“We enter 2021 full of hope that the COVID-19 pandemic will soon be contained. The past year has taught us to think humbly about our plans and intentions and has shown us how much hard work and patience it takes to combine a shared experience of beauty with responsibility. At the same time, it made us realize how important and inalienable part of our humanity is live music,” stresses Artur Szklener, Director of the Fryderyk Chopin Institute, the main organiser of the 18th International Fryderyk Chopin Piano Competition.

 

According to Joanna Bokszczanin, the Head of the Chopin Piano Competition Office at the Fryderyk Chopin Institute, the priorities now are the preliminaries. 

 

"Let's remember that 163 pianists from over 30 countries have been waiting for this event for over a year now. It's a really big group of young people and we feel it's our duty to identify as soon as possible the eighty participants in the main competition, which we hope will take place in October," she pointed out.

 

As Joanna Bokszczanin noted, it turned out that the vast majority of pianists were ready, despite various restrictions, to come to Warsaw in July, to present themselves live in front of the jury and, hopefully, also to the audience. Of the 163 pianists, only six cancelled their participation in the preliminaries.

 

All the jurors of the Chopin Piano Competition are perfectly familiar with the formula of online auditions. Many organizers of such significant events as the Queen Elisabeth Competition in Brussels, the Rubinstein Competition in Tel Aviv or the Leeds Competition decided to use this solution in the elimination phase this year.

 

"Most of the Chopin Piano Competition jurors, however, prefer the traditional way of judging, based on live auditions. After long, multilateral consultations and analysis of the situation, we rejected the formula of online hearings," Bokszczanin points out. 

 

"Through our interactions with participants, we know that most of them have a negative perception of playing only to the camera. It is a very difficult experience for young artists, which does not give them a chance to fully present their abilities," says Bokszczanin.

 

The preliminaries for the Chopin Piano Competition will be held from 12 to 23 July at the National Philharmonic in Warsaw.

 

The 18th International Fryderyk Chopin Piano Competition will run from 2 October to 23 October 2021.