RAFAŁ BLECHACZ, piano
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In October 2005, Rafał Blechacz emerged as the unquestionable winner of the 15th Frédéric Chopin International Piano Competition in Warsaw, Poland (to underscore his distinguished performance among the remaining Competition participants, the international jury decided not to award the 2nd prize). All the special prizes of the Competition went to him as well: Polish Radio Prize for the best performance of the mazurkas, Frédéric Chopin Society Prize for the best performance of the polonaise, National Philharmonic of Poland Prize for the best performance of the concerto, and the Krystian Zimerman Prize for the best performance of the sonata. He also won the Audience Award.
Born in 1985 in Nakło nad Notecią, Bydgoszcz province, Poland, Blechacz began his piano lessons at the age of five. He continued his piano education at the Artur Rubinstein State School of Music in Bydgoszcz.
The victory of 2005 in Warsaw opened for him the doors of the world’s most renowned concert halls such as, the Royal Festival Hall and Wigmore Hall in London, Berliner Philharmonie, Herkulessaal in Munich, Alte Oper in Frankfurt-am-Main, Liederhalle in Stuttgart, Konzerthaus in Vienna, Tonhalle in Zurich, Victoria Hall in Geneva, Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Salle Pleyel in Paris, Palais des Beaux-Arts in Brussels, Avery Fisher Hall in New York, La Scala in Milan, Suntory Hall in Tokyo, just to name a few.
He performed with the best symphonic orchestras under the direction of such conductors as Charles Dutoit, Valery Gergiev, Daniel Harding, Pavo Järvi, Fabio Luisi, Kent Nagono, Andris Nelsons, Viktor Pablo Perez, Trevor Pinnock, Mikhail Pletnev, Jerzy Semkow, John Storgards, Antoni Wit, and David Zinman.
In May 2006 he was invited to sign an exclusive contract with Deutsche Grammophon becoming the second only Polish artist, after Krystian Zimerman, who had enlisted under this prestigious classical music label.