Chopin Foundation of the United States,
Northwest Council.

Maximum number of applicants: 230.
Registration closes when this number is reached.
Please apply early. 


*IMPORTANT: Registration period ENDS after 230 pianists are accepted. Register early! Additional applicants will be placed on waitlist.

About Us

The Northwest Council of the Chopin Foundation of the United States, an all-volunteer, 501(c)(3) non-profit arts organization will continue the tradition of encouraging talented young American pianists to study and perform classical music, especially highlighting the music of Chopin. We will primarily focus on the Seattle competition and furthering young local talent. The NW Chopin Foundation holds a yearly competition featuring the finest youth talent in Washington state. Each succeeding year, the Festival has grown to becoming one of the region's largest and well-known piano competitions. The very first meeting of The Northwest Chapter of the Chopin Foundation was held September 20, 2001 at the Women's University Club in Seattle, Washington. President Dr. Steven Lagerberg opened a meeting with eight other Chopin enthusiasts in attendance. Steven presented his vision for the Chopin Foundation which was, very simply, to showcase Chopin and his beautiful music.

Dr. Steven Lagerberg, Founder
Dr. Adam Aleksander, President
Dr. Hanna Cyba, Vice President
Judy Baker, Artistic Co-Director
Cathy Carpenter, Recording Secretary
Dr. Mary Chandler, Treasurer, Co-Artistic Director
Dr. Yelena Balabanova, Co-Artistic Director
Allan Park, Board Member
Yunbo Cassady, Board Member
Conney Vernall, Board Member
Dr. Nino Merabishvili, Board Member
Dr. Vladimir Balabanov, Board Member
Victor Ro, Board Member, Legal Advisor
Christopher Moorhead, Webmaster
Alison Bell, Past President
Helen Belvin, Past President

Chopin Foundation of the United States

National Directors

Garrick Ohlsson, Honorary Chairman
Blanka A. Rosenstiel, Founder and President
Olga Melin, Vice President
Dr. Michael Caldwell
Anthony DiResta
Brenda Bruce Fountain
Edith Hall Friedheim
Amanda Gill
Malgorzata Markowska
Vivianne Swietelsky
Executive Director
Barbara E. Muze, Executive Director

Artistic Advisory Committee
Adam Aleksander
Agustin Anievas
Kevin Kenner
Margarita Shevchenko
Mikołaj Górecki
Advisory Board
Joel Harrison, American Pianists Association
Gary Ingle, Music Teachers National Association
Ron Losby, Steinway & Sons

Regional Councils
Dr. Mack McCray, San Francisco Council
Dr. Adam Aleksander, NW Council
Robert Joskowiak - Virginia Council

Advisory Council
National & International

Agustin Anievas
Martha Argerich
Emanuel Ax
Jeffrey N. Babcock
John Bayless
Luiz Fernando Benedini
John Corigliano
Christopher T. Dunworth
Charles Dutoit
Nelson Freire
Bruno Leonardo Gelber
Gary Graffman
Horacio Gutierrez 
Marta Istomin
Byron Janis
James Judd
Cyprien Katsaris
Zoltan Koscis
Jacob Lateiner
Garrick Ohlsson
Paloma O'Shea
Daniel Pollack
Maurizio Pollini
Abbey Simon
Michael Tilson Thomas
Charles Wadsworth
Susan Wadsworth
Krystian Zimerman

Regional Councils
San Francisco, California, Barboursville, Virginia

San Francisco, California
The San Francisco Council was organized in 1987. In 1995 the Council introduced the Chopin Competition for Young Pianists, which provides for young piano students an encouragement for following their artistic careers. To join Chopin Membership in the San Francisco area and to learn more about the Council’s activities please go to their web site www.chopinSF.org.

Barboursville, Virginia
The Virginia Council, located in Barboursville, has been officially incorporated as of September 2015. This chapter has been associated with of the Chopin Foundation and has held events for the past 12 Seasons. Please visit www.chopininbarboursville.org to learn more about the Council’s activities in Virginia.

2024 RULES


After ready the rules below, REGISTER HERE.

