The Fryderyk Chopin Institute

The Fryderyk Chopin Institute All the messages posted on this forum express the sight and opinion of their respective authors, not
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The Fryderyk Chopin Institute is an organizer of The Fryderyk Chopin Piano Competition and Chopin and his Europe Music Festival.

One morning, when Fryderyk looked out of the window, the world looked completely different. It was finally snowing! ❄ An...
24/11/2023

One morning, when Fryderyk looked out of the window, the world looked completely different. It was finally snowing! ❄ And that means you can go ice skating after school ⛸. In this new book from the Little Chopin series, you can read about an adventure Frycek had once on skates.
The Little Chopin is a series of short stories inspired by the colourful biography of the most outstanding Polish composer, Fryderyk Chopin. These stories, although set in the past, are still relevant today, and Fryderyk will be a good friend of each child!

🗨 The book ‘Freddie and the Skating Adventure is available in three language versions: Polish, English and Japanese.

📚 More titles from the Little Chopin series, as well as the accompanying accessories, are available to buy in our online shop under the ‘for children’ tab: https://sklep.nifc.pl/pl/kategoria/213-dla-dzieci.

On Tuesday, 21 November 1848, Chopin was preparing to leave London after seven months in Great Britain. In a letter to W...
24/11/2023

On Tuesday, 21 November 1848, Chopin was preparing to leave London after seven months in Great Britain. In a letter to Wojciech Grzymała, he asks his friend to prepare his Paris flat for his arrival. Significantly, the composer ordered a bouquet of violets from his friend. These flowers were always present in his living room 💐.

☔ Because of the humid English climate, Chopin’s health deteriorated: ‘I neither breathe, nor sleep, nor leave my room since 1 November,’ he wrote on 22 November to Solange Clésinger. However, in the letter to Wojciech Grzymała we can read that the composer still hoped to recover: ‘Heat it and tidy it up – perhaps I will come to myself yet.’

On Friday 24 November, he was back in his flat at Square d'Orléans.

Maestro Krzysztof Penderecki, one of the most outstanding composers of the 20th and 21st centuries, would have celebrate...
23/11/2023

Maestro Krzysztof Penderecki, one of the most outstanding composers of the 20th and 21st centuries, would have celebrated his 90th birthday today.

His oeuvre has been a point of reference for generations of music lovers and artists and epitomises trends in contemporary music. Krzysztof Penderecki’s work teaches us not only what it means for the 20th and 21st centuries to discover new sounds, forms, rhythms and melodies, but also how music can carry the most essential spiritual, religious and humanist values.

He paid direct tribute to Fryderyk Chopin in his Polonaise for Orchestra, commissioned by The Fryderyk Chopin Institute and presented on the occasion of the inauguration of the 17th Chopin Competition in 2015, as well as in the composition ‘Powiało na mnie morze snów…’, a song of reverie and nostalgia for soprano, mezzo-soprano, baritone, choir and orchestra, written to commemorate the 200th anniversary of Chopin’s birth in 2010.

We encourage you to watch a film dedicated to him, prepared by NIFC as part of the series ‘Portraits of the Honorary Committee of the 17th International Fryderyk Chopin Piano Competition’:
https://youtu.be/t_KgvpzDMO4

The next Chopin Competition begins in less than two yearsThe 19th International Fryderyk Chopin Piano Competition will t...
20/11/2023

The next Chopin Competition begins in less than two years

The 19th International Fryderyk Chopin Piano Competition will take place in Warsaw in October 2025. The regulations for participation in the Competition will be announced to the public in January 2024 at https://nifc.pl. Pianists born in 1995¬–2009 can participate in the Competition. The application form will be available from 2 September to 1 December 2024. The preliminary round of the Competition will be held in Warsaw on 5–16 May 2025.

The ticket sales for the Competition will start on 1 October 2024.

Ph. W. Grzędziński / NIFC

📣 Tickets for the National Chopin Competition are now available! The 52nd edition of the Fryderyk Chopin National Piano ...
19/11/2023

📣 Tickets for the National Chopin Competition are now available!

The 52nd edition of the Fryderyk Chopin National Piano Competition will be held at the Fryderyk Chopin University of Music in Warsaw from 26 November to 3 December 2023.

