Rafał Blechacz

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Rafał Blechacz
Rafal Blechacz.jpg
Born (1985-06-30) 30 June 1985 (age 37)
OccupationPianist
Awards1st place, gold medalist(s) XV International Chopin Piano Competition
Websiteblechacz.net

Rafał Blechacz ([ˈrafaw ˈblɛxat͡ʂ] (listen); born 30 June 1985) is a Polish classical pianist who rose to fame after decisively winning the XV International Chopin Piano Competition in 2005.

Biography[edit]

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 Arthur Rubinstein in Memoriam Piano Competition in Bydgoszcz in 2002, second prize at the 4th Hamamatsu International Piano Competition in 2003 (no first prize was awarded), 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, concerto prizes, as well as the Special Prize for Audience Approval. No other pianist has achieved this feat.[1] One of the judges, Piotr Paleczny, said that Blechacz "so outclassed the remaining finalists that no second prize could actually be awarded."[3] Another judge, John O'Conor, called Blechacz "one of the greatest artists I have had a chance to hear in my entire life".[4] Blechacz was the first Pole to win the prize (given every five years) since 1975, when Krystian Zimerman won.[5]

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 seven albums under Deutsche Grammophon as of March 2022. 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][6]

In 2014, Blechacz was named the 2014 Gilmore Artist.[7] He is the seventh individual to receive this award, and the second Polish pianist.[1]

Blechacz had been studying philosophy at the Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń[when?], and in 2016, took a sabbatical to complete his doctorate. His thesis explored "aspects of the metaphysics and aesthetics of music and, as he reflects, his studies have helped him 'understand both the freedoms and limitations of musical interpretations'". He returned to performing in January 2017.[8]

In March, many of his concerts were cancelled or postponed due to illness.[9]

Discography[edit]

Title Release date Peak chart positions Certifications
POL
[10]
FRA
[11]
JPN
[12]
Piano Recital — Schumann, Liszt, Debussy, Szymanowski, Chopin[13][14] 15 September 2005 28
Chopin — Preludes op. 28 & Nocturnes op. 62 1 October 2007[16] 2 194 245
  • POL: 4× Platinum[17]
Sonatas — Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven 10 October 2008[18] 12
Chopin — Piano Concertos 5 October 2009[19] 2 116
  • POL: 3× Platinum[17]
Debussy, Szymanowski 1 February 2012[20] 13
Chopin — Polonaises 6 September 2013[21] 8
Johann Sebastian Bach 10 February 2017[22] 36
Debussy, Fauré, Szymanowski 25 January 2019[23]
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Gilmore Artist Award". The Gilmore. Retrieved 8 January 2014.
  2. ^ a b "Rafał Blechacz - Biography". Deutsche Grammophon. Retrieved 2013-01-13.
  3. ^ "Polish pianist wins prestigious Chopin competition". ABC News. 2005-10-22. Retrieved 2021-08-01.
  4. ^ Bennion, Jackie. "More About the Winner, Rafal Blechacz". PBS Frontline/World. Retrieved 2021-08-01.
  5. ^ Jean-Pierre Thiollet, 88 notes pour piano solo, "Solo nec plus ultra", Neva Editions, 2015, p.52. ISBN 978 2 3505 5192 0.
  6. ^ "RNO On Tour". Russian National Orchestra. Archived from the original on 2013-02-22. Retrieved 2013-06-19.
  7. ^ Huizenge, Tom (8 January 2014). "Cachet And Cash For Rafał Blechacz, Named 2014 Gilmore Artist". Retrieved 8 January 2014.
  8. ^ "Rafal Blechacz | Biography". Deutsche Grammophon. Retrieved 2021-01-13.
  9. ^ Gereben, Janos (2022-03-14). "Maverick Pianist Tiffany Poon to Make Her San Francisco Debut". San Francisco Classical Voice. Retrieved 2022-03-17.
  10. ^ "OLiS – sprzedaż w okresie 09.01.2006 – 15.01.2006". olis.onyx.pl. Retrieved 2014-03-20.
    "OLiS – sprzedaż w okresie 01.03.2010 – 07.03.2010". olis.onyx.pl. Retrieved 2014-03-20.
    "OLiS – sprzedaż w okresie 10.11.2008 – 16.11.2008". olis.onyx.pl. Retrieved 2014-03-20.
    "OLiS – sprzedaż w okresie 21.03.2011 – 27.03.2011". olis.onyx.pl. Retrieved 2014-03-20.
    "OLiS – sprzedaż w okresie 27.02.2012 – 04.03.2012". olis.onyx.pl. Retrieved 2014-03-20.
    "OLiS – sprzedaż w okresie 23.09.2013 – 29.09.2013". olis.onyx.pl. Retrieved 2014-03-20.
    "OLiS – sprzedaż w okresie 17.02.2017 – 23.02.2017". olis.onyx.pl. Retrieved 2017-03-02.
  11. ^ "Rafał Blechacz French Albums Chart". lescharts.com. Retrieved 2014-03-20.
  12. ^ "Rafał Blechacz Japanease Albums Chart". www.oricon.co.jp. Retrieved 2014-03-20.
  13. ^ "Rafał Blechacz - Piano Recital (album listing)". CD Accord. Retrieved 2013-01-13.
  14. ^ "Rafał Blechacz - Piano Recital". Naxos. Retrieved 2013-01-13.
  15. ^ a b c "ZPAV: złote płyty". zpav.pl. Archived from the original on 2013-06-03. Retrieved 2014-03-20.
  16. ^ "Chopin Preludes op. 28 & Nocturnes op. 62". Deutsche Grammophon. Retrieved 2014-03-20.
  17. ^ a b "ZPAV: platynowe płyty". zpav.pl. Archived from the original on 2011-07-21. Retrieved 2014-03-20.
  18. ^ "Rafał Blechacz - Sonatas - Haydn, Beethoven, Mozart". Deutsche Grammophon. Retrieved 2013-01-16.
  19. ^ "Chopin Piano Concertos". Deutsche Grammophon. Retrieved 2010-03-09.
  20. ^ "Debussy / Szymanowski - Rafał Blechacz". Deutsche Grammophon. Retrieved 2013-01-13.
  21. ^ "Chopin Polonaises Rafał Blechacz". Deutsche Grammophon. Retrieved 2013-09-06.
  22. ^ "Johann Sebastian Bach Rafał Blechacz". Deutsche Grammophon. Retrieved 2017-02-10.
  23. ^ "DEBUSSY · FAURÉ · SZYMANOWSKI Blechacz". www.deutschegrammophon.com. Retrieved 2022-03-18.

External links[edit]