76th International Chopin Festival in Duszniki-Zdrój, 6-14 August 2021

 Statement on the 76th Festival by the Artistic Director 
Piotr Paleczny

Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen,

I again have the honour to welcome all the magnificent and steadfast friends of the Duszniki Festival.

Today we inaugurate the Chopin Festival for the 76th time. Unfortunately, we again meet in Duszniki in conditions that only vaguely remind what we have become accustomed to over all these years. Just like a year ago, the festival we’ve prepared was ridden with massive uncertainty, amongst the dynamic changes of the pandemic, extreme emotions, and concerns, but also the hope that we will perhaps succeed with what we have found a highly risky task, at times downright unfeasible.

I hope that after a range of the necessary corrections of the previous assumptions, the festival will finally follow its final plan.

I would like to apologise for all the inconveniences, hindrances, and surprising situations that may occur due to the continuing pandemic. All the limitations and the necessary restrictions should and will be respected to guarantee complete safety for the audience, artists, and organisers. We count on your understanding and fully determined cooperation!

Despite a plethora of problems, I can assure you that the festival concerts will, as usually, be long remembered. It has become a tradition of the festival to open it, in the years of Chopin Competition, with the winner of its previous round. This year we will host the magnificent Korean pianist Seong-Jin Cho for the opening, and Eric Lu, another winner of the competition, who has recently added the 1st Prize at the exceedingly prestigious Leeds Piano Competition to the collection of his accolades, for the closing. After a few years’ absence, we will again welcome to Duszniki Alexander Kobrin, winner of the 3rd Prize of the 14th Chopin Competition, winner of the Van Cliburn, Busoni, and Hamamatsu competitions. Alexander Kobrin will also conduct the Master Classes at the festival with Professor Zbigniew Raubo.

On the 20th anniversary of death of the unforgettable Halina Czerny-Stefańska, we will witness a particularly emotional concert, and welcome her daughter, the dazzling harpsichordist, Elżbieta Stefańska, to the Chopin Manor.

The recitals of artists whose previous concerts in Duszniki we hold in our fond memories are highly likely to raise great interest. Antonio Pompa-Baldi, the Genova & Dimitrov duo, Martin James Bartlett, Nikita Mndoyants, and Daniel Ciobanu are the artists of the highest assay, performing in the most prestigious concert halls on all continents. There are also four artists coming to Duszniki-Zdrój for the first time. May I welcome this bevy of consummate pianists – Nicolas Namoradze, Sofia Gulyak, Shiori Kuwahara, and Maria Eydman – especially enthusiastically and warmly!

This year, the programme of our festival cannot fail to include Polish pianists, instilling hope in us before the approaching Chopin Competition. Keeping our fingers firmly crossed, let us wish them sincerely and eagerly all the success and artistic satisfaction this October.

Words of my sincere gratitude for assistance and kind-heartedness go to the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage and Sport, and my special thanks to the steadfastly unfailing Polish Radio 2, which will broadcast the festival as it always has.

For the time of the festival, the Duszniki Spa Park will again turn into a grand and beautiful concert hall, resounding with the music that will reach the furthest corners of the world thanks to the live online streams by Bydgoszcz-based Ros Media. I’d like to thank all the sponsors of the festival, the authorities of the city and the region, and the media, whose kindness and professionalism let us run our artistic and organisational tasks.

I thank all of you from the depth of my heart, Ladies and Gentlemen, for the kind smile and for the countless proofs of trust and support that the organisers of the festival have encountered, particularly in this especially difficult time!

May you experience the very best of health and the most beautiful emotions!

Piotr Paleczny

Profile of the Reviewer Michael Moran : https://en.gravatar.com/mjcmoran#pic-0

In the time of the dreaded Coronavirus, the visit by this immortal composer to Duszniki Zdrój (then Bad Reinerz in Silesia) seems almost appropriate! Of course Chopin himself was no stranger to pandemics, as cholera took Paris twice by the throat during his time there.

If you wish to read about the pandemics that Chopin lived through in Paris, I have done some research: 

Chopin in the Time of Cholera 

Most concerts will be streamed online and many broadcast by 
Polish Radio 2 (Dwojka)

Current List of Performers and their Programmes (in Polish)

6 August 2021


time. 20.00

Seong-Jin CHO
Opening Concert

August 7, 2021


time. 4 p.m.



Polish participants of the 18th Chopin Competition

time. 20.00




time. 4 p.m.



Polish participants of the 18th Chopin Competition

time. 20.00

Elżbieta STEFAŃSKA harpsichord

(on the 20th anniversary of Halina Czerny-Stefańska's death)



time. 4 p.m.



Polish participants of the 18th Chopin Competition

time. 20.00

Martin James BARTLETT



time. 4 p.m.

Alexander KOBRIN

time. 19.00

Opening of the exhibition of Wojciech Siudmak's drawings:

″ Nocturnes - Hommage a Chopin ″

(prepared by prof. Irena Poniatowska)

time. 22.00

NOKTURN - The host of the evening: Róża Światczyńska

August 11, 2021


time. 4 p.m.


time. 20.00


August 12, 2021


time. 11.00 a.m.

