Curtain goes up on Poland's Chopin piano competition

Oct 01, 2015
f0f2968d4d450ccb801620123136c36f036775d4 WARSAW: 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 ($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 after the doomed 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. 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 October 23. --AFP





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