74. International Chopin Piano Festival

This year’s 74th edition of Duszniki International Chopin Piano Festival will as usual be full of recitals by young prizewinners of prestigious piano competitions from all around the world.

One of the most awaited performances is undoubtedly the one by Tomasz Ritter, the winner of the 1st International Chopin Competition on Period Instruments, scheduled for August 4th.. Ritter has quickly gained attention from both the public and most of the critics – the latter were eager to call him one of the greatest personalities of the whole competition. Beside Tomasz Ritter, a pianist already well-known in Poland, other performers of this year’s edition will be: Yasuko Furumi (1st prize winner at the Takamatsu International Piano Competition 2018); Aristo Sham (1st prize and the Bärenreiter Urtext special prize winner at the 2006 Ettlingen International Piano Competition in Germany, winner of the Gina Bachauer International Piano Competition); George Harliono (laureate of the Gina Bachauer International Piano Competition in Utah and Dinu Lipatti Piano Competition in Bucharest); Alexandre Kantorow the First Prize winner at the XVI Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow , Ian Fountain  middle-generation pianist, winner of the Artur Rubinstein Competition in Tel Aviv in 1989, and all the laureates of last years edition of Polish Nationwide Chopin Festival organized by Frederic Chopin National Institute.

Polish accents will not be missing in the festival this year. On 3rd August, after almost twenty years of absence on Duszniki stage,  Joanna Marcinkowska, associated for many years with Poznań Music Academy, will appear. A day later Janusz Olejniczak, one of the most prominent Polish pianists, will give a recital.       

In 2015 many music lovers considered Kate Liu to be the greatest revelation of 17th edition International Chopin Piano Competition  . After several auditions in Warsaw, her performances were received by the audience with euphoria. No wonder then that her recital planned on 9rd August may prove to be one of the hottest points of this year’s  Festival.

The concert of one of the most recognizable young generation virtuosos Behzod Abduraimov seems very interesting. The pianist regularly appears on the stages of most famous concert halls in the world.

After last year’s success of Piano Duo (Alessio Bax, Lucille Chung) Piotr Paleczny, the Artistic Director of the Festival, decided to inaugurate the event with Lukas and Arthur Jussen Piano Duo’s recital. It is worth noticing that the Jussen brothers – despite their young age – have been regarded one of the most perfect, regularly appearing on world stages piano duos for almost a decade.

Every few years also the youngest artists, whose talents are not yet widely known, are invited to Duszniki. Many of them (with Yuja Wang and Rachel Cheung at the helm) may consider their prestigious performances at Duszniki Festival milestones in the early stages of their pianist careers. This year the tradition will be sustained by the recital of a fifteen-year-old Russian/ Armenian pianist Eva Gevorgyan, a student of Moscow Central Music School of Moscow Conservatory in Professor Natalia Trull’s class and a laureate of a number of youth piano competitions.

Beside many piano recitals on Duszniki stage will appear a young Korean violinist SooBeen Lee and  pianist – Marcin Sikorski.  Meccore String Quartet – an outstanding Polish ensemble, performing in world concerts halls for over 10 year (with Charles-Richard Hamelin – who will be giving a solo concert as well).

At the 74th Festival yearly master classes will be given by Stanislav Ioudenitch (the winner of 2001Van Cliburn Competition) and  Francisco Cruz Plaza (pianist, teacher and director of many concert cycles, valued most of all for his interpretations of Johann Sebastian Bach’s works).

D. Marciniszyn