XVIII International Chopin Piano Competition

The XVIII International Chopin Piano Competition (Polish: XVIII Międzynarodowy Konkurs Pianistyczny im. Fryderyka Chopina) was held from 2 to 23 October 2021 in Warsaw. Originally scheduled for 2020, the quinquennial competition was twice postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Eighteenth International Fryderyk Chopin Piano Competition
Poster of the 18th Chopin Competition.png
Official poster
Date12–23 July 2021 (2021-07-12 – 2021-07-23) (preliminary round)
2–23 October 2021 (2021-10-02 – 2021-10-23) (main stage)
VenueNational Philharmonic, Warsaw
Hosted byFryderyk Chopin Institute
WinnerCanada Bruce Liu

87 pianists from 18 countries took part in the main stage of the competition, which was divided into three stages with 87, 45 and 23 participants each, and a final with twelve pianists. The first prize was awarded to Bruce Liu of Canada.


The competition was originally scheduled to take place from 2 to 23 October 2020, with the preliminary round to be held from 17 to 28 April.[1] In May 2020, the competition was postponed to the same dates in 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This was decided by Poland's Minister of Culture and National Heritage, Piotr Gliński, together with Artur Szklener, director of the Fryderyk Chopin Institute in Warsaw, after additional consultations with Poland's Ministry of Health.[2] In January 2021, Szklener announced that the preliminary round would be postponed to July.[3]


Bruce Liu of Canada won the competition

The jury awarded eight main prizes to the finalists of the competition. The first prize went to Bruce Liu of Canada. The second prize was jointly awarded, ex aequo, to Alexander Gadjiev and Kyohei Sorita, while the third prize went to Martín García García. The fourth prize was shared, ex aequo, by Aimi Kobayashi and Jakub Kuszlik, the fifth prize was awarded to Leonora Armellini, and the sixth prize went to J J Jun Li Bui.[4]

Artur Szklener, director of the Chopin Institute, announced that three pianists had identical scores, leading to very long debates among the jury. The winner of the competition, however, was unambiguously decided.[5]

Prize Winner
  €40,000 Bruce Liu   Canada
  €30,000 Alexander Gadjiev   Italy   Slovenia
€30,000 Kyohei Sorita   Japan
  €20,000 Martín García García   Spain
4th €15,000 Aimi Kobayashi   Japan
€15,000 Jakub Kuszlik   Poland
5th €10,000 Leonora Armellini   Italy
6th €7,000 J J Jun Li Bui   Canada
F €4,000 Eva Gevorgyan   Russia   Armenia
€4,000 Hyuk Lee   South Korea
€4,000 Kamil Pacholec   Poland
€4,000 Hao Rao   China

In addition, three of the four special prizes were awarded.[4]

Special prize Founder Winner
Best Performance of a Concerto €5,000 Warsaw Philharmonic Martín García García   Spain
Best Performance of Mazurkas €5,000 Polish Radio Jakub Kuszlik   Poland
Best Performance of a Polonaise €5,000 Fryderyk Chopin Society not awarded
Best Performance of a Sonata €10,000 Krystian Zimerman Alexander Gadjiev   Italy   Slovenia

Preliminary stageEdit

The preliminary stage was held from 12 to 23 July 2021 in the Chamber Hall of the National Philharmonic in Warsaw. Participants were required to perform the following works:[6]

Preliminary stage program
One of One of One of One of Two Mazurkas from

Ultimately, 151 contestants performed in the preliminary stage, of which the jury admitted 78 to the main stage. They were joined by an additional nine pianists, who qualified to the main stage directly by winning major piano competitions.[7][8]

