Criticism concerning the Integrity of the Judging Procedure of the 1st Darling Bow Making Competition.

After thoughtful reflections and balancing pros and cons to reply or not on silly and mischievous allegations from unstable characters against the judging procedure and decisions from bonafide jurors, not only to me by mail, but also to others by word, we decided to reply publicly, as we take our striving for a most clean as possible competition very seriously. Attempts to discredit these intentions clearly are soliciting for firm counterarguments and corrective actions. So I think that the following clear, direct and unbiased words might express my personal opinion of what I think about the allegations. Unsurprisingly I seem not to be alone with my opinion, as the acclaim on my clarifying words shows in a growing number of approving emails, possibly published one day if required or requested….

Some friends gave me well meant advices not to display my annoyance about allegations against this clean and honest competition, caring that my „too“ direct writings might not look good for me. But as I nowadays frequently say, since the day I passed the magic limit of becoming 50 years old, with the mellowness of age (in younger years one could expect from me more energetic reactions) „I am too old to care for that, especially if it is the truth!“

There are always pros and cons for the truth, more or less comfortable, for either side in this situation, but I think as most people already prefer the easy, comfortable and conflict-free way, it certainly will not harm if someone, in this case „me“, speak up, even in my sometimes slightly ironic way, which is actually already a generous way to present things a bit less direct, as too often certain individuals, spitting out incorrect statements with a certain attitude, can come unexpectedly far in life and career with these kind of misbehaviour. We all know some of them in own surroundings, don´t we? And speculating that well educated people anyway prefer to „stand above bad comments“ and therefore expect no resistance.


not in this case! And not with the valiant publisher and initiator of this Competition! Deep in the hearts of all straight and honest people I got to know since in 2004 my journey started in the Contemporary-Bow-Making-Land, I feel a supportive approval and therefore I am ready to accept for my statements any disapproving reactions of people with enviably more noblesse than I can generate towards some grievance mongers.


The Accusation

Some individual participant (one of the 51) of the 1st Darling Bow Making Competition suggested to me by mail to re-think my concept of the competition which he accepted before he applied for his own participation. I did not need to re-think the concept, as I did my thinking already before. Thinking before is obviously not the strongest talent of our complaining participant, he could save himself sulking and pitying himself and save us the time and effort explaining basic understanding of the matters, and basic fair behavior of a „competition loser“ (although in excellent company!).

Further he doubts the integrity of the Jury members and obviously cannot recognize the quality of the winning bows and accept their deserved victories. The Juror Fournier doubted that the plaintive actually studied the competition bows in detail, and if,  just maximum for few minutes. Desperate to find another way to increase the chance for other bows to win (why, or possibly meaning with „other“ his own bows???), he requested clearly another way of judging, in order to find other winners. If 15 Grand Prix Awards,  5 Delaruelle Special Awards , 2 Shirakawa Tokyo Awards and 3 Dutch Society of Bow Makers Association Awards and 7 Players Awards for 51 Competitors were obviously not enough Awards for him to be awarded a Prize, he now recognize that as the last and only way to get any Award at all is by suggesting to find the jury by lottery draw. But to quote the saying „unlucky at cards, lucky in love“ probably he is not very spoiled by luck at the cards, as of almost 1,4 billion of softhearted Chinese in the world population he managed to insult just the very wrong one! But therefore hopefully he is at least very lucky in love.

If he gives up the ambition to be respected by making something decent with his own hands but instead prefer to rely on Prizes drawn by Lottery, he is recommended to join more suitable events like: , where the application fee for the bow making Competition of € 100,-  could be better invested, as indeed huge teddy bears and nice goodies could be won by lottery. As he like organizing himself events (promoted as „own festival“, although several insiders are whispering it was the idea of someone else including the name of the someone else), well visited especially by internationally famed bow makers, as well as amateur theater plays, we can expect surprises soon, for which we can recommend also following items, which could be useful for his intentions and sense of quality:   

Accusing Jurors to win themselves Awards by convincing workmanship and not realizing that any of the Jurors, as they are competing too, has 20% LESS chance for one of the 5 possible Awards per bow, as jurors are not allowed to vote for own bows. So to win an Award shows even more the quality of every maker who is also chosen by the organizer to serve as a Juror because of his own quality of workmanship (and of course proves the excellent choice of the publisher himself!). So the thinking of the plaintive reflects his own mischievous mind and envious character. But at least the complaining individual is some sort of courageous (or possibly slightly confused) and thus complaining loudly, others (less courage but maybe more sly?) shut up, mumbling to themselves or only gossip behind peoples back. I personally do prefer the front door, opened widely to allow eventual openly discussing these issues.