Concert of the participants of the 20th National Master Course for Pianists

time. 4 p.m.


time. 20.00


August 13, 2021


time. 11.00 a.m.

Concert of the participants of the 20th National Master Course for Pianists

time. 4 p.m.


time. 20.00


August 14, 2021


time. 12.00

Lecture by prof. Irena Poniatowska: ″ Chopin in poetry ″

time. 4:00 p.m.


time. 20:00

Eric LU

Final concert

XX National Master Course for Pianists in Duszniki-Zdrój
 (Master Class)

August 7-10, 2021 - prof. Zbigniew RAUBO
11-14.08.2021 - prof. Alexander KOBRIN






PIĄTEK, 6 SIERPNIA                                                               DWOREK CHOPINA

Godz. 20.00


                                       INAUGURACYJNY RECITAL FORTEPIANOWY


                                                    SEONG- JIN CHO


Leoš Janáček            Sonata   “1.X.1905“   es-moll  (1905-06)

(  1854-1928)                                                                                                  

                                     Predtucha -  (Przeczucie)

                                     Smrt  -  (Śmierć)


Karol Szymanowski     Maski op.34                                               (1915-1916)



                                        Błazen Tantris

                                        Serenada Don Juana




Fryderyk Chopin      Scherzo h-moll op.20          (1834-1835)

 (1810-1849)             Scherzo b-moll op.31          (1836-1837)

                                    Scherzo cis-moll  op.39       (1839)

                                    Scherzo E-dur op.54            (1842-1843)



SOBOTA, 7 SIERPNIA                                                           DWOREK CHOPINA




         Polscy uczestnicy XVIII Konkursu Pianistycznzego im. Fryderyka Chopina  


                                               PIOTR ALEXEWICZ


Fryderyk Chopin         Polonez fis-moll op.44     ( 1840-1841)

(1810-1849)                 Walc F-dur op.34 nr 3       ( 1838)

                                       Walc As-dur op.64 nr 3     (1847) 

                                       Rondo ā la Mazur F -dur op. 5   (1825-26)

                                       Ballada f-moll op.52    (1842-1843)




SOBOTA, 7 SIERPNIA                                                           DWOREK CHOPINA




                                                      ADAM KAŁDUŃSKI


Fryderyk Chopin      Polonez As-dur op.53   ( 1842-1843)

 (1810-1849)            Ballada f-moll op.52   (1842-1843)

                                    Mazurki op.50     (1841-1842)

                                    nr 1 G-dur

                                    nr 2 As-dur                        

                                    nr 3  cis-moll

                                    Barkarola Fis-dur op.60    (1845-46)


SOBOTA, 7 SIERPNIA                                                           DWOREK CHOPINA



                                                Recital   fortepianowy


                                                ANTONIO POMPA- BALDI


Ludwig van Beethoven   Sonata fortepianowa  C-dur op.52 “Waldsteinowska”

(1770-1827)                                                                                        ”(1803-1804)

                                             Allegro con brio

                                            Introduzione: Adagio molto

                                            Rondo. Allegretto Moderato - Prestissimo



Fryderyk Chopin           Sonata fortepianowa b-moll  op.35      (1837-1839)

(1810-1849)                    Grave doppio movimento


                                          Marche funebre

                                          Finale Presto       




Roberto Piana              “Glances on the Divine Comedy”       (2021)


                                           Częśc  I - INFERNO

                                               I. Mosé

                                             II. Cleopatra

                                             III. Cerbero

                                             IV. Fortuna

                                             V. Messo Celeste

                                             VI. Epicuro 

                                             VII. Arpie

                                             VIII. Penelope

                                              IX. Lucifero



Ferenc Liszt                       Années le pèlerinage. Deuxième année – Italie  ( 1849)

(1811-1886)                     “Après une lecture du Dante”  Fantasia quasi Sonata 

                                                                                                             (S 161/7 )



NIEDZIELA, 8 SIERPNIA                                                           DWOREK CHOPINA



           Polscy uczestnicy XVIII Konkursu Pianistycznzego im. Fryderyka Chopina 




                                             JAKUB KUSZLIK


Fryderyk Chopin              Fantazja f-moll op.49  (1841)


                                           Mazurki op.30       ( 1836-1837)

                                             nr 1   c-moll

                                             nr 2   h-moll

                                             nr 3   Des-dur

                                             nr 4    cis-moll


                                        Nokturn E-dur op.62 nr 2   (1846)

                                        Polonez fis-moll op.44      (1840-1841)    





                                                KAMIL PACHOLEC 


Fryderyk Chopin         Rondo Es-dur op.16 (1833)

(1810-1849)                 Mazurki op.30       ( 1836-1837)

                                             nr 1   c-moll

                                             nr 2   h-moll

                                             nr 3   Des-dur

                                             nr 4    cis-moll

                                         Nokturn Des-dur op.27 nr 2 (1835)

                                         Walce  op.64     (1847)

                                           nr 1  Des-dur  

                                           nr 2 cis-moll

                                           nr 3  As- dur

                                           Scherzo b-moll op.31  (1836-1837)





NIEDZIELA, 8 SIERPNIA                                                       DWOREK CHOPINA



                                                  Recital  klawesynowy


                                                     ELŻBIETA STEFAŃSKA 


                                   (w  20. rocznicę śmierci Haliny  Czerny Stefańskiej )


