Adam Harasiewicz

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Adam Harasiewicz (center) in 1963

Adam Harasiewicz (born July 1, 1932 in Chodzież near Posen ) is a Polish pianist and one of the great Chopin interpreters of the 20th century.


He began taking music lessons at the age of 10 and first played the violin and later the piano . In 1947 he won the first prize for young artists in Rzeszów , then a pupil of Kazimierz Mirski and Janina Stojałowska. At the age of seventeen he faced the International Chopin Competition in Warsaw for the first time , but did not win a prize. From 1950 to 1956 he studied with Zbigniew Drzewiecki at the Krakow Music Academy .

In 1955 he entered the Warsaw Chopin Competition for a second time, the most important piano competition in the world at the time, prevailed against Vladimir Ashkenazy and Bernardringenissen and won the gold medal. He then refined his interpretations with Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli in Italy, who previously served as a jury member in the 1955 Chopin Competition. The Chopin Competition in 1955 was characterized in particular by the presence of the Belgian Queen Elisabeth Gabriele in Bavaria , a great patron of the arts, who was to be of great importance for Harasiewicz's early years.

In 1957 he was awarded the Harriet Cohen International Music Award for best performer of the year in London . His appearances at the world exhibition in Brussels in 1958 caused a sensation. In 1960 he was awarded the gold medal of the Paderewski Foundation in New York. In the same year, which marked the 150th anniversary of Chopin's birthday, he played Chopin's two piano concertos with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra under Stanisław Skrowaczewski at the UN headquarters as the official opening concert of the Chopin Year . He played with many important conductors, such as Heinrich Hollreiser , Fabio Luisi and Kazimierz Kord .

Harasiewicz became known for his recordings of almost all of Chopin's piano works for the Philips company between 1958 and 1972, which were reissued in 2007 for Decca Records in a 10 CD box. These recordings were awarded the Grand Prix du Disque .

Harasiewicz is mainly associated with the work of Frédéric Chopin, but his discography also includes recordings of works by Liszt and Brahms, and he often performed works by his compatriot Karol Szymanowski . He has given concerts in Austria, Yugoslavia, the Czechoslovak Republic, Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany, England, Soviet Union / Russia, Italy, USA, Japan, Bulgaria, Romania, Turkey, the Netherlands, France, Mexico, Vietnam and Iran.

From the 1980s, his public appearances became increasingly rare. Isolated CD recordings, most recently in 2010 with all of Chopin's mazurkas and the B minor sonata, show that Harasiewicz has remained an important Chopin interpreter in the 21st century.

He was a juror at the Ferruccio Busoni International Piano Competition in Bolzano (1984), the Pilar Bayona Competition in Saragossa (1987), the Casagrande Competition in Terni (1989) and the Chopin Competition in Warsaw (1995, 2010). He never officially appeared as a teacher, but gave master classes, for example as part of the Ruhr Piano Festival, in Iserlohn, and several times in Austria and Italy. Numerous pianists have been introduced to Chopin interpretation through him in master classes and private consultations, including Ingolf Wunder (winner of the 2nd prize in the Chopin Competition 2010), Fabio Luisi , Jean-Baptiste Müller, Stephan Kaller and Peter Barcaba .

He lives in Salzburg and Warsaw and, in addition to music, also devotes himself to art painting.


  • Ingo Harden : Adam Harasiewicz . In: Ingo Harden, Gregor Willmes: Pianist profiles: 600 performers: their biography, their style, their recordings . Bärenreiter, Kassel 2008, ISBN 978-3-7618-1616-5 , pp. 293-295.
  • Alain Pâris: Classical music in the 20th century: instrumentalists, singers, conductors, orchestras, choirs . 2nd expanded, completely revised edition, dtv, Munich 1997, ISBN 3-423-32501-1 , p. 336.

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