Photo Wojciech Grzędziński

Jury member

Lidia Grychtołówna

Pianist, teacher and doyenne of Polish piano music. Winner of multiple international piano competitions. Performed in concert in all the countries of Europe, as well as in both Americas, Asia and Australia. Frequent jury member at the International Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw and member of the Programme Council at the Fryderyk Chopin Institute. Long-term professor of piano at the Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz, Germany.

Lidia Grychtołówna first learnt to play music when she was only three years old. Her systematic piano education began with Wanda Chmielowska, after which she studied at the Silesian Conservatoire of Music in Katowice from 1935. She continued her education during the Second World War under the guidance of Karol Szafranek. She received her diploma with honours from the State College of Music (Państwowa Wyższa Szkoła Muzyczna) in Katowice, where she studied piano with Wanda Chmielowska between 1945 and 1951. She completed her post-graduate studies in Kraków and Warsaw with Zbigniew Drzewiecki (1951-1955). In 1957–1958, Grychtołówna attended master classes with Artur Benedetti Michelangelego in Arezzo and Bolzano, Italy.

She won the Seventh Prize at the Fifth International Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw in 1955, as well as prizes at competitions in Berlin (1956), Rio de Janeiro (1959) and Bolzano (1968). Her debut as a concert pianist was with the Silesian Philharmonic Orchestra in Katowice in 1953 and a year later she appeared in England. In the subsequent years, she performed alongside such distinguished conductors as Constantin Silvestri, William Steinberg, Wolfgang Sawallisch, Roberto Benzi, Hiroyuki Iwaki, Stanisław Skrowaczewski, Stanisław Wisłocki, Henryk Czyż, Witold Rowicki, Antoni Wit and Wojciech Rajski. She has appeared at international music festivals in Duszniki-Zdrój, Dubrovnik, Bergen, Athens, Sorrento, Taormina, Perth, La Chaise-Dieu, Adelaide, Warsaw and other cities around the world. She has performed at such prestigious venues as the Palace of Nations in Geneva, Sanssouci at Potsdam, the Cellars of Diocletian’s Palace in Split, Dresden Gallery, Sforza Castle in Milan and the Wawel Royal Castle in Kraków. She was the first pianist to perform the Piano Concerto No. 4 in B flat major (for left hand) op. 53 by Prokofiev in England (1967) and Belgium (1988). She has made recordings for such labels as Polskie Nagrania ‘Muza’, Deutsche Grammophon, Philips and CD Accord with music by Beethoven, Chopin, Schumann, Mozart, Wisłocki, Liszt, Rachmaninov, Lyadov and Scriabin.

Lidia Grychtołówna has sat on the juries of the International Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw (1980, 1985, 1990, 1995, 2000 and 2005) and the Fourth National Chopin Piano Competition in Miami (1990). Between 1986 and 2007, she taught piano at the Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz. She has received a plethora of awards and medals of distinction, such as the Commander’s Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta (2005) and the Gold Medal of the City of Milan (1969). She is still active as a concert performer with frequent appearances online.