pianoforte, Rafał Blechacz
The Polish pianist Rafał Blechacz, 28, is the winner of the 2014 Gilmore Artist Award. An extraordinary and unique honour, the award assesses the nominees, without their knowledge, through recordings and live performances over a period of time.
The award is given once every four years to a pianist who is considered to have the potential to sustain a career as a major international concert artist.
Rafał Blechacz will receive $300,000 in support of his musical and career goals.
The director of the Irving S. Gilmore International Keyboard Festival, Daniel R Gustin, said: “Rafał Blechacz stood out to us as a truly distinctive musical figure whose passionate commitment to his art and profound musicianship portend a long and brilliant career.”
Rafał Blechacz records exclusively for Deutsche Grammophon, with which he produced five recordings. His most recent release on the Yellow Label – Chopin Polonaises – went Gold on the very day of its release in his native Poland and received the German Record Critics’ Award (Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik) in the piano music category.
Blechacz’s career has been on a meteoric rise since October 2005, when he became the uncontested winner of the International Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw. He was the first Polish musician in 30 years to win the competition, and received all five prizes including First Prize and special prizes for best Mazurka, Polonaise, Concerto and Sonata. He has since performed in Europe, Japan and North America.