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I went to the Chopin International Competition for Period Instruments! Second Stage Edition

You can read this article also in : 日本語 (Japanese)

Hello! My name is Harie and I am an expat wife in Warsaw.

The First International Chopin Competition for Period Instruments
I went to the second round of the

This competition started this year as a “once every five years” contest.

Everything, they’re going to play a piano from the era when Chopin was alive.
Heh, sounds kind of interesting.

I bought the ticket with a light-hearted attitude of “I’m not a fan of this”;
I don’t know much about music at all, but I went undercover.

What is the Chopin International Competition for Period Instruments?

The most famous competition in Warsaw is the Chopin International Piano Competition, considered one of the “World’s Three Great Competitions.

The competition is said to be a gateway to success for pianists, and tickets for the competition, which is held only once every five years, sell out quickly and are very popular.

The National Chopin Institute, which organizes this Chopin International Piano Competition, is
Newly started this year is the Chopin International Competition for Period Instruments
It is.

What is a period instrument?”

I looked it up because I thought it was
“Old Instruments.”
I found out that it was an “old musical instrument”.

Just as electrical appliances and materials are evolving, musical instruments are said to be evolving with various improvements.

As instruments have evolved, playing methods and sounds themselves have also changed

Comparing old and new computers, they are different! It’s so totally different!
The same can be said for the piano.
Even if you play the score on today’s pianos, you can’t reproduce the music Chopin played back then.
I think that’s what you’re saying.

This is where period instruments came in.


If you play on an instrument from Chopin’s time (= period instrument)
You can enjoy the tone that Chopin actually played by using the instruments of his time (= period instruments)!

And well, here is what I, a layman, barely understood ^^;

The competition organizer, the Institut National de Chopin, says that the emphasis is on performing Chopin’s music on period instruments.

Our aim is not to inform you about the charm of period instruments, but to inform you about the real charm of Chopin through his performances on period instruments!
Quote: “The 1st International Chopin Competition for Period Instruments” Press Conference – Purpose and Significance

Sneaking into the Second Stage of the International Chopin Competition for Period Instruments

First time here, Warsaw Philharmonic Hall!

Photo taken during a break. The hall was almost full.

The venue for the second round was the smaller hall, so it was surprisingly small.
It looks like a movie theater.

Photo 2) During the break, the distance was so close that I could hear the sound of pulling chairs and pedaling.

The two contestants each performed for about an hour.
The tension was so great because it was a competition…

If I cough too loudly here, it will distract the contestants from concentrating…
That makes me nervous too!

The band played for about an hour straight, changing pianos along the way.
He didn’t have the sheet music, so he seems to have memorized everything.

Great concentration…

The two musicians were outstanding, as they are both winners of numerous competitions.
(The results were announced a few days later and both of you are finalists! Amazing!)

But as someone who doesn’t know much about music, I’m impressed by things like “How can you move your hands so fast?” and other unimportant things ^^;

There is a 20-minute break between the first and second performances, and

I was able to walk by the stage and get a good look at the piano!
I was able to see the piano.

I thought that cameras were not allowed in such a place, but everyone was snapping photos, so I joined in and snapped a few.

Retro feel…

This is the piano when Chopin was alive?

I also did some tuning (or repair?) during the short time I was there. I also did

By the way, as is typical at events, there was a line for the women’s restroom.
I was so engrossed in watching the piano that I didn’t have time to go to the bathroom …

Pamphlets and concert merchandise were available for sale in the lobby outside the venue.

I honestly don’t think there were that many goods that I wanted.
It might be fun to buy the brochure before listening to the performance.

20 zloty (about 600 yen) for a profile of the contestants, a description of the program, and a description of the piano used in the competition.

I’ll be watching the final stage (the main competition) on Thursday! I’m looking forward to it!

2018 First International Chopin Competition for Period Instruments Basic Information

The next one is scheduled to be held in 2013, so it will be a long time before then, but if it will be of any help to anyone then…


I was able to buy it from the official website.

Perhaps because this year was the first time the event was held, tickets were available even at the last minute.

Prices start at 45 zloty (about 1,350 yen) for the cheapest seat.

The Chopin Piano Competition, also held once every five years, seems to be getting more difficult to obtain tickets every year.
Could that be the trend for the Chopin International Competition for Period Instruments?

Schedule, location, duration, and hours for 2018

9/2-3 Opening Concert (Piano + Orchestra): 1 performance per day (19:00)
Venue: Witold Lutosławski Concert Studio of Polish Radio (405 seats)
9/4-6 First round (Piano Solo): 2 performances per day in the morning (10:00) and afternoon (17:00)
Contestants: 30
Venue: Warsaw Philharmonic Chamber Hall (378 seats)
9/8-10 Second Preliminary Round (Piano Solo): Morning (10:00) and Afternoon (17:00), 2 performances per day
Contestants: 15
Venue: Warsaw Philharmonic Chamber Hall (378 seats)
9/12-13 Final Selection (Piano + Orchestra): 1 performance per day (18:00)
Contestants: 6
Venue: Warsaw Philharmonic Concert Hall (1069 seats)
9/14 Prizewinners’ Concert: 1 performance(19:00)
Venue: Warsaw Philharmonic Concert Hall (1069 seats)

Map of the venue
Warsaw Philharmonic

Witold Lutosławski Concert Studio of Polish Radio (opening concert only)