18th International Piano Competition Fryderyk Chopin – a world music festival – the Ministry of Culture, National Heritage and Sports

We are happy that the competition is taking place this year. The preparations went smoothly and – despite the pandemic – everything is ready. Among other things, we provided care from the Ministry of Health. The budget of the competition is PLN 20 million, of which PLN 12 million is a grant from the Ministry of Culture, National Heritage and Sports – Deputy Prime Minister Prof. Piotr Gliński.

The head of the Ministry of Culture and Sports pointed out that there are many candidates for the top places this year, because the Competition Chopin is a world event that is extremely popular and known all over the world.

Pianists from all over the world will compete for the victory, but first of all Chopin will win, culture and what matters most, ie interpersonal ties will win. They are the meaning of our lives and are also the most important for Polish identity – emphasized the Minister of Culture, National Heritage and Sports.

Deputy Prime Minister Piotr Gliński thanked all the institutions and people who have been organizing Chopin competitions for many years. Special thanks go to the Fryderyk Chopin Institute, which is also responsible for organizing the event this year.

During the ceremony, in line with tradition, the head of the Ministry of Culture, National Heritage and Sports signed a letter from a 1966 drawing machine supplied by Totalizator Sportowy, which was initiated by Artur Szklener – director of the Chopin Competition and the Fryderyk Chopin Institute. The drawn “M” means that Xunayi Mao from China will play first in the competition auditions.

18th International Piano Competition Frederik Chopin

A record number of pianists – more than 500 candidates from all over the world – declared their willingness to participate in the Chopin Competition. In December 2019, the selection committee selected more than 160 participants for the qualification round from 33 countries from among them.

Due to the pandemic, the Competition has been moved from 2020 to 2021. The qualifying rounds finally took place in July 2021. The jury qualified 87 pianists, including 16 Poles, for the competition. Even before the outbreak of the pandemic, conferences promoting the competition were held in Tokyo, Rome, Moscow, London and Paris.

The ceremonial inauguration of the Chopin Competition will take place on October 2. Pianists Kevin Kenner, Philippe Giusiano, Yulianna Avdeeva, Dang Thai Son, Seong-Jin Cho, double bassist Krzysztof Firlus, Belcea Quartet, Simply Quartet and the National Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Andrzej Boreyka will perform. This year’s edition will be broadcast in full by TVP Kultura and Program II of the Polish Radio. Online broadcasts are provided by the Fryderyk Chopin Institute. The winner of the competition will be chosen on October 20.

The budget of the competition was almost PLN 20 million, of which more than PLN 12 million was a grant from the Ministry of Culture, National Heritage and Sports.

Detailed information about the competition schedule, participants and the composition of the jury can be found on the website https://chopin2020.pl/pl/.

Chopin Competition – a historical overview

The Chopin Competition is one of the most important music events in the world. For almost a hundred years, it has been promoting Polish culture and popularizing Chopin’s music, discovering the greatest pianistic talents and offering young musicians an effective start on the way to an international career. This is an event with global reach and a great reputation that has fans all over the world.

The competition is organized with respect for the principles of fair play – it has been repeatedly referred to as an example of a “transparent competition”. It effectively reaches a young audience that is most willing to follow its course in online broadcasting.

The 1st International Frederic Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw took place in 1927. It was an initiative of Prof. Jerzy Żurawlew, Polish pianist and teacher. The names of the winners of the next editions of the competition belong to the pantheon of world pianists: Maurizio Pollini, Martha Argerich, Garrick Ohlsson, Krystian Zimerman, Stanisław Bunin, Dang Thai Son, Kevin Kenner, Philippe Giusiano, Yundi Li, Rafał Blechacz , Yulianna Avdeeva and the winner of the last Seong Competition: Jin Cho. The competition opened the way to international careers, also for many winners of other prizes (Mitsuko Uchida, Ingrid Fliter, Gabriela Montero, Ingolf Wunder, Daniil Trifonow), as well as for pianists who only received special prizes. Among the pianists whose talent was discovered during the Competition, we also find many world-renowned Polish pianists, such as: Władysław Kędra, Ryszard Bakst, Regina Smendzianka, Barbara Hesse-Bukowska, Jerzy Godziszewski, Marta Sosińska, Piotr Paleczny, Janusz Olejniczak, Ewa Pobłocka, Krzysztof Jabłoński and Szymon Nehring. The fame and prestige of the Chopin Competition are also created by the judges (including honorary members), special guests and members of honorary committees, including the most important figures of world culture of the last and this century.

Winston Ferguson

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