Competitors of the preliminary round
Competitor Country Result
Leonora Armellini   Italy To Stage I
Anfisa Bobylova   Ukraine
J J Jun Li Bui   Canada To Stage I
Łukasz Byrdy   Poland
Michelle Candotti   Italy To Stage I
Luigi Carroccia   Italy
Kai-Min Chang   Taiwan To Stage I
Han Chen   Taiwan
Junhui Chen   China To Stage I
Xuehong Chen   China To Stage I
Zixi Chen   China To Stage I
Hyounglok Choi   South Korea To Stage I
Martina Consonni   Italy
Diana Cooper   France
Federico Gad Crema   Italy To Stage I
Aleksandra Hortensja Dąbek   Poland To Stage I
Stephanie Draughon   United States
Hsin-Yu Duan   Taiwan
Mateusz Duda   Poland
Alberto Ferro   Italy To Stage I
Yasuko Furumi   Japan To Stage I
Alexander Gadjiev   Italy
To Stage I
Martín García García   Spain To Stage I
Eva Gevorgyan   Russia
To Stage I
Jorge González Buajasan   Cuba To Stage I
Joanna Goranko   Poland To Stage I
Chelsea Guo   United States To Stage I
Xu Guo   China
Eric Guo   Canada To Stage I
Katharina Hack   Germany
Chi Ho Han   South Korea
Saaya Hara   Japan To Stage I
Yukino Hayashi   Japan
Wataru Hisasue   Japan
Yifan Hou   China To Stage I
Wei-Ting Hsieh   Taiwan To Stage I
Yun-Chih Hsu   Taiwan
Kaoruko Igarashi   Japan To Stage I
Hana Igawa   Japan
Riko Imai   Japan To Stage I
Grigoris Ioannou   Greece
Seika Ishida   Japan
Junichi Ito   Japan To Stage I
Andrei Ivanou   Belarus
Asaki Iwai   Japan To Stage I
San Jittakarn   Thailand To Stage I
Joo-Yeon Ka   South Korea To Stage I
Yukino Kaihara   Japan
Hyelee Kang   South Korea
Hyelee Kang   South Korea
Elizabeth Karaulova   Russia
Airi Katada   Japan
Eylam Keshet   Israel
Konstantin Khachikyan   Russia
Nikolay Khozyainov   Russia To Stage I
Hyelim Kim   South Korea
Jun Ho Kim   South Korea
Su Yeon Kim   South Korea To Stage I
Yurika Kimura   Japan
Aimi Kobayashi   Japan To Stage I
Qi Kong   China
Pavle Krstic   Bulgaria
Mateusz Krzyżowski   Poland To Stage I
Yukine Kuroki   Japan
Jakub Kuszlik   Poland To Stage I
Shushi Kyomasu   Japan To Stage I
Hyuk Lee   South Korea To Stage I
Jaeyoon Lee   South Korea To Stage I
Xinjie Li   China
Ning Yuen Li   Hong Kong
Xiaoxuan Li   China To Stage I
Hao Wei Lin   Taiwan
Bruce Liu   Canada To Stage I
Ziyu Liu   China
Julia Łozowska   Poland To Stage I
Xuanyi Mao   China To Stage I
Tomasz Marut   Poland To Stage I
Yupeng Mei   China To Stage I
Asaka Miyoshi   Japan
Momoko Mizutani   Japan
Arsenii Mun   Russia To Stage I
Mayaka Nakagawa   Japan
Yui Nakamura   Japan
Việt Trung Nguyễn   Vietnam
To Stage I
Mariko Nogami   Japan
Arisa Onoda   Japan
Georgijs Osokins   Latvia To Stage I
Anke Pan   Germany
Eryk Parchański   Poland
Jinhyung Park   South Korea To Stage I
Yeonmin Park   South Korea To Stage I
Jiana Peng   China To Stage I
Leonardo Pierdomenico   Italy To Stage I
Zuzanna Pietrzak   Poland To Stage I
Agnė Radzevičiūtė   Canada
Hao Rao   China To Stage I
Yangyang Ruan   China To Stage I
Kazuya Saito   Japan
Cristian Sandrin   Romania
Sohgo Sawada   Japan To Stage I
Aristo Sham   Hong Kong To Stage I
Meng-Sheng Shen   Taiwan
Kotaro Shigemori   Japan
Miyu Shindo   Japan To Stage I
Mana Shoji   Japan
Talon Smith   United States To Stage I
Kyohei Sorita   Japan To Stage I
Vitaly Starikov   Russia
Szu-Yu Su   Taiwan To Stage I
Hayato Sumino   Japan To Stage I
Aleksandra Świgut   Poland To Stage I
Marcel Tadokoro   France
Rikono Takeda   Japan To Stage I
Shunshun Tie   China To Stage I
Mateusz Tomica   Poland
Sarah Tuan   United States To Stage I
Parker Van Ostrand   United States
Mónika Ruth Vida   Hungary
Chao Wang   China To Stage I
Zitong Wang   China To Stage I
Bocheng Wang   United Kingdom
Chanel Wang   United States
Yijia Wang   China
Liya Wang   China
Zijian Wei   China To Stage I
Jacek Wendler   Poland
Marcin Wieczorek   Poland To Stage I
Andrzej Wierciński   Poland To Stage I
Victoria Wong   Canada To Stage I
Sze Yuen Wong   Hong Kong
Maciej Wota   Poland
Maiqi Wu   China
Yuchong Wu   China To Stage I
Lingfei (Stephan) Xie   China To Stage I
Biguo Xing   China
Zi Xu   China To Stage I
Miki Yamagata   Japan
Yuanfan Yang   United Kingdom To Stage I
Anastasia Yasko   Russia To Stage I
Suah Ye   South Korea
Shih-Hsien Yeh   Taiwan
Yi Yi   China
Hao Zi Yoh   Malaysia
Se-Hyeong Yoo   South Korea
Jessica Yuma   Canada
Andrey Zenin   Russia To Stage I
Boao Zhang   China To Stage I
Yilan Zhao   China To Stage I
Kaiwen Zhao   China
Ziji Zoé Zhao   China To Stage I
Tianyu Zhou   Canada

