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10th International Paderewski Piano Competition Begins
Ignacy Jan Paderewski

Pianists from all over the world will participate in the 10th International Paderewski Piano Competition. The winners will be announced at a ceremony on 19th November 2016.

The jury led by Piotr Paleczny chose the winners from 47 pianists from 17 countries. A performance by the winner will take place on 21st November in Warsaw National Philharmonic Hall.

The confrontation between the pianists will be broadcast live and is available online. The artistic director of the competition and head of the jury, Piotr Paleczny, said at the opening ceremony:

I would like to warmly welcome all the participants of the competition and the judges who accepted our invitation. Poland and Poles are well known for their hospitality. I’m sure that the very talented participants of our competition from all over the world and the jury members alike will have a chance to experience this hospitality.

Pianists who have had any lessons (privately or at schools) with jury members during the past three years cannot participate in the competition. This year’s edition features representatives of Poland, the USA, Ukraine, Korea, Russia, Japan, Bulgaria, Italy, Taiwan, Israel, Canada, Azerbaijan, Peru, Serbia, China, and the UK. The representatives were selected from 164 candidates from 32 countries who participated in preliminary rounds in Brescia (Italy), London, Moscow, New York, Tokyo, Warsaw, and Vienna, or submitted DVD recordings.

There are three main prizes of €30,000, €15,000 and €7,000, in addition to two awards of €2,500 and special prizes – one of €2,000 and two of €1,000. There are also prizes in the form of money and invitations to concerts and recitals in Poland and abroad.
Piotr Paleczny, the head of the jury, is a laureate of five piano competitions: in Sofia (1968), Munich (1969), Warsaw (1970), Pleven (1971), and Bordeaux (1972). The other members of the jury are Dmitri Alexeev (Russia/UK), Francisco J. Cruz Plaza (Spain), Ewa Pobłocka (Poland), Matti Raekallio (Finland), Soo Jung Shin (Korea), Jerzy Sulikowski (Poland), Tamás Ungár (Hungary/USA), and Arie Vardi (Israel).

The competition takes place every three years in Bydgoszcz and is open only to pianists under 27 years of age. The competition took place for the first time in 1961, and one of its initiators was Henryk Sztompka, a pianist born in Bydgoszcz and a student of Ignacy Jan Paderewski. The winner of the competition was Jerzy Maksymiuk, in those days a beginner pianist and now one of the most important Polish conductors. The next edition was meant to take place in 1964, but Sztompka’s death resulted in it being delayed until 1968. It become an international competition in 1994.

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Source: press materials, PAP, translated by BR