Juilliard School Violinist, NEC Cellist Take Top Tchaikovsky Honors
Competition violates rules by not awarding violinists gold medals
UPDATE, JULY 1—The XIV International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow and St. Petersburg violated its rules and shorted the winners €5,000 by not awarding first prize in the violin discipline, a Violinist.com member has pointed out.
The Rules Related to Prizes and Engagements state: “The First Prizes are always to be awarded.” The violin jury—which consisted of celebrities Anne-Sophie Mutter, Yuri Bashmet, and Maxim Vengerov, among others—failed to do so.
First prize is worth €20,000 and a gold medal. Second prize is worth €15,000 and a silver medal. At press time, Strings was awaiting comment from competition officials.
Second prize was split between Israeli violinist Itamar Zorman and Russian violinist Sergey Dogadin.
Zorman, 25, has been studying with Sylvia Rosenberg at the Juilliard School.
“He’s had a wonderful experience to play all these rounds before such a distinguished jury,” Rosenberg says. “ . . . The experience of the competition, of playing all of this repertoire, is marvelous. It’s irreplaceable. That’s why I encourage my students to do this. The winning is, as they say, in the laps of the gods.”
Zorman’s previous teachers include Hagai Shaham, Sally Bocke, David Chen, and Nava Milo. “He’s an extremely nice person, and thoughtful, and a very good colleague, and very intellectual and has a personal point of view, which I try to encourage,” Rosenberg says. “His method of study is wonderful, because, as I said, he studies the whole score—the tradition and style of the work—he listens to performances, and he’s thoughtful, and he’s a cultured person. And those are valuable—for me, very valuable and precious attributes.”
Dogadin, 22, has studied with Vladimir Ovcharek, Pavel Popov, and Andrey Dogadin at the St. Petersburg Conservatory. Dogadin also won the Audience prize.
US violinists were able to place in the finals: Nigel Armstrong and Eric Silberger won fourth and fifth prizes, respectively. Additionally, Armstrong won the award for Best Performance of the Commissioned Work, John Corigliano’s Stomp. The online audience was abuzz after he played his violin behind his back for the Corigliano work.
The competition also proved that the violin world is a small one. Rosenberg says Itamar and Armstrong were stand partners during one summer at the Aspen Music Festival and School. “It’s nice when you feel that they are not competitors but colleagues,” Rosenberg says. “You make friends for the rest of your professional life.”
Armenian cellist Narek Hakhnazaryan, a student of Lawrence Lesser at the New England Conservatory of Music, won first prize in the cello division.
As Hakhnazaryan’s playing stirred the audience and judges, so too did conductor Mark Gorenstein’s allegedly derogatory remarks about the 22-year-old cellist. During rehearsal with the Svetlanov State Symphony Orchestra of Russia, Gorenstein told his orchestra not to worry about Hakhnazaryan, whom he called an “Aul,” which, according to Merriam-Webster, is a Caucasian village or Central Asiatic tent. Nevertheless, Gorenstein departed the competition due to “illness” and Hakhnazaryan won gold as well as the Best Chamber Concerto Performance and Webcast Audience awards.
Here is a list of the violin, cello division, and special prize winners:
First Prize, Gold Medal: Not awarded
Second Prize, Silver Medal: Itamar Zorman (Israel), Sergey Dogadin (Russia)
Third Prize, Bronze Medal: Jehye Lee (South Korea)
Fourth Prize: Nigel Armstrong (USA)
Fifth Prize: Eric Silberger (USA)
First Prize, Gold Medal: Narek Hakhnazaryan (Armenia)
Second Prize, Silver Medal: Edgar Moreau (France)
Third Prize, Bronze Medal: Ivan Karizna (Belarus)
Fourth Prize: Norbert Anger (Germany)
Fifth Prize: Umberto Clerici (Italy)
Best Performance of the Commissioned Work by John Corigliano: violinist Nigel Armstrong (USA)
Prize for the Best Performance of the Commissioned Work by Krzysztof Penderecki: cellist Edgar Moreau (France)
Best Performance of the Chamber Concerto: violinist Jehye Lee (South Korea) and cellist Narek Hakhnazaryan (Armenia)
Jury Discretionary Awards: violinsts Aylen Pritchin (Russia) and Yu-Chien Tseng (Taiwan); and cellists Jakob Koranyi (Sweden) and Janina Ruh (Germany)The
Webcast Audience Award: violinist Sergey Dogadin (Russia) and cellist Narek Hakhnazaryan (Armenia)