An additional nine pianists qualified to the main stage directly by winning major piano competitions:[7]

Competitors admitted directly into the main stage
Competitor Country Admission through
Piotr Alexewicz   Poland   2020 Polish Fryderyk Chopin Piano Competition
Avery Gagliano   United States   2020 National Chopin Piano Competition of the USA
Adam Kałduński   Poland   2019 Beijing International Fryderyk Chopin Piano Competition for Young Pianists
  2020 Polish Fryderyk Chopin Piano Competition
Szymon Nehring   Poland   2017 Arthur Rubinstein International Piano Master Competition
Evren Ozel   United States   2020 National Chopin Piano Competition of the USA
Kamil Pacholec   Poland   2019 International Paderewski Piano Competition
Piotr Pawlak   Poland   2017 Darmstadt International Chopin Piano Competition
  2020 Polish Fryderyk Chopin Piano Competition
Yutong Sun   China   2018 Santander International Piano Competition
Tomoharu Ushida   Japan   2018 Hamamatsu International Piano Competition

Main stageEdit

The main competition from 3 to 20 October consisted of three stages and a final. An inaugural concert was held on 2 October, and the prize-winners' concerts took place from 21 to 23 October.[9]

Stage I was held from 3–7 October 2021 and was contested by 87 participants.[7] Stage II was held from 9–12 October 2021 and was contested by 45 participants.[10] Stage III was held from 14 to 16 October 2021 and was contested by 23 participants.[11] The final was held from 18 to 20 October 2021 and was contested by twelve participants.[12]

Calendar (CEST)
3 Oct 4 Oct 5 Oct 6 Oct 7 Oct 8 Oct 9 Oct 10 Oct 11 Oct 12 Oct 13 Oct 14 Oct 15 Oct 16 Oct 17 Oct 18 Oct 19 Oct 20 Oct
Stage I

10:00 (morning session)
17:00 (evening session)

Stage II

10:00 (morning session)
17:00 (evening session)

Stage III

10:00 (morning session)
17:00 (evening session)




Stage IEdit

The first pianist to perform in Stage I was Xuanyi Mao of China. The letter "M" was drawn with a lottery machine by Piotr Gliński, the Polish Minister of Culture, at a press conference a week earlier.[13]

Polish Radio commentators described Szymon Nehring's playing as "extremely mature", completely different than the previous competition, where he had been a finalist.[14] Jed Distler from Gramophone noted that Georgijs Osokins' performance was "strikingly individual", with an "epic sense of time scale" akin to Emil Gilels.[15] Japanese pianist Sohgo Sawada was called the best performer of the first day's evening session, possessing "disarmingly sincerity" in his performance of the Ballade in G minor.[16] On the second day, the performance of Talon Smith of the United States was unanimously praised by the Polish Radio, and he was described as a "very musical pianist with a great imagination".[17] Distler called Smith one of those youngsters who sound "wise beyond their years", approaching Chopin as "a master pianist with an old soul".[18] On Day 3, commentators highlighted the "Italian dominance" of the day, with Leonora Armellini, who made the greatest impression, particularly in her performance of the Etude in C-sharp minor,[19] and Michelle Candotti.[20] Distler praised Armellini's "liquid sonority" and "flexible phrasing", in complete command of her chosen Fazioli piano.[21] Italian-Slovenian pianist Alexander Gadjiev drew attention on the fourth day. Róża Światczyńska of the Polish Radio remarked: "He is coming here because he has something to say from himself, a very coherent vision of music, and he wants to pass it on to us regardless of how he is judged." Gadjiev's performance of the études was particularly praised.[22] Distler described 17-year-old Yifan Hou as having "power, personality, style, technique, communicative immediacy and natural musicality", noting the "shocking" impact of his "compact, dramatic and kinetically fervent" performance of the first Ballade.[23]

From the first stage, 45 pianists were admitted to the second stage, five more than originally prescribed in the competition format. Commentators remarked that some score differences were likely minimal and that it might have been too harsh to eliminate some participants.[24]