The 5 Jury Members of the 1st Darling Bow Making Competition Amsterdam 2016:

Robert Morrow, Port Townsend, USA

Eric Fournier, Loctudy, France

Tibor Kovacs, Bratislava-Budapest-Paris

Pierre Nehr, Paris, France

Bernd Etzler, Gòd, Hungary

Here the first statements of the 5 Jury Members on insinuations of incorrect judging results

Pierre Nehr:

It is 10am, Friday the 6th of May in Paris.

I am about to take a train to Amsterdam to spend a weekend with my friends and colleagues, bowmakers and violin makers exhibiting their latest creations in « Cuvée Darling Amsterdam 2016 ».

The weather forecast is fantastic and I am really looking forward to being back in my second country (being myself half french / half dutch).

At the same time as the exhibition, there is an international bow competition. I am in with 2 bows. Andy, the head of these events, thought of a different type of contest. I did not quite understand how it would happen but knowing Andy I believed it was going to be big and different.

The train leaves the station. Around 11am Andy calls me and asks me to be one of the 5 members of the jury of bowmakers. After 5 minutes of deliberation, I call him back to tell him that I accepted.

Surprised, excited, nervous, happy, this is how I feel during the rest of my train journey.

When I arrive at 3pm in front of the exhibition center I see my friends and one of them, Yannick, advises me to begin directly with my role of jury without seeing the bows that are on display.

Here I go, I have a beer with Andy and he explains to me the rules.

No « technical » points to be given but only 3 « coups de coeur» [personal favorites] to be awarded.

78 bows are in competition and each jury has 2 hours to choose their « coups de coeur».

A beautiful room with natural light is given to me.

I start opening boxes and begin my analysis.

Time flies and I notice, unsurprisingly, the exceptional quality of contemporary bow-making. Musicians are very lucky…

A lot of bows deserve to be my « coups de coeur».. I wish I could have given more than 3…but impossible.

Andy comes back after 2 hours and I need to write down my 3 numbers.

For the viola and the cello, one type of work appeals to me with a fresh and modern style with at the same time a touch of old influences. Nothing too excessive. A well thought work in all aspects. I learn during the award ceremony that these 2 bows belong to the same young american bowmaker named Cody Kowalski. What a happy surprise for me to know the work of this very promising bowmaker.

For the violin bow, it was more difficult, I hesitated between 5.

To finalize my choice, I decide to hide the head and the frog in my hands and only concentrate on the stick. A bow easily stands out by its delicacy and flexibility. It turns out to be Bernd Etzler’s bow.

Obviously I did not judge my own bows or chose the work of my brother Jean-Pascal.

Eric Fournier is indisputably a very great bowmaker deserving his awards.

I thank Andy for having given me the opportunity to touch all those fabulous bows during 2 hours and I congratulate him for every he does for the modern bow-making.

Pierre Nehr

Robert Morrow:

I am not troubled about Fournier/Etzler. I highly doubt their decisions were corrupt. 

Robert Morrow

Eric Fournier:

Firstly, I would like to thanks Andy to organize this wonderful event. He knows very well bowmakers and he organizes a nice competition, fair and transparent with juges from differences schools judging separately.

I have been enter in many international bowmaking competitions for the last 10 years, and I know there are always people complaining against juges.

For my first time as a juge, I take it very seriously. I was the first who judges (on Thursday morning), after couple of hours, I gave a paper to Andy with my 3 favorite bows. On Friday and Saturday I went back to look at bows because I had several favorite bows but I hadn’t change numbers on the paper given to Andy. 

The 4 others juges are peoples I don’t know [ well ] but I really want to meet. During all the exhibition, I hadn’t a word or a drink with them because I didn’t want we talk about the competition.