François Couperin      II Księga Pièces de Clavecin,   Ordre XI 

(1668 – 1733 )                                                                        (1716)


- Les fastes de  la grande et ancienne  Mxnxstrxndxsx


- Premier Acte:   Les Notables, et Jurés -Mxnxstrxndxsx


 - Second Acte:  Premier Air de Viele, Les Viéleux, et les Gueux. Second Aire de Viele


- Troisième Acte:  Les Jongleurs, Sauteurs et Saltimbanques: avec les Ours et les Singes


- Quatrième Acte:  Les Invalides: ou gens Estropiés au service de la grande Mxnxstrxndxsx


- Cinquième Acte:  Désordre, et déroute de toute la troupe: causés par les Yvrognes, les Singes, et les Ours




Antoine Forqueray -         Suita  nr 5    ( pierwsza publikacja 1747)

 (1672-1745)                                    La Rameau

                                                        La Guignon

                                                        La Léon. Sarabande

                                                        La Boisson

                                                        La Montigni

                                                        La Sylva



Claude-Bénigne Balbastre   17  Utworów  na klawesyn 

 (1724-1799)                                              (pierwsza publikacja 1759)

                                               nr 2   La d'Hericourt

                                              nr 12  La Suzanne

                                              nr 14  La Malesherbe. Ariette Gracieuse





Jan Sebastian Bach     Preludium c-moll     BWV 921      (1713)

(1685-1750)                   Fantazja   g-moll     BWV 917      (1710)                              

                                      Preludium h-moll     BWV 923      (1725)

                                      Fantazja   a-moll      BWV 922      (1710-1714)


Wilhelm Friedemann Bach      12  Polonezów       (1765-1775)

 (1710-1784)                             Polonez nr 4  d-moll

                                                  Polonez nr 9  F-dur



Wojciech Żywny        Polonez C-dur nr 3



Michał Kleofas Ogiński          Polonez  f-moll

 (1765-1833)                           Polonez  d-moll

                                               Polonez   a-moll "Pożegnanie Ojczyzny"




Mariusz Dubaj           Polonez A-dur "Powitanie Ojczyzny" (2019)

(ur.1959)                         dedykowany  Elżbiecie Stefańskiej


Józef Elsner              Rondo á la Krakowiak B-dur  (1803)






PONIEDZIAŁEK,  9 SIERPNIA                                                       DWOREK CHOPINA



Polscy uczestnicy XVIII Konkursu Pianistycznzego im. Fryderyka Chopina 




                                                PIOTR PAWLAK


Ludwig  van Beethoven   Bagatele op.126                  (1824)

(1770-1827)                        Andante con moto, cantabile e con piacevole


                                               Andante, cantabile ed espressivo   


                                               Quasi  allegretto

                                               Presto – Andante amabile  e con moto


Fryderyk Chopin              Sonata fortepianowa b-moll op.35

(1810-1849)                      Grave- Doppio movimento


                                            Marche funèbre

                                            Finale. Presto






                                                    ANDRZEJ WIERCIŃSKI


Fryderyk Chopin                 Mazurki op.24             (1833-1835)

 (1810-1849)                         nr 1 g-moll        

                                                nr 2 C-dur

                                                nr 3 As-dur

                                                nr 4 b-moll


                                               Ballada f-moll op.52     (1842-1843)


                                               Sonata fortepianowa  h-moll op.58      (1844)

                                               Allegro maestoso

                                               Scherzo. Molto vivace


                                               Finale. Presto non tanto




PONIEDZIAŁEK  9 SIERPNIA                                                       DWOREK CHOPINA



                                                   Recital fortepianowy


                                                 MARTIN JAMES  BARTLETT


Jan Sebastian Bach       Das Orgel -Büchlein :  Preludium chorałowe :

(1685 -1750)                  Ich ruf zu dir , Herr Jesu Christ  BWV 639  (1708-1717)

/- Ferruccio Busoni                                                            




Jan Sebastian Bach         Chorał z 147 kantaty:  “Herz und Mund und Tat   

/-Myra Hess                                              und  Leben   BWV 147                 (1723)



Jean- Philippe Rameau         Suita a-moll   RCT 5      (pierwsza  publikacja  1727)   (1683-1764)                          -  Gavotte et six doubles



Józef Haydn             Sonata  fortepianowa As-dur  nr 31  Hob. XVI:46     (1767-70)

 (1732-1809)                              Allegro moderato


                                                     Finale.  Presto






Sergiusz Rachmaninow         Preludia op. 32        (1910)

(1873-1943)                             nr 10  h-moll

                                                    nr 5    G-dur

                                                    nr 12  gis-moll


Fryderyk Chopin        Nokturn Des-dur op.27 nr 2  ( 1835)



Ryszard Wagner             Tristan i Izolda - Śmierć Izoldy  WWV. 90   (1859)


/-Ferenc Liszt



Maurice  Ravel                    La Valse  M. 72  (1919-1920)






WTOREK, 10 SIERPNIA                                                                 DWOREK CHOPINA


                                                          Recital fortepianowy


                                                            ALEXANDER KOBRIN


Ludwig van Beethoven      Sonata fortepianowa As-dur op.26  (1800-1801)

(1770-1827)                          Andante con variazioni

                                                Scherzo. Allegro molto

                                                Marcia funebre sulla morte d`un eroe.

