Legendary Music Label Signs Future Chopin Competition Winner
small, Legendary Music Label Signs Future Chopin Competition Winner, zimerman krystian portret en_6144067.jpg, Krystian Zimmerman, past winner of the Chopin Competition photograph by Anna Kaczmarz/Dziennik Polski/Reporter/East News
DG, the oldest record company in 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.
Deutsche Grammophon (DG) believes that the world’s next great classical pianist could be discovered in October in Warsaw. The unique arrangement to release a recording from an as yet unidentified artist is part of a new creative partnership between DG and the Fryderyk Chopin Institute.
Announced at a press conference in Warsaw on Wednesday 12th August, the partnership will be officially launched in October at the 17th International Chopin Piano Competition.
The bold new strategic partnership will connect global audiences with Chopin’s music and the best of the International Chopin Piano Competition. An album of the winner’s performances at the competition will be released on 6 November, just two weeks after the recording of those piano recitals. This will be followed by a high-profile international PR and marketing campaign for the 2015 winner’s album.
The initiative will be the start of a strategic collaboration between the Fryderyk Chopin Institute, organiser of one of the world’s most prestigious classical music competitions, and DG, the leading label for classical music, that will promote the Polish composer and highly-talented interpreters of his works. The pairing is also a boost for the Chopin Competition, which has been overshadowed in recent years by the revitalised Tchaikovsky contest in Russia.
international fryderyk chopin piano competition
Founded in 1927, the Chopin Competition has been held every five years since 1955. It stands for the highest values in musicianship and artistry and is widely acknowledged to be the foremost competition for classical pianists, with an uncontested reputation for discovering the world’s most talented artists. The list of past winners reads like a Who’s Who of piano legends, including DG artists Maurizio Pollini, Martha Argerich, Krystian Zimerman, Yundi Li and Rafał Blechacz. Runners-up have included Vladimir Ashkenazy and Mitsuko Uchida, both signed to DG’s sister label Decca.
“This is a collaboration between two partners who are already closely associated,” notes Costa Pilavachi, Universal Music Group International’s Senior Vice President of Classical A&R. “No other contest has discovered so many top artists with such consistency over so many years and a substantial number of these world-renowned pianists have chosen to entrust their recording careers to DG. Every five years, music lovers around the world await the judgement of the Chopin Competition jury with keen anticipation and one of our goals is to present this year’s prize-winning pianist to the largest possible global audience as soon as possible after the event.”
Artur Szklener of the Chopin Institute sees the arrangement with DG as a major development for the Warsaw-based organisation and its mission to promote Poland’s music heritage. “Chopin’s art speaks to the highest aspirations of human creativity. Our aim is to share his legacy with both new audiences and existing music-lovers by presenting them with fresh, insightful interpretations of his work. Through this partnership Chopin’s timeless music is certain to attract even greater attention, and this first release will provide a wonderful artistic and professional showcase for the eventual winner of the 2015 competition.”
This year’s Chopin Competition will be extremely competitive as always, all while showcasing the most talented piano players in the world. Hailing from 45 countries, of the over 450 performers aged 16 to 30 that originally entered the competition, 160 were selected to contest the preliminary round in Warsaw in April. The judges then advanced a total of 84 pianists to the three final recital stages which will run from 3 to 16 October. The top 10 pianists will qualify for the Grand Finale, to be held on 18-20 October.
Founded in 1898, DG has collaborated with the Chopin Institute on important events in the past, notably ‘Chopin Year’ in 2010 and the acclaimed ‘Chopin and his Europe’ festivals, artistically directed by Stanisław Leszczyński. The renewed partnership will also yield a commemorative, 11-CD box set called Great Chopin Pianists slated for release in late 2015. Drawing on the riches of the DG catalogue and the Chopin Institute’s extensive archive, the box set will contain performances of Chopin works from the top-prize-winning pianists of every Chopin Competition between 1927 and 2010.