Chopin at Wawel

Cracow, 7-11 July 2021

  Andrzej Pikul (Poland) - Chairman of Jury

ANDRZEJ PIKUL - gradutated from the piano class of Prof. Tadeusz Żmudziński at the Academy of Music in Kraków (1980). He continued his studies I the master class of Prof. Paul Badura-Skoda at the Hochschule für Musik in Vienna (1981–1983). He also participated in many other master courses taught by eminent pianists (including A. Jenner, V. Perlemuter, G. Agosti, T. Vasary). He is a laureate of the Polish Piano Festival in Słupsk (1981), the International Competition Foundation Cziffrra in Senlis (1983), the European Broadcasting Competion in Bratislava (1985). He began his international artistic career with a successful performance at the festival Szene der Jugend in Salzburg (1982). Since that time, he gave many performances in prestigious concert-halls (such as the Brahms-Saal and the Beethoven-Saal in Vienna, the Wigmore Hall in London, the Norsk Opera in Oslo, the Izumi Hall in Osaka, the National Theater in Brasilia). He has already appeared in almost all European countries, Japan, Brazil, China, Chile, Columbia and the USA.

He has participated in numerous festivals, including the Polish Piano Festival, Vratislavia Cantans, Bydgoszcz Music Festival, Music in Old Kraków, International Days of Kraków Composers, Encuentro de Musica International de La Serena (Chile) Festival of Music in Bucamaranga (Columbia), Leipziger Chopin Tage, Kosicka Hudobna Jar (Slovakia), Sofia Music Weeks (Bulgaria), Sollertinski Festival in Vitebsk (Belarus) and the International Music Festival in Kiev.

He has made numerous recordings for Polish Radio and Television, Osterreichische Rundfunk und Fernsehen, Radio Suisse Romande, and several CD albums (including Dux 0320: K. Szymanowski: Symphonie concertante op. 60, A. Tansman: suite for 2 pianos and orchestra and Dux 0552/3 A. Ginastera The complete music for piano, Dux 0929 F. Liszt Italy and Dux 0927/0928 F. Chopin Polonaises). He has also performed premieres of the 20th and 21th century pieces. He has been the dedicatee of music by many contemporary composers (including Krystyna Muszumańska-Nazar’s Apigram). He has taught master courses for pianists in Chile, Japan, Brazil, Germany, Portugal, and Spain, and sat on juries of Polish and international music competitions (among others in Andorra, Barcelona, Hongkong and Osaka).

He was a visiting professor in Kobe College Japan (2002/2003) and at Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz (2011/2012). He is Professor of Piano in the Piano Department at the Academy of Music Kraków.

  Gajusz Kęska (Poland) - Director of the Competition

GAJUSZ KĘSKA - His study in Academy of Music in Cracow in piano class of Professor Andrzej Pikul he finished in 2002 with distinction. In the same year he started post graduated study in master piano class of Professor Willem Brons in Sweelinck Conservatorium in Amsterdam, which he finished in 2005. In March 2010 he got his PhD in music in Academy of Music in Cracow where nowadays he is leading his own piano class in piano department. In 2017 he got his habilitation title. His students are prizewinners of national and international piano competitions. He is a prize winner of national and international piano competition: National Polish Piano Competition EPTA in Cracow, International Piano Competition for Young Pianists in Gaillard in France, Polish Music Festival “Week of Talent” in Tarnów, Piano Competition “Tadeusz Żmudziński im Memoriam” in Cracow, Special Prize for the best performance of romantic music in International Piano Masterclass in Tel-Hai in Israel, International Pacific Piano Competition in Vancouver in Canada and International Piano Competition “Ciutat de Mallorca” in Palma de Mallorca. He was a scholarship holder of Polish Minister of Culture and Art, Jűtting Foundation in Stendal, Maestro Hans Vonk, Schumann-Schimmel van Outeren Foundation in Holland Krakow city's creative scholarship.

Gajusz Kęska performs wide repertoire as a soloist and chamber music player and regularly plays in prestigious halls during festivals and concerts in most of the countries of Europe and China, Canada, Japan, Chile, Peru, Argentina, Equador and Israel. The most important of them are: International Chopin Festival „Chopin Tage” in Leipzig, Festival „Polish days” in Prague, Polish Composers Festival in Atma, „International Woche Festival” in Stefaniensall in Graz, Jutting Foundation Festival in Stendal, Gala Concert in Bosendorfersall in Vienna promotion Poland as a member of European Union, Recanti Auditorium in Tel-Aviv, Polish Embassy in Tokyo, Polish Master Pianist Festival in Słupsk, Gateway Theater in Vancouver, Holland Music Session in Holland, Auditorio Forteza in Palma de Mallorca, Vriendenkrans Music Festival in Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Festival of Prizewinners of Music Competitions in Philharmonic Hall in Katowice, Chopin Recitals in the house of F. Chopin in Żelazowa Wola, Teatro Oriente and Centrum Culturale de Providencia in Santiago de Chile, St. Giles Cathedra in Edinburgh, Rainbow Theatre in Inverness, Teatro del Lago – during “Semanas Musicales” Festival in Frutillar (Chile), Auditorium Ricardo Palma in Lima and in Teatro Sucre in Quito, National Philharmony of Belarus in Minsk, “Iguazu en Concierto Music Festival” in Iguazu (Argentina).

In 2013 his debut CD with Piano Sonatas of K. Szymanowski for nominated for ICMA 2013, for Fryderyk Prize 2013 and got Prize from Spanish music magazine “Scherzo”.

