Miami, January 14, 2015 – Vying for the largest cash prize ever awarded in a U.S. piano competition, 24 of the nation’s most gifted young pianists will compete in the 9th National Chopin Piano Competition held in Miami from February 21-March 1, 2015 at the Miami-Dade County Auditorium.
Founded by Mrs. Blanka A. Rosenstiel, the first National Chopin Piano Competition was held in Miami in 1975 under the auspices of the American Institute of Polish Culture. Since then it has been presented every five years by the Chopin Foundation of the United States. It is the only classical piano competition devoted to the works of a single composer that is open exclusively to young American pianists. Previous winners and competitors have gone on to capture top prizes at prestigious international competitions, including the Warsaw Chopin Piano Competition, while enjoying distinguished professional careers.
The competition is open solely to U.S. pianists born between 1985 and 1999. The 24 contestants will compete over eight days and four rounds, with each round taking two days. With the exception of the final round, when six finalists will perform with the Chopin Foundation Orchestra, all competition sessions are free and open to the public.
Among the selected 24 contestants traveling to Miami from 11 states, there are 11 women and 13 men. The youngest is 17 years old and the oldest is 29. All will be hosted by the local families who have pianos in their homes and have volunteered to “adopt” the young pianists for the time of the competition.
For a full list of contestants, and the competition schedule please visit http://www.chopin.org.
Blanka Rosenstiel, founder of the Chopin Foundation, and an underwriter of the first prize, commented: “We increased the top prize to $75,000 to attract the very best pianists in America to our competition. I’m proud to say that we have succeeded beyond our expectations. In spite of their youth, each contestant has already laid the groundwork for an esteemed professional career as a concert pianist.”
The total of all cash prizes awarded at the Competition comes to $160,000. In addition to receiving $75,000, the first prize winner of the National Chopin Piano Competition will perform in concerts throughout the U.S. and internationally for bookings arranged by the Chopin Foundation. The prize winners will also receive expense-paid trips to compete in the International Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw. The top two finalists will automatically advance to the Warsaw competition while the other four finalists must compete in live auditions in April.
The ten-day Competition will open on February 20th with a Gala Concert featuring performances by all nine members of the Competition jury. The winners will be announced on March 1, 2015 after the two-part final performances are over. The Chopin Foundation Orchestra led by Maestro Grzegorz Nowak will accompany the six finalists. Tickets to the Gala Opening Concert and to the two parts of the finals of the Competition are available through www.chopin.org, Ticketmaster.com, by phone at 1-800-745-3000 or 1-866-448-7849 and at the Miami-Dade County Auditorium Box Office.
Through the National Chopin Piano Competition, the Chopin Foundation of the U.S. fulfills its mission to support talented young American pianists and to make classical music accessible to all. In addition, the Foundation offers scholarships to American pianists, ages 14-17, to assist potential Competition applicants with their musical studies, and also presents the free Chopin for All concert series in South Florida.
For more information about the Ninth National Chopin Piano Competition and other Chopin Foundation’s programs, please visit http://www.chopin.org.