🎫 You can purchase tickets for the final round and the prizewinners’ concert at https://bilety.nifc.pl and at the ticket offices of the Fryderyk Chopin Museum.
The competition consists of three stages. The first two stages are solo recitals, and in the final round the pianists will perform a piano concerto selected from those indicated in the regulations, accompanied by the Sinfonia Iuventus orchestra.

📌 Audition schedule:
- 1st and 2nd stages - 26-29 November 2023 (Henryk Melcer Hall) - free entry, booking not required
- 3rd stage (final round) - 1-2 December 2023 (UMFC Concert Hall) - tickets price PLN 30
- prizewinners’ concert - 3 December 2023 (UMFC Concert Hall) - tickets price PLN 40.

Photo: B. Barczyk / NIFC

🎼 On 18 or 19 November 1786, Carl Maria von Weber was born. He was a composer, pianist and conductor, one of the main re...
18/11/2023

🎼 On 18 or 19 November 1786, Carl Maria von Weber was born. He was a composer, pianist and conductor, one of the main representatives of early Romanticism and a famous opera composer.

🔸 He left a rich and varied compositional output: piano pieces, concertos and operas. He became famous especially for the operas Der Freischütz and Oberon. Among the composer’s most popular piano works are Aufforderung zum Tanz (the first concert waltz, originally composed for the piano, now performed in a symphonic version) and sonatas.

🔸 In 1804, the 18-year-old Weber was accepted as music director of the Breslau opera house as recommended by the Viennese professor Abbé Vogler. During the two years of his tenure, he contributed significantly to improving the quality of performances, and also enlarged the orchestra and located it differently on stage. Between 1807 and 1813, the composer was active at the court of Prince Eugene Württemberg in Pokój in the Opole region. He later served as director of the opera house in Prague and Dresden.

🖼: Caroline Bardua, portrait of Carl Maria von Weber, oil on canvas, 1821.

Today would have been the 102nd birthday of Professor Mieczysław Tomaszewski, an eminent musicologist and chopinologist,...
17/11/2023

Today would have been the 102nd birthday of Professor Mieczysław Tomaszewski, an eminent musicologist and chopinologist, author, editor, publisher, teacher – the master for several generations of researchers into the music and heritage of Fryderyk Chopin.

Professor Tomaszewski was one of the initiators of the establishment of The Fryderyk Chopin Institute. From the very beginning of the institution, he sat on its Programme Board, participating in its academic activities. His close links with The Institute bore fruit in the form of the publication of books and articles, and his participation in the scholarly committees of conferences organised by NIFC, including the International Chopinological Congress.

On the anniversary of Mieczysław Tomaszewski’s birth, we would like to recall a film portrait of the Professor produced by NIFC. It is a documentary about the love of music and work, the ‘imperative’ shaping the course of life.

🎥 Imperative: https://youtu.be/vgjeBFZKlAc

🏛 The collection of the Fryderyk Chopin Museum contains memoriabilia connected with the composer’s death: sketches, invi...
16/11/2023

🏛 The collection of the Fryderyk Chopin Museum contains memoriabilia connected with the composer’s death: sketches, invitations to the funeral, an album of posthumous press releases about Chopin set up by Jane Stirling. There is also an unique exhibit – the flowers from the composer’s deathbed preserved by Solange Clésinger, daughter of George Sand 🥀.

Because Chopin’s friends knew that he loved flowers, they collected them in great numbers in his room, making the sick man – as Ferenc Liszt recalled – ‘seem to be resting in some kind of garden’. A fragment of one of the bouquets, dried by Solange Clésinger, is a symbolic reminder of the composer’s last moments of life. Today, the artefact is already 174 years old.

🔍 More interesting objects from the collection of The Fryderyk Chopin Institute can be found at https://chopin.musicsources.pl/pl - on the Chopin Heritage in Open Access portal.

🖼: Dried flowers from Fryderyk Chopin’s deathbed, preserved by Solange Clésinger.