It is a bit difficult to receive complains for [ from ] someone who have seen competition bows, I HOPE, just for couple of minutes. I really spend many hours to take the right decision. Many hours where I was alone downstairs, when colleges, friends had a good time, and musicians were trying my bow. Anyway, that my choice and that’s all. I gave prices from my experience and from my heart.

As a judge, it’s nearly normal to receive complains from bad losers, but at that time, I also enter in the competition. If someone say there was some kind of arrangement between juges, he discredit my work.

For ten years, I enter 18 bows in competition and 17 received prices. Sorry but I am not that good in corruption, I just hard[ly] work at bench with good teachers !

By the way, I’m going back to bowmaking, I spend enough time writing this paper.

Eric Fournier.

Tibor Kovacs:

(here translated by Chris Atanasiu, a US English native speaker living in Germany and his wife Maria Vittoria Crotti  from the original statement in Italian, attached below)

There’s not much to add to what Andy, Bernd, and Robert have already written. In fact, there’s enough for everybody : whoever wants to see a detailed explanation for themselves can read Andy or Bernd’s writings, and whoever wants an opinion both short, and precise, can refer to Robert’s one phrase.  If somebody still has anything to say, in spite of all of this, they risk appearing quite comical, if not even ridiculous . . . with a bit of malicious intent one can even interpret this criticism as an infantile attempt at creating conflicts between increasingly friendly professionals who respect each other, and enjoy these reunions with happiness and honesty.

I do not deny that it is very unpleasant to receive these unfounded accusations, but it is also impossible to please everybody, and it is impossible for everybody to appreciate the same thing.  I am convinced to speak for a great many others as well as myself, when I wish great success to Andy Lim and Darling Cuvée, who has shown how to give the proper relevance and importance to the art of modern bow making. His reuniting such a numerous group of artisans in a warm, friendly atmosphere is without precedent.

With affection,

Tibor Kovács

The original statement, written in Italian:

Non c’é molto da aggiungere a quello che Andy, Bernd e Robert hanno scritto. Insomma, ce n’ è per tutti: chi vuole farselo spiegare in dettaglio puó scegliere i testi di Andy o Bernd e chi vuole un’opinione corta e precisa si legga la frase di Robert. Ciononostante, se qualcuno ha da ridire, rischia davvero di cadere nel comico, forse rasenta il ridicolo….con un po’ di malizia si potrebbe anche interpretare questo tipo di critica assurda come un infantile tentativo di creare conflitti artificiali tra professionisti sempre piú amici che tra loro si rispettano e vivono queste riunioni con allegria e onestà. Non nego che ricevere commenti negativi infondati sia parecchio sgradevole, ma è innegabile anche che non si puó piacere a tutti, né a tutti puó piacere una sola cosa.

Sono convinto di parlare nel nome di tantissimi quando auguro lunga attivitá ad Andy Lim e a Darling Cuvée, che ha saputo dare la rilevanza dovuta all’archetteria contemporanea. La sua capacità di riunire un gruppo cosí numeroso di artigiani in un ambiente cosi affabile è senza precedenti.

Con affetto,

Tibor Kovács. 

Bernd Etzler:

(here translated by Chris Atanasiu, a US English native speaker living in Germany from the original statement in German, attached below)

I am sad to hear that there have been unsubstantiated accusations about the seriousness and fairness of the first International Darling Contemporary Bow Making Competition.

Andy’s basic conception for the Workmanship Prize judging was simple, clear, honest, and included several never-before-seen innovations.

1.       The competition bows were (obviously) anonymous. It is, however, impossible to avoid the fact that one can recognize some bows as the work of specific colleagues, or at least have an idea about who may have made a bow. This was the case as I worked my way through the bows. With one of the bows which I had awarded a prize, I found at the award ceremony that I had correctly recognized the bowmaker, and that my “hunch” had been correct. With the other two, I only discovered who had made the bows I selected at the award ceremony itself.

2.       There were 5 bowmaking judges chosen, all of whom were taking part in the competition. The idea is novel.  Nobody should have the right to decide who wins a prize, without putting their own work up to the same scrutiny.

