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The Warsaw Voice » Culture » August 29, 2012
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Chopin's Music in Duszniki-Zdrój
August 29, 2012   
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The International Chopin Festival in the picturesque town of Duszniki-Zdrój in Kłodzko Valley, southwestern Poland, prides itself on being the oldest piano festival in the world. Every year, the festival draws the finest pianists and Chopin-loving audiences from across the globe.

This year’s 67th International Chopin Festival closed Aug. 11 with a captivating piano recital by Italian pianist Alberto Nose. One of the most remarkable performances of the festival was given by Seong-Jin Cho from South Korea, who at the tender age of 18 is a highly accomplished pianist extolled by music experts for his “incredible,” “compelling” interpretations of works by various composers.

Festival audiences were also delighted by award-winning violinist Soyoung Yoon, who dueted with Marcin Sikorski, hailed as the best Polish chamber pianist.

Polish pianist Janusz Olejniczak enthralled the festival audiences with his renditions of Chopin’s mazurkas, nocturnes, polonaises, waltzes and ballads. In 1970, Olejniczak became the youngest contestant to ever win a prize at the International Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw.

The festival performers also included Alekxander Gavrylyuk, a brilliant pianist who in 2000 won the first prize at the Hamamatsu International Piano Competition in Japan and was named the best 16-year-old pianist of the end of the century. Gavrylyuk did not let his fans down and delivered a magnificent recital at the Chopin Manor House, playing works by Schumann, Chopin, Debussy, Liszt and Rachmaninoff. As usual, he got a big round of applause and played many encores.

As is the tradition of the Duszniki-Zdrój festival, halfway through the event a candlelit Nocturne evening took place during which, over a glass of wine, the audiences listened to works by Chopin played by a long roster of performers. Between one performance and another, actor Olgierd Łukaszewicz told stories about Chopin and his life.

While in Duszniki-Zdrój, Łukaszewicz stayed at the classy Fryderyk Hotel along with other prominent guests. The pianists staying at the Fryderyk were able to rehearse before the concerts, while enjoying the hotel’s relaxed ambiance and good cuisine.
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