From 2015 he is creator and director of International Competition for Young Pianist “Chopin at Wawel” in Krakow, Poland. Since the same year Gajusz Kęska is coorganizer and artistic director of international masterclasses Academy of Talent in Łącko, Poland.


  Mikhail Alexandrov (Russia)

MIKHAIL ALEXANDROV - received his musical education at the Rostov-Don Art College and the Saratov State Conservatory. In 1975 he finished the post-graduate course at the same conservatory. Since 1969, he taught at the Kalmyk College of Music, then - at the Rostov College of Arts, at the Rostov Conservatory named after S. Rachmaninoff, at the Central Music School attached to the Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory. In 1989, Mikhail Alexandrov founded the All-Union Center for the Arts charity "Young Talents", which was the first Soviet organization to support children's music professional creativity. Mikhail Alexandrov is the organizer of many major musical event in Russia - festivals and international competitions, including Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninov international competitions. Since 1991, he is a permanent director and artistic director of the International Frederick Chopin Society in Moscow, one of its major projects is the Moscow International Frederick Chopin Competition for Young Pianists. Mikhail Alexandrov's concerts as a soloist and chamber musician. In recent years, his performances took place in Germany, Scotland, Republic of Korea, Japan, China, Turkey, Belarus, the Russian cities. M. Alexandrov is Guest-Professor at Conservatoire of Beijing, Tianjin, University of Tokyo, Seoul and Daegu. He regularly holds master-classes in Korea, Japan, China, Germany and elsewhere. He served as a jury member at international competitions in France, Spain, Poland, Italy, Russia, Ukraine, China and Korea for example: A. Safonov Piano Competition (Piatigorsk, Russia), M. Balakirev International Piano Competition (Krasnodar, Russia), F. Chopin International Competition for Young Pianists (Moscow, Russia), F. Chopin International Piano Competition (Guangzhou, China). Honored Artist of the Russian Federation, Honored Artisan of the Republic of Poland, Honored Artist of the Republic of North Ossetia-Alania, the title "Person of the Year 2006". Awarded a number of government awards.

He is an artistic director and juror of Chopin International Competition for Young Pianists in Foshan.

  Achille Gallo (Italy)

ACHILLE GALLO - „… A pianist full of passioni and exciting technically capable of reaching the top of expressiveness beyond any possible expectation” (American Record Guide). 

„…A poet of the Piano between the Chopin Waltzes (Bernardino Zappa - “L’Eco di Bergamo”- Italy). 

Eclectic musician, imaginative, passionate, unconventional, far from academic formalisms he sinks the roots of his music training in the tradition of the great piano schools (Vincenzo Scaramuzza and Carlo Zecchi traditions) under the leadership of the great Argentinian pianist and pedagogue Fausto Zadra at the prestigious „Ecole Internationale de Piano” in Switzerland. He is considered one of the Italian leading pianists of his generation. Finalist and awarded in national and international competitions in 1994 he has been Solo-Finalist at the „International Piano Competition Eduard Flipse” in Rotterdam (Netherlands), only Italian in history of the competition. Achille Gallo is concertizing extensively as solo pianist,chamber music performers and with orchestra in international Piano Festivals (Rotterdam, Venice, Valencia, Brussels, Istanbul, Moscow, Vancouver, Rome, Lausanne) and prestigious Concert Halls. His discography boasts 6 CDs for prestigious record labels such as Neos Music GmbH, Velut Luna, Phoenix Classics,, Xclassics Records which inlcude the complete chamber music of Frank Bridge and Frederic Chopin receiving flattering appreciation from international press (Diapason Revue, Classical CD, Gramophone Magazine, Notes, net, American Record Guide, Music Web International Review, Classic Voice, Skug Journal of Music, Colonnesonore.net, Dissonance). National President of the WPTA-World Piano Teachers Association for ITALY (WPTA ITALY) and Founder-Artistic Director of the International Piano Competition „FAUSTO ZADRA” (member of the AAF Alink Argerich Foundation). He serves often as Jury member in prestigious international piano competitions. Piano Professor at the European Piano Open Academy in the Advanced Yearly Master Courses for Professional Performers in Italy. He leads regularly international master classes in Italy, Spain, Russia, Serbia, etc. The USA website „Classical Pianist of the future” has included Achille Gallo in the „Top 155 Pianist of the future” as „a Master of the piano considered an influential and prominent figure in the world music industry”.


  Ming Yang (China)

MING YANG is the Professor of Piano at the Central Conservatory of Music in China. Prof. Yang is currently the Dean of the Central Conservatory Piano Academy at Gulangyu, the Dean of the Central Conservatory Continuous Education Institution, Vice Chairman of the Federation, Music Association Chairman in Xiamen, and editorial advisory board member for the journal “PIANO ARTS” , the most celebrated and authoritative journal in China. Prior to his position in Xiamen, Prof. Yang was Piano Department Head at the Central Conservatory. He published “High-level Piano Conservatory Course”, which has been widely adopted at many music colleges in China. He has given more than one hundred piano lectures on China Central Television; He drafted and implemented the official piano standard test in China under the National Ministry of Labor and National Ministry of Culture; He has been jury member at many national and international piano competitions, such as the Gina Bachauer Piano Competition, Eastman Piano Competition, Cologne International Piano Competition, etc. He is the Artistic Director and Jury President of the Heizmann National Competition, as well as President of the China-French Multi Piano competition. Since his arrival, the Central Conservatory Piano Academy at Gulangyu has grown to be one of the best national Schools of music in China and a globally celebrated school.

Międzynarodowy Konkurs Młodych Pianistów "Chopin pod Wawelem" © 2017