Canadian pianist Bruce (Xiaoyu) Liu has been named the First Prize winner of the 18th Chopin Competition in Warsaw. Held every five years, the 2020 Competition was rescheduled to this year because of the pandemic. Liu’s win comes with 40,000 Euro ($47,000) cash prize as well as lucrative performance and recording contracts in years to come. He was the last of the twelve pianists to compete in the final round, and he was heard in performance of Chopin’s E minor Piano Concerto, Op. 11 with the Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra at its concert hall in the heart of Poland’s capital. Liu graduated with great distinction from the Conservatoire de Montréal, where he studied with Richard Raymond and later studied at Université de Montréal with Dang Thai Son.

Alexander Gadjiev, representing Italy and Slovenia, and Kyohei Sorita of Japan were the Second Prize winners with a 30,000 Euro prizes. The Third Prize was given to Spanish pianist Martin Garcia Garcia.

There were two Fourth Prizes given to Aimi Kobayashi (Japan) and Jakub Kuszlik (Poland). The Fifth Prize went to Leonora Armellini (Italy) and the Sixth Prize was awarded to J.J. Jun Li Bui (Canada).

Jakub Kuszlik also received the Polish Radio Prize for the best performance of Mazurkas, while Martin Garcia Garcia received the Warsaw Philharmonic Prize for the best performance of Chopin’s Concerto. Alexander Gadjiev received the Krystian Zimerman Prize for the best Chopin Sonata performance.

Overall 87 pianists born between 1990 and 2004 and representing 17 countries participated in this year’s Chopin Competition. From among the 12 finalists, nine performed Chopin’s E minor Concerto with the other three selecting the Concerto in F minor. All were accompanied by Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra led by Andrzej Boreyko.

The Chopin Competition Jury was presided over by Katarzyna Popowa-Zydroń and included a number of distinguished pianists, many of them former laureates of the Competition, including: Adam Harasiewicz, Krzysztof Jabłoński, Kevin Kenner, Arturo Moreira Lima, Janusz Olejniczak, and Piotr Paleczny, among others.

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