The CD review process is conducted by members of the Klein Competition Jury. All identifying information is removed from the CDs so that the anonymity of the contestants is guaranteed. Over a period of weeks, each CD is listened to by at least two to three jurors, with each juror indicating his or her assessments with a numerical ranking and written comments. The entries are then culled to a final group of approximately twenty-five, and the jury convenes to review the entire cohort during a day-long listening session. At the conclusion, the jury selects the eight to ten Semifinalists who will be invited to compete in the Competition in San Francisco.
Semifinals and Finals
The judging procedures for the Semifinals and Finals are named for Milton Preves, who first attended the Klein Competition in 1987 as a judge and subsequently was instrumental in developing the basis for the current judging procedures, which have been further refined over the years. Judges are asked to refrain from discussion until the first secret ballot in each round is tallied, after which there may be discussion and re-votes only in the event of ties. In the Semifinals round, the judges vote in no particular order for the three Semifinalists who will typically be advanced to the Finals round. In the Finals round the judges vote for first place, which is determined, then proceed to vote for each remaining award, one at a time, starting with second up to the number of prizes being awarded.
Milton Preves (1909–2000) was a violist, conductor, teacher, soloist and a member of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra for 52 years starting in 1934. He was principal violist of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra for 47 years from 1939 to 1986. He played under the batons of all the Chicago Symphony’s conductors from Fritz Reiner through Sir Georg Solti, except for the Chicago Symphony’s founder, Theodore Thomas. Preves was a founding member of the Chicago Symphony String Quartet.