Owen Mortimer

Polish pianist wins Northern Ireland’s Walled City Competition

4:48, 29th July 2020

The 2020 Walled City Music International Online Piano Competition has been won by 27-year-old Polish pianist Elżbieta Bilicka. She was one of 40 applicants who submitted videos via YouTube to be judged by guest adjudicators Barry Douglas and Awadagin Pratt.

Bilicka will receive a cash prize of £2,000 for her performances of music by Schubert, Szymanowski, Ravel and Chopin. She will also be invited to give a recital at next year’s Walled City Music Festival in Derry, Northern Ireland.

Commenting on her success, Bilicka said: ‘I would like to thank the jury members for appreciating my work and congratulate the organisers on making this competition run so smoothly in the online format. It is my first contest after a four-year break, while I moved country and finished my studies. The fact that my “comeback” has been so successful is exceptionally important to me.’

Currently resident in the USA, Bilicka is a competition veteran who has garnered several awards in the past, including a Young Poland Scholarship (2018) and third prize at the 2016 Polish National Fryderyk Chopin Piano Competition.

Walled City Music (WCM) was founded in 2008 to bring outstanding classical music-making to the heart of cultural life in Derry. First held in 2009, the Walled City Music Festival has since played host to many leading artists from around the world, including Jeremy Denk, Katia and Marielle Labeque, Jonathan Lemalu, Dmitri Sitkovetsky, Raphael Wallfisch, Jan Vogler, the Kronos Quartet and many more. WCM launched its International Piano Festival and Competition in 2019. This year’s competition took place online due to travel restrictions arising from the global pandemic.

All performances from the 2020 Walled City Music International Online Piano Competition are available to view via YouTube.

Walled City Music International Online Piano Competition

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