The music of Fryderyk Chopin, composed more than one hundred and fifty years ago and widely played and listened to from the very beginning, is enjoying increasing popularity. Evidence of this astonishing phenomenon includes the oldest and most important monographic music competition devoted to the Polish composer’s music: the International Fryderyk Chopin Piano Competition. The latest edition of the Competition significantly surpassed the previous edition in terms of the number of pianists taking part and the number of observers – viewers and listeners. The idea for a public rivalry among young artists in the art of interpreting Chopin’s music, out of which, almost a century ago, a Competition was founded in the composer’s homeland, has attracted adherents from outside Poland for many years. Competitions devoted solely or largely to Chopin’s music are organised on every continent. Some of them already have an established tradition, dating back several decades, and can boast a vital contribution to the world of music, as can be gauged from the careers enjoyed by their prize-winners. Others were set up quite recently. There are also competitions that have yet to take place, for which the organisational and financial foundations are still being painstakingly laid. There are competitions for adults, for children and youngsters, international and national competitions, differing in their artistic programme, the pool of prizes, the selection of the jurors, the principles of adjudication, the way in which participants are supported and prize-winners promoted, the interest of the public and the resonance in the media, the support of local government and local business…
We wish to show all of this on our website. We will be expanding the pool of knowledge relating to existing initiatives, as well as short-lived projects and competitions which are only just getting going. Besides our own research, we will draw on knowledge previously gathered and set in order. Above all, however, we wish to invite individuals involved in the organising of Chopin competitions to collaborate with us. We invite you to help create our website: we would like it to be, to a considerable extent, a joint website for all of us organisers of Chopin competitions.
We also want organisers of Chopin competitions to meet with each other, exchange their experiences and support one another. Our website will facilitate such contacts, but it will never replace personal, ‘real-life’ encounters. That is one of the aims of the conferences, initially held at Radziejowice, near Warsaw, and in future in different countries, co-organised by host competitions. Besides active contributions to the website, in the future we wish to turn participation in the conferences into a permanent platform of understanding and cooperation, in accordance with the ideas and the will of participants.
The Fryderyk Chopin Institute, organiser of the International Fryderyk Chopin Piano Competition, is financed by the Polish government. The Institute’s duty and mission is to spread knowledge and admiration of the music of the greatest Polish composer. Accordingly, we can extend the invitation to collaborate to the Institute’s willingness to offer support to competition initiatives, conditioned by and limited to the means which we have at our disposal. The realisation of this part of our cooperation will be served by a separate part of the website.