The International Fryderyk Chopin Piano Competition is one of the four biggest piano competitions in the world and the oldest one among them. Since its first edition, held in 1927, it has yielded considerable group of superstar pianists such as Marta Argerich, Krystian Zimerman or Maurizio Pollini. It takes place every 5 years in Warsaw and engages its inhabitants stronger than any other classical music related event. For the duration of the competition mainstream media, newspapers, people on the bus stop, students and taxi drivers, waitresses and lobby boys get seriously emotionally engaged and support their favourites with great energy and the conviction of having made the obvious right choice. The Competition is a month-long celebration of Poland’s best-known composer’s music and at the same time a huge chance for young pianists from around the world.
Chopin Competition Timeline
17th edition news
The jury has chosen 43 participants from 16 different countries. 8 of them are from Poland, plus 5 each from China, Japan and South Korea, 4 from the USA, 3 from both Russia and Canada, 2 from Italy and individual entrants from Hungary, France, Ukraine, Czech Republic, Greece, Latvia, Croatia and Great Britain. Read more about: Revealed: The 43 Pianists in the 2nd Stage of the Chopin Competiton
The rivalry between the 17th Chopin Competition contestants as well as the April preliminary auditions will be available for the whole world to follow with a Chopin Competition mobile app. Read more about: Chopin Competition Online
Basic info about the 17th edition
This year’s competition will be the 17th in its history and even though it hasn't started yet we can already tell that it’s going to be an outstanding one. A record-breaking number of 450 pianists from 45 countries signed up to participate in the competition, topping the previous record by over a hundred. All of the performances will be available to watch on demand on various platforms – computers, TV, radio and even smartphones. The media coverage of the competition will be immense with hundreds of interviews with participants, jury members, and classical music celebrities, and cameras showing us the competition behind the scenes. Moreover, on 6th November Deutsche Grammophon – the most prestigious classical music label in the world – will release an album exclusively featuring performances by the winner.
Every note played by each of the 84 participants who successfully made it through the preliminary rounds will be carefully listened to by a jury composed of the greatest pianists and educators including former winners Adam Harasiewicz (1955), Marta Argerich (1965), Garrick Ohlsson (1970), Dang Thai Son (1980), and Yundi Li (2000).
The competition has 4 stages. Whereas in the first three stages participants can choose their own repertoire, in the grand finale they have to play one of Chopin’s two concertos: Piano Concerto in E minor, Op. 11 or Piano Concerto in F minor, op. 21. The Warsaw Philharmonic Hall Orchestra conducted by Jacek Kasprzyk will accompany the 10 best pianist during the final performance.
1st-2nd October. Inaugural Special Concerts starring Marta Argerich, Garrick Ohlsson and Nelson Goerner.
3rd-16th October. Competition Recitals. Recitals will be held in three stages:
· 3–7 October – first stage (84 participants);
· 9–12 October – second stage (40 participants);
· 14–16 October – third stage (20 participants)
17th October. A special concert commemorating the anniversary of Chopin’s death.
18th-20th October. Grand Finale (10 participants)
Photo gallery of the 16th edition finals
Competition’s prestige and highlights
The International Chopin Piano competition is known for its incredible power to turn unknown prodigies into pianists of global standing. Other than the actual prize, these young artists win a schedule packed with concerts in the most prestigious halls in the world and an unparalleled opportunity to bask in the spotlight for decades.
The legend of the International Fryderyk Chopin Piano Competition wouldn’t be the same without its controversies and scandals.
DG, the oldest record company in the Europe, is taking a leap of faith: it’s already signed the winner of the 2015 International Chopin Piano Competition, two months ahead of the finals
Gustav Alink - Co-Founder & Director of The Alink-Argerich Foundation - comments on piano competitions held around the world - Chopin Express No. 22...
The list of First Prize laureates in the Competition is studded with stars; Lev Oborin, who won the contest in 1927, through to Maurizio Pollini (1960), Martha Argerich (1965) and Krystian Zimerman (1975) and on to the more recently victorious Yundi Li (2000) and Rafał Blechacz. As with any competition, subsequent successes do not necessarily depend on coming first...
The musicologist and music critic Józef Kański talks to Bartosz Kamiński...
Małgorzata Wende talks to Piotr Paleczny, the winner of the third prize at the Fryderyk Chopin Piano Competition in 1970...
Judging the music
There are many interesting pianists among the contestants, some distinct individualities - says prof. Stanisław Leszczyński from The Fryderyk Chopin Institute. Preliminary auditions of the 17th International Chopin Competition began on 13th April 2015.
John Allison talks to Competition Juror Adam Harasiewicz about the tones and shades of the Chopin style
Polish Radio's Róża Światczyńska talks to Competition Juror Michie Koyama the various styles of interpretation by these year's contestants...
Dang Thai Son, member of this year's Fryderyk Chopin Competition jury, talks to Małgorzata Wende...