                                                                                     Maestoso Andante



Fryderyk Chopin                    Fantazja f-moll op.49  (1841)

(1810-1849)                            Kołysanka  Des-dur op.57  (1844)

                                                  Barkarola Fis-dur op.60  (1845-1846)




Modest Musorgski              Obrazki  z wystawy         (1847)



                                      Stary Zamek .Promenada.Tuileries.

                                      Bydło.Promenada.Taniec kurcząt

                                      w skorupkach. Samuel Goldenberg i Szmul.

                                      Promenada.Rynek w Limoges.Katakumby.

                                      Z umarłymi w języku umarłych.Chatka na

                                      kurzej stopce.Wielka Brama Kijowska.




Godz.19.00                                                HOTEL  „IMPRESJA”       

Wernisaż wystawy  rysunków Wojciecha Siudmaka :

 „Nokturny  – Hommage ā Chopin”  ( komentarz prof. Irena Poniatowska)




Godz.22.00                                                      DWOREK CHOPINA


                                                      “  NOKTURN “


Koncert przy świecach  z udziałem uczestników 76. Międzynarodowego Festiwalu  Chopinowskiego w Dusznikach-Zdroju i pedagogów

                          XX Mistrzowskiego Kursu Pianistycznego


                            Prowadzenie     RÓŻA   ŚWIATCZYŃSKA



                       Szczegółowy program zostanie podany podczas koncertu



ŚRODA, 11 SIERPNIA                                                                   DWOREK CHOPINA



                                              Recital fortepianowy


                                             NICOLAS  NAMORADZE 


Jan Sebastian Bach      Die Kunst der Fuge - Contrapunctus VI BWV 1080

(1685-1750)                                                                                            (1749)


Nicolas Namoradze     Etiudy ( wybór)    (2015-2017)



Fryderyk Chopin               Kołysanka Des-dur op.57          (1844)



Jan Sebastian Bach/         Das Orgel -Büchlein :   Preludium chorałowe:      

Ferruccio Busoni               „ Ich ruf zu dir, Herr  Jesu Christ „   BWV 639   

( 1866-1924  )                                                                   (1708-1717)


Ferenc Liszt                          Totentanz   S.525




Jan Sebastian Bach    Die Kunst der Fuge: Contrapunctus VII  BWV 1080

(1685-1750)                                                                                            (1749)


Sergiusz Rachmaninow  Sonata fortepianowa nr 1 d-moll op.28  (1907)

(1873-1943)                       Allegro moderato


                                             Allegro molto



ŚRODA, 11 SIERPNIA                                                                   DWOREK CHOPINA


                                                 Recital fortepianowy


                                                  Nikita MNDOYANTS 


Ludwig van Beethoven    15 Wariacji i fuga Es-dur op.35 „Eroica”

 (1770-1827)                                                                                  (1802)


Fryderyk Chopin                  Ballada f-moll op.52     (1842-1843)




Nikita Mdoyants                   Nokturn  

(ur. 1989)


Johannes Brahms                Sonata nr 3 f-moll op.5        (1853)

(1833-1897)                          Allegro maestoso

                                                Andante espressivo

                                                Scherzo Allegro energico -Trio

                                                Intermezzo. Andante molto

                                                Finale. Allegro moderato ma rubato


CZWARTEK, 12  SIERPNIA                                                  HOTEL “ IMPRESJA”




         Koncert aktywnych uczestników  XX  Mistrzowskiego  Kursu

                          Pianistycznego w Dusznikach- Zdroju



CZWARTEK, 12  SIERPNIA                                                       DWOREK CHOPINA



                                                Recital fortepianowy


                                              MARIA EYDMAN


Fryderyk Chopin               Etiuda F-dur op.10 nr 8  (1829-1832)




Ludwig van Beethoven  Sonata fortepianowa F-dur op.10 nr 2   (1796-1798)

(1770-1827)                       Allegro




Ludwig van Beethoven     32 Wariacje c-moll na temat własny WoO 80 (1806)


Béla Bartók                           Sonata Sz.80                                                       (1926)

(1881-1945)                           Allegro moderato

                                                 Sostenuto e pesante

                                                 Allegro molto


György Ligeti                         Etiudy , zeszyt I    (1985)

  (1923-2006)                         nr 6 “Autumn in Warsaw”                                                    




Sergiusz Rachmaninow          Etudes – Tableaux op.39    (1916-17)

(1873-1943)                              nr 1  c-moll  Allegro agitato

                                                     nr 2  a-moll   Lento assai

                                                     nr 4  h-moll   Allegro assai

                                                     nr 8  d-moll   Allegro moderato

                                                     nr 3  fis-moll  Allegro molto


Aleksander Skriabin                Sonata nr 2, op.19          (1898)

 (1871-1915)                              Andante



Fryderyk Chopin                      Andante spianato  Wielki Polonez Es dur.op.22





CZWARTEK, 12  SIERPNIA                                                         DWOREK CHOPINA

Godz. 20.00


                                               Recital fortepianowy


                                               DANIEL  CIOBANU


Robert Schumann            Kreisleriana op.16                (1838)

