Canadian pianist Bruce (Xiaoyu) Liu has won First Prize at this year’s Fryderyk Chopin International Piano Competition.
The 24 year-old came out on top in what was, as usual, an intense final. He beat 11 other contenders, who had come from countries far and wide, including Japan, Italy, Slovenia and Poland. Each performed a Chopin piano concerto with the Warsaw Philharmonic, under Andrzej Boreyko, in front of a 17-strong international jury.
The finalists had a choice between the E minor and F minor concertos. Liu was one of nine finalists who chose the Piano Concerto in E minor, and received a standing ovation for his efforts.
Liu is a graduate of the Montreal Conservatoire and has enjoyed previous competition wins in Tel Aviv, Montreal, Sendai and Viseu.
The Fryderyk Chopin International Piano Competition is always a highlight of the classical calendar as young musicians take to the keyboard in Warsaw, Poland for an intensive 15 days of auditions and competition.
Some 87 musicians took part in the competition this year, whittled down from 500 initial entrants. During the last two weeks, it’s said that around 2000 interpretations of Chopin’s music were performed – which is about 100 hours of music!
The performances and auditions were streamed live and are still available to enjoy on the competition’s YouTube channel.
Here’s a list of this year’s winning participants…
1st Prize – Mr Bruce (Xiaoyu) Liu, Canada
2nd Prize ex aequo – Mr Alexander Gadjiev, Italy/Slovenia 2nd Prize ex aequo – Mr Kyohei Sorita, Japan
3rd Prize – Mr Martin Garcia Garcia, Spain
4th Prize ex aequo – Ms Aimi Kobayashi, Japan
4th Prize ex aequo – Mr Jakub Kuszlik, Poland
5th Prize – Ms Leonora Armellini, Italy
6th Prize – Mr J J Jun Li Bui, Canada
The Polish Radio Prize for the best performance of mazurkas – Mr Jakub Kuszlik, Poland
The Warsaw Philharmonic Prize for the best performance of a concerto – Mr Martin Garcia Garcia, Spain The Krystian Zimerman Prize for the best performance of a sonata – Mr Alexander Gadjiev, Italy/Slovenia
Photo: The winner the 18th Chopin competition Canada’s Bruce Xiaoyu Liu (C) stands second prize winner Kyohei Sorita (L) of Japan, third prize winner Martin Garcia Garcia (2L) of Spain, J J Jun Li Bui (2R) of Canada and Russian-Armenian pianist Eva Gevorgyan (R) after the results were announced in Warsaw on October 21, 2021. (Photo by JANEK SKARZYNSKI / AFP) (Photo by JANEK SKARZYNSKI/AFP via Getty Images)