The 1st International Chopin Competition on period instruments The 1st International Chopin Competition on period instruments

The 1st International Chopin Competition on period instruments

Competition rules Competition rules


of the 1st International Chopin Competition
on Period Instruments



  1. The 1st International Chopin Competition on Period Instruments (hereinafter referred to as the Competition), organised by the Fryderyk Chopin Institute (hereinafter referred to as the Institute), will be held in Warsaw on 2–14 September 2018.
  2. The Jury of the Competition will be composed of outstanding Polish and foreign musicians and experts on historical performance.


The Competition is open to every pianist representing a professional level of performance, who has reached the age of 18 but has not reached the age of 35 at the beginning of the Competition, and who meets the requirements described below.


Candidates wishing to enter the Competition will have to submit a complete Competition application no later than 1 May 2018.

  1. The Competition application should include:

a) an application form available on the Competition’s website, which should be printed, correctly completed and personally signed by the candidate for the Competition
b) a short biographical note (not more than half a page, A4 paper size – i.e. about 1000 characters)
c) a photocopy of an official document indicating the date of birth
d) 3 current photographs, including at least one portrait photo, to be used in Competition publications (electronic version 300–1200 dpi, accepted formats: jpg, gif, bmp, jpeg)
e) photocopies of musical studies certificates
f) two letters of recommendation in support of the Competition application (provided by pedagogues or outstanding music personalities)
g) documents certifying the candidate’s major artistic activities in the past three years
h) a video recording containing: one of the Preludes and Fugues from the Johann Sebastian Bach’s Das Wohltemperierte Klavier, one of the Etudes from Op. 10 or 25 by Fryderyk Chopin (except for the following: Etude in E major, Op. 10 No. 3, Etude in E flat minor, Op. 10 No. 6, Etude in C sharp minor,  Op. 25 No. 7) and one of the Ballades or Barcarolla in F sharp major, Op. 60 by Fryderyk Chopin; the video image must show the pianist’s handwork and the right side of his/her whole figure, filmed with one camera without cuts during the performance of a piece; the Programme must be performed on a period instrument (i.e. a piano built in the Erard’s or Pleyel’s factory before 1860 or a Viennese piano from the Chopin’s lifetime (1810–1849) or a copy of such instruments), that should be briefly described on the application form.
i) confirmation of payment of the application fee of 50 Euro (net) into the Institute’s bank account:
71 1130 1017 0020 1462 3620 0008
with an indication of the purpose of payment and the name of the candidate

The application form and all correspondence relating to the participation in the Competition should be in Polish or English. Incomplete application or failure to meet the aforementioned requirement may result in the rejection of the application.
The Institute will not return the submitted documents and materials, which will become the property of the Institute.

2. The application should be submitted to the Institute by mail, e-mail or using the electronic form which is available on the Competition’s website:

Institute's address:

Narodowy Instytut Fryderyka Chopina
Tamka 43
00-355 Warszawa

The application form referred to in section 1. letter a) above should be submitted in the original. The electronic version of the application form will not be accepted.

Applications should be submitted to the Institute from 1st February 2018 to (no later than) 1 May 2018 (if sent by traditional mail, the date of postmark will be deemed to be the submission date). Upon receipt of the complete application, the Institute will confirm its acceptance of the Competition application.

3. The candidate’s submission of his/her Competition application will be tantamount to the candidate’s acceptance of these Rules. The notification of the acceptance of the candidate’s application shall be deemed to constitute the conclusion of an agreement between the Institute and the candidate concerning all the matters stipulated in these Rules.


  1. The candidates’ documents and recordings, as referred to in § III section 1 letter h) shall be assessed by the Qualifying Committee, consisting of outstanding musicians and experts on historical performance, on the basis of the Qualifying Committee Rules. Members of the Qualifying Committee shall be appointed by the Director of the Institute.
  2. The Committee will qualify no more than 30 participants for the Competition.
  3. The list of candidates accepted for the Competition shall be made public by its announcement posted on the Institute’s website not later than on 30 June 2018.


