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Canadian Wins 18th International Chopin Piano Competition | World news

WARSAW, Poland (AP) – Canada’s Bruce (Xiaoyu) Liu was named the winner of the first 40,000 euros ($ 45,000) first prize at the 18th Frederic Chopin International Piano Competition on Thursday, a prestigious event that launches a global career pianists.

The jury’s announcement came just hours after Liu performed as the last participant among the 12 finalists, performing Chopin’s E minor concerto, Op. 11 with the orchestra at the Warsaw National Philharmonic Orchestra. Her inspired performance was met with huge applause.

“Oh my God. I don’t know what to say, honestly,” Liu said after winning the name.

“We dreamed with all these people here for this prestigious stage,” said the 24-year-old Paris-born player in English.

“Being able to play Chopin in Warsaw is one of the best things you can imagine, of course, so I’m really honored for this award, of course, and for the trust of this jury and for all the warmth that I have received. these past few days. ”Liu said.

The second prize and 30,000 euros ($ 35,000) went jointly to Alexander Gadjiev, representing Italy and Slovenia, and Kyohei Sorita from Japan. Gadjiev also won the Krystian Zimerman Prize of 10,000 euros ($ 11,800) for best sonata performance.

The third prize of 20,000 euros ($ 23,000) went to Spaniard Martin Garcia Garcia, who also won the prize of 5,000 euros ($ 5,800) for best concerto performance.

The fourth prize and 15,000 euros ($ 17,000) were shared by the Japanese Aimi Kobayashi and the Polish Jakub Kuszlik, who also won the prize for the best mazurka performance and 5,000 euros. Italy’s Leonora Armellini received the fifth prize of 10,000 euros ($ 11,600), while the sixth prize and 7,000 euros ($ 8,000) went to Canadian JJ Jun Li Bui.

The first prize was funded by the office of the President of Poland, and other prizes were funded by the government, public cultural institutions and individuals.

A high ranking in the renowned competition opens the best concert halls in the world for pianists and opens the way for recordings with the most famous record companies.

The head of the jury, Katarzyna Popowa-Zydron, said after the announcement that the level of the pianists was very high and made the award decisions very difficult for the 17 jurors. She called the participants “wonderful young people”.

During the competition, she said that in addition to being excellent pianists, participants also had to show sensitivity and bring freshness to the music.

“I’m trying to find a connection between the performer and Chopin,” Popowa-Zydron said in an interview. Music is a “message from a person, and (musicians) should know what kind of person Chopin was.”

Bowing to their artistry, the jury allowed two more finalists this year than usual. The competition, held every five years, has been postponed from 2020 due to the pandemic.

Previous winners include Italian Maurizio Pollini, Argentina’s Martha Argerich, American Garrick Ohlsson, Poles Krystian Zimerman and Artur Blechacz, and Seong-Jin Cho of South Korea.

Chopin, Poland’s best known and most beloved classical composer and pianist, was born in 1810 in Zelazowa Wola near Warsaw to a Polish mother and a French father. He left Poland at the age of 19 to deepen his musical training in Vienna and then in Paris, where he settled, composed, gave concerts and taught the piano. He died on October 17, 1849 in Paris and was buried in the Père Lachaise cemetery. His heart is in the Holy Cross Church in Warsaw.

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