STA, 21 October 2021 - Alexander Gadjiev, representing Slovenia and Italy, has won second place at the 18th International Fryderyk Chopin Competition in Warsaw, sharing it with Kyohei Sorita from Japan. Gadjiev also won the Krystian Zimerman Prize for the best performance of a Chopin sonata.
The competition, which is held every five years and should have taken place last year but was pushed to this year because of the pandemic, started on 2 October and the winners were declared on Wednesday evening.
A record of 500 pianists born between 1990 and 2004 applied for the competition. Based on their recordings, 164 made it to the preliminaries. A total of 151 presented their programmes and only 87 from 17 countries progressed to the main competition. A dozen then made it to the finals.
This is the first time that Slovenia was represented in the finals. In 1995, Slovenian pianist Tomaž Tobing took part in the preliminaries, according to web portal MMC.
The winners were chosen by a 17-member jury, according to the website of the competition.
Born in 1994, Gadjiev was raised in a music family from Gorizia, Italy. He began piano lessons with his mother before continuing his training with his father, the acclaimed Russian pianist Siavush Gadjiev, at the Slovenian Centre for Musical Education Emil Komel in Gorizia.
He made his orchestral debut at the age of nine and gave his first piano recital a year later. In 2012 he graduated magna cum laude from the Bruno Maderna Conservatory in Cesena. A notable milestone in his career came in 2015, when he won first prize and the audience prize at the 9th Hamamatsu International Piano Competition.
Gadjiev studied at the Mozarteum University Salzburg under Pavel Gililov and is currently completing his studies at the Hochschule für Musik Hanns Eisler Berlin under Eldar Nebolsin.
The organiser of the 18th Chopin Competition is the Fryderyk Chopin Institute, and the Competition is held under the national patronage of Polish President Andrzej Duda.
The first place comes with a EUR 40,000 prize, the second with EUR 30,000 and the Krystian Zimerman Prize is worth EUR 10,000.