Contests: Sex & Bach

The supreme masters of Bach interpretation today are men like Helmut Walcha, Ralph Kirkpatrick, Glenn Gould and Karl Richter. But curiously enough, it is the women who always seem to win the Johann Sebastian Bach International Competitions, which are held in Washington, D.C.; in the last six Bach contests, women took first prize four times and tied once for first-place honors.

Last week the girls cleared the field again. When the eleven men and twelve women had finished playing their way through the single contest piece—Bach's monumental Goldberg Variations—the judges gave the first...

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