The Well-Tempered Ear

Classical music news: Russian wins Chopin Competition; DG moves HQ; YouTube announces its 2011 Symphony Orchestra | October 23, 2010

By Jacob Stockinger

So far, reaction toward posting a weekend roundup of classical music news has been favorable.

So I’ll try it a second time and see what you think.

It makes up for how traditional media are short-changing the arts – but never politics or sports, you can be sure — and especially classical music. And it is an easy read that can be done in chunks at different times,

So I hope you enjoy it.


Russian pianist Yulianna Adveena (below) has won First Prize in the International Chopin Competition, the first woman to do so in 45 years:

The prize for runner-up prizes was shared between Ingolf Wunder, a 25-year-old Austrian and Moscow-born Lithuanian Lukas Geniusas, 20. Third prize went to Daniil Trifonov (below), 19, of Russia. Bulgaria’s Evgeni Bozhanov, 26, won fourth prize and the fifth prize was awarded to Francois Dumont, 25.

Here’s a link to the competition website where, the archives, you can hear and see the winners and other contestants perform:

And here is a blog with some comparative playing as well as dissent from the official verdict:


What do you think of the results?


The Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra has appointed a new conductor, Krzyztof Urbanski, a young Polish conductor who, from his pictures anyway, seems quite charismatic:


The YouTube Symphony Orchestra for 2011 has been announced. It will perform in Sydney under San Francisco Symphony Orchestra maestro Michael Tilson Thomas (below):

Here is information about YouTube auditions:

For a sample, see the bottom of this posting.


The veteran classical music label DG (Deutsche Grammophon), the venerable “Yellow Label”) will move from Hamburg to Berlin:–Classical-Music-Leader-Deutsche-Grammophon-Relocates-To-Berlin/60118.html

Along similar lines, Universal – the corporate home of Decca, London, Deutsche Grammophon and Philips labels – has renewed its pledge to classical music even as major turnover in staff has taken place:

Posted in Classical music


  1. I think you’ve missed the BIG story out of the Chopin — the refusal (I’m told and have read somewhere) of the Bulgarian pianist Evgeni Bozhanov to accept his prize.

    Miffed, I guess that it didn’t reflect his talent.

    As for the winner, there’s some controversy about that, too.

    Plus ça change in competitions…

    Comment by Michael Scott — October 23, 2010 @ 6:13 am

    • Hi Michael,
      I didn’t know about his refusal, but will check into it and provide a link a link a story and maybe some clips of his playing. (PS: I have looked quite a bit, but so far I can find no story or confirmation about his refusing the fourth prize, though you can find impressive videos of his Chopin at YouTube as well as at the Chopin contest link I provide.)
      Still, it would be too bad if he were miffed and acted rudely and ungraciously. He could simply make a statement and let his playing, prized by many, speak for him. Otherwise, he would seem to be taking the Pogorelich bad boy route, which did eventually lead to a big career without a prize.
      Bozhanov, who reportedly can be cocky and who travels with his own piano stool, was also disappointed at his finish and lack of a prize at the Van Cliburn competition, as were his very partisan fans.
      From the little l’ve heard of his playing, he is good — but I can’t yet compare him to the others and say he is the best, although I thought the young Chinese pianist who shared the Cliburn gold should have won it outright.
      But yes, you’re absolutely right: Competitions and juries — the year’s Chopin jury included past winner Martha Argerich plus Nelson Freire and Bella Davidovich — always seem to spark controversy and disputes.
      Time and the public will be the ultimate judges of artistic merit, no? I have no doubt Bozhanov will get a lot of bookings and press. We’ll see where it all leads.
      I am also anxious to hear all the winners. Austrian Ingolf Wunder had a lot of buzz too.
      Thanks for the tip.
      Please keep reading and replying.

      Comment by welltemperedear — October 23, 2010 @ 6:28 am

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