International Chopin Piano Competition

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3rd Chopin Competition (1937). Among members of the jury (sitting on the left) Heinrich Neuhaus, Emil von Sauer, Guido Agosti, and Wilhelm Backhaus
Polish President Bronisław Komorowski at the Laureates' Concert, October 2010
Epitaph for heart of Frédéric Chopin in the Holy Cross Church, Warsaw

The International Chopin Piano Competition (Polish: Międzynarodowy Konkurs Pianistyczny im. Fryderyka Chopina), often referred to as the Chopin Competition, is a piano competition held in Warsaw, Poland. It was initiated in 1927 and has been held every five years since 1955. It is one of the few competitions devoted entirely to the works of a single composer,[1] in this case, Frédéric Chopin.

The first competition was founded by the Polish pianist and pedagogue Jerzy Żurawlew. Subsequent editions were organized in 1932 and 1937; the post-war fourth and fifth editions were held in 1949 and 1955. In 1957 the competition became one of the founding members of the World Federation of International Music Competitions in Geneva.

Traditional special awards include the Polish Radio prize for the best Mazurka performance (since 1927), the Fryderyk Chopin Society in Warsaw prize for the best Polonaise (since 1960), and the National Philharmonic prize for the best performance of a Piano Concerto (since 1980). The competition is organized by the Fryderyk Chopin Institute of Warsaw.[2]

The 18th International Chopin Piano Competition that was scheduled on 2 October 2020 to 23 October 2020 was postponed to the same date in 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This was decided by Poland's Minister of Culture and National Heritage, Piotr Gliński, together with Artur Szklener, Director of the Fryderyk Chopin Institute in Warsaw after additional consultations with Poland's Ministry of Health.[3]


Past members of the jury have included such names as Martha Argerich, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Stefan Askenase, Wilhelm Backhaus, Paul Badura-Skoda, Nadia Boulanger, Flora Guerra, Dang Thai Son, Bella Davidovich, Philippe Entremont, Fou Ts'ong, Nelson Freire, Vera Gornostayeva, Arthur Hedley, Mieczysław Horszowski, Vladimir Krainev, Marguerite Long, Lazare Lévy, Nikita Magaloff, Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli, Heinrich Neuhaus, Vlado Perlemuter, Maurice Ravel, Arthur Rubinstein, Emil von Sauer, Magda Tagliaferro, and many distinguished Polish pianists, teachers, conductors, as well as composers (for instance Karol Szymanowski, Witold Lutosławski and Lidia Grychtołówna).


Arthur Rubinstein and Jan Ekier have also acted as honorary chairmen.

Prize winners[edit]

Top 6 prize winners since 1927
Year 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th
I: 1927 Soviet Union Lev Oborin Poland Stanisław Szpinalski Poland Róża Etkin Soviet Union Grigory Ginzburg  
II: 1932 Soviet Union Alexandre Uninsky (c) Hungary Imre Ungár (c) Poland Bolesław Kon Soviet Union Abram Lufer Hungary Lajos Kentner Soviet Union Leonid Sagalov
III: 1937 Soviet Union Yakov Zak Soviet Union Rosa Tamarkina Poland Witold Małcużyński United Kingdom Lance Dossor Hungary Agi Jambor Germany Edith Axenfeld
1942 No competition due to occupation of Poland by Germany in WWII
IV: 1949 Soviet Union Bella Davidovich

Poland Halina Czerny-Stefańska (tie)

