The 11th Paderewski International Piano Competition has become the target of attacks by one of the finalists, Sergey Belyavsky, who found the assessment of his
performance and the awarding of an honorable mention unjust and has accused the jury of acting against competition regulations. With regard to the above, the Music Association, the Organizer of the Competition states:

The 11th Paderewski International Piano Competition is regulated in accordance with the Rules and Regulations drafted by the Competition’s Artistic Director, prof. Piotr Paleczny, a juror with experience of over 100 international competitions. The Rules and Regulations are clear, and they rule out any possibility of manipulation or misunderstanding. They give rise to no doubts, although the situation at hand may have its sources in insufficient knowledge or understanding thereof. In the strive for transparency and credibility, the Rules and Regulations of the Paderewski International Piano Competition do not allow that most controversial and exceptionally negatively judged situation of a Juror having their current or past students, with whom they have worked within the three years leading up to the Competition, participate in said competition. In our opinion this is one of the most fundamental prerequisites of the Jury’s convenience of deliberation and full objectivity in making unbiased decisions. This point of the Rules and Regulations also guarantees that none of the Jurors has a personal stake in the Competition’s result or a drive to succeed on the back of their student’s talent.

Below are other key paragraphs of the Rules and Regulations of the 11th Paderewski International Piano Competition that govern the procedures that the jury must follow when voting after the conclusion of the Final stage.

(…) Upon the completion of the Final the Jury shall commence voting with a view of selecting the laureates of all the prizes provided for in the Rules and Regulations of the Competition. The procedure followed in this voting differs from the procedure applied in the previous stages. The first voting shall concern the award of the 1st Prize of the Competition. 
Each Juror shall return a completed and signed voting card, with the name of one candidate selected to become the Laureate of the 1st Prize.(…)

A pianist to be awarded the 1st prize shall be assessed positively by the majority of the  Jurors. Should the situation arise in which two or more candidates receive an identical number of votes, the Jury shall commence voting once more, taking into consideration only these candidates. Should the situation reoccur – the assessment of the President of the Jury shall be decisive. 

§ XV
The consecutive rounds of voting shall select the laureates of all the remaining statutory prizes. The voting procedure and distribution of prizes shall be identical, yet the number of candidates taken into consideration in the rounds of voting shall be successively diminished by the names of the laureates of the prizes awarded beforehand.

During the rounds of voting concerning the Special Prizes, the Juror proposes, in a written form, the name of one candidate who in his/her opinion should be awarded a Special Prize. The Special Prize shall be awarded to a candidate who will receive the largest number of votes.

The jurors have accepted these Rules and Regulations, and the full text thereof had been delivered to them prior to the Competition. During the initial meetings of the Jury and during voting, none of the jurors voiced any concerns regarding the Rules and Regulations and the methods of assessment proposed therein.
The jury votes following the first three stages of the Competition are carried out according to a YES or NO assessment system, supported by a point-based score
system, only employed in situations when two or more participants receive the same number of YES votes. Additionally, a point adjustment is employed to prevent excessive and unjustified point differences. It should also be stressed that the results of the additional vote do not necessarily award the Second Prize to the Pianist with the lower number of votes. The Regulations clearly state that each of the main Regulation Prizes must be decided by a separate vote.

A requirement of the Final Stage is that only pianists designated by a majority of the Jurors can become Laureates. In the case of the Paderewski International Piano Competition, this means a unanimous vote by at least five jurors. It must be explicitly stated that in none of the Final votes did Mr. Belyavsky amass such a support of Jury members, and therefore his protest is unsubstantiated and tarnishes the good name of the Competition.

The awarding of Special Prizes is less complicated, therefore S. Belyavsky’s argument that he was awarded several Special Prizes holds no significant value, which was so ostentatiously shown by the pianist himself when he explicitly rejected the Prizes and Awards he had been presented with.

By the decision of the Bureau of the Competition, we are making the voting cards public, which clearly shows the voting mechanisms that indicate the winner of the Competition and the places taken by the next four finalists.

Prof. Katarzyna Popowa-Zydroń
President of the Paderewski Music Association

Prof. Piotr Paleczny
Artistic Director of the 11th International Paderewski Piano Competition
Chairman of the Jury

Henryk Martenka
Director of the Director of the 11th International Paderewski Piano Competition

Competition Partners

Competition Sponsors

Co-Financing of the Competition

The competition is co-financed by the Minister of Culture and National Heritage from the Fund for the Promotion of Culture – a state special purpose fund, as part of the „Music” program implemented by the National Institute of Music and Dance, and by the City of Bydgoszcz.
Partner of the International Paderewski Piano Competition  – Kujawsko-Pomorskie Region.