Near double-joy for Canada at the Chopin Competition

The judges dithered until after midnight before reaching a verdict. When it came, the public favourite won.

Seong-Jin Cho, 21, of South Korea received his ovation with appropriate humility.

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But the long deliberations led to leaks that the verdict had been close.

Just behind Cho, in second place, came Charles Richard-Hamelin, 26, from Francophone Canada. On a day that Canada elected a Francophone prime minister, this was almost a double celebration.

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In third place was Kate Liu of the USA.

Extra prizes:

Fryderyk Chopin Society Prize for best performance of a polonaise (3 000 €) – Seong-Jin Cho

Polish Radio Prize for best performance of mazurkas (5 000 €) – Kate Liu

Krystian Zimerman Prize for best performance of a sonata (10 000 €) – Charles Richard-Hamelin

It was that close.

UPDATE: Whispers from the jury room here.

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  • Wray Armstrong says:

    Canada’s new prime minister is the son of a French-Canadian father and an English-Canadian mother, so really the theoretically perfect Canadian… but more accurately fully bilingual as opposed to ‘francophone’.

    • CDH says:

      And Justin Trudeau’s paternal grandmother was Scottish, so he is really 3/4 anglophone!

      The joy in Canada is tempered. The post-election call-ins yesterday prominently featured very blue Blue voters. In characteristic fashion, they think the sky has fallen and the end is nigh.

  • Mike says:

    No wonder the deliberations took such a long time: Cho, Hamelin, Liu, they are all fantastic in their own personal way.
    As for Canada and Chopin: after years of suffering that pretentious boylord, finally we have some top notch, mature, distinctive Chopin playing from a Canadian pianist – even two, since Tony Yang is Canadian as well. It’s a great day for Canada indeed!

    • WSK says:

      “Top notch, mature, distinctive Chopin playing from a Canadian pianist” has been around for more than 40 years- Janina Fialkowska, hailed by Arthur Rubinstein himself as “a born Chopin interpreter”.

  • debussyste says:

    I will go to his concerts ! It’s a real musician !

  • Erwin says:

    His name is Charles Richard-Hamelin, not Charles-Richard Hamelin. And where did you get that information that he is the nephew of M.-A. Hamelin? If it’s true, it’s a well kept secret.

    • Mike says:

      Charles Richard-Hamelin is Marc Andre’s nephew in the same way Maria Milstein ( Dublin Competition) is Nathan Milstein non existent niece.

  • Emil says:

    Of course, Justin Trudeau is bilingual (one Francophone and one Anglophone parent), but let’s not let facts get in the way.

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