Stage IIEdit

Compared to the first stage, where the program was largely fixed, participants were allowed a greater deal of freedom in the second stage, which has been described as more of a recital that tests the ability to arrange a program, and thereby the maturity of the pianist.[25] The most praised participants of Day 6 were Kyohei Sorita of Japan, with a "well-structured program", and 17-year-old Hao Rao from China, who possessed "genuinely sincere emotionality".[26] Yuchong Wu of China, who performed all waltzes of Op. 34, was described by Polish Radio commentators as the best performer of the first session of Day 7, and was particularly praised for his performance of the Waltz in A minor.[27] For Distler, Tomoharu Ushida provided the day's "most pleasant surprise", giving a "masterclass in horizontal clarity and the spacing of notes in time".[28] On Day 8, 17-year-old Russian-Armenian pianist Eva Gevorgyan roused interest, Andrzej Sułek from the Polish Radio remarking: "She is growing into a very important figure in this competition. I wonder if this is a pianist who is going for the first prize. A great success of the Chopin Competition is the arrival of an artist of such caliber."[29] On Day 9, Polish Radio commentators highlighted Nikolay Khozyainov's "unusually well-thought-out and intricately constructed repertoire" that he managed to "realize on stage one hundred percent".[30] The last pianist to perform that day was Bruce Liu of Canada, described to be among those "in the starting positions to attack the first place". Marcin Majchrowski of the Polish Radio remarked that he could not hide his emotions after Liu's performance, and that one could feel the "unimaginable tension and silence of listening to something special in the concert hall of the National Philharmonic".[31]

After the second stage, 23 pianists qualified to the third stage, including six from Poland, five from Japan, three from Italy, two each from Canada, Russia, South Korea, and one each from the United States, China, and Spain.[11] The number of participants admitted to the next stage again exceeded the number 20 originally prescribed in the competition format. Jury chairwoman Katarzyna Popowa-Zydroń stated in an interview that all jury members agreed that it was necessary to listen to a larger group of participants.[32]

Stage IIIEdit

In the third stage, pianists perform a complete set of mazurkas, a piano sonata (excluding the first) or the complete set of Preludes Op. 28, and any other compositions of Chopin to fill the remaining time. On Day 10, Polish Radio commentators highlighted the performance of Miyu Shindo from Japan. Sułek proclaimed her "some kind of Japanese priestess of the god of time", with the "fantastic ability to stop a chord from sounding or a phrase from closing, sounds vibrating, floating in the air like Debussy's, like a drop of watercolor in a glass of water".[33] On Day 11, J J Jun Li Bui was praised for his performance of mazurkas and the Sonata in B minor, Światczyńska calling him a candidate for the Special Prize for the Best Performance of Mazurkas, which is awarded by the Polish Radio.[34] In the evening session, Alexander Gadjiev's individualism was once again highlighted, some wondering why he came to the Chopin competition at all. Światczyńska remarked that he "is of a completely non-competitive type, not falling within the bounds of objective assessment", the question being whether his performance went "beyond the limits of good taste". At the end of the day, Majchrowski praised Eva Gevorgyan, calling her performance "one that will go down in competition history".[35] On Day 12, Nikolay Khozyainov was called "one of the absolute favorites to win the competition", being described as a "mature, conscious pianist, intellectual pianist " with an "interestingly structured, coherent program".[36] The third stage concluded with the performance of Canadian Bruce Liu, noted by Sułek as a pianist with "inexhaustible imagination", performing an "excellent recital".[37]

From the third stage, twelve pianists from ten countries qualified for the final, two more than prescribed in the competition rules.[12] Artur Szklener, director of the Chopin Institute, explained that "the substantive argument was that the participants ranked 10th, 11th and 12th very were close in terms of points. After checking the organizational possibilities with the National Philharmonic Orchestra, the jury came to the conclusion that the best solution would be to allow an increased number of 12 pianists."[38] Sułek commented that the finalists constituted an "unprecented" mosaic of pianists, a "rich gallery of characters, pianistic individualities, among whom there are amazing phenomena".[39] Światczyńska highlighted the "extremely different artistic personalities", noting that the jury's "range of tastes and criteria" was quite wide this year.[40]


The final was held over three days, four pianists presenting one of Chopin's two piano concertos on each day, accompanied by the Warsaw National Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Andrzej Boreyko.

