1st International Chopin Competition on Period Instruments. 2–14 September 2018

Warsaw in Chopin’s youth from Praga by Bernardo Bellotto (called Canaletto)

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 of next year in Warsaw; subsequent editions will be organized every five years.

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, in large measure lost in interpretations on contemporary instruments.

A milestone in the restoration of the authentic sound of works by Chopin and Polish composers contemporary to him will be the organization by The Fryderyk Chopin Institute, in collaboration with Polish Television and Polish Radio, of the unprecedented on a worldwide scale International Chopin Competition on Period Instruments.

The Competition participants will be pianists from all over the world, aged 18 to 35. The Competition jury is 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 schedule provides for 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, the six finalists will perform the Chopin works with orchestre of their choice, accompanied by the legendary Orchestra of the Eighteenth Century, well known to the Polish audience.

The 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), 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, as well as recording projects.

One of the main programming premises of the Competition is to popularize performance on period instruments. Thus, the realization of high-quality audiovisual broadcasting 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.

Competition Schedule

By 1 May 2018

By 30 June 2018

2-14 September

2‒3 September

Applications deadline

Announcement of the list of participants



Inaugural concerts

4‒6 September Stage I
8‒10 September Stage II
12‒13 September Final with the orchestra
14 September Winners’ concert

Competition Jury

  • Claire Chevallier
  • Nikolai Demidenko
  • Nelson Goerner
  • Tobias Koch
  • Alexei Lubimov
  • Janusz Olejniczak
  • Ewa Pobłocka
  • Andreas Staier
  • Wojciech Świtała
  • Dang Thai Son


First prize: 15 000 €

Second prize: 10 000 €

Third prize: 5 000 €

The main prize winners shall be entitled to the title of “Laureate of the 1st International Chopin Competition on Period Instruments”.

The remaining finalists shall receive equal distinctions of 1000€ each.

Competition Website


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