3.       Andy had assembled the jury in such a manner, that every member came from a different “nest” [school].

4.       Every juror guarantees the honesty of their decisions with their own name. It is practically impossible to be any more transparent!

5.       None of us has, to date, been a jury member. The question remains, does one see the same names so often as prizewinners, because a close circle of well known and respected Jurors have reached a consensus on a generally-accepted “taste”, and will there be surprises, or is it the case that between colleagues, our differences in style and points of view after one analyzes the work of many colleagues become more uniform?

There were no great surprises among the results.

Let’s begin with Eric Fournier. This young and extremely talented bowmaker won the greatest number of prizes in Amsterdam, with a total of 4. In the long-established VSA Competition in 2014, Eric was just as successful, with 3 gold medals and a Certificate of Merit, he was the most successful of all the participants. In Amsterdam he was a Juror, but not in America.

Emanuel Begín, just as gifted as his best friend, Eric Fournier, won three awards in Amsterdam. At the last VSA competition, he received 2 gold medals and 2 Certificates of Merit.

This was also not the first prize that Alexandre Aumont, Boris Fritsch, or I have ever been awarded.

There were also 2 small surprises : Cody Kowalski, a 21 year old student of Charles Espey, was the youngest prize-winner in Amsterdam.

Also, Tibor Kovacs; It is not surprising that he received 2 prizes, but rather that Andy succeeded in persuading him to participate at all. Tibor does not like taking part in competitions, and has never before entered his work.

All Jurors were very diligent in their work, and had to make their decisions alone, by themselves. We were only made aware of our fellow Judges’ favorites at the award ceremony. It was, of course, not a way to reward each other for our own work. That one half of the prizes went to Jurors themselves only speaks to how well, and broadly, Andy selected the jury. As a team of experienced colleagues, they have all proven (not only in Amsterdam) that they are Masters in their craft. If it were forbidden to vote for our fellow jurors, there would be no sense to the innovation in point 2 (as listed above).

As I have already stated, I stand by my decisions, but in my disappointment about the charges of “Prize-fixing”, I have considered offering my prize to any competitor who believes they are more deserving than I. Should more than one contact me, they must, together, choose a jury responsible for deciding who among them is to receive my award.

Ultimately, this would be a mockery of those who awarded my bows prizes, as well as those whose bows would have been prizewinners, had my bows not been there.  

Lastly, and once again, I would like to state that the Exhibition and Competition in Amsterdam were sensational! It is very seldom, that you can see so many fantastic things in one place. Even better, it is fantastic to meet with all of my friends and colleagues from around the world. I thank Andy and Harm, and everybody who was involved in the work that has created this wonderful project.

Bernd Etzler

Original Statement by Bernd Etzler in German:

Ich bin traurig, dass hier unberechtigte Zweifel an der Seriosität und der Fairness des ersten internationalen Darling Bogenbauwettbewerbs aufgekommen sind.

Andy’s Grundkonzept für die Ermittlung der Workmanshippreise war einfach, klar, sauber und beinhaltete einige bisher nicht gesehene Neuerungen.

1.Die Wettbewerbsbögen waren selbstverständlich anonym. Es lässt sich allerdings nicht vermeiden, dass man den einen oder anderen Bogen eines Kollegen erkennt, oder zumindest eine Idee hat, wer ihn gemacht haben könnte. So war es auch, als ich die Bögen durcharbeitete. Bei einem der Bögen, die ich prämierte, stellte sich bei der Preisverleihung heraus, dass ich mit meinem Tipp wer ihn gemacht hatte, richtig lag. Bei Zweien erfuhr ich erst bei der Zeremonie, wessen Bögen ich ausgewählt hatte.

2. Es wurden fünf Bogenbauer bestimmt, die Teilnehmer des Wettbewerbs waren. – Die Idee dahinter ist neuartig. Niemand soll das Recht haben zu entscheiden, wer einen Preis gewinnt, der sich nicht selbst der Herausfoderung stellt.

