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‘Pianoforte’ Goes Inside A Heart-Pounding Music Competition Where Young Performers Confront “High Stakes And High Emotions” – Contenders Documentary

‘Pianoforte’ Goes Inside A Heart-Pounding Music Competition Where Young Performers Confront “High Stakes And High Emotions” – Contenders Documentary

Every five years, the capital of Poland hosts one of the most thrilling classical music competitions in the world: the International Chopin Piano Competition, known colloquially as the “Olympics of piano.”

Contestants from around the globe gather under the rigorous eye and ear of judges to perform works for solo piano composed by native son Frédéric Chopin, a virtuoso pianist himself who wrote music that demands tremendous skill and artistry of the soloist.

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In his documentary Pianoforte, from Greenwich Entertainment and Telemark, Polish director Jakub Piątek documents the most recent Chopin Competition, an event of such prestige that it inherently involves “high stakes and high emotions,” as the filmmaker noted during an appearance at Deadline’s Contenders Documentary event.

RELATED: Deadline’s Contenders Documentary – Full Coverage

“We chose our protagonists during this preliminary round, which is like 160 of them, trying to get one of the 90 ‘tickets’ to the main competition,” Piątek explained. “And then we went to visit them in their homes and meet families and start shooting with them. And that created, first of all, this special bond with us. And on the other hand, it guaranteed us this kind of an access to the backstage.”

Young competitors like Leonora Armellini and Michelle Candotti from Italy, the teenage Russian-Armenian pianist Eva Gevorgyan, Marcin Wieczorek of Poland and Hao Rao of China face incredible pressure because to win the competition would launch them on a path to worldwide success.

The emphasis in Pianoforte is less on what they do on the concert stage than how they deal with rising stress before sitting at the piano before the audience.

“I was always thinking, ‘What happened before?’” Piątek said. “What kind of effort is behind that?”

The director added: “Maybe that’s the last time that you can see those really young people entering adulthood without masks. Because for some of them who succeeded in the competition, right now they’re surrounded already with PR agencies, agents, managers. It’s already kind of like an industry involved in all of that. And during that particular one month in Warsaw, you can see them for real, maybe for the very last time.”

Check out the panel video above.

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