Saturday, 4 August 2018


Chopin, c.1847. This daguerreotype,
discovered in 2017 in a "private
residence" by a Swiss Physicist is
one of only three known authentic
likenesses of the composer. Read
more about this incredible discovery
here on Unraveling Musical Myths
The 2010’s are one more proving to be a time of great development for Chopin – the recent announcement by Poland’s Fryderyk Chopin Institute (NIFC) of its intention to install it’s homegrown hero into the annals of digital history by making Chopin the first ever composer to have his entire oeuvre digitized (by 2020); to the appearance of an alleged ‘final’ post-mortem ‘(re)analysis’ and it’s conclusion in the pages of the American Journal of Medicine in 2014, and late 2017, respectively, and now, the announcement of a new concert hall to be built in the small village of Żelazowa Wola in Poland (some fifty kilometers outside of Warsaw), the city where the composer was born in 1810.

It won’t be just a concert hall that will be changing the landscape of the quaint suburb - the hall itself is merely one part of a larger project to build an “International Music Center” named after Chopin, consisting of a recording studio, chamber hall, rehearsal rooms and both educational and conference facilities. The concert hall itself is large enough to house at least 100 musicians and will seat 650 people, with construction on the project, which begins at the end of 2019 expecting to conclude by 2021.

 *CLICK TO ENLARGE* Interior (l) and exterior (r) of proposed design (mock up) | Designer's materials

The building’s sleek design will blend futuristic European architecture into the idyllic forested landscape surrounding the Chopin family manor (now part of a designated historic park and garden landscape, the “Park-Memorial,” built in the early 20th century). It was designed by the architectural firm Stelmach & Partners out of Lublin, who had previously worked on the property: winning a competition in 2006 to redesign the park adjacent to the Chopin museum at Żelazowa Wola, and later, its co-owner, Boleslaw Stelmach, designed the Chopin Centre at Warsaw in 2010.

The firm’s autonomy over the "Chopin International Music Center" of 2021 was also the direct result of having won an International competition – in this instance, to design a non-imposing concert hall and cultural institute honoring Chopin on the historic family estate at Żelazowa Wola. The contest was launched in 2017 by the NIFC and attracted over 200 designs from hopeful architectural firms spread out across the globe (some 18 countries took part). The competition was fierce: see this impressive proposal by the firm known as ELEMENT, published at the end of June on archdaily:

In the end, the winning design was that of a clear glass exterior with an interior palette comprised of neutral tones, keeping with the naturalistic flow of the well-kempt property, and ensuring that it is the music of Poland’s greatest musical export which takes center stage.

A graphic from an advert for the contest launched in 2017 by the Fryderyk Chopin Institute.

The estimated total cost of the project is PLN 80 mln (EUR 12 million). The PLN 200,000 (EUR 116,000) prize money received by Stelmach & Partners will make a small dent in what is soon to become the architectural embodiment of a priceless fortune.

Listen below to a stunning performance of Chopin's Piano Sonata No. 3 in B minor, exquisitely performed by a young Evgeny Kissin:

Read more:

(Internal links):
- Rose.

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