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Yulianna Avdeeva being awarded First Prize at the 2010 competition

The International Chopin Piano Competition (Polish: Międzynarodowy Konkurs Pianistyczny im. Fryderyka Chopina), often referred to as the Chopin Competition, is a prestigious piano competition held in Warsaw, Poland to honour the name of Frédéric Chopin. It was initiated in 1927 and has been held every five years since 1955. It is one of few competitions devoted entirely to the works of a single composer.

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A piano tuner's most basic tools: tuning hammer and rubber mutes

Piano tuning is the act of making minute adjustments to the tensions of the strings of a piano to properly align the intervals between their tones so that the instrument is in tune. The meaning of the term in tune in the context of piano tuning is not simply a particular fixed set of pitches. Fine piano tuning requires an assessment of the interaction among notes, which is different for every piano, thus in practice requiring slightly different pitches from any theoretical standard. Pianos are usually tuned to a modified version of the system called equal temperament (see Piano key frequencies for the theoretical piano tuning).

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A stack of piano rolls

A piano roll is the music storage medium used to operate the player piano, pianola or a reproducing piano. The piano roll was the first medium which could be produced and copied industrially and made it possible to provide the customer with actual music quickly and easily. A piano roll is a roll of paper with perforations (holes) punched in it. The position and length of the perforation determines the note played on the piano. The roll moves over a device known as the 'tracker bar', which first had 58 holes, was expanded to 65 and then was upgraded to 88 holes (generally, one for each piano key). When a perforation passes over the hole, the note sounds.

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Fortepiano by Paul McNulty after Walter & Sohn, ca. 1805

Fortepiano designates the early version of the piano, from its invention by the Italian instrument maker Bartolomeo Cristofori around 1700 up to the early 19th century. It was the instrument for which Haydn, Mozart, and the early Beethoven wrote their piano music. Starting in Beethoven's time, the fortepiano began a period of steady evolution, culminating in the late 19th century with the modern grand. The earlier fortepiano became obsolete and was absent from the musical scene for many decades. In the 20th century the fortepiano was revived, following the rise of interest in historically informed performance.

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Martha Argerich in 1962

Martha Argerich (born June 5, 1941) is an Argentine concert pianist. Her aversion to the press and publicity has resulted in her remaining out of the limelight for most of her career. Nevertheless she is widely recognized as one of the greatest modern-day pianists. Argerich rose to international prominence when she won the seventh International Frederic Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw in 1965, at age 24. One of her performances in that winning campaign was a defiantly confident reading of Chopin's Etude in C major (Op. 10, No. 1).

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Vladimir Horowitz

Vladimir Horowitz (October 1, 1903 – November 5, 1989) was a Russian-American classical virtuoso pianist and minor composer. His technique and use of tone color and the excitement of his playing were and remain legendary. He is widely considered one of the greatest pianists of the 20th century. Despite rapturous receptions at recitals, Horowitz became increasingly unsure of his abilities as a pianist. On several occasions, the pianist had to be pushed onto the stage. Several times, he withdrew from public performances. After his comeback in 1965 he gave solo recitals only rarely.

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Thelonious Monk in 1947

Thelonious Monk (October 10, 1917 – February 17, 1982) was an American jazz pianist and composer considered "one of the giants of American music". Monk had a unique improvisational style and made numerous contributions to the standard jazz repertoire, including "Epistrophy", "'Round Midnight", "Blue Monk", "Straight, No Chaser" and "Well, You Needn't". Monk is the second most recorded jazz composer after Duke Ellington, which is particularly remarkable as Ellington composed over 1,000 songs while Monk wrote about 70.

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Liberace in 1974

Liberace (May 16, 1919 – February 4, 1987) was a famous American entertainer and pianist. During the 1950s–1970s he was the highest-paid entertainer in the world. Trademarks of his syndicated TV show Liberace were joking and chatting to the camera, dramatic lighting, split images, costume changes, and exaggerated hand movements. Liberace also made significant appearances on other shows like The Ed Sullivan Show, the Edward R. Murrow program Person to Person and on the shows of Jack Benny and Red Skelton where he often parodied his own persona.

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Chopin in 1847

Frédéric Chopin (1 March 1810 – 17 October 1849) was a Polish composer, virtuoso pianist, and music teacher of French-Polish parentage. He was one of the great masters of Romantic music. All of Chopin's works involve the piano. They are technically demanding but emphasize nuance and expressive depth. Chopin invented the musical form known as the instrumental ballade and made major innovations to the piano sonata, mazurka, waltz, nocturne, polonaise, étude, impromptu and prélude.

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Portal:Piano/Selected article/10 Sviatoslav Richter (March 20, 1915 – August 1, 1997) was a Soviet pianist well known for the depth of his interpretations, virtuoso technique, and vast repertoire. He is widely considered one of the greatest pianists of the 20th century. Richter gave his first concerts outside the Soviet union in Czechoslovakia in 1950. He hated planning concerts years in advance, and in later years took to playing at very short notice in small, most often darkened halls, with only a lamp lighting the score. This setting was supposed to help the audience focus on the music being performed, rather than on irrelevant matters such as the performer's gestures.

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Arrau in 1974

Claudio Arrau León (February 6, 1903 – June 9, 1991) was a Chilean-American pianist known for his interpretations of a vast repertoire spanning from the baroque to 20th-century composers, especially Beethoven, Schubert, Chopin, Schumann, Liszt, Brahms and Debussy. He is widely considered one of the greatest pianists of the twentieth century. According to American critic Harold C. Schonberg, Arrau always put "a decidedly romantic piano tone in his interpretations".

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