"The preliminaries for the competition were an absolute priority," noted Joanna Bokszczanin, head of the Chopin Competition Office at the Fryderyk Chopin National Institute.

 

"This event has been awaited for over a year by 163 pianists from over 30 countries. It's a really big group of young people and we feel we have to identify as soon as possible eighty entrants for the main competition, which we hope will take place in October,” she pointed out.

 

It turned out, as Joanna Bokszczanin says, that the vast majority of pianists are ready, despite various restrictions, to come to Warsaw in July, to perform live in front of the jury and - hopefully - also in front of the audience. Of the 163 pianists, only six cancelled their participation in the preliminaries.

 

All the jurors of the Chopin 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 Competition jurors, however, prefer the traditional way of judging, based on live auditions. After a long, multi-stakeholder consultation and analysis of the situation, we rejected the online hearing formula," points out Bokszczanin. 

 

"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.

 

According to the organizers, the pianists' performances during the preliminaries are to be held with the participation of the audience.

 

"We are going to implement all possible procedures that should minimize the risk of infection and which we are currently working on, not only for the jurors but also for the participants of the eliminations and the audience,” says Bokszczanin.

 

The preliminaries for the Chopin 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.