Pianist Bruce (Xiaoyu) Liu of Canada won the 18th Frédéric Chopin Piano Competition. The director of the Fryderyk Chopin Institute, Artur Szklener, announced the jury’s decision on Wednesday evening. In total, eight musicians were honored, including Pole Jakub Kuszlik (5th place).
The jury’s deliberations lasted exceptionally long. Originally, the results announcement was scheduled for 23.30. But the verdict was not announced until 2 am.
– I really don’t know what to say. It feels great to be standing here. It was a great adventure to play with these wonderful Chopin people on the stage of the National Philharmonic in Warsaw. It was a great experience. My family and friends are definitely happy. I really have no words, it’s a great experience and a joy – said Bruce (Xiaoyu) Liu a moment after the jury’s verdict was announced.
– If you have a passion for something, just do it. Don’t look at other people for what they say and think. Follow what you think is good for yourself. On your way, you will always encounter failures, problems and negative people, at such moments you need to move forward and not give up – added the winner.
Comments on the jury of the 18th Chopin competition
Each of the observers in the competition had their favorites. Pianist, participant in the 16th Chopin competition, Marek Bracha, noted that the jury’s verdict largely meets these expectations. He also noted the honoring of Polish pianist Jakob Koszyk with the Polish Radio Award for Best Performance by Mazurkas. – This is the culmination of the success of the entire Polish team, which presented itself in great numbers at the competition and achieved successes at every stage – he said. In his opinion, the jury verdict indicates that the youngest pianists faced a very difficult task. Two 17-year-old artists are missing – Chinese Hao Rao and Iwa Georgia, representing Armenia and Russia. – The jury did not fully trust the younger artists, despite the fact that they distinguished themselves not only from artists of the same age, but also for the entire duration of the competition. “You might feel some dissatisfaction,” Bracha said.
According to musicologist, conductor and journalist “Ruch Muzyczny” Krzysztof Stefanski, the verdict is “largely satisfactory”.
– The jury appreciated a diverse group of pianists, and the winner was the participant who was undoubtedly the best prepared and impressed at each stage, i.e. Bruce (Xiaoyu) Liu. He is a complete pianist. He has exceptional technique, but he doesn’t use it to show how he can play a piece. He said it allows him to bring out the most wonderful colors out of a piano. He added that Liu “was sometimes surprised by his vocal creations, and at the same time he had all the features of a Chopin pianist, which can be heard today at his concert.” – No need to use the right pedal to get a soft and smooth sound. He can only take it out of the keyboard itself. At the same time, I was convinced, for example, to see him in the third stage of the Sonata in the B flat miner in a strange juxtaposition, apparently, with differences in the B flat major, Op. 2. He juxtaposed Chopin’s darkest and darkest works alongside iconic variations on an opposing key – the world of music explained.
Bruce (Xiaoyu) Liu – Winner of the Chopin Competition in 2021
As we read on the NIFC website, Bruce (Xiaoyu) Liu was born on May 8, 1997 in Paris, graduated from the Montreal Conservatory of Music in Richard Raymond’s class, and is currently continuing his studies with Dang Thai Son.
He has collaborated with such bands as the Cleveland and Montreal Symphony Orchestra, the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, the Orchestra of the Americas, and the Jerusalem Cameras. He gave a series of concerts with the NCPA China Orchestra. Recently, he has also made two tours in China with the National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine and the Symphony Orchestra of the Lviv Regional Philharmonic Orchestra, performing, inter alia, at the Beijing National Center for the Performing Arts, the Concert Hall and the Oriental Arts Center in Shanghai, as well as at the Orchester Lamoureux in Salle Gaveau . He won several international piano competitions, including. in Sendai, Montreal, Viseu and Tel Aviv.
List of laureates of the 18th International Piano Competition Frederic Chopin
The jury was chaired by Prof. Katarzyna Popowa-Zydroń featured eight pianists. Alexander Gadzhiev, representing Italy and Slovenia, and Kyuhi Soreta of Japan, took second place by virtue of fairness. The third place winner is Martin Garcia Garcia of Spain, and the fourth prize was awarded by a fair judgement to Japan’s Emi Kobayashi and Paul Jacob Koszlick. Fifth place was taken by Leonora Armellini of Italy, sixth place was taken by JJ Jun Lee Boye from Canada.
1st Prize – Bruce (Xiaoyu) Liu (Canada) 2nd prize ex aequo – Alexander Gadjiev (Italy/Slovenia) 2nd prize ex aequo – Kyohei Sorita (Japan) 3rd prize – Martin Garcia Garcia (Spain) 4th ex aequo – Aimi Kobayashi (Japan) 4th ex aequo – Jakub Kuszlik (Poland) 5th prize – Leonora Armellini (Italy) 6th prize – JJ Jun Li Bui (Canada)
Furthermore, Alexander Gadzhiev received the award for Best Sonata Performance, and the award was funded by Christian Zimmermann. The Polish Radio Award for Best Performance by Mazurek was awarded to Jacob Koslik, and the winner of the National Orchestra-funded award for Best Performance for the Concert was Martin García Garcia.
Chopin competition – one of the most important competitions in the world
Final exams were held from Monday to Wednesday. Each participant played one of the concerts of Frédéric Chopin: in E minor, op. 11 or in F minor, op. 21- In the first stage, 87 pianists and pianists competed, including 16 people representing Poland. 45 people went to the second stage, and 23 people competed in the third stage.
International Piano Competition The Fryderyk Chopin event was held for the 18th time. The first edition of the event was held in 1927. Since then, it has been held regularly every five years. Rhythm has only been disrupted twice: World War II and the COVID-19 pandemic. It is one of the most prestigious music competitions in the world.
Main image source: Wojciech Olkuśnik, PAP
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