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Rafał Blechacz Background information Born 30 June 1985 (1985-06-30) (age 25)  Poland Occupations classical Instruments piano Years active 1990 to present Rafał Blechacz (born June 30, 1985 Nakło n. Notecią, Poland) is a Polish classical pianist. On October 21, 2005, he became the sole recipient of all five first prizes at the 15th International Frederick Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw, taking First Prize and the polonaise, mazurka, sonata, and concerto prizes. According to ABC News, one of the judges, Professor Piotr Paleczny, said that Blechacz "so outclassed the remaining finalists that no second prize could actually be awarded." Another judge, the distinguished Irish pianist John O'Conor, said "He is one of the greatest artists I have had a chance to hear in my entire life," according to PBS. Blechacz was the first Pole to win the prize (given every five years) since 1975, when Krystian Zimerman won.[1][2][3][4][5] Blechacz completed his secondary education in the National Arthur Rubinstein Music School in Bydgoszcz and in May 2007 he graduated from the Feliks Nowowiejski Music Academy in Bydgoszcz with professor Katarzyna Popowa-Zydroń. He is also a winner of second prize at the Artur Rubinstein in Memoriam Piano Competition in Bydgoszcz (2002), 4th Hamamatsu International Piano Competition (2003), and a winner of the Grand Prix at the International Piano Competition in Morocco in 2004. Discography 2007: Chopin Preludes op. 28 & Nocturnes op. 62[6] 2008: Sonaten HAYDN MOZART BEETHOVEN[7] 2009: CHOPIN Piano Concertos[8] References ^ "Polish star scoops piano honour". BBC. 2005-10-22. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/music/4367592.stm. Retrieved 2007-09-29.  ^ "Polish Pianist Rafal Blechacz Wins Chopin International Piano Competition". Andante magazine. 2005-10-23. http://www.andante.com/article/article.cfm?id=26133. Retrieved 2007-09-29.  ^ "Polish pianist wins prestigious Chopin competition". ABC News. 2005-10-23. http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/200510/s1488467.htm. Retrieved 2010-03-01.  ^ Sisario, B (2005-10-24). "A Chopin Winner From Poland". Arts, briefly (New York Times). http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9500EFDC103FF937A15753C1A9639C8B63. Retrieved 2007-09-29.  ^ "People: Rafal Blechacz, Steve Martin, Céline Dion". International Herald Tribune. 2005-10-25. http://www.iht.com/articles/2005/10/24/features/peeptue.php. Retrieved 2007-09-29.  ^ "Chopin Preludes op. 28 & Nocturnes op. 62". Deutsche Grammophon. http://www2.deutschegrammophon.com/special/?ID=blechacz-chopin. Retrieved 2009-11-06.  ^ "Sonaten HAYDN MOZART BEETHOVEN". Deutsche Grammophon. http://www2.deutschegrammophon.com/cat/result?ART_ID=BLERA. Retrieved 2010-03-09.  ^ "CHOPIN Piano Concertos". Deutsche Grammophon. http://www2.deutschegrammophon.com/cat/result?ART_ID=BLERA. Retrieved 2010-03-09.  http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/02/28/AR2010022802973.html External links Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Rafał Blechacz Rafał Blechacz's website Rafał Blechacz's fan club Rafal Blechacz Performed in Warsaw - NPR 18OCT2006 Rafal Blechacz recorded Chopin's two Piano Concertos - NPR 14FEB2010 Persondata Name Blechacz, Rafal Alternative names Short description Date of birth 1985-06-30 Place of birth Date of death Place of death