Deutsche Grammophon is set to release recordings made live during the various stages of the 18th International Chopin Piano Competition by Bruce Liu, the newly crowned winner of the world’s most prestigious competition for classical musicians. The jury awarded the top prize to the 24-year-old Canadian pianist last night, immediately after the final round at Warsaw’s National Philharmonic, and his album is already in preparation.
The release of these live recordings by Bruce Liu marks a renewed collaboration between Deutsche Grammophon and the Fryderyk Chopin Institute. The label and the Chopin Institute, organisers and hosts of the Chopin Competition since 2010, are jointly committed to promoting the work of exceptional interpreters of Chopin’s music.
“We’re delighted to partner with the Chopin Institute once again and to celebrate one of the classical world’s rising stars,” comments Dr Clemens Trautmann, President Deutsche Grammophon. “Music-lovers around the world have been captivated by each stage of this year’s International Chopin Piano Competition. I know that everyone will join us in congratulating Bruce Liu for his revelatory interpretations during the last few weeks. The powerful emotions and extraordinary beauty of Chopin’s art speak deeply to young musicians, which is why we believe it is so important to share these recordings from the Chopin Competition.”
DG has collaborated with the Chopin Institute on major events in the past, notably “Chopin Year” in 2010 and the acclaimed “Chopin and his Europe” festivals in Warsaw. The partnership took an innovative turn in 2015 when the Yellow Label agreed to arrange the immediate release of an album by the winner of the 17th International Chopin Piano Competition. Seong-Jin Cho’s debut recording, drawn from the Competition’s recital rounds and finals, topped the pop charts in his native South Korea and led to his signing with DG.
The International Chopin Piano Competition was first held in 1927 and, until the arrival of Covid‑19, had taken place every five years since 1955. A founding member of the World Federation of International Music Festivals, the Chopin Competition has set the benchmark standards by which all other classical music competitions are measured. Its 18th edition, originally scheduled for October 2020, was postponed by the pandemic.
Many Chopin Competition laureates have progressed to become superstars of the piano, DG artists Maurizio Pollini, Martha Argerich, Krystian Zimerman, Rafał Blechacz and Seong-Jin Cho among them. Performances by these and other legendary artists can now be heard on Deutsche Grammophon’s recently released Chopin Masters limited-edition box set (28 CDs, also available digitally), featuring everything from rare recitals to award-winning bestsellers.
The Competition’s reputation also rests on the international stature and quality of its juries. Over the years, these have comprised such leading figures from the worlds of music, ideas and the arts as Wilhelm Backhaus, Arturo Benedetti-Michelangeli, Nadia Boulanger, Witold Lutosławski, Krzysztof Penderecki, Maurice Ravel, Artur Rubinstein and Karol Szymanowski.