🗨 ‘So be convinced that by playing Hummel, Kalkbrenner and eventually Field, very different repertoire – you will gain e...
14/11/2023

🗨 ‘So be convinced that by playing Hummel, Kalkbrenner and eventually Field, very different repertoire – you will gain even more for this, he pointed to his Scherzo. So please play me something by Kalkbrenner next time, practice my Ballade and my Scherzo.’
Fryderyk Chopin to Friederike Müller (quoted by Uta Goebl-Streicher in ‘Friederike Müller: listy z Paryża 1839-1845’).

245 years ago, Johann Nepomuk Hummel was born in Bratislava. He was an eminent Austrian pianist and composer, a popular piano teacher (his students included Ferdinand Hiller, Adolf von Henselt, Sigismund Thalberg). He was Mozart’s pupil in Vienna and was friends with Beethoven. From 1816 he was active as court Kapellmeister in Stuttgart, and from 1819 in Weimar (as Liszt’s predecessor).

Hummel’s work was an inspiration for Fryderyk Chopin, who came into contact with his music during his Warsaw studies with Wojciech Żywny and Józef Elsner, and in Antoni Brzezina’s music bookshop, which was stocked with all compositions by the Austrian pianist. In 1828, Hummel gave four concerts in Warsaw: in the hall of the Town Hall and the National Theatre, presenting his own piano works and improvising on themes from the audience, including the Polish song ‘Chmiel’.

Hummel’s works occupied an important place in Chopin’s early repertoire. The pianist was also keen on his works, recommending their practice to his pupils. His pedagogical repertoire included Rondo, Op. 98, Sonata in F sharp minor, Op. 81, and two piano concertos: in A minor and B minor.

🎶 Now you can listen to the album Dobrzyński, Mozart, Hummel with Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Symphony No. 40 in G minor, K. 550, transcribed by Johann Nepomuk Hummel for chamber ensemble. You can find the album in the store of NIFC and via streaming services:
🔸 Dobrzyński, Mozart, Hummel – Paweł Wakarecy, Łukasz Długosz, Jakub Jakowicz, Anna Maria Staśkiewicz, Kataryna Budnik, Andrzej Bauer, Marcin Zdunik
💿 Purchase: https://sklep.nifc.pl/index.php?produkt=2_147
🎧 Listen: https://bit.ly/3uc2O4W

🎶 Erik Guo’s concert tour Immediately after the conclusion of the 2nd Chopin Competition on Period Instruments, the winn...
13/11/2023

🎶 Erik Guo’s concert tour

Immediately after the conclusion of the 2nd Chopin Competition on Period Instruments, the winner’s three-month concert tour has begun. Later in November, Erik Guo will play in Brussels at the BOZAR Fine Arts Centre and in Vienna at the Palais Ehrbar.

The next stop will be Japan. In January, Eric Guo will play in Hamamatsu, Nishinomiya, and Tokyo. We invite you for the concerts!

The latest album by Dmitry Albogin: Frédéric Chopin. Last Works is available online!- Listen to the album: https://spoti...
13/11/2023

The latest album by Dmitry Albogin: Frédéric Chopin. Last Works is available online!
- Listen to the album: https://spoti.fi/46axZeh
- Purchase the album in the store of NIFC: https://sklep.nifc.pl/index.php?produkt=2_214

The new album in The Real Chopin series is an exceptional recital by Dmitry Ablogin on Chopin’s Pleyel. Endowed with extraordinary sensitivity, this pianist, the finalist of the First Chopin Competition on Period Instruments, Gifted with extraordinary sensibility, the pianist was the first to sit at the newly restored piano from the collection of the Chopin Institute. The 1848 Pleyel was the last instrument at which Chopin created musical masterpieces in his Parisian flat. Its sound, highlighted by Ablogin’s attention to musical nuances, adds a unique flavour to Chopin’s mazurkas, waltzes, nocturnes, preludes, the Ballade in F minor, and the Polonaise-Fantasy in A major. In the end, the pieces constitute a well-designed, moving recital of the works composed almost entirely in the last decade of the composer’s life.

We encourage you to view photos from the recording session at the Witold Lutosławski Concert Studio of Polish Radio. The author of the photographs is Filip Dowjat.

