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October 2015
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Winner of 17th Chopin Competition Announced

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[Press and spectators surround 17th International Chopin Piano Competition winner Seong-Jin Cho]

WARSAW — The 17th International Chopin Piano Competition drew to a close very late Tuesday evening as hundreds of classical music lovers waited in the lobby of Warsaw’s national concert hall to hear that Seong-Jin Cho of South Korea won the gold medal at the prestigious Chopin Competition.

“It became my dream to participate in the competition and I cannot believe this moment,” he said at a press conference immediately after the announcement.

Charles Richard-Hamelin of Quebec, Canada took the silver medal and Kate Liu, a native of Winnetka and an alumna of the Music Institute of Chicago’s Academy for Gifted Pre-College Classical Musicians took the bronze medal.



In addition to prize money of 30,000 Euros, Seong-Jin Cho wins automatic invitations to concert halls around the world and, most importantly, an increased chance at having an international career as a piano soloist.

The competition takes place every 5 years and past winners include Maurizio Pollini, Martha Argerich, Krystian Zimerman and Garrick Ohlsson. Argerich and Ohlsson were also on the international jury at this year’s competition. Over 450 pianists applied to participate and 77 were admitted to the main competition, at which a winner is not guaranteed.

Special prizes were also awarded. Seong-Jin Cho won 3,000 Euro for best performance of a polonaise, Kate Liu won 5,000 Euro for best mazurka performances and Charles Richard-Hamelin won 10,000 Euro for best performance of a sonata. No prize was awarded for best performance of a concerto, which would have been 3,000.

The entire competition is available for viewing on YouTube, and the prizewinners’ concert will be broadcast live in its entirety by WFMT on Wednesday at noon CST.

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