Poland Barbara Hesse-Bukowska Poland Waldemar Maciszewski Soviet Union Georgy Muravlov Poland Władysław Kędra Poland Ryszard Bakst
V: 1955 Poland Adam Harasiewicz Soviet Union Vladimir Ashkenazy China Fou Ts'ong France Bernard Ringeissen Soviet Union Naum Shtarkman Soviet Union Dmitry Paperno
VI: 1960 Italy Maurizio Pollini Soviet Union Irina Zaritskaya Iran Tania Achot-Haroutounian China Li Min-Chan Soviet Union Zinaida Ignatyeva Soviet Union Valeri Kastelsky
VII: 1965 Argentina Martha Argerich Brazil Arthur Moreira Lima Poland Marta Sosińska Japan Hiroko Nakamura United States Edward Auer Poland Elżbieta Głąbówna
VIII: 1970 United States Garrick Ohlsson Japan Mitsuko Uchida Poland Piotr Paleczny United States Eugen Indjic Soviet Union Natalya Gavrilova Poland Janusz Olejniczak
IX: 1975 Poland Krystian Zimerman Soviet Union Dina Joffe Soviet Union Tatyana Fedkina Soviet Union Pavel Gililov United States Dean Kramer Brazil Diana Kacso
X: 1980 Vietnam Dang Thai Son Soviet Union Tatyana Shebanova Soviet Union Arutyun Papazyan Not awarded Japan Akiko Ebi

Poland Ewa Pobłocka (tie)

France Eric Berchot

Soviet Union Irina Pietrova (tie) -->

XI: 1985 Soviet Union Stanislav Bunin France Marc Laforet Poland Krzysztof Jabłoński Japan Michie Koyama France Jean-Marc Luisada Soviet Union Tatyana Pikayzen
XII: 1990 Not awarded United States Kevin Kenner Japan Yukio Yokoyama Italy Corrado Rollero

Soviet Union Margarita Shevchenko (tie)

Soviet Union Anna Malikova

Japan Takako Takahashi (tie)

France Caroline Sageman
XIII: 1995 Not Awarded France Philippe Giusiano

Russia Alexei Sultanov (tie)

United States Gabriela Montero[4] Russia Rem Urasin Japan Rika Miyatani Poland Magdalena Lisak
XIV: 2000 China Yundi Li Argentina Ingrid Fliter Russia Alexander Kobrin China Sa Chen Italy Alberto Nosè Japan Mika Sato
XV: 2005 Poland Rafał Blechacz Not awarded South Korea Dong-Hyek Lim

South Korea Dong-Min Lim (tie)

Japan Shohei Sekimoto

Japan Takashi Yamamoto

Not awarded Hong Kong Ka Ling Colleen Lee
XVI: 2010 Russia Yulianna Avdeeva Russia Lithuania Lukas Geniušas[5]

Austria Ingolf Wunder (tie)

Russia Daniil Trifonov Bulgaria Evgeni Bozhanov France François Dumont not awarded
XVII: 2015 South Korea Seong-Jin Cho Canada Charles Richard-Hamelin United States Kate Liu United States Eric Lu Canada Tony Yike Yang Russia Dmitry Shishkin
XVIII: 2020 (Postponed to 2021 due to COVID-19)

Chopin Piano Competition for Amateurs[edit]

Since 2009, the Chopin Piano Competition is held for amateur pianists as well. The amateur edition of the competition is organized by the Chopin Society of Warsaw. It is aimed at music lovers from all over the world, for whom playing the piano is a passion rather than a way of earning a living. Despite being much younger than other prominent competitions for amateur pianists (for example, the International Piano Competition for Outstanding Amateurs in Paris), it has already attracted a significant number of top-level participants.[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "". Archived from the original on 2012-09-26. Retrieved 2013-02-26.
  2. ^ Website Archived 2015-04-03 at the Wayback Machine of the International Chopin Competition, accessed 7 August 2014.
  3. ^ "XVIII Chopin Competition". Retrieved 2020-05-09.
  4. ^ Website Archived 2019-06-08 at the Wayback Machine of the International Chopin Competition, accessed 3 July 2019.
  5. ^ Website Archived 2019-06-08 at the Wayback Machine of the International Chopin Competition, accessed 3 July 2019.
  6. ^ Website of the International Frederick Chopin Piano Competition for Amateurs, accessed 6 February 2015.


  • Jerzy Waldorff, Wielka gra: rzecz o konkursach chopinowskich ("Great playing: about Chopin Competitions"), Warsaw, Iskry, 1985, ISBN 83-207-0719-6.
  • Janusz Ekiert, The endless search for Chopin: the history of the International Fryderyk Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw, MUZA SA, 2000. ISBN 978-83-7495-812-7.

External links[edit]