Pianists: Dark Victor

The seventh International Chopin Piano Competition began with a cloud of controversy and ended with a puff of perfume. As the field of 83 contestants was whittled down, one U.S. entrant who was eliminated lodged a sourgrapes complaint that the judges (14 from Communist nations, seven from Western countries) were "unfair" in advancing all twelve Russian and Polish performers. Yet when the final round opened last week, for the first time in the 38-year history of the competition (held every five years, except for an interruption during the war) there was not a single Russian in contention. If anything,...

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