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Many of you will already have spotted that Paul Pollei structures his three-year round of Competitions like a Musical Academy -- permitting a steady ascent, as in the case of Colleen, from 'Junior' to 'Young Artists' to 'International Artists' over a thirteen-year period. Another novel practice is the suppression of the names of teachers so as to avoid preconceptions and the stipulation that jurors must sit apart with any discussion of candidates strictly forbidden until after the final vote is cast -- to prevent any high-profile juror leaning on the rest. All of which seems to work a treat despite the Trappist-like regime to which it condemns jurors left with no conversation but their next teetotal meal and the weather!

What is the irrepressible Paul Pollei's latest brainwave on the subject of Piano Competitions? What about one for Pianist/Composers, he suggests, turning the clock back to the days of Mozart, Beethoven, Hummel and Chopin not to speak of Rachmaninov, Paderewski and Anton Rubinstein before ever-narrowing specialisation took its toll?

Copyright © 17 July 2006 Malcolm Troup, London UK



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