  1. The participant in the Competition shall be obliged to perform the Competition Repertoire on a period instrument selected by him/her from among the pianos provided by the Institute (e.g. built in the Erard’s or Playel’s factory before 1856 or a Viennese piano from the Chopin’s lifetime (1810–1849) or appropriate copy thereof). The list of the competition instruments shall be made published on the Institute’s website 4 months before inauguration of the Competition.
  2. The Institute will make it possible for a Competition participant to test-play the pianos to be used during the Competition on the date and at the time indicated by the Institute, if the participant registers with the Competition Office not later than on 1 September 2018.
  3. The draw on the order of the participants’ Competition performances shall take place publicly, on 1 September 2018 at 6 p.m.
  4. For organisational and programme-related reasons, the Competition Director shall have a right to change the sequence of performances on a given day. In the event of a participant's illness, confirmed by the Competition's medical service, the participant may be permitted to perform outside the established schedule, at the end of the performances.


  1. Competition participants shall obtain reimbursement of their documented costs of travel to and from Warsaw in order to participate in the Competition (upon production of an invoice/ticket showing the participant’s name). In the event of costs which clearly exceed what, in the Institute’s opinion, are justified expenses (e.g. indirect route, late booking, flying in a class above Economy, etc.), the Institute reserves the right to offer partial reimbursement to the participant, and a decision in this matter shall be taken by the Competition Director.
  2. The Institute, at its own cost, shall provide participants in the Competition with board and accommodation for the following periods:
    – stage I participants: from 1 to 7 September 2018
    – stage II participants: from 1 to 15 September 2018
    – finalists: from 1 to 15 September 2018
    provided that the participants accept the board and accommodation at the location recommended by the Institute.
  3. The Institute shall make practice pianos available to all Competition participants.
  4. Participants qualified into the final shall have one rehearsal with the orchestra.
  5. The Institute shall not assist Competition participants in the process of obtaining Polish visas. At the interested party’s request, the Competition Office shall provide a note confirming the participant’s acceptance for the Competition and the aforementioned benefits.
  6. Competition participants should have health insurance coverage for the duration of their stay in Poland in connection with the Competition.


  1. Competition performances shall be open to the public and shall be held in two stages and the final.
  2. No more than 15 participants shall be admitted to the second stage and no more than 6 finalists to the final.


The Competition repertoire includes mostly works by Fryderyk Chopin. Competitors may play pieces they presented in the video recording qualifying for the Competition.

Stage I

  • one of the Preludes and Fugues from Das Wohltemperierte Klavier by Johann Sebastian Bach
  • one of the Fryderyk Chopin’s early Polonaises (in A flat major, Op. posth.; in G sharp minor, Op. posth.; in B flat minor, Op. posth.; in D minor, Op. 71 No. 1; in B flat major Op. 71 No. 2; in F minor Op. 71 No. 3)
  • one of the Polonaises from among the following:
    Karol Kurpiński – Polonaise in D minor, Polonaise in G minor
    Józef Elsner – Polonaise in B major, Polonaise in E flat major
    Michał Kleofas Ogiński – Polonaise in A minor “Farewell to Homeland”, Polonaise in D minor
    Maria Szymanowska – Polonaise in F minor
  • one of the Etudes from Op. 10 or Op. 25 by Fryderyk Chopin, except for the following: Etude in E major, Op. 10 No. 3; Etude in E flat minor, Op. 10 No. 6; Etude in C sharp minor, Op. 25 No. 7
  • one of the following works by Fryderyk Chopin:
    Ballade in G minor, Op. 23
    Ballade in F major, Op. 38
    Ballade in A flat major, Op. 47
    Ballade in F minor, Op. 52
    Barcarolle in F sharp major, Op. 60

The pieces may be performed in any order.

