Rafał Blechacz

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Rafał Blechacz
Rafal Blechacz.jpg
Background information
Born (1985-06-30) 30 June 1985 (age 29)  Poland
Occupations classical
Instruments piano

Rafał Blechacz (pronounced [ˈrafaw ˈblɛxat͡ʂ] ( ); born June 30, 1985 Nakło n. Notecią, Poland) is a Polish classical pianist.

Blechacz began piano lessons at the age of five, and enrolled in the National Arthur Rubinstein Music School in Bydgoszcz three years later.[1] In May 2007, he graduated from the Feliks Nowowiejski Music Academy in Bydgoszcz with professor Katarzyna Popowa-Zydroń. He won second prize at the Artur Rubinstein in Memoriam Piano Competition in Bydgoszcz in 2002, second prize at the 4th Hamamatsu International Piano Competition in 2003, and first prize at the International Piano Competition in Morocco in 2004.[2]

On October 21, 2005, he became the sole recipient of all five first prizes at the 15th International Frederick Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw, taking First Prize and the polonaise, mazurka, sonata, and concerto prizes. No other pianist has achieved this feat.[1] According to ABC News, one of the judges, Professor Piotr Paleczny, said that Blechacz "so outclassed the remaining finalists that no second prize could actually be awarded." Another judge, the distinguished Irish pianist John O'Conor, said "He is one of the greatest artists I have had a chance to hear in my entire life," according to PBS. Blechacz was the first Pole to win the prize (given every five years) since 1975, when Krystian Zimerman won.[3][4][5][6][7]

Blechacz signed a contract to record for Deutsche Grammophon on May 29, 2006. In addition to his 2005 debut album from CD Accord, he has released four albums under Deutsche Grammophon as of January 2013. He recorded with the Warsaw Philharmonic, led by Antoni Wit, for the Chopin Competition in 2005, and with the Concertgebouw, under Jerzy Semkow, for his album of the Chopin piano concertos in 2009. He has also performed with the Russian National Orchestra, the Tonhalle Orchestra, the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Philharmonia, the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra, and the Wiener Symphoniker.[2][8]

In 2014, Blechacz was named the 2014 Gilmore Artist.[9] He is the seventh individual to receive this award, and the second Polish pianist.[1]

Blechacz is currently a student at the Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń. He is pursuing a doctorate in philosophy with emphasis in aesthetics and the philosophy of music.[1]


  • Piano Recital - Schumann, Liszt, Debussy, Szymanowski, Chopin (2005)[10][11]
  • Chopin Preludes op. 28 & Nocturnes op. 62 (2007)[12]
  • Sonatas, Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven (2008)[13]
  • Chopin - Piano Concertos (2009)[14]
  • Debussy, Szymanowski (2012)[15]
  • Chopin Polonaises (2013)[16]


  1. ^ a b c d "Gilmore Artist Award". The Gilmore. Retrieved 8 January 2014. 
  2. ^ a b "Rafał Blechacz - Biography". Deutsche Grammophon. Retrieved 2013-01-13. 
  3. ^ "Polish star scoops piano honour". BBC. 2005-10-22. Retrieved 2007-09-29. 
  4. ^ "Polish Pianist Rafal Blechacz Wins Chopin International Piano Competition". Andante magazine. 2005-10-23. Retrieved 2007-09-29. 
  5. ^ "Polish pianist wins prestigious Chopin competition". ABC News. 2005-10-23. Retrieved 2010-03-01. 
  6. ^ Sisario, B (2005-10-24). "A Chopin Winner From Poland". Arts, briefly (New York Times). Retrieved 2007-09-29. 
  7. ^ "People: Rafal Blechacz, Steve Martin, Céline Dion". International Herald Tribune. 2005-10-25. Retrieved 2007-09-29. 
  8. ^ "RNO On Tour". Russian National Orchestra. Retrieved 2013-06-19. 
  9. ^ Huizenge, Tom (8 January 2014). "Cachet And Cash For Rafał Blechacz, Named 2014 Gilmore Artist". Retrieved 8 January 2014. 
  10. ^ "Rafał Blechacz - Piano Recital (album listing)". CD Accord. Retrieved 2013-01-13. 
  11. ^ "Rafał Blechacz - Piano Recital". Naxos. Retrieved 2013-01-13. 
  12. ^ "Chopin Preludes op. 28 & Nocturnes op. 62". Deutsche Grammophon. Retrieved 2014-03-20. 
  13. ^ "Rafał Blechacz - Sonatas - Haydn, Beethoven, Mozart". Deutsche Grammophon. Retrieved 2013-01-16. 
  14. ^ "Chopin Piano Concertos". Deutsche Grammophon. Retrieved 2010-03-09. 
  15. ^ "Debussy / Szymanowski - Rafał Blechacz". Deutsche Grammophon. Retrieved 2013-01-13. 
  16. ^ "Chopin Polonaises Rafał Blechacz". Deutsche Grammophon. Retrieved 2013-09-06. 

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