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Feb 27, 2024

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jakub kuszlik

Chinese Canadian Wins 18th Chopin Competition

Polish finalist Jakub Kuszlik shares fourth prize

By Robert Strybel
Warsaw Correspondent

WARSAW– Polish President Andrzej Duda has awarded the gold medal of this year’s International Fryderyk Chopin Piano Competition to Bruce (Xiaoyu) Liu from Canada, Born in Paris to Chinese parents who later moved to Canada, the 24-year-old Liu graduated from  Montreal’s Quebec Conservatory and went on to perform with symphony orchestras in Cleveland, Montreal, Tel Aviv and Jerusalem as well as the Orchestra of the Americas.

”We are proud that Chopin was a Pole, that he came from our country and walked upon our Polish soil. His first recital took place not far from where we are now, in what at present is Poland’s Presidential Palace,” President Duda said at the awards ceremony. ”In his music we hear the voice of Poland, but his genius has universal appeal as witnessed by the diverse nationality of the competitors. But in interpreting his works, each of them adds a touch of their own sensitivity and heritage.”

Two second prizes went to Slovenian Alexander Alexander Gadjiev of Italy and Kychei Sorita of Japan, while the third prize was awarded to Martin García García of Spain. Polish contestant Jakub Kuszlik shared one of two fourth prizes with Aimi Kobayashi of Japan.

The gold medal was accompanied by a cash prize of €40,000 (over $46,000), with smaller prizes down to €20,000 ($23,000) to the runners-up. A successful showing at the Warsaw event has marked the start of an impressive life-long career of more than one piano virtuoso.

A total of 87 ambitious, young pianists from 17 different countries took part in the eliminations of this year’s 18th intentional Chopin Piano Competition from which the best 12 finalists were chosen. First initiated in 1927, it was interrupted by the war years, and since 1955 has been held every five years.