13/11/2023
Tickets for the National Chopin Competition 🎹 The 52nd edition of the Fryderyk Chopin National Piano Competition will be...
12/11/2023

Tickets for the National Chopin Competition

🎹 The 52nd edition of the Fryderyk Chopin National Piano Competition will be held at the Fryderyk Chopin University of Music in Warsaw from 26 November to 3 December 2023. You are cordially invited to listen to the auditions! Tickets will be available at: https://bilety.nifc.pl and at the ticket offices of the Fryderyk Chopin Museum from 14 November.

The competition contains three stages. The first two stages are solo recitals; in the final round, the pianists will perform a piano concerto selected from those indicated in the regulations, accompanied by the Sinfonia Iuventus orchestra.

📌 Audition schedule:
- 1st and 2nd stages – 26-29 November 2023 (Henryk Melcer Hall) – free entry, no seat reservation
- 3rd stage (FINAL) – 1-2 December 2023 (UMFC Concert Hall) – ticket price: PLN 30
- Prizewinners’ concert – 3 December 2023 (UMFC Concert Hall) – ticket price: PLN 40.

Photo: B. Barczyk / NIFC

Today we celebrate the 105th anniversary of regaining Polish sovereignty. In 1918, after 123 years of partitions, an ind...
11/11/2023

Today we celebrate the 105th anniversary of regaining Polish sovereignty.
In 1918, after 123 years of partitions, an independent Poland returned to the map of Europe. This was eagerly awaited by the generation of Fryderyk Chopin, whose youth was marked by the experience of the unsuccessful uprising of 1830 as well as the fiasco of later liberation uprisings.

The dream of free Poland and of returning to his country accompanied Chopin throughout his life, recurring in his letters, conversations and music, both written down and created under the influence of momentary inspiration. He often played melodies of popular dances and Polish patriotic songs, with or without the presence of his compatriots. On the theme of the Dąbrowski Mazurka, the now Polish national anthem, Chopin improvised during his visit to Dresden at a musical evening at Wodzińskis’ in September 1835. Count Józef Krasiński, who was present at this meeting, was summoned the following morning to the Russian embassy, where he was admonished that if he wished to be ‘a faithful subject of the Monarch’, he should ‘push such a demagogue as Choppin [!] out of the door!!!’.

❓ We can only imagine the sound of Chopin’s revolutionary improvisations that evening. A memento from that period is a unique manuscript held in the Chopin Museum collection, a harmonisation of the refrain of the Dąbrowski Mazurka, which, on 2 September 1835, the composer probably wrote down in the album of Konstanty Młokosiewicz, a lieutenant of hussars, noting down a joke ‘from a dunce to a dunce’. Also preserved among the composer’s autographs under the title Largo in E flat major is a harmonised version of the Polish song ‘Boże, coś Polskę'.

🖼: Fryderyk Chopin, Refrain of the Dąbrowski Mazurka harmonised in the key of B flat major, autograph-gift [to Konstanty Młokosiewicz?], Karlovy Vary.

On 9 November 1812, Fryderyk Chopin’s youngest sister, Emilia, was born.As a child, Emilia had outstanding literary tale...
09/11/2023

On 9 November 1812, Fryderyk Chopin’s youngest sister, Emilia, was born.

As a child, Emilia had outstanding literary talent; together with her sister Izabella, she translated Salzmann’s pedagogical works, and her own poetical attempts were promising. She wrote Polish and French rhymed greetings to her parents, five of which have survived in the collection of the Fryderyk Chopin Museum. Together with her brother, for their father’s name-day in 1824, she also wrote a comedy ‘Omyłka, czyli mniemany filut’, which was performed at Mikołaj Chopin’s boarding house.
The family idyll was disrupted by the girl's developing illness, probably tuberculosis, which led to her premature death at the age of 14.

🖼: Unknown author, Portrait of Emilia Chopin, watercolour, gouache, 1826–1827.
✒: A four-verse poem by an unknown author written in Emilia Chopin’s hand, ‘Mourir est mon sort [...]’, signed: „E:Chopin. _”, [Warsaw], [before 10 April 1827]

09/11/2023

🗨 ‘If I had to come up with a title for this album, I would say “Chopin: philosopher”,’ says Dmitry Ablogin about his new album.

