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Glenn Gould School Student Wins 2nd International Chopin Competition on Period Instruments

Glenn Gould School Student Wins 2nd International Chopin Competition on Period Instruments

Published on October 15, 2023

Eric Guo earned €25,000 as well as the award for Best Mazurka performance

Eric Guo
Eric Guo during his Finals performance. Photo courtesy The Fryderyk Chopin Institute

Eric Guo, a fourth year BMus student at The Royal Conservatory’s Glenn Gould School (GGS) is the first prize winner of this competition held every five years in Warsaw by the prestigious Fryderyk Chopin Institute. Mr. Guo, a Renette & David Berman scholar who studies at GGS with John Perry and David Louie, performed Chopin’s Concerto in E minor on an 1842 Pleyel piano in the finals. 
In addition to his prize earnings, Mr. Guo, also an alumnus of The Royal Conservatory’s Taylor Academy studying with Li Wang and John O’Conor, will embark on a three-month, 10-concert tour of Europe and Asia, including Prague, Vienna, Dresden, Madrid, Brussels, Hamamatsu, and Tokyo, beginning later this month.
Mr. Guo was the sole representative from Canada in the original field of 35 competitors from 14 countries, and the pianists were assessed by an international jury specialising in historically informed performance and were accompanied in the finals by the {oh!} Orkiestra Historyczna conducted by Václav Luks.
The International Chopin Competition on Period Instruments was first held in September 2018 and was created to “bring back the authentic sound of the music” composed by Chopin.  According to the Chopin Institute, “Performances using means similar to those the composer had at his disposal makes contemporary audiences aware of the specific nature of Chopin’s music, and particularly of its distinctive features that are lost if performed on contemporary instruments.”  Competitors perform on pianos primarily from the mid-1800s from the Institute’s collection.
Said Dr. Artur Szklener, Competition Director, before announcing the winners, “This competition is very special, one has to combine different approaches to different styles of music – this is a very symbolic and historic moment.”
Mr. Guo, who also won the award for Best Mazurka performance at this competition, was a laureate of the Fifth Canadian Chopin Piano Competition held at The Royal Conservatory's Koerner Hall, and was named one of CBC’s 30 Hot Canadian Classical Musicians Under 30 in 2019.

Watch Mr. Guo’s Winning Performance: Chopin’s Concerto in E minor, Op. 11