopin.pl/

The Chopin Competition site also has an extensive video archive and lots of other information, including information about the jurors and past winner. Go explore the homepage site and have fun.

But maybe we should take the Chopin competition — or the International Tchaikovsky Competition or the Van Cliburn competition or the Artur Rubinstein competition — too seriously.

Same goes for violin, singing, chamber music and conducting competitions.

A recent story in The Wall Street Journal helps to put in all in perspective. I particularly like the opening anecdote.

Here’s a link:

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703882404575519860896500930.html

And if you are looking for color background  and commentary, try this live blog from the Chopin competition by Emma Baker for the British music magazine Gramophone.

Here’s a link to her latest entry (as of this writing) with lots of others, including her watching the jurors watch the performers (one of my favorites) that you can read:

http://www.gramophone.co.uk/blog/chopin-competition-live/forty-become-twenty

Do you stream competitions?

Do you think competitions uncover major new talent?

The Ear wants to hear.


Posted in Classical music

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