Stage II

Fryderyk Chopin:

  • a full set of Mazurkas from the following opuses:
    17, 24, 30, 33, 41, 50, 56, 59
    Mazurkas must be played in the order they are numbered in the opus. In the case of opuses 33 and 41, the following order applies:
    Op. 33: No. 1 in G sharp minor, No. 2 in C major, No. 3 in D major,  No. 4 in B minor
    Op. 41: No. 1 in E minor, No. 2 in B major, No. 3 in A flat major, No. 4 in C sharp minor
  • one of the following Polonaises:
    Andante Spianato and Polonaise in E flat major, Op. 22
    Polonaise in F sharp minor, Op. 44
    Polonaise in A flat major, Op. 53
    or both Polonaises from Op. 26
  • Sonata in C minor, Op. 4 or Sonata in B flat minor, Op. 35 or Sonata in B minor, Op. 58

Repetition of the exposition in the first movement of the B minor Sonata should be left out; repetition of the first movement of the B flat minor Sonata is optional.

Performance duration during the second stage: 50–60 minutes.
The pieces may be performed in any order (except for the Mazurkas).
Should the participant exceed the time limit, the Jury may stop his/her performance.


One of the following Concertos by Fryderyk Chopin:
     Piano Concerto in E minor, Op. 11
     Piano Concerto in F minor, Op. 21
or two of the following pieces by Fryderyk Chopin:
Variations in B flat major on 'La ci darem la mano' from Mozart’s opera Don Giovanni, Op. 2
Fantasy in A major on Polish Airs, Op. 13
Rondo à la krakowiak in F major, Op. 14.


  1. The Competition repertoire must be shown in the candidate’s Competition application. The competitors are obliged to specify in their applications the edition of Chopin’s works they will be using and the exact timing of each work.
  2. While it is permitted to use the texts contained in all available editions of Chopin's works, contestants are recommended to use the text contained in The National Edition of the Works of Fryderyk Chopin edited by Prof. Jan Ekier.
  3. The Competition repertoire must be played from memory.
  4. The Competition Office should be notified in writing of all changes to the Competition repertoire not later than by 5 July 2018.


  1. The following main prizes shall be awarded to three top finalists:
    First prize - 15 000 €
    Second prize - 10 000 €
    Third prize - 5000 €

The main prize winners shall be entitled to the title of “Laureate of the 1st International Chopin Competition on Period Instruments”.

2. The remaining finalists shall receive equal distinctions of 1000 € each.
3. The aforementioned prizes shall be subject to reduction by the value of taxes due according to the binding regulations.
4. Second stage participants who fail to qualify for the final shall receive participation diplomas.


  1. A decision on the award of the main prizes and distinctions prizes shall be taken by the Competition Jury.
  2. The Jury shall have a right, based on 2/3 majority of its votes, to change the number and classification of the main prizes, provided that a total amount allocated for the main prizes and distinctions may not be increased and that the value of individual main prizes and distinctions shall not change.
  3. The Jury shall have a right not to award individual main prizes.
  4. All decisions taken by the Jury shall be final and not subject to appeal.
  5. Competition results shall be announced publicly after the final performances are finished and the Jury finishes its deliberations on 13 September 2018.


The official presentation of the winners of the prizes and distinctions shall be held on 14 September 2018.


  1. All laureates shall be required to appear without remuneration in the prize winners’ concert.
  2. The Chairman of the Competition Jury shall establish the repertoire of the prize winners’ concert in consultation with the laureates; the first prize winner shall perform a piece/pieces performed in the final with the orchestra. The laureates shall be required to perform the exact repertoire, as agreed upon.
  3. Unjustified absence from the laureates’ concert shall be tantamount to giving up the prize money.


