The Only Piano Holiday of This Kind

For 3 consecutive days, Warsaw was the most important place in the world for piano tuners, renovators and manufacturers. It is the place where Piano Congress took place between September 2nd and 4th. 

300 members from 4 different continents and 30 exhibitors have participated in nearly 50 events organized by a merged Europiano Congress along with IAPBT Convention. 

Day Zero

The congress opened unofficially on September 1st. On this day, exhibitors from all Europe were setting up their displays for hours at Double Tree by Hilton Hotel. The space of 1800 square meters was filled with 10 piano manufacturers, 7 renovators, 8 component suppliers and 5 retailers. The attendance at the bar lounge in the evening has shown us how much of a highly anticipated congress it had been. It has been the first such meeting in the world in 3.5 years (the last one took place in April 2019 while MusicMesse convention in Frankfurt am Main and May 2019 while IAPBT convention in Hamamatsu, Japan).

30 exhibitors displayed their products at Piano Congress

Patronage and Partners
A few days before Piano Congress opening we have received patronage of honor from the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage provided by prof. Piotr Gliński, the Vice President  and the Minister of Culture and National Heritage. We had applied for the patronage a year before Piano Congress. The organizers of the event were Polish Association of Piano Tuners along with Europiano and IABPT. The co-organizer of the event was National Frederic Chopin Institute. The event has partnered with three companies: Petrof, Yamaha Music Europe and “Pasja” music store. 

Open House Day
On September 2nd we held an open house day. Pianists, music school attendees and music aficionados started to register since early morning hours. Their main goal was to see the largest piano display in Poland. Additionally, we have organized two your pianists concerts along with Music-Atristic Association Sfogato. The concerts included performances of 11 music school students (priorly chosen in eliminations) and two seminars regarding the construction of the piano and its repertoire evolution were held as well. The students played a Petrof concert grand piano. Along with Yamaha Music Europe we organized a workshop on concert grand piano tuning process of Yamaha CFX. Piano Congress held one of the only two units of this instrument in Europe. 

The workshop on tuning Yamaha CFX grand piano. The interest was so large the show had to be held again on Sunday

Piano Congress Inauguration 
The open house day finished at 4 p.m. but it was immediately followed by an official part of the congress. Six buses took all the guests to the Warsaw Royal Castle. Leszek Możdżer was present among the passengers as a Piano Congress participant. The official Piano Congress inauguration was held at 5 p.m. The guests were greeted by Gunther Schaible (president of Europiano and IAPBT), Andrzej Chabracki (president of SPSF), Elwira Fibiger (First member of honor of SPSF) and Joanna Bokszczanin (the department chief of competitions and young talents at National Frederic Chopin Institute). 

Leszek Możdżer receiving official membership of honor of SPSF at Warsaw Royal Castle   

Leszek Możdżer received official membership of honor. The inauguration was followed by a concert of Tomasz Ritter, the winner of 1st International Chopin Contest on Historical Instruments. The congress inauguration at Warsaw Royal Castle could not have happened if it had not been for the help of National Frederic Chopin Institute. 

Having returned to the hotel, an inauguration dinner was held. The scene presented a Petrof Grand Piano. Zozana Ceralová Petrofová, the head of Petrof, greeted everyone and announced a contests which offered a prize of famous Czech Becherovka. 

Andrzej Chabracki (SPSF) greeting Zuzana Ceralová Petrofová (Petrof Pianos)

15-hour long program
Saturday’s (September 3rd) schedule was just as intensive as Friday’s. The agenda was scheduled for 15 hours. 16 events in 5 theme blocks were held: 4 lectures on “The Grand Piano Yesterday” prepared by National Frederic Chopin Institute and 3 seminars on “The Grand Piano Today”, “The Grand Piano Tomorrow” and “Around the Grand Piano”. 

Wim Bless (PTG, USA) conducted one of 32 seminars at Piano Congress

The extra events included the exhibition of pianos and grand pianos, a movie display “The Soul of the Piano” by Judyta Fibiger and jazz session by Aleksander Łuchacz Trio. The last one of which was sponsored by Yamaha Music Store. 

Aleksander Łuchacz Jazz Trio was the final treat of the second day of the congress

20 final events 
The last day of the congress, September 4th, included 20 various events. 7 lectures and seminars took place as a part of “The Grand Piano Today” theme. 3 seminars were held on “The Grand Piano Yesterday” and “Around the Grand Piano” themes and 2 seminars covered instrument maintenance as a part of “The Grand Piano Tomorrow” theme. The final event of the congress included a special Viola Organista concert performed by Sławomir Zubrzycki. Two seminars were held again as a result of their popularity — Yamaha CFX tuning workshop and keyboard’s construction and renovation. 

Sławomir Zubrzycki in the final event of Piano Congress – Viola Organista concert

The next IAPBT convention will take place in Washington, DC (USA) in July 2023 and the next Europiano congress will be held in Ludwisburg (Germany) in 2024. 

Photos Mirek Kaźmierczak

Paweł Olek

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