3. Andy hat die Jury so zusammengestellt, daß jedes Mitglied aus einem anderen „Nest“ kommt.

4. Jeder Juror bürgt mit seinem Namen für die Ehrlichkeit seiner Entscheidungen. Mehr Transparenz ist kaum möglich!

5. Niemand von uns war bisher in einer Jury .- Frage war: Sieht man so häufig dieselben Namen als Preisgewinner, weil ein enger Kreis von allgemein anerkannten Juroren einen konsens Geschmack vertritt und wird es Überraschungen unter den Gewinnern geben oder kann man sagen, dass unter den Kollegen, die unterschiedliche Stilrichtungen vertreten die Gesichtspunkte, nach dem sie die Arbeiten ihrer Mitstreiter beurteilen eher einheitlich sind.

Nun wirkliche Überraschungen gab es eigentlich nicht.

Beginnen wir mit Eric Fournier. Dieser junge und sehr talentierte Bogenbauer gewann in Amsterdam die meisten Preise, vier an der Zahl. Auf dem alteingesessenen VSA Wettbewerb 2014 war Eric genauso zu Recht, wie jetzt mit drei Goldmedaillen und einem Certificate of Merit der erfolgreichste Teilnehmer. In Amsterdam war er Juror, in Amerika nicht.

Emanuel Bégin, genauso begabt wie sein bester Freund Eric Fournier, gewann drei Preise in Amsterdam. Beim letzten VSA Wettbewerb gewann er zwei Goldmedaillen und zwei Certificates.

Auch Alexandre Aumont, Boris Fritsch und ich gewinnen nicht das erste Mal einen Preis.

Und doch noch zwei Überraschungen: Cody Kowalski, einundzwanzig Jahre jung, ein Schüler Charles Espeys ist der jüngste Gewinner in Amsterdam.

Und Tibor Kovács. Es ist weniger überraschend, dass auch er zwei Preise gewann. Tibor mag nicht an Wettbewerben teilnehmen und hat noch nie bei einem mitgemacht. Die Überraschung war vielmehr, dass es Andy gelang, ihn zur Teilnahme zu überreden.

Alle Juroren haben sehr gewissenhaft gearbeitet und jeder musste seine Entscheidungen einsam und allein treffen. Wir alle haben von den Favoriten unserer Mitjuroren erst bei der Preisverleihung erfahren. Es war selbstverständlich nicht stattlich seine eigenen Arbeiten auszuzeichnen. Daß gut die Hälfte der Preise an Juroren gingen belegt nur wie weitsichtig Andy bei der Auswahl der Jury war. Ein Team aus erfahrenen Kollegen die nicht nur auf diesem Wettbewerb bewiesen haben, daß Sie Meister Ihres Faches sind. Wäre es verboten gewesen für Mitjuroren zu stimmen, wäre die in Punkt 2 beschriebene Innovation sinnlos gewesen.

Wie bereits erwähnt stehe ich zu meinen Entscheidungen, aber in meiner Enttäuschung über die Beschuldigung der Schieberei hatte ich überlegt, ob ich nicht die Preise, die ich gewann denjenigen anzubieten, die glauben sie mehr zu verdienen als ich. Sollten sich mehrere melden, hätten sie sich selbst auf eine Jury einigen müssen, die entscheidet wer diese bekommt.

Letztendlich aber wäre dies eine Verhöhnung derer, die diese Preise mit ihrem Namen mir zugedachten und auch eine Verhöhnung derer, die diese Preise gewonnen hätten, wenn meine Bögen nicht dabei gewesen wären.

Und jetzt nochmal zum Wesentlichen. Die Ausstellung und der Wettbewerb in Amsterdam waren sensationell. Es ist sehr selten, daß man soviel fantastisches an einem Platz sieht. Noch fantastischer ist es sich mit all den Freunden und Kollegen aus aller Welt treffen und austauschen zu können. Ich danke Euch Andy und Harm und allen die sonst noch beteiligt waren an der Arbeit an diesem wunderbaren Projekt.

Bernd Etzler

Little boy arguing                                        The Rules for this Competition with all its innovative novelties like:

1. being  the first Competition where the judges are selected at the beginning of the 1st day from the participating competitors, so nobody knew in advance who the jurors would be.

 2. Beside this, they will judge without being in a panel discussing with other jury members, they are requested only for their own unbiased opinion.

