Poland’s Chopin piano competition gets underway, after a pandemic-year gap

Posted on: October 5, 2021

“A gala concert on Saturday opened the 18th edition of the prestigious Frederic Chopin international piano competition, which was postponed by a year due to the coronavirus pandemic,” writes Monika Scislowska in Saturday’s (10/2) Associated Press. “The Oct. 2-23 competition was scheduled for October 2020, but authorities put the popular event off expecting that social distancing requirements would ban the usual crowds of fans from attending the auditions at the National Philharmonic in Warsaw. The competition in which only Chopin’s works are played is reputed for launching world careers for its winners and finalists…. The winner gets a gold medal and a prize of 40,000 euros ($45,000) and prestigious recording and concert contracts. The announcement of the winner is expected Oct. 20…. The 17-member international jury includes past winners and finalists…. Among past winners are [Martha] Argerich, Garrick Ohlsson from the United States, Poland’s Krystian Zimerman and Artur Blechacz and Seong-Jin Cho of South Korea. The inaugural concert Saturday featured Cho and other past finalists and winners … in piano works by Johann Sebastian Bach, Ludwig van Beethoven and Robert Schumann…. The auditions can be followed live on the Chopin Institute YouTube channel and on Polish state Radio channel.”