    REGISTRATION PERIOD: DEC 1, 2023 TO JAN 21, 2024* (midnight)
    *IMPORTANT: Registration period ENDS after 230 pianists are accepted. Register early! Additional applicants will be placed on waitlist. NO refunds given after registration is complete.
    SATURDAY, FEB 3, 2024, 9 am to 6 pm (please keep entire day open. You cannot request a specific time zone or time slot)
    9900 Willows Rd NE, Redmond, WA 98052
    SUNDAY, FEB. 4 at 1 pm and 3 pm
    St. Lukes Church, 3030 Bellevue Way NE, Bellevue, WA 98004
    Video deadline: JAN 21, 2024. NO YOUTUBE LINKS. Dropbox folder link will be provided to concerto division entrants. MP4 video format only.
    230. Additional applicants will be placed on waitlist. Online registration ends when 230 applicants are accepted.
    Students may perform either solo or concerto or both. If performing both, they must be registered twice as SEPARATE registrations. 
    Pianists must ONLY perform ORIGINAL works by Chopin. Abridged, modified, transposed, adapted or modernized versions will be quickly rejected and pianist will be disqualified. Books must have measure rows numbered and presented to the adjudicator just prior to performance. After performance, your music and adjudicator notes will be handed to you. In addition to books, downloaded public domain music of Chopin is permitted. However do not present loose sheets. Instead, place in presentation folder or 3 ring binder. 
    All selections must be original compositions of Frédéric Chopin. Abridged, transposed, simplified, modified or adapted versions of Chopin's music is strictly rejected. Single or multiple works of Chopin may be performed, provided the total playing time does not exceed the time limit for the Entrant’s division. Room assistant will ring the bell and the pianist must stop playing when the entrant reaches maximum time allowed. There is no penalty. Entrants may not change or omit repertoire once it has been submitted via the application. All piece(s) must be performed MEMORIZED.
    Pianist may choose either: FIRST MOVEMENT, SECOND MOVEMENT or LAST MOVEMENT OR a combination of second/third movements as a set. Concerto no. 1 in E minor, Concerto no. 2 in F minor and Andante Spianato and Grande Polonaise are permitted only. IMPORTANT: Concerto must be recorded WITH second piano accompaniment and the accompanist face CANNOT be visible. Please do not speak or announce yourself at the beginning of the video. Title your video file with your name. All videos will be uploaded to an official Chopin Youtube Channel by our board and no name will be visible on YouTube. A playlist of all the concerto entrants will be distributed ONLY to other concerto entrants. If a student wins Gold Medal for their concerto movement(s) and perform with an orchestra, they are required to use a different movement in subsequent years. All recordings submitted must be recorded between the time period of December 1, 2023 until the deadline of January 21, 2024. DROPBOX link will be emailed to concerto contestants after registration is completed. Pianist must upload their video file on or before January 21st, 2024, midnight. Dropbox link will be deactivated at 12:01 am on January 22nd, 2024. No refunds will be issued to entrants failing to upload their video files. Recordings must consist of unedited, uninterrupted video footage of the participant from a single camera angle with coverage of the performer’s hands and face at all times. If more than one work or movement are being performed, all movements and/or pieces must be performed successively in one unedited take and included on one video link. Recordings must be made on acoustic pianos and must be performed MEMORIZED.
  • AGE DIVISIONS (as of February 3, 2024)
    DIVISION A ages 8 and under. Playing time is up to 5 minutes.
    Application fee: $60
    DIVISION B ages 9-10. Playing time is up to 6 minutes.
    Application fee: $65
    DIVISION C ages 11-12. Playing time is up to 7 minutes.
    Application fee: $70
    DIVISION D ages 13-14. Playing time is up to 8 minutes.
    Application fee: $75
    DIVISION E ages 15-16. Playing time is up to 10 minutes.
    Application fee: $80
    DIVISION F ages 17-18. Playing time is up to 11 minutes.
    Application fee: $85
    DIVISION G ages 19 and up. Playing time is up to 12 minutes.
    Application fee: $90
    DIVISION H CONCERTO ages 18 and younger.
    Application fee: $90 
    SOLO DIVISION: Gold, Silver and Bronze Medals will be awarded. Only Gold medalists receive cash prize and will perform at the Gold Medalists' Concert on February 4, 2024. Gold Medalists who do not perform will surrender cash prize.
    Helen Belvin Prize: Helen Belvin cash prizes will be awarded to THREE of the most exceptional and most memorable performers. Each adjudicator chooses ONE recipient from the competition.
    Gold, Silver and Bronze Medals will be awarded. Gold Medalist will perform one movement with Tacoma Orchestra Recital Series, sponsored by Chopin Northwest Foundation in 2024.

2024 Adjudicators

Dr. Antonio Pompa-Baldi

Cleveland Institute of Music
Distinguished Professor of Piano
Born and raised in Foggia, Italy, Antonio Pompa-Baldi won the Cleveland International Piano Competition in 1999 and embarked on a career that continues to extend across five continents. A top prize winner at the 1998 Marguerite Long-Jacques Thibaud Competition of Paris, Pompa-Baldi also won a silver medal at the 2001 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition.
Pompa-Baldi appears at the world’s major concert venues including New York’s Carnegie Hall, Cleveland’s Severance Hall, Milan’s Sala Verdi, Boston’s Symphony Hall, Shanghai’s Grand Theatre and Paris’ Salle Pleyel, to name a few.

He has collaborated with leading conductors including Hans Graf, James Conlon, Miguel Harth- Bedoya, Theodore Kuchar, Benjamin Zander, Louis Lane and Keith Lockhart. He has performed with ensembles and colleagues such as the Takács String Quartet, Alison Balsom, Sharon Robinson, and principals of The Cleveland Orchestra, Dallas Symphony and New York Philharmonic, among others.

