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The Warsaw Voice » Other » September 17, 2008
The Lower Silesia Voice
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Stars Return to Duszniki-Zdrój
September 17, 2008   
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The 63rd International Chopin Festival in Duszniki-Zdrój in southwestern Poland Aug. 1-9 marked the return of big-name artists and a number of debuts by up-and-coming pianists, said the festival's artistic director Piotr Paleczny.

"We hope the pianists will keep coming back to Poland in the future," Paleczny said.

The festival in Duszniki-Zdrój takes place exactly where composer Frederic Chopin himself played charity concerts in 1826.

This year the event started with a concert entitled A Night at the Opera, featuring Brigitte Engerer, who came to Duszniki-Zdrój for the third time, and Boris Berezovski, a gold medalist of the Pyotr Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow, who had his first concert at the Chopin Manor House this year. Other first-timers in Duszniki-Zdrój included Russian chamber musician Alexander Ghindin as well as Akiko Ebi, Nikita Mndoyants, Miroslav Kultyshev, Hisako Kawamura and Choong-Mo Kang, a respected teacher who specializes in innovative interpretations of compositions by Johann Sebastian Bach.

A sensation at the festival was Arkadii Volodos, who showed to the audiences that his "piano genius" nickname was deserved. Volodos' first visit to Duszniki-Zdrój was 12 years ago. Rachel Cheung-Wai-Ching from Hong Kong, who first performed in Duszniki-Zdrój at the tender age of 13, came to the festival for the fourth time this year, and Paleczny said he would make sure this unusually talented musician plays again at the festival in the future.

This year was also another chance to hear Nikolai Demidenko and Ching Yun Hu, the winner of this year's Arthur Rubinstein Competition in Tel Aviv. Another regular, Krzysztof Jabłoński (pictured), showcased his trademark perfection at a chamber concert with Konstanty Andrzej Kulka and Tomasz Strahl. Two days later Jabłoński charmed the Duszniki-Zdrój audience with a solo recital.

Barbara Deręgowska
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