Concert featuring Martha Argerich opens 2nd international Chopin competition on period instruments

A gala concert featuring the Argentinean pianist Martha Argerich opens the 2nd Chopin Competition on Period Instruments in Warsaw

WARSAW, Poland — A gala concert featuring Argentinean pianist Martha Argerich will open the 2nd Chopin Competition on Period Instruments in Warsaw on Thursday.

Launched in 2018, the competition is intended to promote historically informed performance of 19th century piano music, chiefly by Polish composer Frederic Chopin.

Just like the century-old International Chopin Piano Competition, it is meant to promote music talents and help launch international careers, and 35 young pianists are taking part.

The competition begins Friday with a performance by Derek Wang of the United States. Contestants come also from Japan, China, Italy, Poland, South Korea, Russia, Australia and some other European countries.

They will be playing on original 19th-century instruments or on replicas. The winner is to be announced Oct. 14.

The opening concert Thursday also features Tomasz Ritter, winner of the contest’s first edition.

Chopin was born in 1810 in Zelazowa Wola near Warsaw to a Polish mother and a French father, but he spent half of his life in Paris, composing, giving concerts and teaching the piano.

He died there on Oct. 17, 1849 and is buried at the Pere Lachaise cemetery. His heart is at the Holy Cross Church in Warsaw.

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