(1810-1856)                       Äusserst bewegt

                                             Sehr innig und nicht zu rasch

                                             Sehr aufgeregt

                                             Sehr langsam

                                             Sehr lebhaft

                                             Sehr langsam

                                             Sehr rasch

                                             Schnell und spielend




Fryderyk  Chopin             Scherzo b-moll op.31     (1836-1837)



Dan Dediu                           Les barricades mysterieuses (2006) 

(ur. 1967)         


Sergiusz Prokofiew         Sonata fortepianowa nr 7 B-dur op.83 “Stalingrad”

(1891-1953)                                                                              (1939-1942)

                                            Allegro inquieto

                                            Andante caloroso



PIĄTEK,13  SIERPNIA                                                     HOTEL  “IMPRESJA”




         Koncert aktywnych uczestników  XX  Mistrzowskiego  Kursu

                          Pianistycznego w Dusznikach- Zdroju



Godz.16.00                                                                        DWOREK CHOPINA


                                         Recital fortepianowy


                                            SHIORI KUWAHARA


Ludwig van Beethoven  Sonata fortepianowa  As-dur op.110   (1821)

(1770-1827)                       Moderato cantabile molto espressivo

                                             Allegro molto

                                             Adagio ma non troppo

                                                           Arioso dolente

                                                           Fuga Allegro ma non troppo


Franciszek Schubert            Fantazja C- dur  ’Wanderer”   D. 760 (1822)

( 1797-1828)                          Allegro con fuoco ma non troppo







Jan Sebastian Bach                 Chaconne z II Partity d-moll na skrzypce  solo

(1685 -1750)                             BWV 1004                                         (1720)

/-Ferruccio Busoni        



Ferruccio Busoni             Cykl  Elegie:   nr 7  "Kołysanka"  (1909)


Igor Strawiński                   Pietruszka K 12 (1910-1911)

(1882- 1971)                       Taniec  rosyjski

                                            U Pietruszki




PIĄTEK, 13 SIERPNIA                                                                DWOREK CHOPINA

Godz.20.00                            Recital  fortepianowy


                                              GENOVA & DIMITROV PIANO-DUO


                                            “Rachmaninoff Happening “


Sergiusz Rachmaninow      -  Fantazja “Urwisko” op.7 na fortepian na  4 ręce   

(  1873-1943)                                                                                                   (1893)


                                                 -  6 utworów op.11 na fortepiano na 4 ręce 




                                                              Temat rosyjski







Sergiusz Rachmaninow      Tańce symfoniczne  op.45  na 2 fortepiany  (1940)

                                                            Non  Allegro

                                                            Andante con moto. Tempo di Valse

                                                            Lento assai – Allegro vivace




SOBOTA, 14 SIERPNIA                                                     HOTEL  “IMPRESJA”



                        Wykład prof.  IRENY PONIATOWSKIEJ: “ Chopin w poezji “



Godz.16.00                                                                   DWOREK CHOPINA


                                                 Recital fortepianowy


                                                         SOFYA GULYAK


Jan Sebastian Bach                 Chaconne z II Partity d-moll na skrzypce  solo

(1685 -1750)                                   BWV 1004                                             ( 1720 )

/Ferruccio Busoni



Johannes Brahms             6 utworów na fortepian op.118     ( 1893)

(1833-1897)                       nr 1  Intermezzo a-moll

                                              nr 2  Inremezzo  A- dur  

                                              nr 3 Ballada g-moll

                                              nr 6  Intermezzo  es-moll 


Fryderyk Chopin    Wariacje B-dur op.12  na temat  “Je vends des scapulaires “

(1810-1849)             z opery “Ludovic” F.Hérolda  i F.E. Halévy` ego      (1833)





César Franck             Preludium, fuga i wariacje h-moll op.18    (1860-1862)                                                                                                                                                                                   

 (1822-1890)                Prélude. Andantino


                                       Fugue. Allegretto  ma non troppo

                                       Variation. Andantino


Ryszard Wagner                    Tristan i Izolda- Śmierć Izoldy  WWV.90  (1859)


/Ferenc Liszt



Maurice Ravel                    La Valse  M.72   (1919-1920)




Godz.20.00                                                                     DWOREK CHOPINA



                                      FINAŁOWY RECITAL FORTEPIANOWY


                                                            ERIC LU


Franciszek Schubert     Sonata fortepianowa a -moll D.784   (1823)

 (1779-1828)                     Allegro giusto


                                            Allegro  vivace


Fryderyk Chopin           Nokturn c-moll op.48 nr 1      (1841)


                                         Andante spianato i  Wielki Polonez Es-dur op 22





Franciszek Schubert      Sonata fortepianowa A-dur D.959      (1828)



                                            Scherzo . Allegro vivace -Trio. Un poco piu lento

                                            Rondo. Allegretto  




                               W DUSZNIKACH-ZDROJU


                         SALA KAMERALNA IM.JANA WEBERA



                                        Prof. ZBIGNIEW RAUBO




Godz.10.00- 13.30


                                        Prof. ALEXANDER KOBRIN 

  Past Festival Posts

The 75th Duszniki Zdroj International Chopin Piano Festival 2020

The 74th Duszniki Zdroj International Chopin Piano Festival 2019
The 73rd Duszniki Zdroj International Chopin Piano Festival 2018

