On 13 November 2017 in the seat of Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra in Katowice, the letter of intent concerning the organization of the Karol Szymanowski International Music Competition was ceremonially signed.
This initiative is aimed at promoting Polish music abroad and making a wider audience aware of the significance of Karol Szymanowski’s person and work, which constitutes a vital part of the national cultural heritage. While inspiring high-level renditions of works by Szymanowski, the competition will enrich the art of interpretation with new concert performances, as well as provide young music graduates from Poland with an opportunity to demonstrate their skills.
The competition will be held in Katowice, being since 2015 the UNESCO Creative City of Music, in a 5-year cycle. The first edition is scheduled to take place between 10 and 23 September 2018.
The competition is organized by Polish Radio National Symphony Orchestra and co-organized by: Ministry of Culture and National Heritage, City of Katowice, Polish Radio, Karol Szymanowski Academy of Music in Katowice, and Karol Szymanowski Music Society in Zakopane. The event receives funding from the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage, as well as City of Katowice.
The competition, held in a five-year cycle, will be open to artists representing 5 disciplines: piano, violin, voice, string quartet, and composition.
The first and second stage of the competition will take place simultaneously in the seat of Polish Radio National Symphony Orchestra in Katowice and at the Karol Szymanowski Academy of Music in Katowice.
The competition final, where the soloists will be accompanied by the NOSPR orchestra, and a gala event will be staged in the NOSPR concert hall.
The pool of prizes in all five disciplines is going to be 287 000 €.
Apart from the main prizes (1st, 2nd and 3rd prize in each discipline), special prizes for the best performance of a work by Szymanowski will be awarded in all the disciplines other than composition, and in the disciplines of violin and voice additionally a prize for the best chamber pianist.
The competition is due to be announced in late November, up to early December 2017.
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