Thursday, December 2, 2021

The International Chopin Piano Competition approaches the winner

This undated photograph, provided by Jaroslaw Golebiowski, shows a restored portrait of the Polish composer Frederic Chopin.  A peeling portrait of Polish composer-pianist Frederic Chopin, bought at a flea market, hung modestly in a private home in Poland for nearly three decades before an expert dated the painting to the 19th century.  The small painting is now in a bank vault somewhere in eastern Poland, while its owners discuss their next steps.  News of the artwork's existence emerged this week when the 18th Frederic Chopin Piano Competition was held in Warsaw.  The art critic who researched the portrait said it was of significant historical value, but refrained from evaluating what it could be sold for.  (Yaroslav Golebovskiy via AP)

This undated photograph, provided by Jaroslaw Golebiowski, shows a restored portrait of the Polish composer Frederic Chopin. A peeling portrait of Polish composer-pianist Frederic Chopin, bought at a flea market, hung modestly in a private home in Poland for nearly three decades before an expert dated the painting to the 19th century. The small painting is now in a bank vault somewhere in eastern Poland, while its owners discuss their next steps. News of the artwork’s existence emerged this week when the 18th Frederic Chopin Piano Competition was held in Warsaw. The art critic who researched the portrait said it was of significant historical value, but refrained from evaluating what it could be sold for. (Yaroslav Golebovskiy via AP)

This undated photograph, provided by Jaroslaw Golebiowski, shows a restored portrait of the Polish composer Frederic Chopin. A peeling portrait of Polish composer-pianist Frederic Chopin, bought at a flea market, hung modestly in a private home in Poland for nearly three decades before an expert dated the painting to the 19th century. The small painting is now in a bank vault somewhere in eastern Poland, while its owners discuss their next steps. News of the artwork’s existence emerged this week when the 18th Frederic Chopin Piano Competition was held in Warsaw. An art critic who has researched the portrait says it has significant historical value, but refrained from evaluating what it could be sold for. (Yaroslav Golebovskiy via AP)

WARSAW, Poland (AP) – The International Fryderyk Chopin Piano Competition jury listened to the finalists on Wednesday in Warsaw before announcing the winner of the first prize of € 40,000 (US $ 45,000) at the prestigious world career launch event.

The jury will meet to discuss in the evening after the last four of the 12 finalists have played a Chopin Concerto with the orchestra during the day. The other eight finalists played on Monday and Tuesday.

The verdict is expected late at night at the National Philharmonic in Warsaw.

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Obeying their artistry, the 17-member jury allowed two more finalists this year than usual. The competition, held every five years, has been postponed for a year due to the pandemic.

Finalists – Leonora Armellini from Italy; Canadians Jay Jay Jun Li Bui and Bruce (Xiaoyu) Liu; Alexander Gadzhiev representing Italy and Slovenia; Martin Garcia Garcia from Spain; Eva Gevorgyan representing Russia and Armenia; Jakub Kushlik and Kamil Pacolec from Poland; Japanese Aimi Kobayashi and Kyohei Sorita; Hao Rao from China; and Hyuk Lee from South Korea.

Observers noted that the level of the competition this year was very high and stated that it was difficult to pick a favorite to win.

All of the finalists are “very outstanding artists,” said Alexander Laskovsky, a spokesman for the Frederic Chopin Institute, which organized the competition.

The winner will receive a gold medal and a financial prize from the President of Poland, as well as prestigious recording and concert contracts.

The second prize is € 30,000 (US $ 35,000), the third prize is € 20,000 (US $ 23,000) and the fourth prize is € 15,000 (US $ 17,000). There are also prizes for fifth, sixth and seventh place, as well as other awards for the finalists. , funded by the Polish government, music institutions and private sponsors.

Chopin, the most famous and beloved Polish composer and pianist of classical music, was born in 1810 in Zelazowa Wola near Warsaw to a Polish family and a French father. He left Poland at the age of 19 to continue his musical education in Vienna and then in Paris, where he settled, composing music, giving concerts and teaching the piano. He died on October 17, 1849 in Paris and is buried in the Pere Lachaise cemetery. His heart is in the Church of the Holy Cross in Warsaw.

The auditions can be followed live on the Chopin Institute’s YouTube channel and on Polish State Radio.

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