The 72nd Duszniki Zdroj International Chopin Piano Festival 2017

The 71st Duszniki Zdroj International Chopin Piano Festival 2016

The 70th Duszniki Zdroj International Chopin Piano Festival 2015

The 69th Duszniki Zdroj International Chopin Piano Festival 2014  

The 68th Duszniki Zdroj International Chopin Piano Festival 2013

The 67th Duszniki Zdroj International Chopin Piano Festival 2012

The 66th. Duszniki Zdroj International Chopin Piano Festival 2011

The 65th. Duszniki Zdroj International Chopin Piano Festival 2010
A modicum of the 'ancient' history of Duszniki Zdrój

Part of the way through his studies Joseph Elsner recommended that Chopin ‘take the waters’ or 'go into rehab' not far from where Elsner was born in the small Silesian spa of Bad Reinerz (now Duszniki Zdrój). Originally on the Prussian-Bohemian frontier, the village is now in the south-west of Poland on the border with the Czech Republic. Frycek’s studies and intense partying into the small hours during his third and final year at the Liceum had begun to affect his health. He was a bit of a 'party animal' was Frycek! In his youth he was not the melancholic consumptive of popular myth at all. The virtuosic youthful exuberance of the concertos, rondos and variations reflect this freedom from care.
Headaches and swollen glands necessitated the application of leeches to his neck. The family doctors (there were a number) agreed his condition might possibly be serious. The idea gained in popularity with the Skarbeks of Żelazowa Wola (Countess Ludwika herself was suffering from tuberculosis) and three family groups set off at intervals on the arduous 450 km journey by carriage from Warsaw to Bad Reinerz over rough roads serviced by indifferent accommodation. The route they took through pine forests and agricultural country now passes through industrialized towns.

Frycek arrived at Duszniki Zdrój on 3 August 1826 spending a day en route at Antonin in the honey-coloured timber hunting lodge of Prince Antoni Radziwiłł, respected scion of one of the wealthiest Polish magnate families. He was a fine cellist, composer and singer. This delightful octagonal lodge is built in a beautiful region of forests and lakes. On a later visit he wrote ‘There were two young Eves in this paradise, the exceptionally courteous and good princesses, both musical and sensitive beings.’ Of Wanda Radziwiłł   ‘She was young, 17 years old, and truly pretty, and it was so nice to put her little fingers on the right notes.’ While a guest Chopin wrote a Polonaise for piano and cello - ‘brilliant passages, for the salon, for the ladies’.

Chopin sketched by Eliza Radziwill at Antonin en route to Duszniki Zdroj 1826.

Duszniki as a treatment centre has not greatly changed. Tuberculosis has however thankfully disappeared. The Spa Park and the town nestle in the peaceful mountain river valley of the tumbling Bystrzyca Dusznicka. Fresh pine woods flourish on the slopes and the moist micro-climate is wonderfully refreshing. Carefully stepping invalids negotiate the shaded walks that radiate across the park between flowering shrubs, fountains and lawns.
                                                                                     The Spa Park at Duszniki Zdrój

Many famous artists visited Duszniki in the nineteenth century including the composer Felix Mendelssohn. In times past the regimented cures began at the ungodly hour of 6 a.m. when people gathered at the well heads. The waters at the Lau-Brunn (now the Pienawa Chopina or Chopin’s Spa) were dispensed by girls with jugs fastened to the ends of poles who also distributed gingerbread to take away the horrible taste (not surprisingly it was considered injurious to lean towards the spring and breathe in the carbon dioxide and methane exhalations).

In a possibly apochryphal story, Chopin was reputed to have developed an affection for a poor ‘girl of the spring’ named Libusza. One tragic day Lisbusza’s father was crushed to death by an iron roller (perhaps in the nearby Mendelssohn iron mill) and she and her brothers were made orphans. Most likely it was a charity concert for the orphaned children after the loss of their father to illness. In his generous way ‘Chopinek’ or 'Frycek' to his family (an affectionate Polish diminutive of his name) wanted to assist the family and his mother suggested giving a benefit recital. Despite the lack of a decent instrument he agreed and in August 1826 gave two of his first public concerts in a small hall in the town. 

Since 1946 this event has been celebrated every August in a week-long International Chopin Piano Festival, the oldest piano music festival in Poland and indeed the world. I have made a point of attending it as often as I can. An original building near where he played has been converted into the charming Dworek Chopina, an intimate concert room. Many of the finest pianists in the world, established artists and even child prodigies including past winners of the always controversial Fryderyk Chopin International Piano Competition have appeared in these Elysian surroundings.

The Duszniki festival attempts to maintain the intimate nature of the salon and the piano music is not restricted to Chopin. During the day there is time to walk in the peace of the surrounding pine-clad mountains, ‘take the waters’ if you dare or visit splendid castles in the nearby Czech lands. Eccentric characters regularly appear there: the ‘Texan’ Pole who wears cowboy boots, Florida belts and Stetson hats of leopard-skin or enameled in blue, maroon or green. ‘I jus’ love it here but I jus’ hate that goddam music!’ (recitals are broadcast through loudspeakers over the Spa Park); the ethereal girl with the swan neck who seems to have stepped directly from a fête galant by Antoine Watteau; an elderly musician with long grey hair and wearing a voluminous silk cravat materializes and then disappears. 

