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

Whittled down from over 160 pianists in the final stages, the official jury has chosen the one and only winner of the 17th International Fryderyk Chopin Piano Competition! Read more about: And the Winner of the 2015 Chopin Competition is…

Szymon Nehring during the 2nd stage of the Chopin Competition, 11th October 2015. Photo: Bartek Sadowski/NIFC

The jury headed by Professor Katarzyna Popowa-Zydroń has chosen 10 finalists from 8 countries including two musicians from both the USA and Canada, and one each from Croatia, Japan, South Korea, Latvia, Poland and Russia. Read more about: The 10 Finalists of the 17th Chopin Competition Announced

Audience members watching the 1st stage of the Chopin Contest, 3rd October 2015. Photo: Wojciech Grzędziński / NIFC

The jury headed by Professor Katarzyna Popowa-Zydroń have chosen 20 musicians from 12 countries to take part in the 3rd stage of the 17th Chopin Competition. The next part will take place from 14th October to 16th October 2015. Read more about: The 20 Musicians in the 3rd Stage of the 2015 Chopin Competition

Krzysztof Książek during the first stage of the 17th International Chopin Piano Competition, 4th October 2015. Photo: Bartek Sadowski/NIFC

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

152 candidates and 82 hours of music - we know the names of the 84 pianists who will take part in the 17th International Fryderyk Chopin Piano Competition. Read more about: Finalists of the 17th Chopin Competition Announced

Pomnik Chopina, fot. Daniel Pach/ Forum

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

Marta Argerich, May 1985. Photo: The ArenaPAL Picture Library / Forum

160 pianists from Asia, Europe and North America will visit Warsaw in April of 2015 to take part in eliminations for the 17th International Fryderyk Chopin Piano Competition. Read more about: 160 Pianists Competing for a Place at the 17th Chopin Competition Announced

A poster of the competition. Photo: press materials

450 pianists from 45 countries have signed up to participate in the 17th International Fryderyk Chopin Piano Competition. This record interest is much higher than 5 years ago. Read more about: Record-Breaking Interest in the Chopin Competition

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.

Schedule:

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

Rafał Blechacz learns that he won the 15th edition of the Competition in 2005, photo: Piotr Bernao / Agencja Gazeta

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.

Fei Dong, the 16th International Fryderyk Chopin Piano Competition in 2010, Warsaw. Photo: Adam Kozak / AG

The legend of the International Fryderyk Chopin Piano Competition wouldn’t be the same without its controversies and scandals.

Lukas Geniusas during the Chopin Competition in 2010, photo: Chopin Express

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, photo: Chopin Express

Gustav Alink - Co-Founder & Director of The Alink-Argerich Foundation - comments on piano competitions held around the world - Chopin Express No. 22...

Maurizio Pollini, Chopin Competition 1960. Photo: Tadeusz Rolke / Agencja Gazeta

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...

Audience at the 1955 Chopin Competition, photo: press materials

The musicologist and music critic Józef Kański talks to Bartosz Kamiński...

Piotr Paleczny, 2010. Photo: Dominik Skurzak / East News

Małgorzata Wende talks to Piotr Paleczny, the winner of the third prize at the Fryderyk Chopin Piano Competition in 1970...

Judging the music

Portret Fryderyka Chopina, fot. ©Rue des Archives/Varma

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.

Adam Harasiewicz, 2010, photo: Anna Abako / East News

John Allison talks to Competition Juror Adam Harasiewicz about the tones and shades of the Chopin style

Michie Koyama. Photo: Press materials

Polish Radio's Róża Światczyńska talks to Competition Juror Michie Koyama the various styles of interpretation by these year's contestants...

Dan Thai Son. Photo: press materials

Dang Thai Son, member of this year's Fryderyk Chopin Competition jury, talks to Małgorzata Wende...

Emma Baker. Photo source: Chopin Express

Gramaphone's Emma Baker sizes up the Jury of the 16th International Chopin Piano Competition in the 11th edition of Chopin Express...

The 2nd Chopin Piano competition in 1932. Photo: National Digital Archives / www.audiovis.nac.gov.pl

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...

Part of jury of the 16th International Chopin Piano Competition. Photo: Dominik Skurzak / Forum

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!

Andrzej Jasiński. Photo: Przemysław Getka / Reporter

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

Comming soon...

Deeper insight into some of Chopin’s works

Mazurkas de Fr. Chopin. Photo: Polona Polish Digital National Library / www.polona.pl

Of the 57 Mazurkas composed by Fryderyk Chopin, each opus number contains three to five pieces, and another eight surviving Mazurkas have no opus number. Read more about: Mazurkas - Fryderyk Chopin

Fryderyk Chopin, Polonaises. Photo: Polona Polish Digital National Library / www.polona.pl

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

Fryderyk Chopin, Scherzo 4. Photo: Polona Polish Digital National Library / www.polona.pl

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

Sonaten by Fryderyk Chopin. Photo: Polona Polish Digital National Library / www.polona.pl

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

Chopin, Grand concerto : pour le pianoforte avec accompagnement d'orchestre ou de quintuor ad libitum : oeuvre 11 : sans accomp. Photo: Polona Polish Digital National Library / www.polona.pl

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

Exhibition by Stanisław Brach " 200 x Chopin  ", Pałac Sztuki, Kraków, photo: M. Lasyk / Reporter

Chopin on the vibraphone, a toy-piano and through low pitch countryside basses. Chopin played in remote parts of Africa and the dark, jazz infused houses in the Bronx. Do you like Chopin?

Frederic Chopin (1810-1849). Funeral March Op. 35, played at the funerals of the composer, abstract from his Piano Sonata. Printed score, Brandus editions. Paris, musee de la Vie romantique, photo by Roger Voillet / East News

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 Birthplace of Fryderyk Chopin, photo: Marek Dusza

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

Portret Fryderyka Chopina, fot. ©Rue des Archives/Varma

A mobile application intended for tourists and the capitol’s citizens will follow the Warsaw-based trails of the famous composer. Read more about: Walk Through Warsaw with 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

Pauline Viardot (1821-1910), a singer, performed Chopin's songs in Polish, in six mazurkas she sang the text in French. Photo: press materials

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

Aleksander Janicki's Fallen Piano. Photo: Michał Lepecki / Agencja Gazeta

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

Chopin's hand model. Photo: Grzegorz Kozakiewicz / Forum

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

Robert Schumann on a litograph by Josef Kriehuber, 1839

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

Teofil Antoni Jaxa Kwiatkowski, Chopin's Polonaise. Photo: CC / Wikimedia

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

Fryderyk Chopin's Museum in Żelazowa Wola. Photo: Franciszek Mazur / Agencja Gazeta

Tadeusz Andrzej Zielinski writes on the phenomenon of the Frederic Chopin's music. Read more about: Chopin: different shades of genius

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