Chopin Competition on Period Instruments 2018

On the anniversary of Poland’s regaining of independence, the Fryderyk Chopin Institute in collaboration with Polish Television and Polish Radio, is organizing an event of extraordinary character. The 1st International Chopin Competition on Period Instruments will take place in September 2018 in Warsaw; subsequent editions will be organized every five years.

APPLICATION DEADLINE: May 1, 2018. Details are at

During the 20th century, the historical performance trend—which has been truly blossoming in the past 50 years—focused on music written in the period from the Middle Ages to the 18th century, sporadically turning to later repertoire. In this context, restoring the authentic sound of music by Fryderyk Chopin and composers contemporary to him is particularly important. Approximating the original color and mechanics of the instruments the composer had at his disposal permits us to grasp the unique, specific character of Chopin’s music, with its one-of-a-kind articulation and harmonic language, that is in large measure lost in interpretations on contemporary instruments.

Competition participants will be pianists from all over the world, aged 18 to 35. The jury will be comprised of outstanding representatives of the music world whose artistic and professional activity situates them among the most distinguished specialists in the field of historical performance.

The Competition will take place in three rounds: the first and second are solo recitals whose repertoire—apart from works by Chopin—will include selected works by Johann Sebastian Bach, as well as polonaises by Polish composers active in the first half of the 19th century. In the third round, six finalists will perform their choice of Chopin works with orchestra, accompanied by the legendary Orchestra of the Eighteenth Century, a Dutch ensemble well known to Polish audiences.

Competition participants will have at their disposal period pianos from the collections of the Fryderyk Chopin Institute (Erards from 1838, 1849 and 1858; Pleyels from 1846 and 1854; and a Broadwood from 1843), as well as originals and copies of period instruments brought in by European restorers and collectors. Aside from monetary prizes, the winners will also receive offers of prestigious concerts with the Orchestra of the Eighteenth Century and recording projects.

One of the main programming premises of the Competition is to popularize performance on period instruments. Thus, high-quality broadcasting of Competition events via Polish Television, on the example of the 17th Fryderyk Chopin International Piano Competition, will be particularly important. The Fryderyk Chopin Institute will also create a multimedia platform responding to the needs of music lovers all over the world.

[Sources: press release,]