RAFAŁ BLECHACZ

photo: Felix Broede

photo: Felix Broede

In October 2005, Rafał Blechacz was the uncontested winner of the 15th Frédéric Chopin International Piano Competition in Warsaw, Poland.  (To underscore his distinguished performance among the remaining competitors, the international jury did not award a second prize.) Mr. Blechacz also won all the special prizes of the Competition: the Polish Radio Prize for best mazurka performance, the Frédéric Chopin Society Prize for the best performance of a polonaise, the National Philharmonic of Poland Prize for the best concerto performance, the Krystian Zimerman-sponsored prize for the best performance of a sonata, and the Competition Audience Award.

Blechacz’s victory in Warsaw opened the doors of the most famous concert halls of the world, including Royal Festival Hall and Wigmore Hall in London, Berlin’s Philharmonie, the Herkulessaal in Munich, Alte Oper in Frankfurt/Main, Liederhalle in Stuttgart, Konzerthaus in Vienna, Tonhalle in Zurich, Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Salle Pleyel in Paris, Palais des Beaux-Arts in Brussels, and Avery Fisher Hall in New York.  Mr. Blechacz has also performed at the most renowned music festivals of the world, such as Salzburg, Verbier, La Roque-d’Anthéron, Klavier Festival Ruhr and the Gilmore Festival.  He has received critical acclaim for his performances with orchestras under the direction of such noted conductors as Valery Gergiev, Mikhail Pletnev, Charles Dutoit, David Zinman, Marek Janowski and Jerzy Maksymiuk. 

Other notable awards won by Mr. Blechacz include 1st Prize and Grand Prix of the 13th All-Poland Johann Sebastian Bach Competition in Gorzów Wielokpolski (1996), 2nd Prize of the 5th International Young Pianists Competition, “Artur Rubinstein in memoriam” in Bydgoszcz (2002), and 2nd Prize of the 5th International Piano Competition in Hamamatsu, Japan (2003), an award he shared with Alexandr Kobrin, as a 1st Prize was not awarded.  In July 2010 he received the prestigious Premio Internazionale Accademia Musicale Chigiana (Siena, Italy), awarded annually by an international jury of music critics to young musicians for superb artistic achievements.

In 2006, Rafał Blechacz signed an exclusive recording contract with Deutsche Grammophon, becoming only the second Polish artist, after Krystian Zimerman, to be signed under the prestigious label.  His first recording of the complete Chopin Preludes was released in Europe in October 2007 and attained Platinum Record status in Poland within the second week of its release. A second disc followed in 2008 of sonatas by Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven.  Upon the huge success of this second CD, as well as the critical acclaim of the first, Deutsche Grammophone released under its “yellow label” in 2009 both Chopin Concerti, with Mr. Blechacz performing with the Concertgebouw Orchestra under the baton of Jerzy Semkow.  The recording, honoring the Chopin anniversary year of 2010, received a “Best of the Year” honor from Gramophone magazine and quickly achieved double platinum status in Poland. His fourth and latest DG recording, of the works of Debussy and Szymanowski was released on February 1, 2012 and quickly achieved great critical acclaim, as well as a British Gramophone Recording of the Month in May 2012 and another Echo Klassik Piano-Solo recording of the year (20th-21st Century.)

Born in 1985 in Nakło nad Notecią, Poland, Mr. Blechacz began his piano studies at age five, and continued his musical education at the Artur Rubinstein State School of Music in Bydgoszcz.  In May 2007, he graduated from the Feliks Nowowiejski Academy of Music in Bydgoszcz, where he studied with Professor Katarzyna Popowa-Zydroń.


 

SEP 29, 2013

SUN 4 PM

LINCOLN HALL

   Mozart

  • Sonata in D Major, K. 311

   Beethoven

  • Sonata No. 7 in D Major, Op. 10 No. 3

   Chopin

  • Nocturne in A-flat Major, Op. 32 No. 2
  • Two Polonaises, Op. 40
  • Three Mazurkas, Op. 63
  • Scherzo No. 3 in C-sharp minor, Op. 39 

SEP 30, 2013

MON 7:30 PM

LINCOLN HALL

   Debussy

  • Suite bergamasque

   Szymanowski

  • Sonata No. 1 in C minor, Op. 8

   Chopin

  • Nocturne in A-flat Major, Op. 32 No. 2
  • Two Polonaises, Op. 40
  • Three Mazurkas, Op. 63
  • Scherzo No. 3 in C-sharp minor, Op. 39