Chopin’s late works in his interpretation have been released in a new album in The Real Chopin series. The finalist of the First Chopin Competition on Period Instruments was the first to sit at the recently restored Chopin piano in the collection of NIFC. The 1848 Pleyel was the last instrument at which Chopin created piano masterpieces in his Paris flat.

🎥 Dmitry Ablogin talks about the extraordinary experience of recording Chopin’s late works on the composer’s last piano in the film.

You can already find the album in our online shop and soon via streaming services.
💿 Kup: https://sklep.nifc.pl/index.php?produkt=2_214

Professor Jerzy Marchwiński has passed awayProfessor Jerzy Marchwiński, an outstanding figure in Polish music, one of Eu...
08/11/2023

Professor Jerzy Marchwiński has passed away

Professor Jerzy Marchwiński, an outstanding figure in Polish music, one of Europe's most distinguished chamber music pianists, has passed away.

A great Artist, a beautiful Man, a valued and highly respected pedagogue. Founder and long-standing head of the Piano Chamber Music Department at the Fryderyk Chopin University of Music in Warsaw, propagator of the idea of partnership in music, which he himself put into practice by performing and recording with such eminent artists as Maureen Forrester, Andrzej Hiolski, Konstanty Andrzej Kulka, Teresa Żylis-Gara, Stefania Woytowicz and Wanda Wiłkomirska. He shared an exceptional artistic partnership with his wife, Ewa Podleś.

We bid farewell to a charismatic artist of great sensitivity.

We bring Ignacy Jan Paderewski’s early letters to life! Enjoy a new animated series of films about the composer. In the ...
07/11/2023

We bring Ignacy Jan Paderewski’s early letters to life! Enjoy a new animated series of films about the composer. In the first episode, we find out how the ambitious fourteen-year-old pianist copes with his studies at Warsaw Institute of Music.

The joys and worries of a young man, noted down more than 100 years ago, have been brought to life through drawings by Filip Sułkowski, animation by Filip Dowjat, and sound design by Daniel Adamczyk Łukasz Sobolewski of Uchostudio. The role of the teenage Paderewski is played by Maciej Musiałowski, the introduction is read by Sławomira Łozińska.

Further animations of Letters will soon be available on the YouTube channel of The Fryderyk Chopin Institute and the Polish Music Portal. Letters are also available to purchase as a book in the store of NIFC.

Maciej Musiałowski - Ignacy Jan PaderewskiSławomira Łozińska - narratorkaJustyna Kica - scenariusz i konsultacja merytorycznaFilip Sułkowski - rysunkiFilip D...

163 years ago Ignacy Jan Paderewski was born!   Pianist, composer, statesman… In interwar Poland, there was a saying tha...
06/11/2023

163 years ago Ignacy Jan Paderewski was born!

Pianist, composer, statesman… In interwar Poland, there was a saying that Paderewski ‘won Poland at the piano’. He was a born stage artist, gifted with an unparalleled charisma that enchanted audiences across Europe and the United States.

As a political activist, from 1917 he represented the Polish National Committee in the USA, negotiating, among other things, the inclusion of Polish independence among Wilson’s ‘14 points’. From 6 January to 4 December 1919, he served as President of the Council of Ministers and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland. As Poland’s representative, he signed the Treaty of Versailles confirming the country’s western border. In 1920-1921, he was Polish ambassador to the League of Nations.
Paderewski is one of the leading Polish composers of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. His oeuvre includes dozens of instrumental and vocal works, including the Piano Concerto. Op. 17, the Symphony in B minor, Op. 24, the opera Manru, the Piano Sonata, Op. 21, 2 cycles of piano variations, songs, and popular miniatures.

You can find out more about Ignacy Jan Paderewski on the Polish Music Portal, a platform containing information about artists, philosophical thought, and art at the time of the partitions, where there are: biographies, calendars, letters, full catalogues of works, iconography, bibliography, and multimedia materials:
https://portalmuzykipolskiej.pl/pl/osoba/226-Ignacy%20Jan-Paderewski?fbclid=IwAR3xFasEI4WQ5kKt0JjzoBbO4D4nZNAd2vCRs7REpmnIspx_ONmoxU4U6Z8

🖼 : Louis Frédéric Schützenberger, Portrait of Ignacy Jan Paderewski, oil, canvas, 1889.

