Rafał Blechacz was 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 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 London Philharmonic Orchestra, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre de Paris, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, hr-Sinfonieorchester Frankfurt, Die Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen, Mahler Chamber Orchestra, Radio-Symphonieorchester Wien, Camerata Salzburg, Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestra dell’ Accademia di Santa Cecilia, Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich, Minnesota Orchestra, Detroit Symphony Orchestra and Orchestre symphonique de Montréal. He gives recitals in the world’s major concert halls including Philharmonie Berlin, Prinzregententheater Munich, Konzerthaus Dortmund, Salle Pleyel in Paris, Wigmore Hall London, Concertgebouw Amsterdam, La Scala Milan, Konzerthaus Wien and BOZAR – Palais des Beaux-Arts Brussels, as well as further afield in the USA and in Asia.
Having returned on stage after a year of sabbatical in 2016 to complete his PhD thesis on the philosophy of music, highlights of his 2019/20 season include concerts with Stuttgarter Kammerorchester, Orquesta Sinfónica de Galicia, Orquesta de Valencia and a tour to Berlin, Frankfurt, Darmstadt and Paris with the Poznań Philharmonic Orchestra. Solo recital invitations will take him to Germany, France, Switzerland, Belgium and Italy, in addition to tours in Japan and Taiwan as well as the USA in cities including New York and San Francisco. He also performs in duo with violinist Bomsori Kim in Spain, Italy, Germany, and on tour in North America.
Rafał Blechacz is an exclusive recording artist of Deutsche Grammophon. His debut CD of Chopin Préludes 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 Royal 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 the Gramophone magazine and ‘Solo Recording of the Year’ by Echo Klassik. These were 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 released in 2017 along with his duo recording with Bomsori Kim.
Born in 1985, Blechacz began his studies at age five continuing his piano education in the Arthur Rubinstein State School of Music in Bydgoszcz. In 2007, he graduated from the Feliks Nowowiejski Academy of Music in Bydgoszcz, in 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.