Polish pianist Rafal Blechacz is the winner of the Gilmore Artist Award, one of the most prestigious music awards in the world. Awarded every four years to a distinguished, extraordinary concert pianist, regardless of age or nationality, Blechacz received the award in January 2014.
The young Polish pianist has established himself firmly on the international concert scene, and is celebrated by both the audience and the press worldwide for his profound and virtuosic interpretations. In October 2005, uncontested, Rafal Blechacz won all prizes of the prestigious 15th Frederic Chopin International Piano Competition. In July 2010 he received the prestigious Premio Internazionale Accademia Musicale Chigiana (Italy), awarded annually by an international jury of music critics to young musicians for their outstanding artistic achievements.
Rafal Blechacz has performed with renowned orchestras such as the Mahler Chamber Orchestra, NDR Hamburg, Bremen Chamber Philharmonic, Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra, Sinfonia Varsovia, Orchestre de Paris, Orchestra dell’Accademia di Santa Cecilia, Zurich Tonhalle Orchestra, and Detroit Symphony Orchestra. He gives recitals in the world’s major concert halls including Berlin’s Philharmonie, Salle Pleyel in Paris, London’s Wigmore Hall, Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw, La Scala Milan, the Vienna Konzerthaus, the Tonhalle in Zurich, the Palais des Beaux-Arts in Brussels, Suntory Hall Tokyo, and New York’s Avery Fisher Hall.
The 2014-15 season sees Rafal Blechacz as soloist with the Salzburg Mozarteum Orchestra under the direction of Sir Trevor Pinnock. He is soloist with the Amsterdam Sinfonietta (without conductor) on tour with concerts in Germany, Switzerland, and the Czech Republic. In recital, he can be heard in London’s Wigmore Hall, Cambridge University and Southampton University series, in Berlin, Frankfurt and Vienna, and in October 2014, he makes his debut recital in Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall.
Rafal Blechacz is an exclusive recording artist of Deutsche Grammophon, becoming only the second Polish artist, after Krystian Zimerman, to have enlisted under the prestigious label. His debut CD for DG of Chopin Preludes won the Platinum Record status in his native Poland, a German Echo Klassik, and French Diapason D’or Award. A recording of both Chopin concerti with the Concertgebouw Orchestra under the baton of Jerzy Semkow followed, winning the “Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik”. After its release in Poland, it reached double Platinum Record status. In Spring 2012, Blechacz’s recording of works by Debussy and Szymanowski was released, winning “Recording of the Month” from Gramophone magazine and the “Echo Klassik” 2012 in the category “Solo Recording of the Year”. In September 2013, he presented his fifth album of Chopin Polonaises.
Born in 1985, Blechacz began his piano studies at age five, continuing his piano education at the Artur Rubinstein State School of Music in Bydgoszcz. In May 2007, he graduated from the Feliks Nowowiejski Academy of Music in Bydgoszcz, in the piano class of Professor Katarzyna Popowa-Zydroń.