“Fryderyk Chopin is one of the greatest geniuses in the history of humankind,” Aleksander Laskowski, spokesman of the Fryderyk Chopin Institute and the 18th Chopin Competition said in an interview with Poland IN. “His music is so universal and so beautifully Polish at the same time that it has a global appeal,” he added.
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Mr Laskowski pointed out that many participants, especially winners, of the Chopin Competition went on to become some of the greatest stars of classical music worldwide, emphasising the event’s importance.
When asked whether participating in such competitions is necessary for young pianists in order to achieve stardom, he answered that it is not, but “it is a good way, because it requires a huge effort from the participants and gives a lot - you get noticed and if you win, you really become a superstar overnight.”
“It is a wonderful opportunity,” he stressed, adding that those who perform best will come to the attention of media and concert promoters.
Mr Laskowski also pointed out that the Chinese participants are the largest group in the competition due to a love of Polish classical music, especially pieces composed by Chopin, in Asian countries such as China, South Korea and Japan.
“We welcome them with open hearts because we are really overjoyed that something that is so truly Polish and [constitutes] an important part of Polish culture like Chopin’s music also appeals to the hearts and minds of Chinese, Korean or Japanese people,” he said.
When questioned about what makes Chopin, who died in 1849, still relevant today, Mr Laskowski answered that his music is deeply moving, and quoted Artur Rubinstein, Polish-Jewish pianist, who said that “hearing Chopin is like going home and everyone needs a home.”