Young Egyptian winners of Chopin piano competition perform in Poland

Ati Metwaly , Saturday 26 Aug 2023

Three young pianists who won the 2023 Chopin Piano Competition for Children and Youth in Egypt performed on 25 August in Zielona Gora, a city in western Poland.

The three young pianists (From R-L) Ali Abdel-Razik , Shahd Magdy , and Mahmoud El-Batran, pose for an image after preformance in Muzeum Ziemi Lubuskiej (Lubuska Land Museum) in Zielona Gora, Poland.


The concert took place at the Muzeum Ziemi Lubuskiej (Lubuska Land Museum) in Zielona Gora, Poland, featuring Ali Abdel-Razik (16), Shahd Magdy (18), and Mahmoud El-Batran (20), all of whom won the 2023 Chopin Piano Competition’s age categories B, C and D respectively.

Since the establishment of the competition, the winners have been awarded a concert at the Cairo Opera House and a trip to Poland, which represents an attempt to follow in Chopin’s footsteps.

On this trip, however, the young pianists had the opportunity to perform in Zielona Gora in Poland in front of a foreign audience for the first time.

The three young pianists performed a large selection of Chopin’s works, including, among others, Walz Op. 34 in A minor and Polonaise Op. 40 no. 1 in A major (performed by Ali Abdel-Razik); Nocturne Op. 55 no. 1 in F minor and Scherzo Op. 31 in B-flat minor (performed by Shahd Magdy); and Ballade Op. 23 in G minor and Grand Valse Brillante Op. 18 in E-flat major (performed by Mahmoud El-Batran).

El-Batran and Magdy, who also won the 2021 Chopin competition, already study piano with Sherif Salah, piano teacher at the Cairo Opera House’s Talents Development Centre.

El-Batran has performed with the Cairo Symphony Orchestra on several occasions and will perform at the Cairo Opera House during the 2023-2024 season.

Abdel-Razik, the youngest among the three pianists, has been studying the piano since the age of nine with Dina El-Leithy.

The concert was organized through cooperation between the Polish Embassy in Cairo, the European Foundation for Culture and Education, and Rahn Education, a German educational body headquartered in Leipzig with branches worldwide.

The young pianists’ performance was attended by several music experts, academics, and heads of educational bodies, including Vladimir Grigiriev, Head of the European Foundation board; Gotthard Dittrich, Managing Director of Rahn Education; Bozena Kempa, Director of the Rahn Education School in Zielona Gora, where the pianists rehearsed before the concert; Helgeheide Schmidt from the University of Music and Theatre "Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy" Leipzig and piano professor at Rahn Education; Sameh El-Mahmoudy, a musician and a member of the board of trustees of Rahn Education; Rafal Kloczko, Director of Zielona Gora Philharmonic; Ahmed El-Saedi, Principal Conductor and Music Manager of the Cairo Symphony Orchestra at the Cairo Opera House; Seyran Tas, Director of Deutsche Musikschule Kairo (German Music School in Cairo); and Marcin Grodzki from the Department of Arabic and Islamic Studies at the Oriental Faculty, University of Warsaw.

The Chopin International Piano Competition was launched by Fawzy El-Shamy, the former dean of the Cairo Conservatory, who contributed to numerous musical initiatives in Egypt’s musical scene.

The first edition of the competition took place in 2010. Its 2011 edition was, however, cancelled due to political reasons. It returned in 2012 and was held annually until 2018. The competition was suspended for a few years before returning in 2021 following some organizational changes.

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