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The first “ChopinLand Piano Competition” in Japan goes down in history


Over 300 performances of works by Polish composers, 114 finalists, a total of 36 repertoire pieces in 6 age categories, 20 winners, 17 jurors, 4 competition locations and one day of master classes. The piano competition for children and teenagers, “ChopinLand Piano Competition,” is behind us – an extraordinary project that took several months, which PWM Edition organized in Japan. Thanks to cooperation with local partners, Polish music could reach hundreds of young pianists and their teachers, creating the ambassadors of Polish music in the Land of the Rising Sun. 

“The piano competition for children and youth »ChopinLand Piano Competition« is another stage of educational activities that PWM Edition has been conducting in Japan for years. It was a great joy to listen to interesting interpretations of Polish music by the youngest – children from 5 to 18 years old. Importantly, the tournament participants not only performed works by Fryderyk Chopin but also by Witold Lutosławski, Ignacy Jan Paderewski, Feliks Rybicki, Henryk Pachulski and Janina Garścia. Therefore, the appetite for Polish music has been aroused,” sums up the director and editor-in-chief of PWM Edition, Daniel Cichy, PhD.

In search for talents

The “ChopinLand Piano Competition” was addressed to aspiring pianists under 18. Auditions were held in September at Kawai showrooms, the tournament’s partner, in four Japanese cities. In each, three jury members associated with PTNA, an organization uniting 14,000 pianists, piano teachers and academic lecturers, selected the finalists. They were:

• Izumiko Aoyanagi, Miku Omine and Hiroo Sato in Tokyo,

• Miki Shigeno, Hayu Kozuta and Nozomi Nakagiri in Hiroshima,

• Jun Hasegawa, Tomoya Umeda and Miyu Ishiguro in Nagoya,

• Motoko Nakata, Ayami Iida and Takuya Tainaka in Osaka.

Fot. Maciej Komorowski / PWM Edition

114 pianists qualified for the finals and had the opportunity to present their interpretations of Polish music in Hakuju Hall in Tokyo – a prestigious concert hall known for its excellent acoustics but also modern design. The final performances were divided into two days: October 22 and 23. The young pianists were assessed by a jury composed of:

• Wojciech Świtała – laureate of international competitions, e.g. in Bardolino, the Competition M. Long and J. Thibaud in Paris, the Piano Competition in Montreal. At the 12th Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw received the award for the best performance of a polonaise and a number of extra awards. Since 1998, he has also been involved in teaching work – for years he was associated with the Karol Szymanowski Academy of Music in Katowice, he also served as vice-chancellor of this university. In 2015, he was a juror at the 17th Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw for the first time.

• Marie Kiyone – award-winning Japanese pianist, laureate of the 16th Chopin Piano Competition or the International Piano Competition "MozARTe" in Aachen, winner of the International Piano Competitions "Premio Accademia Giovani" and "Premio Accademia 2015" in Rome. Ambassador of Polish music in Japan, who cooperated with PWM Edition many times.

• Rieko Nezu – winner of the 1st prize at the International Piano Competition in Kil, Sweden (1996), the 4th prize and a special prize for the best performance of Paderewski's works at the International Fryderyk Chopin Piano Competition I.J. Paderewski in Bydgoszcz. She was a finalist and received a distinction at the 15th Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw.

• Rika Miyatani – laureate of the 1st prize at the National Competition for Young Pianists in Iizuka, the 5th prize at the 13th Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw.

• Sekimoto Shohei – winner of the 4th ex aequo prize at the 15th Chopin Piano Competition. He also triumphed at the Asian International Chopin Piano Competition (2000 and 2005) and at the 5th International Piano Competition in Hamamatsu (2003).

“I am very happy that the first edition of the »ChopinLand Piano Competition« was such a success. With the support of the Polish government, we supported the further promotion of Polish works in Japan. I think that thanks to this event, relations between Poland and Japan will become even closer,” says Seiko Fukuda, CEO of PTNA & TO-ON Kikaku, co-organizer of the event.

Fot. Maciej Komorowski / PWM Edition

Let the best win!