05/11/2023
On 4 November Mariusz Kwiecień celebrated his birthday. He has performed at prestigious opera houses all over the world,...
05/11/2023

On 4 November Mariusz Kwiecień celebrated his birthday. He has performed at prestigious opera houses all over the world, such as the Metropolitan Opera, San Francisco Opera, Covent Garden, collaborating with the most renowned symphony orchestras. His stage credits include the roles of Marcello in Puccini’s La Bohème, Germont in Verdi’s La Traviata, and the title roles in Szymanowski’s King Roger and Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin. He became famous worldwide as Don Giovanni at, among others, London’s Covent Garden, Vienna’s Staatsoper, San Francisco Opera, Seattle Opera, and the National Opera in Warsaw.

We encourage you to listen to the album ‘Chopin. Songs’ recorded with Aleksandra Kurzak, Mariusz Kwiecień, and Nelson Goerner. The album was awarded the prestigious Diapason d’Or phonographic award by the ‘Diapason’ magazine.

💿 Chopin. Songs | Aleksandra Kurzak, Mariusz Kwiecień, Nelson Goerner
🎧 Listen: http://soundline.biz/AleksandraKurzakMariuszKwiecienNels.../
🛒 Purchase: https://sklep.nifc.pl/index.php?produkt=2_27

On 3 November 1801, Vincenzo Bellini was born in the Sicilian city of Catania. He was an Italian opera composer, the mos...
03/11/2023

On 3 November 1801, Vincenzo Bellini was born in the Sicilian city of Catania. He was an Italian opera composer, the most famous representative of bel canto next to Donizetti.

He studied at the conservatory in Naples, and made his debut there in 1825 with the opera ‘Adelson e Salvini’. In 1833, he moved to Paris to compose a new opera commissioned by the Théâtre Italien.

Bellini quickly got comfortable in the French capital and widened his circle of acquaintances to include the most eminent musical personalities of his time. Chopin showed a clear affection for both Bellini and his music. He was certainly familiar with ‘La sonnambula’, ‘Norma’ and ‘I Puritani’, Bellini’s last work, staged in Paris in 1835. Ferdinand Hiller recalled that the Polish composer was very emotional while watching ‘Norma’ and even broke into tears during the finale of Act II.

The composer’s brilliant career was interrupted by an early death at the age of nearly 34. In 1835, the composer suffered from amoebiasis, a parasitic disease of the digestive system. He was buried in the Père Lachaise cemetery, but in 1876 his remains were moved to his native Catania.

Chopin’s friendship with Bellini did not result in any direct reminiscences in the Polish composer’s music, with the exception of the Variation in E major on the theme of the March from the second act of ‘I Puritani’, composed in 1837 to commemorate his friend. Together with compositions by Liszt, Pixis, Herz, Thalberg, and Czerny, it was included in the Hexameron, a cycle of variations on a theme from the last opera of the prematurely deceased Bellini.

🎶 Tatiana Shebanova | F. Chopin – Variation in E Major on a Theme from Opera ‘I puritani’ by Bellini [Part of 'Hexameron'] Dbop. 29

🎧 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jFYlfWnv48Q
🖼 Jean-François Millet, Vincenzo Bellini, oil on canvas, 1st half of the 19th c.

🍂 Today in Poland we celebrate All Souls’ Day. The beginning of November is a time when we visit cemeteries and remember...
02/11/2023

🍂 Today in Poland we celebrate All Souls’ Day. The beginning of November is a time when we visit cemeteries and remember our loved ones. Last week, we visited the graves of family and friends of Fryderyk Chopin, who are buried in one of the oldest cemeteries in Warsaw – Stare Powązki 🕯.

Fryderyk Chopin certainly used to visit the Powązki cemetery. The composer’s youngest sister, Emilia, was buried there. According to the text engraved on her tombstone, the promising poet of the Chopin family died on 10 April 1827, aged only 14. All of the composer’s closest relatives are buried at the Powązki cemetery: his parents and sisters (the eldest Ludwika, the younger Izabella), his brothers-in-law, his godson Fryderyk Jędrzejewicz, who died aged 17, and his niece Ludwika Ciechomska, née Jędrzejewicz (as Antoni Jędrzejewicz told Ferdynand Hoesick, ‘she was with my mother in 1849 in Paris at the death of my uncle Fryderyk’).

