The Fryderyk Chopin Institute is the biggest Chopin centre in the world, promoting, protecting, studying and disseminating the entire legacy of Fryderyk Chopin in many different ways. The Institute’s wide range of activities reflects the composer’s work and personal fortunes: rich, ambiguous, representing a challenge for successive generations of listeners, performers and scholars fascinated with Chopin and his music.
The Institute, called into being in 2001 by the Polish parliament and placed under the auspices of the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage, was entrusted with safeguarding the Chopin legacy, carrying on a tradition that was inaugurated towards the end of the nineteenth century (first by the Warsaw Music Society, then by the Chopin Committee, the post-war Fryderyk Chopin Institute and the Fryderyk Chopin Society).
It is music, above all, that stands at the heart of all our work and gives rise to all the Institute’s undertakings. Every year, we organise the international festival ‘Chopin and his Europe’ – one of the most important and most distinctive festivals in Poland. The festival is the principal source of the series issued by the Institute on CD and DVD, which include recordings of Chopin interpretations on early and modern instruments.
Every five years, we organise the International Fryderyk Chopin Piano Competition, one of the world’s oldest piano competitions (est. 1927), which gives its laureates the opportunity to perform on concert plat- forms around the world. For decades now, the Competition’s prize- winners have included the most outstanding pianists of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, forging the history of contemporary pianism.
The Institute’s publishing and research work includes organising international musicological conferences and symposia, publishing ongoing series of books of a scholarly and popular science pro le, and also publishing all Chopin’s extant musical manuscripts — a particularly important project, spread over many decades.
Part of the Institute is the Fryderyk Chopin Museum, housed in Ostrogski Castle in Warsaw, which is home to the world’s largest collection of Chopiniana. Thanks to an innovative approach to the subject of the composer’s life and work and the use of multimedia, it is one of the most modern biographic museums in Europe. The Birthplace of Fryderyk Chopin and Park in Żelazowa Wola is a branch of the Chopin Museum.
The Fryderyk Chopin Museum and its branch in Żelazowa Wola are the main locations for the Institute’s educational activities aimed at the general public. We regularly organise events addressed to schools, teachers, families with children, adults, senior citizens, guides and people with a range of disabilities. At the heart of every undertaking lies music, usually performed live, as well as encounters with outstanding artists, scholars and educators.