Sviatoslav Richter (far left) on the steps of the Dworek Chopina 
at the 
1965 Duszniki Zdroj Festival

In the past I have experienced many remarkable musical moments at Duszniki. Grigory Sokolov, arguably the greatest living pianist, gave a magisterial performance of that radical composition the Chopin Polonaise-Fantasie. He profoundly recreated the tragic instability of Chopin’s disintegrating world during his final years. The Ukrainian pianist Alexander Gavrylyuk returned to the piano after an horrific car accident that threatened to leave him permanently incapacitated. He has gone on to great things internationally. His theatrical temperament, musical passion and truly astounding virtuosity never fail to astonish.

The soulful young Russian Igor Levit is deeply involved with the music of Schumann. He movingly reminded the audience of the genesis of the Geistervariationen (Ghost Variations) written when the composer was on the brink of suicide in a mental institution. After completing the final variation Schumann fell forever silent. The great Liszt super-virtuoso Janina Fialkowska, a true inheritor of the nineteenth century late Romantic school of pianism, courageously returned to the platform here after her career was brought to a dramatic and terrifying halt by the discovery of a tumour in her left arm. Daniil Trifonov utterly possessed by the spirit of Mephistopheles in the greatest performance of the Liszt Mephisto Waltz No:1 I have ever heard. The moments continue...

One remarkable late evening event of the festival is called Nokturn and takes place by candlelight. The audience in evening dress are seated at candlelit tables with wine. A learned Polish professor and Chopin specialist such as the wonderful Polish musicologist Professor Irena Poniatowska might draw our attention to this or that ‘deep’ musical aspect of the Chopin Preludes or perhaps the influence of Mozart on the composer. Sometimes it is a famous actor, music critic, or journalist. The pianists ‘illustrate’ and perform on Steinways atmospherically lit by flickering candelabra.

In spite of the immense popularity of Chopin, this festival manages to recapture the essentially private and esoteric experience of his music, an experience one might consider had been lost forever.

I will be keeping my detailed blog of the pianists as I normally do for this unique festival. I always keenly anticipate coming to the small Polish spa town. One can walk in the morning in the invigorating pine-forested mountains of the former Silesian spa Bad Reinerz or attend a Master Class followed by a late afternoon and evening recital. Of course each day one approaches in trepidation the Chopin Spring to take the smelly waters with a draught from the traditional spouted ceramic drinking cup.

The festival offers one rare moments of bliss and oblivion to escape the constant news of the unhinged, economically fraught and increasingly brutal violence and political trauma in this world of ours. Now the pandemic...

Detail from the wall decoration of the remarkable 17th century paper mill that survives in Duszniki Zdroj. This building is unique in Europe. It is a fascinating place to visit.

Introduction to the History of the Festival 


The much missed Polish musicologist, academic, music critic, music journalist and essayist who died on 25 March 2019 

Stanisław Dybowski

When, in 1946, Ignacy Potocki, a co-founder of the Lower Silesian Health Resorts, proposed that a music festival named after Frédéric Chopin be held in Duszniki-Zdrój, nobody thought that that annual event would continue for the next seventy-one years. It has, indeed, continued without interruptions until today, rendering famous the name of the Polish genius and his music, as well as the health resort, at the same time enlarging the output of the global musical culture. 

It all started very modestly, amid still strong memories of World War II that had ended only a year before. The two-day Chopin celebration was inaugurated with a solemn ceremony (25 August), during which a plaque commemorating Frédéric Chopin’s stay at the resort was un- veiled, followed by a recital by one of the greatest Polish female piano players, a magnificent Chopin expert, Zofia Rabcewiczowa (1870– 1947). In the interval during her concert Paulina Czernicka familiarised the present with the content of unknown letters sent by Chopin to Delfina Potocka, which twenty years later turned out to be … apocrypha. On the next day (26 August), at the concert hall of the Spa House, the audience listened to a performance by Henryk Sztompka (1901–1964), also one of the foremost Chopin experts. At the time Duszniki-Zdrój witnessed an encounter between two heirs of the great traditions of Ignacy Jan Paderewski (Sztompka) and Antoni Rubinstein (Rabcewiczowa). They performed exclusively compositions by the patron of the 1st festival. Interpretations of both pianists, including those, among other works, Sonata in H minor and selected études (Rabcewiczowa), as well as mazurkas, preludes and nocturnes (Sztompka), are now part of Chopin performance history. Those present at the concerts claim that they have never heard those works performed better… 

Initially, the festival programme included only Chopin’s music performed by Polish artists. With time, however, the repertoire began to be extended with works by other Polish composers of Chopin’s period. Gradually, in subsequent years, pieces by foreign artists were added and the performers began to include laureates, and then participants, of the International Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw. Thus, the event was becoming a forum of the world piano performance. For many artists, even those renowned, performing Chopin’s music on the Duszniki-Zdrój stage is an important point in their musical career. 

