This is such a disgrace to the harp community. The way the awards were handled is just awful.
I disagree, it is no worse than how it has been every other time. It is wrong to assume that not winning implies that they are not “ready for a concert career.” I had that applied to me once, and it was not true. A phrase like that can kill a career, though. Grace Wong, a superb harpist, was given second place. Heidi Lehwalder, a true phenomenon, the likes of which has not been seen since, was given a special prize rather than first, because of her age (twelve). No, there is really no fairness or logic in who wins, except to the judges, as in most competitions. It will be interesting to see if the different approach in the Netherlands Harp Competition will yield a different kind of result. The fact is, an artist should not be made to compete for a prize. That is for athletes.
Elizabeth- According to the information that the International Harp Contest in Israel sent me several years ago, the Twelfth Contest in 1995 resulted in no first prize being given, Anna Makarova(Russia) won second, and Godelieve Schrama(The Netherlands) won third.
In looking over the list they sent me, what’s really interesting is that in 1985 there was no second prize awarded(but there was a first and third). In 1988 there was no third prize awarded(but there was a first and second). How the jury came to those decisions escapes me completely!
What’s even more bizarre about this list is that in 1982, the year Alice Giles won first, the list says for both second and third prizes “not known.” The same thing is listed for the 1992 competition for third prize(not known). How the heck did they loose these names???
Putting aside whether or not all prizes should be awarded in a competition:
There is just no reason whatsoever to have one contestant and one prize remaining (having already awarded the 2nd and 3rd prizes), and then announce that there will be no first place winner. The only word for it is cruel, regardless of contest protocol or whatever reason they might have had.
I’m sure that Emily has the grace and internal fortitude to get past this, as she is a remarkable young woman, but there are likely many people who might not bounce back from such a crushing blow.
I agree, we should all write to them and I have. Here is an interesting article in the Jerusalem Post
If you move down after reading, there is another article from the day of the second stage.
I’m sure the order of announcing is the same every year, whether there is a winner or not. A competition certainly isn’t run to spare anyone’s feelings. The worst story I know of is a harpist who saved and saved to be able to go, took the money out of the bank to go buy his plane ticket, and was promptly robbed of all his money, and so, never got to go at all. Or the harpist who was disqualified for tuning the harp before performing. If the film on their website is any clue to how effectively their office is run, it sets the tone. If I can get the competition going that I plan on, it will be quite a different story. Now the big question is, who will buy that specially-made harp that wasn’t awarded? I can bet it is of L & H’s
- You must be logged in to reply to this topic.