Edition 2011 – Rules Edition 2011 – Rules

Rules of the Competition can be dowloaded in PDF file:



1. The 43rd Polish National Fryderyk Chopin Piano Competition, organised by the Fryderyk Chopin Institute, will be held in Warsaw from 25 November to 3 December 2011.

2. Contestants will perform in three stages and their performances will be open to the public. The finalists (Stage III) will be accompanied by a symphony orchestra.


The Competition is open to pianists born between 1981–1994 who are Polish nationals or foreigners who are studying / have studied at Polish musical universities.


1. Candidates wishing to enter the Competition are required to e-mail the application form (konkurs@nifc.pl) by 3rd November 2011 or mail it to Narodowy Instytut Fryderyka Chopina, Biuro Konkursów, ul. Tamka 43
00-355 Warszawa, postmarked before or on the above-mentioned date.

Documents to be attached with the application will include:

a) copy of document bearing the applicant’s date of birth
b) short biographical note
c) reference from the music school / department head (for students) or a copy of the music school degree (for graduates)
d) document certifying that a foreign national is studying / has studied at a Polish musical university (for foreigners)
e) record of entrance fee payment

The entrance fee of 200 PLN should be paid into the bank account no. 84 1750 0009 0000 0000 0627 9139, indicating the Institute’s name and address (Narodowy Instytut Fryderyka Chopina, Biuro Konkursów, ul. Tamka 43, 00-355 Warszawa), the applicant’s name and purpose of payment.

2. Applications sent after 3 November 2011 will not be accepted.

3. Applicants will be notified by phone or e-mail of their acceptance no later than on 15 November 2011. During the week preceding the start of the Competition the Competition Office will notify the successful applicants of the date and time of their first performance.

4. In the event of the applicant’s resignation the entrance fee will not be refunded.


1. Participants are required to register with the Competition Office at the set date.

2. Participants will not be reimbursed for the cost of their travel and stay in Warsaw.

3. Participants will make their own accommodation arrangements. The Competition Office will not be responsible for booking hotel or private accommodation in Warsaw.


1. Contestants will appear in the alphabetical order of their names, beginning with the drawn letter. This order will basically be followed throughout the Competition.

2. In principle not more than fifteen participants will be passed into the second stage and not more than eight into the Final.

3. For organisation and programme related reasons the Competition Office will have the right to change the sequence of performances.


The Competition Programme will include the following works to be played from memory:

Stage I

  • A sonata by one of the following composers: Muzio Clementi, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Ludwig van Beethoven, Franz Schubert
  • An etude by Fryderyk Chopin, other than the E major, Op.10 No.3, E flat minor, Op.10 No.6 and C sharp minor, Op.25 No.7
  • An etude by Ferenc Liszt
  • Any composition or compositions of the participant’s own choosing

Total performing time must not exceed 35 minutes.

Stage II

  • Fryderyk Chopin – a piece or pieces of the contestant’s own choosing
  • Ferenc Liszt – a piece or pieces of the contestant’s own choosing
  • A composition or compositions by any Polish composer/s (excluding Chopin)

Works performed in stage II must be other than those played in stage I.
Total performing time: 45–55 minutes.

Stage III

A piano concerto chosen from the following:

Ferenc Liszt:

  • I Piano Concerto E flat major HS 124
  • II Piano Concerto A major HS 125

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart:

  • Piano Concerto D minor KV 466
  • Piano Concerto C major KV 467
  • Piano Concerto A major KV 488
  • Piano Concerto B flat major KV 595

Applicants are requested to indicate in the application form the exact time of performing each piece.

The pieces may be performed in any order, except the obligatory etudes (stage I points 2 & 3), which have to be played one after the other.


1. The Institute Director will appoint Members of the Jury. Shuld it prove necessary, the Director may change the composition of the Jury.

2. The Jury of the Competition will be composed of Polish musicians.

3. The names of the Jurors will be made public.

4. The Jury will evaluate the participants’ performances in accordance with the rules approved by the Institute Director.


1. During the Competition the Fryderyk Chopin Institute will make available practice pianos for all contestants.

2. Contestants will have the opportunity to test-play the grand pianos in the Musical University’s halls. In the week preceding the start of the Competition each contestant will receive the date and time of test-playing, and the timetable for practising on other pianos.

3. Contestants passed into the Final will have two rehearsals with the orchestra at the set dates and times.


1. The Jury will submit the list of prize winners to the Institute Director for approval.

2. The following prizes will be awarded:

  • 1st prize 20 000 PLN
  • 2nd prize 18 000 PLN
  • 3rd prize 16 000 PLN
  • 4th prize 13 000 PLN
  • 5th prize 10 000 PLN
  • 6th prize 7 000 PLN
  • Special prize of 3 000 PLN for the best performance of a piece by Chopin
  • Special prize of 3 000 PLN for the best performance of a solo piece by Ferenc Liszt
  • Special prize of 3 000 PLN for the best performance of a concerto.

The laureates will also qualify for the concert-and-promotion programme run by the Fryderyk Chopin Institute.

3. The list of prize winners, including the awarded prizes, will be made public on 3 December 2011.


1. The Jury will have the right to change by a 2/3 majority the prize category, with the proviso that individual cash prizes will be neither lower nor higher than those specified in the Rules, and the total sum allocated for prizes will not be increased.

2. All decisions made by the Jury will be final and incontestable.


1. All prize-winners will appear free-of-charge in the prize-winners’ concert closing the Competition. The concert will be held on 3 December 2011 in the Musical University’s Concert Hall. An unexcused absence from the above-mentioned concert will be tantamount to giving up the prize money.

2. The programme of the prize-winners’ concert will be established by the Jury Chairman in consultation with the performers.


The Director of the Institute will make all decisions on organisation-related matters exceeding the powers of the Jury. His decisions will be final and incontestable.