5 Americans, 3 Brits make the Chopin Competition finals

5 Americans, 3 Brits make the Chopin Competition finals


norman lebrecht

April 26, 2015

After listening to 152 contenders, the Chopin judges have agreed on 84 finalists for October. The largest contingents are from Poland and China – 15 each. There are 12 pianists from Japan, 9 from South Korea and 7 from Russia. Two of the Russians appear to be sisters.


1. Ms Soo Jung Ann (South Korea)
2. Ms Miyako Arishima (Japan)
3. Mr Tymoteusz Bies (Poland)
4. Mr Rafał Błaszczyk (Poland)
5. Mr Łukasz Piotr Byrdy (Poland)
6. Ms Michelle Candotti (Italy)
7. Mr Luigi Carroccia (Italy)
8. Ms Galina Chistiakova (Russia)
9. Ms Irina Chistiakova (Russia)

irina chistiakova

10. Mr Seong-Jin Cho (South Korea)

11. Mr Ashley Fripp (United Kingdom)
12. Ms Yasuko Furumi (Japan)
13. Ms Saskia Giorgini (Italy)
14. Ms Katarzyna Gołofit (Poland)
15. Mr Adam Mikołaj Goździewski (Poland)
16. Ms Ivett Gyӧngyӧsi (Hungary)
17. Mr Chi Ho Han (South Korea)
18. Mr Olof Hansen (France)
19. Mr Zhi Chao Julian Jia (China)
20. Mr Aljoša Jurinić (Croatia)
21. Ms Joo Yeon Ka (South Korea)
22. Mr Honggi Kim (South Korea)
23. Ms Su Yeon Kim (South Korea)
24. Ms Yedam Kim (South Korea)
25. Ms Yurika Kimura (Japan)
26. Ms Dinara Klinton (Ukraine)
27. Ms Aimi Kobayashi (Japan)
28. Mr Qi Kong (China)
29. Mr Marek Kozák (Czech Republic)
30. Mr Łukasz Krupiński (Poland)
31. Mr Krzysztof Książek (Poland)
32. Ms Rachel Naomi Kudo (United States)
33. Mr George Li (United States)
34. Mr Ning Yuen Li (China)
35. Ms Kate Liu (United States)
36. Mr Eric Lu (United States)
37. Ms Tian Lu (China)
38. Mr Xin Luo (China)
39. Mr Roman Martynov (Russia)
40. Ms Nagino Maruyama (Japan)
41. Mr Vladimir Matusevich (Russia)
42. Ms Nao Mieno (Japan)
43. Mr Łukasz Mikołajczyk (Poland)
44. Mr Paweł Motyczyński (Poland)
45. Ms Alexia Mouza (Greece)
46. Ms Jiyeong Mun (South Korea)
47. Ms Mayaka Nakagawa (Japan)
48. Ms Nozomi Nakagiri (Japan)
49. Mr Szymon Nehring (Poland)
50. Ms Anastasiia Nesterova (Russia)
51. Ms Ronald Noerjadi (Indonesia)
52. Ms Mariko Nogami (Japan)
53. Mr Piotr Nowak (Poland)
54. Ms Arisa Onoda (Japan)
55. Mr Georgijs Osokins (Latvia)
56. Mr Jinhyung Park (South Korea)
57. Mr Piotr Ryszard Pawlak (Poland)
58. Ms Zuzanna Pietrzak (Poland)
59. Ms Tiffany Poon (China)
60. Mr Kausikan Rajeshkumar (United Kingdom)
61. Mr Charles Richard-Hamelin (Canada)
62. Ms Tamila Salimdjanova (Uzbekistan)
63. Mr Cristian Ioan Sandrin (Romania)
64. Ms Natalie Schwamová (Czech Republic)
65. Mr Aristo Chingtoa Sham (China)
66. Ms Boyang Shi (China)
67. Mr Dmitry Shishkin (Russia)
68. Ms Rina Sudo (Japan)
69. Mr Michał Szymanowski (Poland)
70. Ms Rikono Takeda (Japan)
71. Mr Arseny Tarasevich-Nikolaev (Russia)
72. Mr Alexei Tartakovsky (United States)
73. Mr Hin-Yat Tsang (China)
74. Mr Alexander Ullman (United Kingdom)
75. Mr Chao Wang (China)
76. Mr ZhuWang (China)
77. Mr Andrzej Wierciński (Poland)
78. Mr Yuchong Wu (China)
79. Mr Zi Xu (China)
80. Mr Yike (Tony) Yang (Canada)
81. Ms Yuliya Yermalayeva (Belarus)
82. Mr Cheng Zhang (China)
83. Ms Chuhan Zhang (China)
84. Ms Annie Zhou (Canada)


  • Graeme Hall says:

    I think that at least a couple said to be from China are actually from Hong Kong. And no, before anybody says anything, it’s not the same.

    • Anon says:

      Who cares. It is the same. Or is a Hong Kong homo sapiens a different species than a Chinese homo sapiens? This nationalism in the 21st century is jus sad. So retarded.

      • Karen says:

        The sovereignty of Hong Kong has long been transferred from the United Kingdom to the People’s Republic of China since 1997, some 18 years ago.
        HK is a city in the country of China.
        Only the country name is mentioned, and not the city where the artist comes from. So it is perfectly appropriate to refer to them as being from China.
        (Tiffany Poon and Aristo Sham are the two from HK.)

