PianoRafał Blechacz
© Marco BorggreveArtist

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

The Sunday Times
2 / 31

Biography

Rafał Blechacz is the winner of the Gilmore Artist Award which is 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, Rafał Blechacz won all prizes of the prestigious 15th Frédéric Chopin International Piano Competition.

Rafał Blechacz has performed with renowned orchestras such as the Mahler Chamber Orchestra, NDR Hamburg, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, 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.


 

In the past two seasons Rafał Blechacz has performed with Montreal Symphony and Bramwell Tovey, Salzburg Mozarteum Orchestra and Sir Trevor Pinnock and Amsterdam Sinfonietta on tour with concerts in Germany, Switzerland and the Czech Republic. In recital he performed in London’s Wigmore Hall, Cambridge, Southampton, Berlin, Frankfurt and Vienna. In autumn 2014 he gave his debut recital in the Carnegie Hall New York. In the year 2016 Rafal Blechacz embarked upon a sabbatical period to complete his Ph.D. dissertation in philosophy of Music.

Rafał Blechacz is an exclusive recording artist of Deutsche Grammophon becoming only the second Polish artist, after Kyrstian Zimerman, to have enlisted under the prestigious label. His debut CD of Chopin Preludes won the Platinum Record status in his native Poland, a German Echo Klassik and French Diapason D’or award. A CD of both Chopin concerti with the Concertgebouw Orchestra under the baton of Jerzy Semkow was awarded the „Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik”. In spring 2012, his 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. With the beginning of 2017 a new solo-CD will be released with works by J.S. Bach.

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 2016/2017

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

“He played with sobering directness and fascinating attention to inner details.”

New York Times, Anthony Tommasini, 25.10.2014

“Chopin comes alive in the hands of Rafal Blechacz”

San Francisco Classical Voice, Ken Iisaka, 16.10.2014

“What I particularly admire in young musicians is the overriding drive for clarity of texture, articulation and touch, all of them major virtues in Blechacz's readings of these most familiar of Chopin's works.”

Bay Area Reporter, Tim Pfaff, 17.04.2014

“Blechacz plays with freshness and verve. He understands instinctively how Chopin elevates the traditional Polish dance into a national statement, with a sound that is both proudly majestic and melancholy. Displaying a brilliantly secure technique, the young Polish pianist is fully up to the challenges of these glittering pieces.”

BBC Music Magazine, John Allison, 01.12.2013

“Blechacz reaches to the heart of the seven works in this programme, his expressive personality finding a compelling accord with Chopin’s own.”

Telegraph, Geoffrey Norris, 20.09.2013

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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