This was also one of the many reasons why 51 Bowmakers participated. 30 of them already international award winners, 5 of them Meilleur Ouvrier de France. 10 of them without any awards, but of international award quality and highly respected amoung the insiders, just never entered any competition yet for various reasons till this time. (to be clear: the complaining person is not of the 10, the complaining participant, as the diligent reader might expect, he is one of the 39 without an award, the others by the way excellent company and fair non award winning makers, although probably some sneaky whispered comments could pop up from some (till now quiet) unhappy participants).

  • The possibility that bow makers win an award from a colleague which is a co-judge is known before this competition started (up to 4 awards).
  • The possibility that a competition judge can give an award to a colleague who could be invited to be a co-judge is known before this competition started.
  • The possibility that the same bow by a certain maker not in the jury even could get 5 awards if all 5 judges choose it as their favorite bow is known before this competition started.
  • The fact that the favorite bow might be made by a close friend or colleague should not discriminate the maker not to be chosen by the judge or discourage the juror to give a well meant Award.
  • The transparancy that the Award is named after the Judge reveals everything and cannot be hidden. High eyebrows were only caused by lack of information of the Judging procedure and are subject to be explained more closely the rules which were clear to all participants. That´s why lamentating afterwards by participants is unacceptable and seen as cowardly un-collegiality towards co-participants who apparently just were better and earned Awards in a clean, pre-announced procedure of judging, which animated a plethora of bow makers to join in because they appreciated this procedure as most correct as it can be.
  • The fact that each award is carrying the Judge´s name is as much as transparancy in a competition can offer, not like many „anonymus voting“ and „jury panels“ do, procedures with tradition which has also to be accepted if one decides to apply for participation too.

Any compliment or accusation about the choice is directed to each judge personally. Mostly corrupt decisions are tended to strive for less publicity and transparancy than in this Competition.

Compliments for a good choice can not be shared with the other judges as it is done alone, accusations are a personal attack and can not be shared either; only each judge himself can answer with own statements.

The frustated complaint of a non-winning contestant (how surprising!) about the wrong Choice of the Judges and the wrong concept of the Competition is directed to only one person, that is the initiator and mastermind of all the happiness and occasionally unhappiness in Amsterdam (moi!). He does not realize that most of the makers who won Awards this time are already Award winners (with complete other Jurors) at other Competitions before, as many others of the Competition. But somehow they seem not to be allowed to win Awards in this Competition, with 5 Jurors who were never in a jury before. I can only give statements why I chose the 5 makers of the Jury if requested. That takes time to explain as it was seriously done with facts, thoughts and heart.

Is there anything more one can possibly do to find a clean jury without any former jury experiences? By insinuating award fixing and nepotism is clearly insulting and accusing 5 of todays top bow makers being incorrect at their first appearance as a competition judge. It sounds that makers who were successful before in other Competitions should be locked out of the chance being awarded a prize, even if the competition bow is chosen to be awarded in a honest and transparent decision of a co-judge. The fact that a maker who sent in bows for the competition and only to be asked at the morning of the event to take the responsibility and honor to be one of the 5 judges, should he be expelled from participating with his bows for the competition?

Here again the explanation of my concept and my choice of the judges.


The Concept:

By choosing judges from the participants and own bows being judged by other competing judges makes the vicinity of contestant/jury extremely close, as it is judging from the closest distance, not from an elevated point of seemingly superiority. All Jurors were told to have the courage even to give an award to an eventually close colleague if convinced of the quality.

The advice to re-think the Concept is superfluous, as the thinking was done before, and critical noises popping up from lower spheres were expected anyway, and of course as expected from non winning self-overestimated characters or individuals. The hilarious suggestion to find the judges by lottery earned our plaintive participant immediately the nickname „The Tombola King“. Anybody want to be judged by a democratically lottery style drawn bow making Competition Jury from all participants? I highly recommend to give this variation a try for a next Amsterdam Bow Making Competition event by the wailing soul, it might have even less international bow making participants than some former bow event in Amsterdam (that was only one, at least the one who stayed till the end as I heard from well informed circles, otherwise two). By suggesting these kind of propositions in organizing an International Bow Making Competition, I would recommend our dearest plaintive to scrap the letter „Q“ from his actively used alphabet, as a certain desire of thinking at the word „Quality“ is obviously non-existing, or at least not very often in demand. Another suggestion is to cross out the „inter“ of international if that word is intended to be used.


