At age 20, Polish pianist Rafał Blechacz (RAH-fahl BLA-hahtch) swept all five top prizes at the 2005 International Chopin Competition in Warsaw … and to underscore his distinguished performance among the remaining Competition participants the international jury decided not to award the 2nd prize.
With the 2014 Gilmore Artist Award, which Blechacz received earlier this year, he adds another prestigious award to his collection. Unbeknownst to Blechacz, it was an award for which he was being considered at his 2012 Union College Concert Series debut. In hindsight, it was clearly a concert that not only captured the attention of the Capital Region audience, but of the Gilmore Artist Award committee as well.
Take a listen to a conversation with Rafał Blechacz and NPR’s Robert Siegel as they talk about performing, the Gilmore Award, and Chopin (click the player image to listen).
Sunday afternoon the award winning pianist returns to Union’s Memorial Chapel en route from his Carnegie Hall debut (Saturday evening) with a program chocked full of Chopin. The program is to include:
- J.S. Bach — Italian Concerto, BWV 971
- Ludwig van Beethoven — Sonata in C Minor, Op. 13, Pathétique
- Frédéric Chopin — Nocturne in E Major, Op. 62, No. 2
- Frédéric Chopin — Three Waltzes, Op. 64
- Frédéric Chopin — Three Mazurkas, Op. 56
- Frédéric Chopin — Polonaise in F-sharp Minor, Op. 44
What else can we say, but Excellent! Hope you get to go!