Also buried at Powązki are his godfather, Count Fryderyk Skarbek, and Chopin’s teachers (among them both Wojciech Żywny and Józef Elsner), as well as his friends from his school years and friends of the family.

Photos: D. Jaruga / NIFC

On the day of Andrzej Czajkowski’s birth anniversary, let’s listen to a unique CD in the Blue Series presenting the most...
01/11/2023

On the day of Andrzej Czajkowski’s birth anniversary, let’s listen to a unique CD in the Blue Series presenting the most interesting figures of the Chopin Competitions. The 2015 album includes Andrzej Czajkowski’s recordings from the 5th Competition in 1955.

At the time, he won a mere 8th Prize; but a year later, together with Vladimir Ashkenazy, he triumphed in Brussels at the Queen Elisabeth Competition, thereby beginning a brilliant international career. Such musicians as Arthur Rubinstein and Fritz Reiner were fascinated by his personality. Were he still alive day, Andrzej Czajkowski would now be 80 years old; he is presently being rediscovered by the whole world, not only as one of the 20th century’s most interesting pianists, but also as a distinguished composer of, among other works, a Piano Concerto which has been presented at the Chopin and His Europe Festival; the opera The Merchant of Venice, which premièred in Bregenz and Warsaw; and many solo and chamber works, including art songs.
With his archival recordings from half a century ago, we recall the first interpretations of a young musician who surprised us with his originality and mastery. This CD attests to the greatness of Andrzej Czajkowski as a figure in our culture!

The album is available in the online store of NIFC and online:
💿 Purchase: https://sklep.nifc.pl/index.php?produkt=2_102
🎧 Listen: https://spoti.fi/40dYkXv

✒ ‘This world is somehow passing me by, I forget myself, I have no strength; […] ...if I rise a little, I fall all the l...
01/11/2023

✒ ‘This world is somehow passing me by, I forget myself, I have no strength; […] ...if I rise a little, I fall all the lower.’ These were poignant words written by the composer exactly a year before his funeral, on 30 October 1848, in a letter to Wojciech Grzymała.

Chopin’s six-month tour of Great Britain, which was organised by his pupil Jane Stirling, who was constantly accompanying him, gave rise to rumours of his planned marriage. Fryderyk cut them off with the bitter statement: ‘I am not complaining to you, but you demanded it, so I explain to you that I am closer to a coffin than a marriage bed.’

A year later, as the composer predicted, his friends and supporters received a funeral invitation instead of a wedding invitation, which should be understood literally. Afraid that those wishing to attend the service would not fit into the church of St Magdalene, the organisers of the ceremony decided to allow inside the holders of printed invitations exclusively.

Chopin’s funeral was accompanied by Mozart’s Requiem. The Funeral March from the Sonata in B flat minor was played, instrumented by Henri Reber, as well as E minor and B minor preludes from Op. 28 performed on the organ. After the service, the organist, Lefébure-Wély played an improvisation with themes from Chopin’s works.

The composer’s body lays at the Père-Lachaise cemetery, surrounded by the graves of other stars of the musical world. As Friedrich Niecks notes, after the coffin was lowered into the grave, some dirt was thrown over it, which Chopin had received as a gift from friends when leaving Poland.

📷: The tomb of Fryderyk Chopin at the Père-Lachaise cemetery in Paris.

Eric Guo and Martyna Pastuszka’s {oh!} Orchestra at the Castle Museum in Pszczyna The next stop on the concert tour of t...
01/11/2023

Eric Guo and Martyna Pastuszka’s {oh!} Orchestra at the Castle Museum in Pszczyna

The next stop on the concert tour of the winner of the 2nd International Chopin Competition on Period Instruments was Pszczyna. Last Sunday, the 44th ‘Evenings at Telemann's’ International Music Festival closed with Eric Guo, accompanied by Martyna Pastuszka’s {oh!} Orchestra, playing the Piano Concerto in E minor by Fryderyk Chopin.

