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The new album out now form 3rd March 2023

"Blechacz is one of the greatest artists
I have ever heard in my life"

John O`Connor



Rafał Blechacz

Polish pianist Rafał Blechacz's artistry is recognised as rare by any measure - his many plaudits include being dubbed "a musician in service to the music, searching its depths, exploring its meaning and probing its possibilities" (Washington Post) - and arises from his total command of the keyboard and ability to unlock his instrument's full expressive range. Those qualities have supported his artistic and professional development in the years since he took first prize at the 2005 International Chopin Piano Competition. He stands today among the world's finest pianists, in high demand for the honesty and vision he brings to performances of everything from Bach and Beethoven to Chopin and Szymanowski.

The eloquence and intensity of Blechacz's Chopin Competition performances, delivered within months of his twentieth birthday, were rewarded not only with the winner's medal but also with a clean sweep of the event's four special prizes and the Audience Award. He signed an exclusive contract with Deutsche Grammophon in May 2006, following Krystian Zimerman to become the second Polish pianist to join the yellow label's international roster of artists. The new relationship was launched in October 2007 with Blechacz's debut solo album, a coupling of Chopin's completePreludes and theTwoNocturnes op. 62. His second release - a recital of piano sonatas by Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven - was issued in 2008, after which he returned to Chopin, recording the two piano concertos with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra and Jerzy Semkow for an album released in 2009 to herald the upcoming bicentenary of Chopin's birth.

2012 saw the release of an album of solo works by Debussy and Szymanowski. This was followed in 2013 by another acclaimed Chopin recording, this one featuring the composer's mature Polonaises. Blechacz's sixth DG album, released in 2017, was devoted to works by Bach, the Partitas Nos.1 & 3 andItalian Concerto among them. He then joined forces with Korean violinist Bomsori Kim to record a selection of works by Fauré, Debussy, Szymanowski and Chopin. Released in 2019, this was his debut chamber music album for DG

Devoted entirely to Chopin, Blechacz's latest release presents his insightful interpretations of the Second and Third Piano Sonatas, Nocturne Op. 48 No. 2 and Barcarolle Op. 60. "I've had many experiences with this programme, playing it all over the world, in different concert halls and on different pianos," says the artist. "I really wanted to share the beauty of these compositions with the audience."Chopin was released, digitally, on CD and on vinyl (2 LPs) in March 2023.

Rafał Blechacz was born in the small town of Nakło nad Notecią in northern Poland in June 1985. He showed early signs of musical talent and began piano lessons at the age of five. Having first enrolled at the Arthur Rubinstein State Music School in Bydgoszcz, he progressed to study at the city's Feliks Nowowiejski Academy of Music, graduating in May 2007 from Katarzyna Popowa-Zydroń's piano class. Blechacz's outstanding technical and artistic attributes secured a sequence of competition successes, beginning in 2002 with second prize at the Arthur Rubinstein International Competition for Young Pianists in Bydgoszcz, continuing the following year with joint first prize at the Hamamatsu International Piano Competition, and culminating in outright victory at the 2005 International Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw, where he became the first Polish musician to receive the top prize since Krystian Zimerman thirty years earlier.

He went on to win the 2010 Premio Internazionale Accademia Chigiana, awarded annually by the Accademia Musicale Chigiana in Siena to an outstanding pianist or violinist. In 2014 Blechacz received the Gilmore Artist Award, a prestigious prize conferred every four years in recognition of "extraordinary piano artistry". In addition to formal prizes and awards, he has also garnered ringing endorsements from senior colleagues, with Martha Argerich, winner of the Chopin Competition in 1965, describing him as "a very honest, extraordinary and sensitive artist" and the Irish pianist and pedagogue John O'Conor as "one of the greatest artists I have ever heard in my life".




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chopin competition_

Chopin Piano Competition 2005

The 15th International Frédéric Chopin Piano Competition sponsored by PKN ORLEN

PKN ORLEN has taken up the role of the sponsor for an extraordinary artistic event – the 15th edition of the International Frédéric Chopin Piano Competition. In addition, the company has financed the radio broadcasts of concerts together with the numerous events accompanying the contest.

As an active and responsible participant in public life PKN ORLEN committed itself to provide comprehensive financial assistance to the Chopin Piano Competition. The company’s intense involvement in the projects related to the contest constitutes the continuation of the concern’s praiseworthy endeavours intended to preserve the national heritage in the form of Chopin’s music.


The International Frédéric Chopin Piano Competition was held for the first time in 1927 and it ranks among the oldest such musical festivals worldwide. It is universally perceived as one of the most significant cultural events enjoying well-deserved reputation and widespread recognition. This special occasion does not merely offer an opportunity for young musicians to compete against each other. It also serves as a valuable forum for exchange of views and ideas on the condition of Polish culture in general as well as provides a perfect venue for critics, musicologists, leading figures from the world of mass media, politics and economy, and last but not least for music lovers from all over the world.

The 15th edition of the competition was exceptional owing to the record number of competitors who entered for the contest. As many as 323 pianists took part in the competition preliminaries, out of whom 12 contestants managed to qualify for the grand final.

For years the Chopin Piano Competition has been accompanied by a number of additional events including occasional concerts, performances, meetings and press supplements. PKN ORLEN acted as the exclusive sponsor for the radio broadcasts and coverage featured on the 2nd Programme of Polish Radio – the only radio station where you could listen to the concerts broadcasts. They have always been enormously popular with listeners.


Besides, the company subsidized the special supplement to Rzeczpospolita newspaper devoted entirely to the 15th edition of the Piano Competition, its history, pianists and outstanding personalities. The insert also included a unique record with Frédéric Chopin’s music performed by Krzysztof Jabłoński.

What is more, PKN ORLEN became the exclusive partner in the OPEN FOR CHOPIN cycle of concerts organized in cooperation with Radio RMF FM Classic. During the sequence of events taking place in Cracow, Warsaw, Gdynia, Wroclaw and Szczecin the inhabitants of these cities were offered the opportunity to listen to Chopin’s music in both traditional and – somewhat unconventional – jazz renditions. The concerts were played by Janusz Olejniczak, Bartłomiej Kominek and Urszula Dudziak together with Michał Urbaniak.




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