International Festival of Young Pianists

International Festival of Young Pianists

The history of the International Festival of Young Pianists dates back to the year 1994. The initiator and organizer of the first edition of this event was Józef Kaniowski – at that time the director of the school. With the beginning of the festival, the school cooperation with outstanding pianists and educators begins. Among many, there are most of all Vera Nosiną, Eleonora Tkacz, Celina Heller and Elżbieta Hoffman. Apart from the auditions, the Festival also features seminars, workshops and concerts. It is worth mentioning that the winner of the first contest in Głubczyce in 1994 was Julianna Awdiejewa, the winner of the International Frederic Chopin Piano Competition in 2010. Furthermore, the winner of the 5th International Festival of Young Pianists in Głubczyce was Szymon Nehring – one of the finalists of the International Frederic Chopin Piano Competition in 2015.

The next editions of the festival were initially held every three years and mainly attracted participants from Russia, Ukraine and Poland. In subsequent years, the Festival gradually increased the number of participants from other countries as well (The Czech Republic, Lithuania, Latvia and China).

At that time, a group of judges and guests of the festival was expanded to such personalities as Monika Sikorska – Wojtacha, Waldemar Wojtal, Alena Vlasáková, Alicja Paleta – Bugaj and Alexander Zvirblyte.

In 2003, Krystyna Michalik becomes the director of the Festival (director of the school since 1999). Starting from its sixth edition, in 2007, the Festival is extended to a new age category and is held every two years. At that time, a concert in Glogówek combined with a visit to the local castle, which hosted Ludwig van Beethoven during his visit to the Opole region, becomes a fixed point of the Festival. The tradition of the Festival is to promote young musicians from the Opole region. During the Festival, there were many concerts with famous artists, among whom were: Ravel Piano Duo (Agnieszka Kozło, Katarzyna Ewa Sokołowska), Dominik Zablocki, Piotr Kupka, Rafał Łuszczewski, Maria Ołdak, Jagoda Krzemińska, Sylwia Michalik. From its eleventh edition, in 2013, the Festival is directed by the current director of the school – Adam Kopyto.

In 2015, the Festival was held for the tenth time and had a similar form as the previous editions. The opening concert hosted the winners of the first places of the 9th Festival – Julia Czajka (Poland), Pavol Praženica (The Czech Republic) and Peter Alexewicz (Poland). The special guest of the concert was Sylwia Michalik – a Głubczyce born pianist and a graduate of the Grazyna and Kiejstut Bacewicz Music Academy in Lodz, where she currently works.

An unforgettable event was a concert of Viola Organista Slawomir Zubrzycki – a Cracow pianist and virtuoso. The audience of the Festival could see him play a program on an instrument that he built himself on the basis of drawings left by Leonardo da Vinci.

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