Gramaphone's Emma Baker sizes up the Jury of the 16th International Chopin Piano Competition in the 11th edition of Chopin Express...
At the first Chopin Competition in 1927, the Jury was mostly manned by Poles, supported on the final day by the German pianist Alfred Hoehn (1887-1945), a legendary performer of, amongst other things, the Barcarolle in F sharp major and the études, which have been recorded for posterity...
We hope to encounter new and wonderful pianists. We will debate what is and what is not allowed in modern Chopinism. As we do every five years, we will complain that the jury advances safe and average pianists, rejecting artists with their own vision of Chopin, because this vision may be far from the academic view. But still I have faith in the Jury!
Musicologist and critic Marcin Majchrowski goes behind scenes of the International Chopin Piano Competition with Andrzej Jasiński, pianist, pedagogue and a member of the jury of the Chopin Piano Competiton. Andrzej Jasiński has sat on the jury since 1975 and served as its chairman since 2000...
Preparing for the competition
Deeper insight into some of Chopin’s works
Most of Chopin's Polonaises are for solo piano and just seven out of sixteen of them were given an opus number and were considered worth publishing. The remaining nine never came out. Read more about: Polonaises - Fryderyk Chopin
The genre's top achievement, each of Fryderyk Chopin's scherzos has three movements, the lyrical middle one contrasting with the spontaneous first and last ones. True to the etymology of the word scherzo, they are lively, high-spirited, bouncy and folksy. Read more about: Scherzos - Fryderyk Chopin
Fryderyk Chopin's three sonatas for solo piano were written at different stages of his artistic development. While the "Sonata in C minor" is the earliest of the three and is sometimes called Chopin's "sin of youth", the later two belong to the core works of his synthetic period and are representative of Chopin's outstanding composing technique. Read more about: Sonatas - Fryderyk Chopin
The two concertos were the first works of significance composed by Chopin after graduation. Both clearly refer to the form and convention of concertos created in the brillant style, the style of piano music of the first half of the 19th century. Read more about: Piano Concertos - Fryderyk Chopin
Even Deeper and Interactive Insight Into Chopin’s works
Culture.pl breaks down for you an iconic piece of Fryderyk Chopin - a composition almost unrecognised by the music society of his times, nowadays considered to be groundbreaking and timeless. Why is this so? Let us seek a deeper insight into Sonata No. 2 and find out where Chopin managed to push the classical form’s boundaries further than anyone else before him.
Chopin's 24 Preludes are universally recognized as some of the composer's most characteristic works. Not only are they quintessential of his style, but are also deeply tied with upheavals in Chopin's personal life at the time.
Deeper insight into Chopin’s character and world
The grand opening of the new permanent exhibition at Fryderyk Chopin’s Birthplace was held on 31 May at 12:00 PM.The exhibition was officially opened by Małgorzata Omilanowska – Minister of Culture and National Heritage, together with Artur Szklener – Director of The Fryderyk Chopin Institute. Read more about: New Exhibit at the Birthplace of Fryderyk Chopin
Chopin died in 1849 and was buried at the Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris. His heart, however, was taken out and taken to Warsaw. Was it because he wanted part of him to rest eternally in his lost homeland, or was there a more macabre reason? Read more about: Chopin's Gravest Fear
Why didn't Chopin use literary masterpieces for his song texts, like Schumann did? The answer to that question might at first seem obvious, but doubts soon start to arise. What are the facts? Read more about: Chopin Could Do His Sums
When you consider that any professional pianist today would hope to have a minimum of 30 engagements a year - and a busy one perhaps more than 100 - it comes as something of a surprise to learn that Chopin gave only 30 public concerts in the whole of his career. Chopin was that strange anomaly: the pianist who actively dislikes performing in public. Read more about: Chopin in Concert - The Avid Dislike of Public Performance
Paris, 1842. No. 9 Place d’Orleans. Every week of the "season", from around the beginning of October to the end of March, a steady stream of piano pupils would come to study with Fryderyk Chopin... - an essay by Kenneth Hamilton, a concert pianist and author of After the Golden Age: Romantic Pianism and Modern Performance... Read more about: Chopin as Teacher
Chopin's music seemed to be a guiding spirit in Schumann's journalism. Schumann made his debut with an article about the Variations, Op 2, while a review of Tarantella, Op 43, published in 1843, was his last statement about Chopin and one of his last articles ever, prior to him leaving Neue Zeitschrift für Musik in 1844... Read more about: Unrequited Love - Chopin and Schumann
Like all true pioneers, Chopin paid a heavy, albeit temporary, price for his audacity. In "Nocturnes" Ludwig Rellstab found little beyond travesty and distortion ("where Field smiles Chopin makes a grinning grimace, where Field sighs Chopin groans... we implore Mr Chopin to return to nature".) Read more about: The Origins of Chopin's Voice
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