“Play with all your heart, play the way you feel” – composer Fryderyk Chopin once said. The Embassy of Poland in Cairo, in cooperation with Cairo Opera House, organized a Chopin Competition for talented young pianists, dedicated to Frédéric Chopin.
This year, the 8th “Chopin Piano Competition for Children and Youth in Egypt 2023” was held in Cairo from 17 to 20 March. It is aimed at young pianists of all nationalities living or residing in Egypt. The competition promotes the musicality of children and young people as well as the international idea and enables networking. The award ceremony and winners’ concert took place on 20 March at the Small Hall of the Cairo Opera House. The winners were awarded in the presence of the Ambassador of Poland in Cairo, Michał Łabenda; the CEO of Rahn Education, Gotthard Dittrich; and Elżbieta Durska, President of the Foundation Board of Europejska Fundacja Oświaty i Kultury of Rahn Education.
The international jury consisted of renowned pianist Mariola Cieniawa-Puchala from Poland, Helgeheide Schmidt from Germany, and Maestro Ahmed El Saedi from Egypt (main founder and chairman of the Egyptian Philharmonic Society as well as chief conductor of the Cairo Symphony Orchestra).
Special prizes awaited the young pianists and in each category: Category A (participants up to 12 years old), Category B (up to 15 years old), Category C (up to 18 years old) and Category D (up to 21 years old)) a first, a second and a third prize were available. All first prize winners will receive a trip to the most important memorials of Fryderyk Chopin in Poland, and there will be a concert in the “Filharmonia Zielonogórska” in Zielona Gora – Poland in summer 2023. The winner of the 1st prize of the competition will have the unique opportunity to play a solo concert with the Cairo Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Maestro Ahmed El Saedi. All prize winners participated in a master class given by Prof. Mariola Cieniawa-Puchala.
Ali Abdelrazik won the 1st prize, and Kavin Shrimali from India and lives in Cairo, won the 3rd prize of category B. In Category C, Shahd Said was awarded with the 1st prize, Romaysaa Khaled Darwish and Zeina Quadoora won the 3rd prize. Mahmoud Elbatran won the 1st prize in category D as well as the special prize for classic interpretation.