Founded in Helsinki in 2003, the Chopin Society of Finland is a registered non-profit organization, which nurtures the development of young musicians, as well as their interactions with different audiences. The Society aims to help talented young people in general - through music and its performance - to become responsible artists and well-balanced citizens in tomorrow’s society.
The Chopin Society of Finland was named after the famous Polish composer Frédéric Chopin, because of the universal appeal of his works and the innovative spirit of his compositions. The establishment of the Society was inspired by the launching of a series of Chopin concerts performed by Gergely Bogányi, the Hungarian-born pianist who was then living in Finland.
The objectives of the Society are to inspire people’s imagination, raise their cultural awareness, and enhance the spiritual quality of their daily lives through exchange of ideas and by sharing the experience of music. Overall, the Society endeavours to connect people of different ages, origins, and professions through classical music and the other arts.
The Chopin Society of Finland organizes concerts, master classes, seminars and meetings to achieve its goals.
The National Young Chopin Festivals
Consisting of marathon concerts and lecture or other kind of musical activities, this nation-wide festival is open to young pianists, 8–19 years of age, selected to represent different music schools of Finland. The purpose of this musical encounter is to provide piano students, their teachers and parents an opportunity to perform for each other, meet with each other, and learn from each other.
The very first festival was held in the Concert Hall of the Sibelius Academy on March 30th–April 1st, 2007. The public heard 20 young pianists from the Junior College of the Sibelius Academy, the Helsinki Conservatory, and five other music schools in the greater Helsinki area.
Later festivals have been held in September 2010 and November 2012. Since the first event, the number of young participants, as well as the number of participating music institutions, has more than doubled. In March 2016, the National Young Chopin Festival is held for the first time in the city of Kuopio, in cooperation with the Kuopio Conservatory of Music.
The Music+ (MusicPlus) Concerts
In these concerts music is presented together with singing, dancing, acting, or poetry readings. Through inventive programming and presentation, the Society brings classic music closer to the public, provides a new kind of interaction between performers and listeners, thus realizing the educational goals the Society has set for itself.
The Society held its first MusicPlus concert in October 2015 in the Hakasalmi Villa of the Helsinki City Museum, where chamber music and ballet were combined and performed to an appreciative audience.
Honorary Composer of the Chopin Society – title is being presented in 2016 to the Finnish composer Magnus Lindberg, for being a most exciting and refreshing example of a contemporary composer-pianist.
Honorary Friend of the Chopin Society – title was presented in 2011 to the Ambassador of the Republic of Poland, H.E. Mrs. Joanna Hofman, in recognition of her distinguished contributions to music and culture during her diplomatic stay in Finland.
The Piano Innovator of the Year – title was awarded to pianist Jukka Nykänen in 2014 in recognition of his versatile musical skills and impeccable musicianship.
Chopin Prizes: The Chopin Society of Finland awarded its Chopin Prize 2010 to Satu Paavola for her outstanding Chopin performance in the National Jyväskylä Piano Competition; similarly a Chopin Prize was awarded to Johannes Piirto for his successful participation in the Helsinki Maj Lind International Piano Competitions 2012.
The Society organized gala concerts to celebrate important occasions such as the Frédéric Chopin 200th Anniversary Year in 2010, and the Tenth Anniversary Year of the Chopin Society of Finland in 2013. In addition there is a yearly membership meeting, which is usually accompanied by a piano concert.
The Chopin Society of Finland has enjoyed the friendship and cooperation of the following organizations: the Embassy of Poland in Helsinki, the Helsinki Polish Association (Helsingin Puolalaisyhdistys), the Alliance of Finland–Poland Associations (Suomi-Puola Yhdistysten Liitto), the Sibelius Academy of the University of the Arts Helsinki, Villa Gyllenberg, the City Museum of Helsinki, and the Kuopio Conservatory of Music.
The members of the Chopin Society include professional musicians as well as non-musicians who are interested in classical music and performing arts in general. The Society is conducted by a Board of Directors, a group of musicians who devote their time and service voluntarily to the promotion of classical music and its performers.