Day 1

Kamil Pacholec of Poland was the first to perform. Sułek wondered about his experience with an orchestra, noting that Pacholec tended to follow the orchestra rather imposing certain musical thoughts on it.[41] John Allison, writing for the competition daily Chopin Courier, praised Pacholec's "elegantly poised playing", yet noted that his performance "got weighted down", particularly in the slow movement.[42] Distler called Pacholec's performance "steady" but "smaller-scaled" than his competitors.[43]

Hao Rao of China was the second participant. Przemysław Psikuta of the Polish Radio noted that Rao, like Pacholec before him, seemed to play in a more classical, traditional way, "physical elements dominating over poetry".[41] Allison noted that the middle movement was a particular highlight of Rao's performance, and that he projected it with "fully expressive, bel canto feeling".[42] For Distler, the "effervescent and nimble" Rondo stood out the most.[43]

Kyohei Sorita of Japan followed after an intermission. Majchrowski called his Romance "simply extraordinary", with nuances and an emphasis on the details of the score, and recognized him as the best performer of the day.[41] Allison highlighted Sorita's "developed artistic personality" that secured him a "spacious performance" with "well-managed rubato".[42] In Distler's view, Sorita demonstrated "an altogether higher level of pianistic cultivation" with his "variegated turns of phrase, subtle transitions and wider dynamic range".[43]

Leonora Armellini of Italy concluded the first day. Sułek called her performance the best of the session, rating her a little higher than Sorita in terms of pianistic value.[41] Allison called her performance "satisfying", writing that it felt like "being at a good concert", though noting that her Rondo was not the "most successful of the lot".[42] Distler was captivated by Armellini's "warm and soaring tone, natural musicality, spontaneity and unalloyed joy in just being at the keyboard", noting that she "truly listened to her fellow musicians", though the Rondo's coda "didn't sparkle so brightly as expected".[43]

Day 2

J J Jun Li Bui of Canada was the first to perform on the second day of the final. Sułek was disappointed by his performance, expecting an early Chopin-Warsaw style that defined his performance of the Rondo à la mazur in the previous stage. Sułek also highlighted Bui's apparent inexperience with an orchestra, and had the impression that Bui was focused on himself, not communicating well with the conductor and orchestra. Światczyńska praised Bui's "extremely poetic" moments in the Romance.[44] Krzysztof Stefański, writing for the Chopin Courier, found praise for Bui's "warm, round tone" and "impressionist hues above the clarity of his arpeggio".[45] Distler criticized Bui's playing as being too "uniform, machine-like", "ploughing through Chopin's bravura writing like the proverbial horse with blinders".[46]

Alexander Gadjiev of Italy and Slovenia was the first to play the Piano Concerto in F minor. Światczyńska liked his sound and his "ability to operate within wide planes", but criticized his "manneristic pathos and affectation" that "contradict Chopin's expression". Sułek noted that Gadjiev's "wild nature" worked better in solo works, whereas in the concerto it caused the "narrative to become too fragmented".[44] Stefański found that Gadjiev "played with a large sound, as if echoing the pianist's Romantic individualism".[45] Distler found praise for Gadjiev's performance: "He illuminated the opening Maestoso movement's salient points by executing decorative passages in tempo, while demarcating melodies with discreet rubato and sophisticated accentuation. Gadjiev's seamless legato and multi-leveled dynamic control transformed the Larghetto into an aria where the piano's hammers seemed to have replaced by lungs."[46]

Martín García García of Spain followed with the same concerto. Światczyńska was initially concerned with García's fearful appearance, but thought that he surprised many people with a good performance having "beautiful moments". Stefański described García's playing as "bathed in a gentle morning light", continuously displaying "Chopin's sunny side", playing "lightly, with an incredible songfulness and cultured tone".[45] Distler remarked that García' seemed "held back on a leash" compared to his "impetuous, risk-taking solo performances" in the earlier stages of the competition, calling it "lovely by any standard" but with too little adventurousness to rival Gadjiev's "penetrating interpretation".[46] In contrast, three of five music critics for the Polish music magazine Ruch Muzyczny called García's the best concerto performer: Szymon Atys called him his favorite pianist of the competition, Anna Chęćka highlighted his "surprisingly fresh and seductive vision" of the concerto, and Dariusz Marciniszyn remarked that García "enchanted" him completely, bringing forth "hidden melodic and harmonic dependencies" in the Rondo.[47]

Eva Gevorgyan of Russia and Armenia concluded the session. Sułek noted that she "delighted" him, but did not "seduce" him until the second part.[44] Stefański praised her "clear sense of direction", with each broken chord serving "a higher structural goal".[45] For Distler, Gevorgyan was a "performance of eloquence, nobility and substance", evoking memories of "notable Russian luminaries like Emil Gilels and Bella Davidovich".[46]

Day 3

Aimi Kobayashi of Japan opened the final day of the competition. Światczyńska remarked that Kobayashi did not seem to have the best day, wondering if the level expectations were becoming psychologically difficult to bear.[48] Allison highlighted the delicacy and intimacy of her performance, though noting that her tempos might not endear her to critics.[49] Distler highlighted Kobayashi's "micro-management and tense finger-orientated pianism".[50] Two of five authors of Ruch Muzyczny called Kobayashi the best performer of a concerto. Marcin Bogucki praised her "romantic vision", though noting a few slip-ups in the finale. Krzysztof Stefański remarked that "time stopped for a moment. Her fingers flew lightly over the keyboard, even when she was building the climaxes, she did not reach for a strong forte. The lunar fragment of Romanza sounded like a wonderful improvisation. It was hard not to fall in love."[47]

