18th International Fryderyk Chopin Piano Competition 2-23 October 2020

18th Chopin Competition Warsaw

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the eighteenth edition of the Chopin Competition  has been postponed for a year. The competition will now take place from October 2-23, 2021 at the National Philharmonic in Warsaw.

The decision to transfer the Competition was made by the Minister of Culture and National Heritage, Prof. Piotr Gliński, in agreement with the director of the Fryderyk Chopin Institute, Dr Artur Szklener. The decision was preceded by consultations with the health ministry and the main sanitary inspector.

"We would like to assure all interested parties that we are making every effort to ensure that the eighteenth edition of the Chopin Competition is exactly as we expected it to be held i the wonderful tradition of this event, built over decades. At the Fryderyk Chopin Institute, intensive work is currently underway to transfer the Competition to 2021 "      
Director Artur Szklener

The list of pianists admitted for elimination will not change, and tickets purchased for competition auditions will remain valid.

Detailed information on the 18th International Piano Competition will be given by the Frederic Chopin Institute on May 14.

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A record number of applications for the Chopin Competition!

On 1 December there was a deadline for submitting the applications for the 18th International Fryderyk Chopin Piano Competition, which will take place in 2020, organised by The Fryderyk Chopin Institute. In the period given by the Regulations, the record number of over 500 applications were submitted. It is the next record number in almost 100-year history of the Chopin Competition – in every next edition, a bigger number of applications are submitted. In 2015 452 pianists applied, and in 2010 – 353.

The applications were sent by pianists from as many as 53 countries. The biggest groups of candidates come from China (over 100 applications), Japan (over 90 applications) and Poland (over 60 applications); there are strong representations from the USA, Canada, South Korea, Italy and France. The pianists applied from such various places as: Argentina, Australia, Azerbaijan, Brazil, Georgia, Iceland, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Mexico, Mongolia, New Zealand, Thailand, Turkey, Uzbekistan, Vietnam. The age range of the participants of the Competition is between 16 and 30; over the half of the candidates for the Competition next year are between 21 and 23; there are 30 youngest ones – 16- and 17-year-old.

The candidates were required to send a short biographical note, documentation of their most important artistic achievements from the last three years, two recommendations (of pedagogues and/or outstanding figures of musical life) as well as video recording with their own performance of the programme of the 1st stage of the Competition.

The documents and recordings of the candidates will be assessed by the Qualification Committee consisting of: Lech Dudzik (outstanding sound engineer), Janusz Olejniczak, Piotr Paleczny, Katarzyna Popowa-Zydroń and Wojciech Świtała (members of the Jury of the Competition). Until 9 March 2020 we will know the names of 160 pianists selected by the Committee, who will be invited for the Preliminaries of the 18th Chopin Competition. The preliminaries will take place in Warsaw on 17–28 April 2020, and as the result of them 80 participants of the Competition, starting on 2 October, will be chosen.

The Competition is organised by The Fryderyk Chopin Institute, under patronage of PKN ORLEN, and Totalizator Sportowy, the owner of Lotto brand, will be its Main Partner.

More info on: https://chopin2020.pl/en

The Chopin Bench, Havana, Cuba

I have been idly reading through my detailed accounts of the previous 2015 and 2010 International Fryderyk Chopin Piano Competitions in Warsaw. Interesting to reflect on how the careers of some of these young artists have developed internationally and some have not. 

Also to speculate once again on the approach to the music of Chopin in 2020 as we drift in time further and further from the source of his music. Have my reflections changed? Well, not a great deal...but you may disagree completely! We all have our own Chopin and will defend it to the death!

Would make such an interesting debate how young pianists in this technological age of distraction conceive of the sensibility and cultural context of the music of Chopin. Has modern technology, however miraculous, suffocated the romantic sensibility and love of poetry, literature and reading - the inspiration of so much music of the Romantic period ? We cannot leave everything up to the academics and musicologists at conferences!

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Here is my detailed account of the 2015 XVII International Fryderyk Chopin Piano Competition


Also if you are terribly keen on the historical record and tracing the development of particular pianists over the last ten years, I wrote this detailed account of the 2010 XVI International Fyderyk Chopin Piano Competition.


and my final thoughts



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