On Feb 29 and March 1, the semifinalists of the US National Chopin Piano Competition competed for the top prizes and special prizes. The winners were announced as follows:

  • First Prize: Avery Gagliano
  • Second Prize: Evren Ozel
  • Third Prize: Parker Van Ostrand
  • Fourth Prize (Tie): Umi Garrett & Chelsea Guo
  • Sixth Prize: Talon Smith
  • Best Mazurka: Evren Ozel
  • Best Polonaise: Evren Ozel
  • Best Sonata: Parker Van Ostrand
  • Best Concerto: Avery Gagliano

The first and second prize winners are also automatically admitted to the world renown XVIII International Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw in October 2020. The third prize winner is automatically accepted to the Preliminary Round of the XVIII International Chopin Competition in Warsaw, April 2020. The other finalists, fourth through sixth prize, will also have their expenses covered to attend the Preliminary Round for the XVIII International Chopin Piano Competition in April 2020, if they are accepted.

Initiated in 1975, and held in Miami every five years, the National Competition is organized by the Chopin Foundation of the United States. Its rules reflect closely the regulations and requirements of the International Fryderyk Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw, Poland, and it is always held earlier in the same year as the International Competition is held.

Chopin Int’l Competition

Culture authorities in Poland have announced that the 18th edition of the International Frederic Chopin Piano Competition will take place October 2-23, 2020 in Warsaw, Poland. Addressing concerns over the spread of the Covid-19 virus, Artur Szklener—the head of the Competition’s organizing body National Frederic Chopin Institute—announced that the elimination round has been postponed from April to September. Eliminations for the competition will now be held in Warsaw from September 18-29, 2020. During Eliminations, a total of 164 pianists from 33 nations including from Asia, Europe, North America and Australia will perform before a jury at the Chamber Hall of the Warsaw Philharmonic. Around 80 of the pianists will be selected to compete in the final Competition rounds.

The Competition began in 1927 and was postponed from 1937-49. It has been held every five years since 1955. The only time that the dates of the eliminations have been extended to allow participants to attend was in 2010, when ash from a volcanic eruption in Iceland temporarily made air travel over Europe impossible.

Fans will be able to follow the Competition live on www.chopin2020.pl and watch the finals from Oct. 18-21 in special fan zones in New York, London, Paris, Tokyo, Budapest, Moscow, Jerusalem and Seoul.

The winner will receive a gold medal and a 40,000 Euro ($45,000) prize. Among previous winners are Argentina’s Martha Argerich, Italy’s Maurizio Pollini, Garric Ohlsson from the U.S. and Poland’s Krystian Zimerman.

Poland’s best loved composer and pianist, Fryderyk Chopin was born in 1810 in Zelazowa Wola near Warsaw to a Polish mother and French father. At the age of 19, he traveled to Vienna before settling in Paris to compose and give concerts. He died in Paris in 1849.

[Sources: chopin.org, nifc.pl, yahoo.com]