The Fryderyk Chopin Institute
ul. Tamka 43, 00-355 Warsaw
Director of the Institute: Kazimierz Monkiewicz
tel. (+48) 22 44 16 100
fax (+48) 22 44 16 113
The Fryderyk Chopin Institute was appointed on the basis of the Parliamentary Act 'On the protection of Fryderyk Chopin's heritage'. In 2005, in agreement with the Minister of Culture, the Institute was authorised to manage part of the activities previously conducted by the Fryderyk Chopin Society.
Some of the Institute's principal responsibilities include the creation of a positive image of the country at an international scale through the cultivation and protection of Fryderyk Chopin's heritage - a person synonymous with representing top achievements of the European culture to the world, as well as ensuring a permanent presence of Chopin's music in the cultural life of the country. In realising the prerequisites set by the government, the Institute initiates and leads studies on Fryderyk Chopin's life and work, protects and promotes his name and work (through the Chapter for the Protection of Chopin's Name and Image), and gathers Chopin-related archive materials and museum objects. The Institute also looks after the modern Fryderyk Chopin Museum at the Ostrogski Palace in Warsaw, as well as, it's subsidiaries - the Chopin Family Drawing-room on Krakowskie Przedmieście and Chopin's birthplace at Żelazowa Wola.
The Institute's first initiative included the appointment of the Annual International Chopin Conference, which mobilises the musical world for the creation of further studies and interpretations of Chopin's work. It's eight editions (2001-2008) were crowned in 2010 by the 3rd International Chopin Congress that included the most renown 'chopinologists' from around the globe.
Amongst the Institute's activities in promoting and disseminating Chopin's music, one event in particular deserves a mention: "Chopin i jego Europa" / "Chopin and his Europe" inaugurated in Warsaw in 2005. Another exceptional cultural event is the invariable Fryderyk Chopin International Piano Competition - one of the oldest and most important Chopin competition in the world (organised since 1927, during the postwar period by the Fryderyk Chopin Society, and in its 16th Edition in 2010 by the Fryderyk Chopin Institute). The Institute also organises Sunday concerts at Żelazowa Wola (May-September), as well as, annual death anniversary concerts (17 October). Other events include numerous concerts, including the annual 1st of March birthday concerts, which all serve to preserve the memory and familiarity of the composer's music.
The Institute's rich publishing activities encompass the publication of academic and popular materials, recordings and music prints. Amongst these, one pioneering initiative stands out. This is the series publication of "Dzieła Chopina. Wydanie faksymilowe" / "Works by Chopin. Facsimile Edition". The aim of this series is to perpetuate in print all available music manuscripts of the composer and enrich them with academic commentaries (in six languages).
The Institute's second publishing endeavor is the recordings of "Dzieła Wszystkie Fryderyka Chopina na instrumentach historycznych" / "Chopin. Complete works on period instruments", which are reconstructions of the original sounding Chopin pieces played on magnificently preserved pianos of the period from companies like Erard in 1849 and Pleyel in 1848.
Twenty-one compact disks form the "Real Chopin" series takes you into the world of sound that the composer experienced and created in himself. In 2010, the Institute began to release a new series of recordings: known as the 'white' collection - "Dzieła Wszystkie Fryderyka Chopina na instrumentach współczesnych" / "Chopin. Complete works on contemporary instruments", and the 'blue' collection - "Konkurs Chopinowski - portret najlepszych" / "Chopin Competition - portraits of the best participants", presenting the recordings of most exceptional participants, their auditions and concerts as part of the 16th International Fryderyk Chopin Piano Competition (the series is planning to contain ten volumes).
An important element in the Institute's publishing oeuvre is filled by a series of post-conference publications, that preserve and popularise academic research from various fields of 'chopinology', and which are covered within the annual International Chopin Conference. As part of the initiative, the Institute sustains an educational program for books and recordings intended for the youngest listeners and their parents.
The Institute also runs the Chopin Internet Information Center (www.chopin.nifc.pl) which began in 2003, and at it's headquarters, it contains the biggest library, image and sound database of Chopin's life and work in the world.
The Institute's culmination of activities came in 2010 during the celebration of the composer's 200th birthday anniversary. For this occasion, the Institute took up numerous initiatives, both in the preservation and popularisation of the composer's work. At this time, the Institute organised artistic and academic events of the Chopin Year that included: Birthday Concerts (22 February - 1 March) - series of concerts centered around Chopin's 200th birthday anniversary, 3rd International Chopin Congress 1810-2010: Ideas, Interpretations, Influence (25 February - 1 March) - the largest international academic project dedicated to the work and life of the composer, at which over one hundred papers were presented, inauguration of the Fryderyk Chopin Museum (1 March) - a modern center adhering to the highest museum standards at an international level, recognised as one of the most modern biographical museum in the world, the opening of Chopin's birthplace estate together with the re-restoration of the surrounding park at Żelazowa Wola (7,8,9 May), the International Musical Festival "Chopin i jego Europa" / "Chopin and his Europe" (1-31 August) - it's most lavish edition made up of fifty-six concerts that encompassed over one thousand performers, and finally the acclaimed 16th International Fryderyk Chopin Piano Competition (3-23 October).
For numerous special concerts, the Institute invited some of the most significant groups to the country. These included: London Symphony Orchestra (16 February, Warsaw), Orchestre des Champs-Elysées, Collegium Vocale Gent i Accademia Chigiana Siena under the direction of Philippe Herreweghe, who gave incredible concerts on Chopin's 161st death anniversary (17, 18 October, Warsaw). Others included the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, who performed with the winner of the 16th International Fryderyk Chopin Piano Competition, Yulianna Avdeeva (27, 28 October, Warsaw).
The Fryderyk Chopin Institute was also present at the the world's largest music industry trade fair, MIDEM in Cannes, where it received the MIDEM Classical Award in the 'Special Chopin Award' category. The Institute's presence was also felt at Expo 2010 in Shanghai with the project "Let's Dance Chopin" (22 May).
The year 2010 was also fruitful with the Institute's numerous publications dedicated to a wide spectrum of readers and listeners: for children (nine new titles), album publications, popular/academic publications, historical and biographical publications and academic publications (together ten titles), as well as, facsimile editions of the composer’s music manuscripts (nine volumes). In addition, the Institute released fourteen recordings, with the last nine of these as a part of "The Real Chopin" series, and two new releases as a part of the 'white' series, and the two first editions of the double album from the 'blue' series, as well as, a double album "Chopin i my" / "Chopin and us" (in co-operation with Chopin 2010 Celebrations Office) designated for promotional purposes and included musical interpretations from the so called 'black' series as well as contemporary interpretations, particularly from jazz musicians inspired by Fryderyk Chopin's work. On a whole, as part of the Chopin Year, The Fryderyk Chopin Institute organised one hundred and twenty four concerts, and it's Facebook profile gathered over fifteen thousand followers.
Author: Anna Iwanicka-Nijakowska, March 2011.