Jakub Kuszlik of Poland gave a performance that was assessed by Polish Radio commentators as another "step up". Światczyńska admired his composure and ability to focus, though feeling a certain lack of "poetic expression and color differentiation"[48] Allison called his performance "straightforward", with "impressively fleet passage work", but also noting that he went "under the surface, into the realms of that uniquely Polish spirit of żal".[49] Distler praised Kuszlik's "red-blooded, forward-moving" performance.[50]

Hyuk Lee of South Korea brought the day's only performance of the Concerto in F minor. Allison criticized Lee's tone as being "too brittle", noting that he sounded "less than completely at ease".[49] Stefański wrote that Lee seemed to reject the "romantic character" of the middle Larghetto, though playing the recitative fragments poignantly.[51]

Bruce Liu of Canada was the final performer. Allison praised Liu's performance for "holding poetry and virtuosity in wonderful balance", the "dreaminess of the Romance" sustaining "right to the dying last note".[49] Distler called his performance "effortless, insouciant yet relatively straightforward".[50] Stefański called Liu the "undisputed favorite of critics and the audience", remarking: "He is a complete pianist – he has excellent technique, and he uses it to conjure up the most fascinating timbres on the Fazioli piano. You can write about his perfect brillante, his ability to produce a soft sound without the sustain pedal, his wonderfully rocking rubato, his great control of the dynamics, but also his ability to create form, as in the ever-increasing passages that end the first movement. And sometimes the pianist played in such a way that the critic's pen stood still – helpless, unable to find the right words for what he was hearing."[51]


Participants were required to select a different program for each stage of the competition. The competition repertoire had to be played from memory and could be performed in any order. Contestants were not allowed to play the same piece again in different stages of the competition, though they could perform pieces they performed in the preliminary round (except the first two etudes) in the main stage. Participants could use any available edition of Chopin's works, though they were recommended to use the Chopin National Edition.[6]

Competitition program
Stage I program
One of One of One of One of
Stage II program
One of One of One of Any other pieces by Chopin to meet the required performing time of 30 to 40 minutes
Stage III program
One of Full set of Any other pieces by Chopin to meet the required performing time of 45 to 55 minutes
Final program
Piano Concerto No. 1, Op. 11

Piano Concerto No. 2, Op. 21

In the first stage, pianists most often chose the Étude in G-sharp minor, Op. 25 No. 6, the Ballade No. 4 in F minor (18 pianists each), as well as the Étude in C major, Op. 10 No. 1, and the Nocturne in B major, Op. 62 No. 1 (17 pianists each).[52] No participant at this stage chose the Nocturne in G major, Op. 37 No. 2.

In the second stage, the most played pieces were the Andante spianato et grande polonaise brillante (18 pianists), the Waltz in F major, Op. 34 No. 3 (16 pianists), as well as the Barcarolle in F-sharp major and the Polonaise in A-flat major, Op. 53 (15 pianists each). Scherzo No. 4 was played by only one pianist (Hyounglok Choi), as were the Polonaises, Op. 26 (Federico Gad Crema).[53] From additional pieces supplementing the repertoire program of this stage, pianists most frequently chose the Rondo à la mazur (5 pianists), the Waltz in A minor, Op. 34 No. 2, and the Nocturne in C minor, Op. 48 No. 1 (3 pianists).

In the third stage, most participants selected the Piano Sonata No. 3 (12 pianists), Piano Sonata No. 2 (8 pianists), and the Mazurkas Op. 24 and Mazurkas Op. 56 (5 pianists each).[53] Of the additional pieces supplementing the repertoire program of this stage, the pianists most frequently chose the Fantaisie in F minor and the Polonaise-Fantaisie (3 pianists each).

In the finale, nine pianists decided to perform the Piano Concerto No. 1, and three chose the Piano Concerto No. 2.[53]

Piano selectionEdit

Before the start of the competition, each participant was allotted a timeslot of 15 minutes to choose an instrument. Participants could choose between a Yamaha, a Kawai, a Fazioli and two Steinway pianos. Once selected, participants may not change pianos between the rounds.[54] Out of 87 participants of the first round, 43 chose the Steinway ending with serial number 479, 21 the Steinway ending with number 300, nine the Yamaha, eight the Fazioli and six the Kawai.[55]

Brand Model Serial number
S1 Steinway & Sons D-274 611479
S2 Steinway & Sons D-274 612300
Y Yamaha CFX 6524400
F Fazioli F278 2782230
K Kawai Shigeru EX 2718001


