Cur­tain goes up, crowds pour in on Poland’s Chopin pi­ano com­pe­ti­tion

The China Post - - ARTS -

Con­certs by famed Ar­gen­tinian pi­anists Martha Arg­erich and Nel­son Go­erner on Thurs­day launched this year’s edi­tion of the pres­ti­gious Chopin com­pe­ti­tion, which has drawn fans of the ro­man­tic com­poser to War­saw for decades.

A to­tal of 78 young pi­anists from 20 coun­tries will tin­kle it out on the ivories for the gold medal and 30,000- euro ( US$ 33,500) prize at the 17th edi­tion of the mu­si­cal marathon.

The win­ner must flaw­lessly ex­e­cute all of the mu­si­cal forms in the reper­toire of Fred­eric Chopin, a prodigy whose fa­ther was French and whose mother was Pol­ish.

Born in 1810 in Ze­la­zowa Wola, near the Pol­ish cap­i­tal, he fled his home­land just be­fore the 1830 upris­ing against the oc­cu­py­ing forces of Tsarist Rus­sia.

De­scribed by 19th cen­tury Ger­man com­poser Robert Schu­mann as “can­nons hid­den among blos­soms,” Chopin’s mu­sic re­mains a sym­bol of Poland’s long strug­gle for free­dom.

He was never able to set foot on his na­tive soil in­sur­rec­tion.

Chopin lived in the Aus­trian cap­i­tal Vi­enna be­fore mov­ing to Paris, where he died aged 39 af­ter years of poor health.

While his body still lies buried in Paris, his heart was later re­turned to Poland and rests in War­saw’s Holy Cross church.

af­ter the doomed

This year’s Chopin com­pe­ti­tion will no­tably fea­ture 14 con­tes­tants from Poland, 13 from China, 12 from Ja­pan and eight from South Korea.

Held ev­ery five years, the con­test was launched in 1927. The ju­ried per­for­mances are open to the public and al­ways sold out. The event ends on Oct. 23.

AP

Na­tional flags of com­peti­tors from 20 na­tions dec­o­rate the Na­tional Phil­har­monic in War­saw, Poland, Thurs­day, Oct. 1, the open­ing day of the ca­reer-paving 17th In­ter­na­tional Fred­eric Chopin Pi­ano Com­pe­ti­tion that runs through Oct. 21.

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