Andrzej Jasinski, jury secretary (and teacher of acclaimed Chopin interpreter Krystian Zimerman), said of the young pianist, "I had a first-prize candidate right after the first stage [of the competition] and he was Rafal Blechacz. We had many great virtuosos in this competition, but apart from virtuosity we need to hear the right approach to Chopin's music here."
Another jury member, Irish pianist John O'Conor, described Blechacz as "one of the greatest artists I have had a chance to hear in my entire life."
His first Deutsche Grammophon CD, not surprisingly, will feature works by Chopin.
Blechacz has won top prizes at a number of other international competitions and performed this past summer at the music festivals in Verbier (Switzerland), Dortmund (Germany) and La Roque d'Anth_ron (France).
Upcoming engagements include twelve recitals in the major concert halls of Japan as well as concerts at the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, Munich's Herkulessaal, London's Wigmore Hall, Madrid's Auditorio Nacional and the Palais des Beaux Arts in Brussels.
Blechacz was born in in Poland in 1985 and began studying piano at age five. He is currently completing his studies at the Feliks Nowowiejski Music Academy in Bydgoszcz.