Yes: percentage of jurors who voted to pass the participant to the next round, excluding recusals

Pts: adjusted average number of points, excluding recusals

Scorings were released after the end of the competition, excluding those from the final.[56]

Competitor results
Competitor Country P Stage I Stage II Stage III Final
Yes Pts →II Yes Pts →III Yes Pts →F Result
Bruce Liu   Canada F 100% 23.00   100% 23.03   100% 23.22   1
Alexander Gadjiev   Italy
K 94% 22.66   76% 21.41   88% 21.75   2
Kyohei Sorita   Japan S1 80% 20.40   88% 21.50   80% 21.57   2
Martín García García   Spain F 56% 19.91   76% 20.14   69% 21.09   3
Jakub Kuszlik   Poland S1 100% 21.67   88% 21.20   93% 22.00   4th
Aimi Kobayashi   Japan S1 94% 21.43   88% 20.47   81% 22.36   4th
Leonora Armellini   Italy F 88% 21.05   71% 20.60   56% 20.55   5th
J J Jun Li Bui   Canada K 100% 21.49   100% 22.91   67% 21.31   6th
Eva Gevorgyan   Russia
S1 100% 21.66   76% 20.04   88% 21.40    
Kamil Pacholec   Poland S1 86% 19.92   67% 20.04   64% 20.43    
Hao Rao   China S1 94% 21.69   65% 20.28   56% 20.22    
Hyuk Lee   South Korea K 67% 19.48   69% 19.91   53% 20.20    
Su Yeon Kim   South Korea S1 88% 20.44   47% 19.82   50% 19.73  
Piotr Alexewicz   Poland S1 100% 20.69   76% 20.74   44% 20.22  
Miyu Shindo   Japan S1 75% 19.98   65% 19.72   44% 20.15  
Nikolay Khozyainov   Russia S2 75% 19.34   76% 20.08   38% 19.57  
Szymon Nehring   Poland S1 100% 20.33   94% 21.47   33% 20.09  
Michelle Candotti   Italy S1 73% 19.24   94% 20.37   20% 19.22  
Hayato Sumino   Japan S2 63% 19.75   59% 20.30   19% 19.07  
Avery Gagliano   United States S2 75% 19.33   71% 19.60   19% 19.06  
Andrzej Wierciński   Poland S2 67% 19.48   50% 19.50   13% 19.35  
Yasuko Furumi   Japan S1 80% 19.57   56% 19.21   7% 19.21  
Mateusz Krzyżowski   Poland S1 69% 19.47   53% 19.25   0% 18.84  
Xuehong Chen   China S1 93% 20.87   44% 18.84  
Yuchong Wu   China S2 81% 21.06   41% 19.66  
Alberto Ferro   Italy S2 63% 18.80   41% 19.00  
Evren Ozel   United States S1 56% 18.80   41% 18.76  
Yutong Sun   China S1 80% 19.44   38% 19.31  
Shushi Kyomasu   Japan Y 63% 19.63   35% 18.70  
Tomoharu Ushida   Japan Y 56% 19.40   35% 18.33  
Việt Trung Nguyễn   Vietnam S1 71% 19.57   33% 18.55  
Kai-Min Chang   Taiwan S2 80% 19.64   31% 18.73  
Talon Smith   United States S2 67% 19.07   31% 18.38  
Georgijs Osokins   Latvia Y 75% 19.56   29% 18.42  
Wei-Ting Hsieh   Taiwan S1 56% 18.78   24% 18.48  
Adam Kałduński   Poland S1 93% 20.13   19% 18.27  
Hyounglok Choi   South Korea S1 69% 18.84   18% 18.14  
Lingfei (Stephan) Xie   China S2 87% 19.45   18% 17.77  
Sohgo Sawada   Japan K 56% 18.48   18% 17.76  
Zi Xu   China S1 79% 20.62   13% 17.99  
Federico Gad Crema   Italy F 63% 18.95   12% 17.58  
Aristo Sham   Hong Kong S2 56% 19.20   6% 18.04  
Szu-Yu Su   Taiwan S1 69% 19.00   6% 17.63  
Arsenii Mun   Russia Y 63% 18.25   0% 16.89  
Marcin Wieczorek   Poland S1 60% 18.99   Withdrew[57]
Shunshun Tie   China S2 50% 18.53  
Xiaoxuan Li   China S2 50% 18.44  
Riko Imai   Japan S2 50% 18.28  
Sarah Tuan   United States S2 50% 18.08  
Zuzanna Pietrzak   Poland S1 50% 18.06  
Jiana Peng   China S1 47% 18.44  
Chao Wang   China Y 44% 19.04  
Eric Guo   Canada S1 44% 18.67  
Piotr Pawlak   Poland S1 44% 18.34  
Xuanyi Mao   China S2 44% 18.31  
Chelsea Guo   United States F 44% 18.20  
Victoria Wong   Canada S1 38% 18.44  
Zixi Chen   China S1 38% 18.29  
Kaoruko Igarashi   Japan S1 38% 17.70  
Yifan Hou   China S1 38% 17.69  
Zijian Wei   China S2 38% 17.45  
Zitong Wang   China S1 33% 17.94  
Boao Zhang   China K 33% 17.67  
Asaki Iwai   Japan S2 31% 18.27  
Yupeng Mei   China Y 31% 18.14  
Jaeyoon Lee   South Korea S1 31% 17.81  
Yeonmin Park   South Korea S1 31% 17.80  
Jorge González Buajasan   Cuba Y 31% 17.80  
Yuanfan Yang   United Kingdom S2 27% 17.72  
Julia Łozowska   Poland S1 25% 18.14  
Joanna Goranko   Poland S1 25% 17.86  
Junichi Ito   Japan F 25% 17.47  
Jinhyung Park   South Korea Y 25% 17.19  
Andrey Zenin   Russia K 25% 16.88  
Aleksandra Świgut   Poland F 14% 17.39  
Junhui Chen   China S2 13% 17.40  
Rikono Takeda   Japan S2 13% 17.00  
Yilan Zhao   China S1 13% 17.44  
Joo-Yeon Ka   South Korea Y 13% 17.21  
Yangyang Ruan   China S1 13% 16.87  
Leonardo Pierdomenico   Italy S1 13% 16.81  
Tomasz Marut   Poland S1 6% 17.13  
Ziji Zoé Zhao   China F 0% 17.13  
San Jittakarn   Thailand S1 0% 16.63  
Saaya Hara   Japan S1 0% 16.50  
Aleksandra Hortensja Dąbek   Poland S2 0% 16.38  
Anastasia Yasko   Russia S1 0% 14.16  


