On classical music competitions

Book chapter


Kwok, G. and Dromey, C. 2018. On classical music competitions. in: Dromey, C. and Haferkorn, J. (ed.) The Classical Music Industry Abingdon, Oxon Routledge. pp. 67-76
Chapter titleOn classical music competitions
AuthorsKwok, G. and Dromey, C.
Abstract

Competitions have long been a mainstay for classical musicians of all ages and proficiencies: emerging and established, amateur and professional, solo and ensemble. By enabling musicians to judge their level of performance against fellow performers on local, regional, national, or international stages, competitions represent more than the act of competing alone: they are also a vital means for classical musicians to promote themselves, to gain recognition, and, potentially, to launch their careers. Yet, as competitions have multiplied and diversified, particularly over the last half-century, questions surrounding their viability and legitimacy have gradually grown louder. The global financial crisis has jeopardised economic support for the arts and caused several competitions to close, sometimes after decades of operation, for example Paris’s quadrennial Rostropovich Cello Competition (1977–2009). Nevertheless, it is encouraging that most established competitions continue and, as we shall see, that new competitions are continuing to appear.
This chapter charts the mechanisms and dynamics of how classical music competitions operate. In so doing, it also addresses certain fundamental and topical questions that aspiring musicians, professionals working in the competition world, and critics of competitions will surely recognise given their relevance to musical life today: How do competitions vary? What purpose are they intended to serve? What are their benefits and, indeed, their drawbacks? The chapter falls into four related sections: a brief historical overview of competitive music-making, providing context for how and why classical music competitions proliferated in the post-war era; a more substantial chronicle of today’s scene, with a practical focus on different types of competitions in which musicians of international standing compete today; and a two-part appraisal of competitions’ efforts to innovate, examined in light of the complex, sometimes controversial issues, such as bias and musical judgement, these events provoke.

Research GroupMusic group
LanguageEnglish
Page range67-76
Book titleThe Classical Music Industry
EditorsDromey, C. and Haferkorn, J.
PublisherRoutledge
Place of publicationAbingdon, Oxon
SeriesRoutledge Research in Creative and Cultural Industries Management
ISBN
Hardcover9781138203693
Electronic9781315471099
Paperback9780367512262
Publication dates
Print05 Jun 2018
Online12 Jun 2018
Publication process dates
Deposited13 Apr 2018
Accepted01 Jan 2018
Output statusPublished
Copyright Statement

This is an Accepted Manuscript of a book chapter published by Routledge in The Classical Music Industry on 05/06/2018, available online: http://www.routledge.com/9781138203693

Additional information

Hardback: Published June 5, 2018
Paperback: Published May 28, 2020

Web address (URL)https://www.taylorfrancis.com/books/e/9781315471099/chapters/10.4324/9781315471099-6
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315471099-6
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