        • Graeme Hall says:

          Very disingenuous. Of course HK is not just another city in China. As I am sure you well know it has a different legal system, currency, education system, immigration rules and culture. Seperate sports teams, Olympic status, independent membership of the WTO..I could go on. If it was simply another city how would it be possible for Beijing to limit access to HK from China the way it has done recently? More importantly than that, a majority of Hong Kong people prefer to be identified as Hongkongers rather than Chinese.

          • Anon says:

            If you want to instrumentalize music to fortify your nationalistic stereotypes, please get lost.
            Music and also the Chopin competition should bring humans together, not divide them based on artificial nationalistic lines.

  • Robert Holmén says:

    84… “finalists”?

  • Karen says:

    Norman, these are not finalists. About 160 artists were invited to audition for the preliminary elimination round in Warsaw that just took place in April.
    Out of the 160, 84 _”Participants”_ have now been chosen to participate in the 2015 Chopin Competition which will take place in October in Warsaw.

  • Patrick says:

    With the possibility of an actual career as a Classical concert pianist being somewhat south of 1 in a 1,000,000, it never ceases to amaze me how many people continue to pursue the possibility. And this requires commitment nearing 24/7/365.

  • Karen says:

    By the way, there are also 3 wonderful Canadian artists who have been qualified to participate in October:
    Richard Charles-Hamelin, Annie Zhou and Yike Tony Yang.
    The Chopin Institute has all the preliminary round performances uploaded on their YouTube channel.

  • Walter says:

    A totally erroneous title headline. They are not ‘finalists’. They are contenders. Finalists are exactly what the word says, those who make it to the competition ‘Final’ which comes at the end.

  • Graeme Hall says:

    To “Anon” at 12:02 to whom the page doesn’t allow me to reply directly.

    How rude of you. I was doing no such thing. The list of finalists/contenders (whatever we call them) already included nationality, I was merely correcting a detail. If you think that nationality shouldn’t be mentioned at all then that’s a valid argument, but please take it up with the Chopin competition (and all other competitions that mention nationality – pretty much all of them I would think) rather than insulting people under the cloak of anonymity.

  • Peter Donohoe says:

    Great to see that the Brits are returning to the competition scene. I have heard all three elsewhere, along with several of the non-British competitors, and wish them all the best of luck and send them my congratulations.

    Just a thought: what exactly is a picture of Irina Chistiakova doing on its lonesome in the middle of the 84-strong competitors list?

  • Robert Hairgrove says:

    Maybe we should look at the Geza Anda Competition which is currently transpiring in Zurich? Here are four participants who made it to the 2nd round and are currently (or recently have been) studying with one or more of the jury members:

    Daniil Kirillov – student of Elisso Virsaladze (in Moscow), presently
    Denis Zhdanov – student of Elisso Virsaladze (in Italy), presently
    Jean-Paul Gasparian – student of Michel Beroff and Laurent Cabasso, presently
    Aleksandr Shaikin – student of Elisso Virsaladze (in Moscow) until 2013

    Elisso Virsaladze is on the jury this year; Laurent Cabasso won 3rd prize at the Geza Anda competition in 1982. Michel Beroff is listed as being on the jury this year on the official competition brochure; however, he isn’t listed on the website for some reason. Michel Beroff was also on the jury in 2012 and at other times in past years.

    Strange that Aya Matsushita, who won 3rd prize at the Geneva competition in 2012, was eliminated in the first round. I didn’t get to hear any of that round, which was apparently open to the public but not streamed over the internet. All rounds from the 2nd through the finals are being live-streamed. But you can hear her fine performance of the Schumann piano concerto in the Geneva finals on YouTube.

    According to a press release, 99 candidates submitted applications with videos and a CHF 300 entry fee which is to be refunded upon their participation in Zurich. Of these, over 40 were accepted, but only 27 have shown up to compete. Strange that almost half of the accepted applicants would decide to stay away and forfeit their entrance fee; I wonder why?

  • Wyss says:

    In any way, you have to put off the name of JP Gasparian because he hadn’t any professeur in the jury.
    Mr Cabasso was laureat 33 years ago of Geza Anda Competition and there is no connection with him and the this year jurors.

    • Robert Hairgrove says:

      Are you Mr. Gerard Wyss, who was on the jury of this year’s competition?

      Now that the dust has settled a bit, I wonder very much why Ana Gogava was eliminated in the recital round? She has so many musical and pianistic qualities in which all of the finalists were sorely lacking, IMHO. For example, the ability to play legato … deceptively simple, yet so difficult and so important. And her native (NOT naïve!) musicality; she obviously lives and breathes music. She would give you goosebumps by the way she can play a C Major scale.

      Please, go to the website (http://www.gezaanda.ch) and listen to the clips — and judge for yourself.

      And I am still wondering about the outcome of the last Geza Anda competition, where François Dumont was eliminated in the recital round. Have you heard any of his Mozart sonatas? (he only recorded all of them). Or his Ravel? (he also recorded the complete works). He and Mme. Gogava are geniuses! So, the motto of the Geza Anda competition must be: “If you are a genius, don’t bother to come here … you won’t get anywhere. Only mediocrity is honored.” The fact that the 2012 winner has more than 20 dislikes on the YouTube clip of her recital program speaks volumes, IMHO.

  • William says:

    Ronald Noerjadi is a guy. But it says Ms Ronald Noerjadi…. Can they get the gender right…