Nine pianists get free pass to the Chopin Competition in Warsaw

Nine pianists get free pass to the Chopin Competition in Warsaw


norman lebrecht

July 25, 2021

The event has announced nine pianists who have been exempted from the preliminary round because they have won other contests.

They are:

Piotr Alexewicz, Poland (1 award, All Polish Piano Competition 2020, Warsaw)
Avery Gagliano, US (1 award, Miami 2020)
Adam Kałduński, Poland (1 award, Beijing 2019 and 2 award All Polish Piano Competition 2020, Warsaw)
Szymon Nehring, Poland (2 award, Tel-Aviv, 2017, pictured)
Evren Ozel, US (2 award, Miami 2020)
Kamil Pacholec, Poland (2 award, Bydgoszcz, 2019)
Piotr Pawlak, Poland (1 award, Darmstadt 2017 and 2 award All Polish Competition, Warsaw 2020)
Yutong Sun, China (2 award, Santander 2018)
Tomoharu Ushida, Japan (2 award, Hamamatsu 2018)
The competition is due to open on October 2, after Covid postponements.
In all, 87 pianists (out of 500 applicants) have completed the preliminaries. They include 22 Chinese, 16 Poles, 14 Japanese, 7 South Koreans, 6 Italians. The full list reads as follows:
Leonora Armellini, Italy
J J Jun Li Bui, Canada
Michelle Candotti, Italy
Kai-Min Chang, Chinese Taipei
Junhui Chen, China
Xuehong Chen, China
Zixi Chen, China
Hyounglok Choi, South Korea
Federico Gad Crema, Italy
Aleksandra H. Dąbek, Poland
Alberto Ferro, Italy
Yasuko Furumi, Japan
Alexander Gadjiev, Italy/Slovenia
Martin Garcia Garcia, Spain
Eva Gevorgyan, Russia/Armenia
Jorge Gonzalez Buajasan, Cuba
Joanna Goranko, Poland
Chelsea Guo, U.S.A.
Eric Guo, Canada
Saaya Hara, Japan
Yifan Hou, China
Wei-Ting Hsieh, Chinese Taipei
Kaoruko Igarashi, Japan
Riko Imai, Japan
Junichi Ito, Japan
Asaki Iwai, Japan
San Jittakarn, Thailand
Jooyeon Ka, South Korea
Nikolay Khozyainov, Russia
Su Yeon Kim, South Korea
Aimi Kobayashi, Japan
Mateusz Krzyżowski, Poland
Jakub Kuszlik, Poland
Shushi Kyomasu, Japan
Hyuk Lee, South Korea
Jaeyoon Lee, South Korea
Xiaoxuan Li, China
Bruce (Xiaoyu) Liu, Canada
Julia Łozowska, Poland
Xuanyi Mao, China
Tomasz Marut, Poland
Yupeng Mei, China
Arsenii Mun, Russia
Viet Trung Nguyen, Vietnam/Poland
Georgijs Osokins, Latvia
Jinhyung Park, South Korea
Yeon-Min Park, South Korea
Jiana Peng, China
Leonardo Pierdomenico, Italy
Zuzanna Pietrzak, Poland
Hao Rao, China
Yangyang Ruan, China
Sohgo Sawada, Japan
Aristo Sham, China, Hong Kong
Miyu Shindo, Japan
Talon Smith, US
Kyohei Sorita, Japan
Szuyu Su, Chinese Taipei
Hayato Sumino, Japan
Aleksandra Świgut, Poland
Rikono Takeda, Japan
Shun Shun Tie, China
Sarah Tuan, US
Chao Wang, China
Zitong Wang, China
Zijian Wei, China
Marcin Wieczorek, Poland
Andrzej Wierciński, Poland
Victoria Wong, Canada
Yuchong Wu, China
Lingfei (Stephan) Xie, Canada/China
Zi Xu, China
Yuanfan Yang, United Kingdom
Anastasia Yasko, Russia
Andrey Zenin, Russia
Boao Zhang, China
Yilan Zhao, China
Ziji Zhao, China


  • Z-anon says:

    In what universe is that a “free pass”…? All 9 of them proved themselves, big time.

  • V Lind says:

    I see all four Canadians are of Chinese extraction. Good for them, but it makes me wonder about the take-up of the piano by any of our non-Asian citizens. An awful lot of the young people I know quite honestly do not have the discipline or application to progress at the piano, even if their parents encouraged them. And they are too busy listening to rap, or some other form of rock, being the children of the generation who knew nothing else.

    One of my closest friends is Chinese — not one of the crazy rich; her great-grandparents were of the generation that built the railway and suffered a great deal — but she put her two children into piano. Both stuck it to the point of being able to play competently; one was a competition contender when younger, though they early on realised she was not the next Yuja Wang and she did her university studies on something else, though keeping up some music study. All are keen attenders at opera and classical concerts, so an interest for life has been inculcated.

    But another close friend’s son, despite being taught he cello early, and being his school’s poster child for music, no longer even plays the guitar, and I doubt he could differentiate between Chopin and Wagner. He is the more typical.

    I do not think the Asian community is going to have to worry much longer about their place in North American classical music.

    But unless some teaching schemes that cost less than $100 an hour are introduced into this continent, classical music is going to die out as anything but an Asian cultural contribution.

  • FrauGeigerin says:

    But still, Asian artists are under-represented and need empowering. Crazy world is the world we live in!

  • Jonathan Sutherland says:

    Exemption from the preliminary rounds because of success in previous competitions has been the policy of the Chopin Competition for some time.
    This is nothing new.

  • JD says:

    If you want to know who will win or receive a prize in the competition just check their bios. If they placed or won in a major prior competition they will be awarded a prize in this one. The current Rubenstein winner will be a medal winner, if not the main winner, in the competition. This holds true to every single piano event that has taken place in recent memory. Prior prizes mean good results. No one wants to offend a previous jury/competition and they feel that they have made a safe choice. In the end, it won’t matter a hill of beans. In this current affair, you have prior participants that are again hoping for glory this time around. It goes to show that the world of playing the piano for a living is slim to zero. They play the same old pieces time and time again with the hope of adding something new after 100+ years of countless people interpreting them. I hope that they don’t have the final with all but one of them playing the E minor concerto as in the prior competition. It’s a broken model that needs to be addressed.

  • Ewa says:

    Szymon Nehring – 1 award Tel Aviv not 2