On October 24, during a gala at the Embassy of the Republic of Poland in Tokyo in the presence of Ambassador Paweł Milewski, the winners received awards from the organizers and partners. Among many, there was a unique statuette from PWM Edition. The project's author is Sara Francuz, who was supported in its implementation by Kuba Maria Mazurkiewicz. During the gala at the Embassy, the chairman of the jury, Prof. Wojciech Świtała and first prize winners performed selected pieces of Polish music.

Distinguished in the category under 6 years old:

I – Yume Kawafuchi

II – Rin Asami

III – Ito Nakayama


Distinguished in the category under 8 years old:

I – Mitsuyuki Osuga

II – Akari Toyota

III – Soichiro Fukuwa


Distinguished in the category under 10 years old:

I – Ryo Arakawa

II – Haruki Shimizu

II – Kenshin Murozono

III – Kaho Fujimura


Distinguished in the under 12 years old:

I – Noa Nakazato

II – Nanami Ueno

III – Komari Higuchi


Distinguished in the under 15 years old:

I – Mahoko Endo

II – Sumire Iwasaki

III – Miyabi Ishida


Distinguished in the category under 18 years old:

I – Miyu Nonaka

II – Momo Nishida

III – Ria Tanimoto

III – Maho Sakai

Fot. Maciej Komorowski / PWM Edition

Young pianists could compose a program of their performances from a rich repertoire of works selected by Prof. Ewa Pobłocka from PWM Edition’s catalog. Thanks to a broad view and varied suggestions, the competition featured compositions well-known in Japan but never performed there before. Among them were songs from the collections of Feliks Rybicki's I can play everything, Krystyna Gowik's My Favorites, two anthologies Music from Chopin's Land and selected compositions by Fryderyk Chopin.

Masterclasses around Polish music

The project was complemented by masterclasses conducted by Prof. Wojciech Świtała and the ambassador of the project, Marie Kiyone. On October 30, at TO-ON Hall in Sugamo, ten competition winners, under the supervision of the pianists, worked on selected pieces by Feliks Rybicki, Krystyna Gowik, Witold Lutosławski, Maurycy Moszkowski, Henryk Pachulski and Fryderyk Chopin. “I had the great pleasure of chairing the jury of the competition. The level was very high, the attendance was huge. I would like to thank you very much for organizational and artistic professionalism”, says Prof. Wojciech Świtała. “I am counting on the continuation of this project because I am sure that Polish culture will benefit greatly by opening up to the world, especially to the friendly Japanese environment,” he adds.

Fot. Maciej Komorowski / PWM Edition

Great success and even greater plans

Let us remind you that in May 2022, in the competition locations, the project's ambassador, Marie Kiyone, performed lectures and recitals with music by, among others, Maria Szymanowska, Ignacy Jan Paderewski and Marek Stachowski.


“The Polish Institute in Tokyo was pleased to support this extraordinary initiative,” says Justyna Roguska, deputy director of the Polish Institute in Japan. “This is a great opportunity to listen to piano music by Polish composers, not only Chopin's music. I am convinced that the next editions of the competition will strengthen friendly Polish-Japanese relations even more”, she concludes.

As the organizers announce, the first edition of the “ChopinLand Piano Competition” will not be the last. “We decided to organize another edition of the competition next year. The idea of the competition – emphasizing works by Polish composers – will not change, but some changes in the format of the project are possible,” reveals TO-ON Kikaku. More of the best Polish piano music in Japan will be heard soon!




“ChopinLand Piano Competition” was co-organized by TO-ON Kikaku Co. Ltd. – importer of sheet music, publisher and organizer of cultural events in Japan.


The project was supported by: Polish Institute in Tokyo, Kawai Musical Instruments Mfg. Co., Ltd. and the Japanese Piano Teachers Association (PTNA) – a Japanese non-profit organization uniting professional piano teachers, registered by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology of Japan.


“ChopinLand Piano Competition” was co-financed by the Minister of Culture and National Heritage as part of the “Inspiring Culture” programme.

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