Below you can see photographs taken by Marcin Cyran.

29/10/2023

🎹 The 2nd Chopin Competition on Period Instruments ended exactly 2 weeks ago, but you can always come back to these memories! On The Chopin Institute’s YouTube channel you will find separate videos of the participants’ performances as well as recordings of the finals, the prizewinners’ concert, and the unforgettable opening concert with Martha Argerich and the prizewinners of the first edition of the Competition: Tomasz Ritter and Naruhiko Kawaguchi.

In separate playlists, you will also find the ‘Behind the scenes’ ad ‘Into the world of period pianos’ series about the participants of the Competition, its audience, period pianos, historically informed performance, and the winners of the previous edition.

2nd International Chopin Competition on Period Instruments – playlists:
Behind the scenes
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLTmn2qD3aSQv3zPseC6YfI4QaFWzQsZ3b
Into the world of period pianos
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLTmn2qD3aSQu-sp49ooqm-_j2HYtb1KU9
Sessions
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLTmn2qD3aSQsyJytKBOv5rwHpP7u19AhK

🎥: Eric Guo, winner of the 2nd International Chopin Competition on Period Instruments,{oh!} Orchestra under the baton of Václav Luks – Fryderyk Chopin, Piano Concerto in E minor, Op. 11 | Final round, 13 Oct 2023.

Żelazowa Wola has already changed its colours! 🍂🍁The Park surrounding the Birthplace of Fryderyk Chopin always amazes us...
28/10/2023

Żelazowa Wola has already changed its colours! 🍂🍁
The Park surrounding the Birthplace of Fryderyk Chopin always amazes us, but autumn makes it incredibly colourful. You can now see it yourself thanks to the photographs taken by Małgorzata Kazur.

🎉 241 years ago Niccolò Paganini was born. He was a brilliant Italian violin virtuoso and composer, who gave concerts al...
27/10/2023

🎉 241 years ago Niccolò Paganini was born. He was a brilliant Italian violin virtuoso and composer, who gave concerts all over Europe, also in Poznań and Warsaw, where he performed ten times in 1829. Paganini’s Warsaw concerts made a very strong impression on the young Chopin. Influenced by the violinist’s performances, Fryderyk wrote the Variations in A major ‘Souvenir de Paganini’ [WN16].

Paganini’s 24 Caprices for solo violin constitute a compendium of modern violin technique in which he included his virtuosic experiences. This collection may have been one of the inspirations for Chopin’s Etudes. Chopin did not meet Paganini in person until August 1837 in Paris, thanks to Eliza Peruzzi, who brought the violinist to him for an unannounced visit. Paganini, who had never before had the opportunity to hear Chopin play, was delighted with his art.

🎧 Georgijs Osokins, Fryderyk Chopin’s Variations in A major ‘Souvenir de Paganini’: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xmdq-c9YCAk
🖼 Portrait of Niccolò Paganini, John Whittle, 1836.

🍁 How to spend an autumn evening? Reading a good book is a perfect idea! 📚☕ You don’t even need to leave home – selected...
26/10/2023

🍁 How to spend an autumn evening? Reading a good book is a perfect idea! 📚☕ You don’t even need to leave home – selected publications of The Chopin Institute are available as e-books.

📱 Three are three e-books available in English: a translation of Chopin’s letters by David Frick, Kamila Stępień-Kutera’s interview with 1970 Chopin Competition winner Garrick Ohlsson ‘The Pianist. Conversations with Garrick Ohlsson’ (the first publication in a planned series), and a collection of essays ‘Metaphysical Hearing’ by Anna Chęćka.

📕 ‘The Pianist. Conversations with Garrick Ohlsson’ Kamila Stępień-Kutera
https://www.amazon.com/Pianist-Conversations-Garrick-Ohlsson-ebook/dp/B09W37G7SK
📗 ‘Metaphysical hearing’ Anna Chęćka
https://www.ibuk.pl/fiszka/296945/metaphysical-hearing.html
📘 ‘Chopin’s Polish Letters’ trans. David Frick
https://www.legimi.pl/ebook-chopin-s-polish-letters-fryderyk-chopin,b662186.html

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