1. Each Competition participant shall:

a) permit the Institute to make audio and visual recordings of his/her artistic performances of works in the Competition and the winners’ concert, and transfer to the Institute all economic rights to these performances,
b) permit the Institute to make audio and visual recordings of his/her image, statements and interviews given during the Competition and the winners’ concert or relating to the Competition and the winners’ concert; transfer to the Institute all property rights to such statements and interviews, and permit the Institute to disseminate his/her image recorded in connection with his/her participation in the Competition and the winners’ concert,
c) transfer to the Institute an exclusive right, unlimited in time and space, to grant permissions to exercise related copyrights to the works referred to in letter b above, in particular to permit the disposition and use of adaptations of the works, including translations into foreign languages; the participant shall also undertake not to take any action limiting this right in the future,
d) authorize the Institute to execute his/her personal rights with respect to the works and artistic performances referred to in letters a) and b) above, and undertakes not to exercise his/her personal rights in a manner that will restrict the Institute in the exercise of its rights obtained in accordance with the provisions of this paragraph,
e) permit the Institute to use his/her artistic performances, interviews, statements and image, in full or in any part of its choice, to make adaptations, abridged versions, alterations and translations, and declare that such use of them shall not be deemed to damage his/her good name; the participant shall also grant leave to mark with his/her first and last name his/her artistic performances, statements, interviews and images referred to in letters a) and b) above.

2. The transfer and granting of the rights (including permissions) specified in section 1 of this paragraph shall be unlimited in time and space, and shall cover all exploitation fields known at the time of announcement of these Rules, and in particular:

a) any recording and duplicating (including storing in computer or other device memory), reproducing with the use of any technology, including printing, reprography, magnetic, mechanical, optical, electronic or other recording, analogue and digital technology, in any system or format; on all media, including audio, video and audio-visual media, on paper and similar media, on light-sensitive, magnetic, optical disks, memory cubes, computers and other recording and memory media, uploading, downloading, digitalisation, using in a multimedia work,
b) trade in the original and its copies created according to letter a) above – offering for sale, licensing, leasing, renting,
c) all other means of dissemination, including:

i. live, simultaneous, integral broadcasts and replays, including cable and wireless radio/TV, terrestrial and satellite; making available over the Internet (including the streaming technology), in other information, cable, telecommunication and multimedia relay networks, and in other transmission systems (including simulcasting, webcasting, IPTV), uncoded and coded, in open and closed circuit relay systems, in any technology (including analogue and digital, high definition (HD), three dimensional (3D)), and in any system and format, with or without a recording mode, including text, multimedia, Internet, telephone and telecommunication services, and the Video on Demand (VoD) service;
ii. making available to the public in a way that guarantees every person access to the objects covered by these rights at a time and place of their choice, including by ground stations and via satellite, by cable, telecommunication and multimedia networks, databases, servers or other devices and systems, including third parties, in open and closed circuit systems, in any technology, system and format, with or without a recording mode, including the services mentioned in point i., also as part of all telecommunication services using any system and device (among others, landline phones and/or mobile phones, tablets, desktop computers and/or laptops, notebooks, netbooks, etc., and relays in any available technology, e.g. GSM, UMTS, etc., via telecommunication data relay networks);
iii. any public replay, performance, exhibition, display,

d) development of foreign language versions.

3. The transfer and granting of the rights (including permissions) specified in this Paragraph shall take effect as soon as the artistic performances, statements and interviews are arranged and shall be free-of-charge. If it is possible under existing laws, the participant shall waive his/her rights to royalties due for Internet, TV and radio broadcasts of his/her artistic performances, statements or interviews, as referred in section 1 of this paragraph.
4. With regard to the rights obtained under these Rules, the Institute shall be fully authorized to transfer these rights to other entities, to grant licenses and further authorizations. The participant shall not be entitled to any additional remuneration arising from such actions.


The Competition Director shall be entitled to take decisions on all matters exceeding the powers of the Jury, and his decisions shall be final and not subject to appeal.


  1. In the event of any doubts concerning the provisions of the Rules, they shall be settled on the basis of the Polish language version of the Rules.
  2. In any matters not regulated by these Rules, the provisions of the Polish law shall apply.
  3. Any possible legal disputes shall be settled by a Polish court of law which has jurisdiction over the registered office of the Institute.