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8th International Music Festival CHOPIN AND HIS MUSIC
17th-31st of August 2012


Artistic director: Stanisław Leszczyński

The eighth edition of the International Music Festival ‘Chopin and his Europe' took place from 17 to 31 August. As every year, it brought together leading figures of world's musical life. Great soloists and excellent ensembles playing on contemporary and historical instruments travelled to Warsaw for the festival. Besides works by the titular protagonists, we could also hear compositions by Beethoven, Brahms, Grieg, Liszt, Mozart, Paderewski, Ravel, Schumann...

Highlights included the presentation of rarely performed Polish music by Franciszek Lessel, Feliks Dobrzyński, Józef Wieniawski, Maurycy [Moritz] Moszkowski and Roman Maciejewski and many others, as well as performances of young and talented Polish soloists: Aleksandra Kuls and Michał Szymanowski. For the first time, we heard Chopin's concertos in chamber versions, performed by Kevin Kenner, the Casal Quartet and Grzegorz Frankowski.

After a break Andreas Staier, Alexander Melnikov, Evgeni Koroliov, Nicholas Angelich and François-Frederic Guy returned to the festival. Howard Shelley, who astonished critics around the world with his recording of concertos by Lessel and Dobrzyński, performed and recorded them again, this time with Concerto Köln on period instruments. Jan Lisiecki and the Sinfonia Varsovia conducted by Christian Zacharias played Schumann's Piano Concerto. Frans Brüggen's Orchestra of the 18th Century also returned to the festival after a short break for extremely significant performances with the winner of the last International Fryderyk Chopin Piano Competition, Yulianna Avdeeva, well-known for his extraordinary musicality Kristian Bezuidenhout and one the best violinists in the world today Isabelle Faust. Janusz Olejniczak also performed with the Orchestra. The event of Frans Brüggen's Orchestra performing again with Martha Argerich and Maria João-Pires separately, playing Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 1 and Piano Concerto No. 3 on historical instruments.  Martha Argerich participated in the chamber concert ‘From Mazurka to Tango'.

During the festival, the following performers had their debut: Dora Schwarzberg, Lucia Hall, Edna Stern, Elena Lisitsian, Alexander Romanovsky, Hana Blažiková and Alejandro Petrasso. Recital of Cyprien Katsaris and Daniila Trifonova was a highlight.

During two musical evening presentation of Chopin's books including new publications of the Fryderyk Chopin Institute took place. Renown musicians such as Nelson Goerner, Hana Blažiková and Wojciech Świtala participated in it.

The festival closed with a concert performed by the Sinfonia Varsovia conducted by Jerzy Maksymiuk, Dimitri Alexeev, the winner of the  Leeds International Pianoforte Competition in 1975, and Valentina Lisitsa who performed in Warsaw after her great success at London's Royal Albert Hall.


  • Steinway (2006)
  • Erard (1838, 1849)
  • Pleyel (1848)
  • Graf (a copy of the instrument from c.1819)
  • Yamaha CFX
  • Bösendorfer Imperial