23 September 2019
By Ellie Palmer
National Chopin Piano Competition to offer $100,000, the largest cash award in the U.S., to its first-place winner
The Chopin Foundation of the United States has set the top prize of its Tenth National Chopin Piano Competition to $100,000 for the 2020 event, making it the highest award offered by any piano competition in the country.
This change showcases the need to provide appropriate compensation to artists at the top of their field, just as professionals in other industries are compensated for devoting large amounts of time, years of intense training, and a true passion to their craft.
In support of the Foundation’s mission to assist the career development of American pianists, its founder and president, Mrs. Blanka A. Rosenstiel decided to increase the first-place prize to $100,000 based on this sentiment. “From an early age, these talented pianists are dedicated and disciplined. Their talent and hard work deserve this kind of reward and even more,” Mrs. Rosenstiel said. “The joy that their playing brings to this chaotic world is simply priceless. I hope that once the public experiences the beauty of Chopin’s music being performed so wonderfully, they too will cherish and support these fine pianists.”
In addition to the $100,000 cash prize, the winner of the National Chopin Competition will automatically be accepted to compete in the International Chopin Competition in Warsaw. The Chopin Foundation also arranges an extensive concert tour in the U.S. and internationally for the first prize winner.
Barbara Muze, the Foundation’s Executive Director, added: “The U.S. Competition has such a rich history with so many young American pianists getting much-needed international exposure after their success at our competition. The gold medalist from the 2015 Competition, Eric Lu, is a perfect example. Eric was only 17 years old when he won the National Chopin Competition and he credits the Chopin Foundation for giving him the confidence and concert experience he needed to excel in the international arena. He went on to place 4th at the 2015 International Chopin Competition in Warsaw and just last summer won first prize at the prestigious Leeds Competition. We are so proud of him!”
The second prize winner will receive a cash prize of $30,000 and is also accepted to the International Chopin Competition. Third place receives $20,000 and, along with all other finalists, receives an expense-paid trip to Warsaw to compete in the International Chopin Competition’s Preliminary Round.
The Tenth National Chopin Competition will take place February 22 through March 1, 2020 in Miami.