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Chopin Competition 2020 embraces technological advances to wide audiences in unprecedented ways
Source: Premier

The Chopin Competition embraces technological advances that will bring the 18th Edition of the event in October 2020 to wide audiences in unprecedented ways

Details of unparalleled use of digital technology were revealed tonight [5 Nov] 
at a special event in London hosted by Chopin Society UK 

International Chopin Competition announces that it will be the first major classical event to use virtual reality technology, enabling viewers to experience the Competition as never before

All rounds to be streamed live using 4K Ultra HD for the first time

New ‘Listener Zones’ to be created in cities across four continents - including variety of cities across the world - to bring remote audiences together for an immersive Competition experience

Creation of new interactive web portal and mobile app to provide rich digital experience for audiences worldwide

At a special event hosted by Chopin Society UK in London today [5 Nov 2019], the International Fryderyk Chopin Competition – one of the oldest and most prestigious music competitions in the world – launched a range of ground-breaking innovations. These aim to enable music lovers around the world to fully immerse themselves in the music of Chopin and all the drama of the 18th Edition of the Competition on 2-23 October 2020.  

Dr Artur Szklener, Director of the Fryderyk Chopin Institute, Warsaw (which runs the Competition) said: 

“For the first time in history we are introducing virtual reality, the highest quality broadcasting and fully interactive digital and physical spaces so that music-lovers all over the world can fully immerse themselves in the exceptional music-making and drama of the International Chopin Competition. The international streaming of the last edition in 2015 attained 60 million views on YouTube alone. At the next edition in 2020 we hope to reach many more people in a variety of ways and ensure they enjoy the richest and deepest experience possible. We also hope to shape the history of pianism in the 21st century and once again celebrate Warsaw as the Chopin capital of the world.”

In a first for any major classical music event, the Competition is introducing virtual reality streaming. With a VR camera close to the pianist on stage, remote viewers will be able to experience performances from the pianist’s perspective on the stage of National Philharmonic Hall in Warsaw. Anyone who has VR goggles at home will be able to watch the VR streaming at For those who do not have VR goggles, the Competition is introducing special Listener Zones all over the world where music lovers can come together to share the virtual reality experience, and much else.

The Listener Zones – in cities across four continents including Moscow, Buenos Aires, Tokyo, Seoul, Paris, London and New York – will be physical spaces where remote audiences can come together for an in-depth Competition experience including live broadcasts – in both traditional and virtual reality formats – audio commentaries from musicologists and stars of the piano world (in relevant languages), live concerts for local audiences and much else. Great care will be paid to audience comfort, with comfortable chairs, blankets and pillows provided in consideration of the various time zones.

For those who prefer to watch and listen to the music-making in more traditional ways, all the rounds will be filmed and streamed in 4K Ultra HD – usually reserved for the highest profile sporting events – ensuring audiences can enjoy the broadcasts in the highest possible quality.

The Competition is also planning to create a new web portal and app (for Android, IOS and SmartTV systems) which will each serve as a multimedia window into all aspects of the competition. As well as detailed information about the event, its participants & jury, all the latest news and developments, the web portal and app will provide access to extensive video content from the archives, the auditions and all the rounds. They will also host all the 4K Ultra HD live streaming of the Competition and be a central point for audiences to engage with each other and the competition in a fully interactive way. 

The Lady Rose Cholmondeley, President of the Chopin Society UK which hosted the launch event, welcomed the news: 

“The innovations that Dr Szklener has revealed today promise to bring the musicianship of some of the finest young pianists in the world and the music of Chopin to audiences in ways Chopin himself could only have marvelled at. We are immensely proud to support the Competition in its endeavour to share Chopin’s music in this way, and we are greatly are looking forward to the next Competition in October 2020.”

The launch event, held in Westminster Cathedral Hall, featured a recital by Canadian pianist Charles Richard-Hamelin, who won second prize at the International Chopin Competition in 2015. It was attended by over 220 music-lovers, senior staff from UK Conservatoires, high-level young artists, teachers and influential people from the piano and wider-classical music world.


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