PianoRafał Blechacz
© Marco BorggreveArtist

„... one of the pianistic giants of our time.“

The Sunday Times
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Biography

Rafał Blechacz is the winner of the prestigious Gilmore Artist Award in 2014 – an award given every four years to a distinguished, extraordinary concert pianist regardless of age or nationality. He is recognized as his generation’s greatest performer of Chopin’s works. In October 2005, uncontested, Blechacz won all prizes of the prestigious 15th Frédéric Chopin International Piano Competition. The young Polish pianist has since then 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.

Blechacz has performed with renowned orchestras such as the London Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestre de Paris, Mahler Chamber Orchestra, NDR Hamburg, Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestra dell 'Accademia di Santa Cecilia, Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich and Detroit Symphony Orchestra. He gives recitals in the world’s major concert halls including Philharmonie Berlin, Salle Pleyel in Paris, London's Wigmore Hall, Queen’s Hall Edinburgh, Concertgebouw Amsterdam, La Scala Milan, Vienna Konzerthaus, Tonhalle in Zurich, Palais des Beaux-Arts in Brussels, Suntory Hall Tokyo and New York's Avery Fisher Hall.


 

Since returning on stage following his sabbatical period in 2016, when he completed his Ph.D. thesis in philosophy of music, Blechacz has performed with Radio-Symphonieorchester Wien and Minnesota Orchestra, been on tour with Camerata Salzburg and Kammerorchester Basel under the baton of Trevor Pinnock, and gave recitals in Berlin’s Philharmonie, Prinzregententheater Munich, Cité de la musique Paris, Tisch Center Ney York, amongst others. Highlights of his 17/18 season include a tour in Germany and the UK with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla as well as recitals in Japan, Korea and Taiwan in autumn, then in New York, Boston, Atlanta and Vancouver in spring.

Rafał Blechacz is an exclusive recording artist of Deutsche Grammophon. His debut CD of Chopin Preludes won the Platinum Record status in his native Poland, as well as a German Echo Klassik and French Diapason D’or award. His CD of both Chopin concerti with the Concertgebouw Orchestra under the baton of Jerzy Semkow was awarded the “Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik”. In 2012, his recording of works by Debussy and Szymanowski was released and awarded "Recording of the Month" by Gramophone magazine and "Solo Recording of the Year” by Echo Klassik. These are followed by the acclaimed release of his fifth album of Chopin Polonaises in 2013, and the most recent solo CD of works by J.S Bach in 2017.

Born in 1985, Blechacz began his studies aged five continuing his piano education in the Artur Rubinstein State School of Music in Bydgoszcz. In 2007, he graduated from the Feliks Nowowiejski Academy of Music in Bydgoszcz, the piano class of Professor Katarzyna Popowa- Zydroń. In 2010, he received the Premio Internazionale Accademia Musicale Chigiana (Italy), awarded annually by an international jury of music critics to young musicians for their outstanding artistic achievements.

SEASON 2017/2018

Quotes

“[…] When Rafal Blechacz is tickling the ivories there is no doubt: the young musician knows his subject down to the last detail. He tells stories about royal majesty as well as deepest vulnerability. Meanwhile he keeps sight of the point and emphasizes Beethoven’s arcs of suspense.”

Luzerner Zeitung, Isabel Bischof, 16.05.2017

“His insightful and technically formidable accounts of works by Bach, Beethoven and Chopin made clear why, at 31, Mr. Blechacz is one of the major artists of his generation.”

The New York Times, Anthony Tommasini, 27.03.2017

“Bach haven’t often sounded so up-to-date, so modern, so refreshingly lively and precise.”

Crescendo Magazin, Attila Csampai, 04.2017

“His insightful and technically formidable accounts of works by Bach, Beethoven and Chopin made clear why, at 31, Mr. Blechacz is one of the major artists of his generation.”

New York Times, Anthony Tommasini, 27.03.2017

“It purrs, it buzzes. It never sounds sedately but almost awakening.”

Christoph Vratz, Deutschlandfunk, 01.03.2017

“On a fine instrument that is very well recorded, Blechacz's playing has everything one could ask for -- brilliant technique, panache, musicality, and a feeling for the peculiar inner rhythms that link the polonaise to the mazurka [...].”

Fanfare, Hunley Dent, 01.04.2016

“Blechacz demonstrated, even more fully than on his recordings, the blend of technical command and interpretive individuality that has won him these accolades and made him one of the most exciting pianists of his generation.”

Portland Press Herald, Allan Kozinn, 05.10.2015

“[...] he brought out transparent and well-balanced sonority and let the music flow naturally [...].”

Bachtrack, Nahoko Gotoh, 10.01.2015

Go back

Discography

BachRafał Blechacz plays works of Johann Sebastian BachFeb. 2017, Deutsche Grammophon, CD, Available on: iTunes Amazon
PolonaisesRafał Blechacz plays Frederic Chopins Poloaises 1-7Sep. 2013, Deutsche Grammophon, CD, Available on: iTunes Amazon
Debussy & SzymanowskiRafał Blechacz plays Debussy and SzymanowskiFeb. 2012, DG, CD, Available on: iTunes Amazon
Chopin-The Piano ConcertosRafał Blechacz plays Chopins Piano ConcertosOct. 2009, Deutsche Grammophon, CD, Available on: iTunes Amazon
Sonatas - Haydn, Mozart, BeethovenRafał Blechacz plays Sonatas of Haydn, Mozart & BeethovenOct. 2008, Deutsche Grammophon, CD, Available on: iTunes Amazon
Chopin - The Complete PréludesRafał Blechacz plays Chopins Complete PréludesOct. 2007, Deutsche Grammophon, CD, Available on: iTunes Amazon