Music competitions – specifically, piano competitions – are Alink’s passion. For years he has scrutinized competitors, tabulated results and analyzed trends. And some years ago, he talked Martha Argerich into lending her name to his “Argerich-Alink Foundation,” which provides information and advice to both competitors and competitions.
Perhaps the strangest thing to be found on the AAF website is a section devoted to “Misleading info on awards.” Here, Alink has assembled a rogue’s gallery of spurious claims about pianists and their prizes from around the world. Conspicuously, Alink casts no blame for these “errors” – he merely points them out.
For instance, the program book from a Deutsche Grammphon disc by Yundi Li states that the pianist took the first prize at the Liszt Competition in Utrecht in 1999. Not so. He won third prize. Ironically, Li was himself the victim of a similar misrepresentation. Alink found a website that credited Alexander Kobrin with the first prize at Warsaw’s Chopin Competition in 2000. It was Li who won first prize – and Kobrin placed third. (The offending website has since been corrected, you’ll be relieved to know.)
Have a look for yourself – if you can handle the truth! And beware, all pianists, publicists and managers who might be tempted to stray from the straight and narrow. Gustav Alink is watching.
© Colin Eatock 2011