There were three juries corresponding to each phase of the competition. The qualifying committee screened more than 500 video applications and admitted 164 candidates into the preliminary round. Of these, the preliminary round jury admitted 78 participants to the main stage, joined by nine pianists who qualified directly. The main competition jury narrowed the field of candidates further through three competition stages, culminating in a final with twelve pianists.[6]

In all stages except the final, jurors gave candidates two assessments: a simple YES or NO on whether to accept the candidate into the next stage of the competition, and an integer score from 1 to 25 (25 being the highest). A YES required the juror to give at least 17 points for the preliminaries and 18, 19, and 20 points for Stage I, Stage II, and Stage III, respectively. When calculating the average score, scores were bounded within 3 points (preceding Stage II) or 2 points (Stage II and III) of the true average; for example, if the true average were 14.35 in Stage I, all scores lower than 12 would be adjusted to 11.35 and all scores higher than 17 would be adjusted to 17.35, and the average would then be calculated again. Based on these two assessments, but without the participants' names, the jury made the decision on admitting candidates to the next stage.[58][59]

In the final, Jurors assessed candidates on a scale from 1 to 10, while the highest score of 10 was allowed to be given only once. Jurors were to take the candidate's performances in the preceding stages into account. As in the main stages, the score average was adjusted with a permitted difference of 2 points.[59]

Jury members were compelled to recuse themselves from assessing a former or current student.[6]

Qualifying committeeEdit

The qualifying committee consisted of:[60]

Preliminary round juryEdit

The preliminary round jury consisted of:[61]

Competition juryEdit

The main competition jury consists of numerous pianists, many of whom were participants and prize-winners in previous editions of the Chopin Competition.[62]

Nelson Freire and Martha Argerich withdrew prior to the start of the competition and were replaced by Arthur Moreira Lima.[63]


Contestants from Taiwan were initially labeled as "PRC Taiwan" in a participant list that was published in March 2020 on the competition website. It was then later revised to "China Taiwan".[64] However, after Taiwan's Representative Office in Warsaw lodged a protest, it was again revised to "Chinese Taipei", according to Taiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which cited that the designation issue was a result of political interference from Beijing, and that "Chinese Taipei", while not the designation Taiwan would prefer, would be "acceptable".[65]


In Poland, the competition was broadcast on national channel TVP1 and on Polskie Radio Program II. All performances were also livestreamed on YouTube, and included, for the first time, a 4K broadcast and a virtual reality (VR) broadcast. In New York, London, Paris, Budapest, Moscow, Jerusalem, Seoul and Tokyo, the Adam Mickiewicz Institute collaborated with the Chopin Institute to create "listener's zones", where the competition was streamed in specially arranged spaces.[66]


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External linksEdit