The Choice of the Jurors:

1. I chose for 5 Judges who have not been ever in a jury yet. (there are quite many of them in the list of participants)

2. I chose for 5 Judges  with different training backgrounds (Seriously interested people know these backgrounds and congratulated me to my choice);

  • Robert Morrow from the Charles Espey school from Port Townsend
  • Pierre Nehr which learned bowmaking from his brother Jean-Pascal Nehr, a Bernard Ouchard student himself,
  • Eric Fournier, trained and worked with G. Duhaut, S. Muller, G. Tépho, U. Johansson and Y. le Canu,
  • Bernd Etzler who started bow making in Hungary, and got some influence in Brussels working with P. Guillaume.
  • Tibor Kovacs, starting bowing in Cremona with E. Slaviero and finishing studies in Paris at the Raffin workshop.

The complaining bow maker colleague belongs clearly not to well informed world of Contemporary Bow Making as his ignorant, bad informed and possibly frustrated comments by lack of success (at least at this competition and event) show. He minimized by doubting the integrity of his judging colleagues his already small chance even more to be one day welcomed in the world of cordiality and cameraderie of giving, sharing and generously applauding the success of some respected colleagues.

But he probably has other hobbies or is striving for other (non-bow) circles. Ability to sell some bows is a quite different case as the creation of a great bow.  But some makers base their makers career of promoting themselves as making good bows on the idea: a sold bow is a good bow, which mainly only non-sophisticated makers are tended to quote. But actually nobody has great stock of unsold bows, so are all sold bows great bows???

The fact that of the 7 Awarded and bought bows (from which 4 violin bows, 2 cello bows and 1 viola bow) by players from 5 nationalities, 6 were made by former and present Award winners prove that Award winning makers do make great bows also for players. That just by not participating in competitions, thus saving energy and all thoughts is benefitting better playability, as often non awarded bow makers try to convince players, seems not to be the entire truth.

3. I chose 5 judges who are not linked with each other in more than respectful and professional collegiality, each have there own clique of closer colleagues.

4. all 5 judges have to be respected in their professional work by many other makers. An impressive list of winning Awards was not the requirement. Respect for the work and integrity therefore even more.

The complaining participant is not in point 3 and 4 of these groups, as his cluelessness clearly reflect the quality his professional life and lack of insight of the top world class bow making of today.

A last hypothetical and rhetorical question: would the complaining participant if he would have been chosen as a judge (which would not have been possible because of point 4) and have been awarded an award from another Juror (chance equally small because of point 4) have the same complaints? I think not. That explains the proposition by the complaining participant by email to me to select jury positions by lottery draw to increase at least mathematically his chance on an award or judging position, as I presume.


Some Facts:

  • Pierre Nehr and Robert Morrow were judges and did NOT receive any Awards (in this competition, but highly awarded already in previous international competitions) from any of the co-judges they awarded Prizes.
  • Tibor Kovacs received 2 Awards from Co-judges Bernd Etzler and Eric Fournier but did NOT awarded them in return with his votes. He voted for 3 others.
  • Bernd Etzler received 1 Award from Pierre Nehr and did NOT awarded in return anything.
  • Eric Fournier awarded B. Etzler one Award for the viola bow.
  • Etzler awarded E. Fournier an Award both for the violin and viola bow.

So our complaining awardless participant (but in excellent company) clearly accuses Fournier and Etzler fixing each others Awards.

The facts that both earned several Awards before with other jury-panels judging about their work (reminder: all 5 judges were judging for the 1st time in their life!), seem not to count.

But as before mentioned, the complaining guy does not seem to be aware a lot about the quality of the top bow making world, but that is still not a reason to let ignorance discredit open and well made decisions in full transparency.

Anybody with an IQ higher than the room temperature should recognize the transparent and clean concept of this competition (especially if informed before joining the competition about the rules, as some journalists did not know before), the more as his own semi intellectual ramblings aimed at poor naive musicians seem to have built him some sort of wobbly standing, a position misinterpreted by himself to be important enough to croack some unfundamental phrases.

The Angry Darling II
 darling-bratpfanne gross