The event has witnessed concerts by the greatest piano masters. The already dead ones include legendary Raul Koczalski, Witold Małcużyński, Stefan Askenazy, Władysław Kędra, Paweł Lewiecki, Stanisław Szpinalski, Zbigniew Drzewiecki, Jan Ekier, Halina Czerny-Stefańska, Regina Smendzianka, Zbigniew Szymonowicz, Barbara Hesse-Bukowska, Jerzy Lefeld, Klara Langer-Danecka, Tadeusz Żmudziński, Miłosz Magin and others, while the foreign ones  e.g. Louis Kentner, František Rauch, Malcolm Frager and Stanislav Neuhaus. Many have made their debut in Duszniki-Zdrój, where they embarked on their international careers, including Adam Harasiewicz, Piotr Paleczny, Janusz Olejniczak, Krystian Zimerman, Ewa Pobłocka or Wojciech Świtała. It is with great sentiment that we remember, until today, the magnificent recitals by Paul Badura-Skoda, Michael Ponti, Joaquin Achucarro, Philippe Entremont, Dang Thai Son, Fou Ts’ong, Eugen Indjic, Cyprien Katsaris, Christian Zacharias and Kevin Kenner, among others. It was also here that the Festival’s artistic director, Piotr Paleczny, had his great successes. 

Today the International Chopin Piano Festival in Duszniki-Zdrój is the world’s oldest Chopin festival and oldest piano festival. The originally modest event dedicated to Chopin has, after years of beautiful development, become a unique occasion. It is very often the centre of the world piano art, a place where aesthetical canons in music are built, performance trends are created and artistic careers are launched. 

Since 1993, i.e. the 48th Festival, the artistic supervision over the event is exercised by Professor Piotr Paleczny, who himself comes from a beautiful Chopin tradition. 

As is well known, Chopin’s favourite student was Karol Mikuli (1819–1897), whose outstanding pupils included Aleksander Michałowski (1851–1938). Aleksander Michałowski was, in turn, a professor of Stefania Allina (1895–1988), who taught Piotr Paleczny… 

The Chopin tradition does not end with Paleczny though. It is now continued by his students, who win prizes at international competitions and music reviews, and is further developed by the festival that it shapes. In Duszniki-Zdrój we have the opportunity to meet the most brilliant young pianists from around the world and, at the same time, experience the art of famous performers, whose names give prominence to every festival. It is often here that music lovers are able to listen to a laureate of an international piano competition that was concluded only a few days earlier!

The characteristic feature of Duszniki-Zdrój concerts is their high level and varied programme. Although Chopin’s music remains the core of the repertoire, it is supplemented with works by other composers, creating in various styles and various periods of history. Some pieces may be heard several times, which provides an excellent opportunity to compare their interpretations, ways in which the same text has been read, demonstrations of hitherto undiscovered layers in music… Even though piano music is still the main feature in Duszniki-Zdrój, Chopin’s chamber pieces are not neglected by Piotr Paleczny. Therefore, we are able to listen to his songs, cello works, a piano trio and transcriptions by various authors of the composer’s brilliant works.

A beautiful tradition, initiated by Paleczny, are open lectures and talks on Chopin’s piano art, delivered by outstanding Chopin experts and piano performance researchers, as well as master interpretation classes for selected, talented young musicians, conducted by world-re- nowned professors and famous pianists.

At the beginning of August every year Duszniki-Zdrój becomes the Chopin centre, attracting music lovers from around the world, young musicians, music critics, art critics and all those who care about Chopin. The multilingual noise in Spa Park clearly indicates where Chopin is being celebrated and where his beloved instrument is being played…
Felix Mendelssohn at Duszniki Zdró1823

I often walk to to what is now the rehabilitation centre of Stalowy Zdrój on the outskirts of Duszniki and familiarize myself with the Felix Mendelssohn connections with the spa.

The iron ore deposits of what was known as Bad Reinerz (now Duszniki Zdroj) and its surroundings have been exploited since the beginning of the 15th century. Protestant miners emigrated here during the religious turmoil of the Thirty Years War when mining was established at the end of the 17th century. A molten iron and a hammer mill was established in 1822 by Nathan Mendelssohn (an instrument maker). With his brother Joseph Mendelssohn's financial help he revived the mining industry. I have often wondered if it was at this mill that the the tragedy occurred for which Chopin gave his charity concert.

Joseph was a successful banker as well as being another uncle of the composer Felix Mendelssohn. The Mendelssohns were a wealthy and well-established Jewish family. However the iron company had no lasting success because of severe flood damage in 1827 and 1829. Nathan Mendelssohn abandoned the operation at the end of 1829. 

Felix Mendelssohn came to stay with his uncles in Duszniki in 1823 three years prior to Chopin's stay. A concert was held in Duszniki in which the main protagonist was the fourteen-year-old Mendelssohn. The young pianist did without the accompaniment of the semi-amateur ensemble that normally performed and decided to improvise solo on themes from Mozart and Weber to great acclaim.

I will leave you with some photographs of buildings still standing that resulted from my initial explorations.

The house stayed in by Felix Mendelssohn at Duszniki Zdroj in 1823

The commemorative plaque on the house
























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