With a concerto repertoire including more than 60 works, Pompa-Baldi recently performed cycles of all the Rachmaninoff piano concertos, the five Beethoven piano concertos and both Brahms piano concertos with various orchestras. He has played recitals in most major venues around the world. Among the stops on his tours, he performed in Vienna, Austria; Malaga, Spain; Nancy, France; New York; and throughout China (Beijing, Shenzhen, Hangzhou, Dalian and Guangzhou).

Pompa-Baldi is a Steinway Artist since 2003. He is often invited to judge international piano competitions such as the Cleveland, Hilton Head, E-Competition (Minneapolis), BNDES Rio de Janeiro and Edward Grieg (Bergen), among many others. He serves as president of the jury and artistic advisor for the San Jose International Piano Competition since 2006.

Pompa-Baldi is on faculty at CIM as distinguished professor of piano. His students have been prize- winners in important competitions such as Marguerite Long, Hilton Head, Isang Yun and Gina

Dr. Emanuela Friscioni

Cleveland Institute of Music
Professor of Piano
Italian pianist, Emanuela Friscioni, received a diploma in piano performance from the"Giuseppe Verdi" Conservatory in Milan, with full marks, and went on to study with Annamaria Pennella. Other teachers have included Paul BaduraSkoda, Aldo Ciccolini and Bruno Canino. Ms. Friscioni has won many national and international first prizes, including those at the Tortona, Moneglia, Camaiore, Chieti, and Kawai Piano Competitions. She has performed throughout Italy, in Switzerland, France and other European countries. She made her U.S. debut in July 2000 with Cleveland Orchestra violinist Gino Raffaelli. Since then, she has enjoyed a career that has seen her perform solo recitals, orchestral engagements and chamber music appearances.

Among her collaborations, she played Schubert's Quintet Op.114"The Trout" with members of The Cleveland Orchestra and was again invited by Orchestra members in 2004 to play an allBrahms program. Ms. Friscioni's recent performances have included Rachmaninoff's Second Piano Concerto with the National Repertory Orchestra; Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue with the Canton Symphony; chamber music and solo performances at the Music in the Mountains festival; and Franck's Symphonic Variations with the Lakeside Symphony Orchestra. She has also performed recitals in California, New Mexico, New York and Ohio.

Her piano duets with her husband, pianist Antonio PompaBaldi, have earned them many prizes and wonderful reviews. Ms. Friscioni is an accomplished professor of piano, first in Italy, where many of her pupils have won prizes and scholarships, and now in the U.S. As a teacher and artistic director, she founded and manages the Classical Piano Performance Academy at Cuyahoga Community College.

She was appointed to the CIM faculty in 2004.

Dr. Sharon Mann

San Francisco Conservatory
Professor of Piano
Sharon Mann's early training on the piano began in Chicago with teachers Rudolph Ganz and Isador Buchhalter and continued with Irwin Freundlich and Rosalyn Tureck. She holds the country's first doctorate in piano/chamber music from Northwestern University in addition to her degrees from The Juilliard School and Stanford University. A respected soloist and ensemble player, Dr. Mann is widely acclaimed for her penetrating interpretations of Bach’s keyboard music: Her recording of the Six Partitas has recently been re-released by Cappella Records, and she has performed with such artists as Alain Marion, Michael Grebanier, Elaine Skorodin-Fuhrmann, and the Cavani String Quartet.

An appointee of Governor Richard Celeste, Dr. Mann was, for six years, Artistic Director of Ohio’s Governor’s Series, lecturing on radio directly from the state mansion. She has also served as Artistic Director of California’s Junior Bach Festival and as producer of the Soviet Emigré Orchestra.

Dr. Mann has held faculty positions with the Itzhak Perlman Music Program, the Bowdoin International Music Festival, the California Summer Music Festival, St. Olaf College, and Mills College. She has taught internationally in Germany, Greece, Italy, and China (where she returns annually), as well across the U.S. in Illinois, Indiana, Massachusetts, and Utah. She is currently working on a new edition of the complete Bach Keyboard Suites.

by Steven Lagerberg

The Scent of the Lily
The Piano Capitol of the World
Chopin in the Time of Cholera and COVID
What Motivated Chopin
An Educated Guess
A Personal Challenge
Emotional Music
The Long Suffering
Of Hands and Heart
Why Do We Have a Chopin Festival
A Fateful Journey
Chopin's Pianos
What's Not to Like About Chopin's Music
To Compete or Not Compete

Dr. Steven Lagerberg is retired as a practicing physician from Kaiser Permanente and is the founder of the NW Council of the Chopin Foundation. Steven is the author of: Chopin's Heart: The Quest to Identify the Mysterious Illness of the World's Most Beloved Composer and Essays on Chopin.
Copyright 2020-21. Steven Lagerberg. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the publisher. 


Support The Chopin Foundation of the United States
The Northwest Council of the Chopin Foundation of the United States, an all-volunteer, 501(c)(3) non-profit arts organization, will continue the tradition of encouraging talented young American pianists to study and perform classical music, especially highlighting the music of Chopin. Your donation is tax deductible and we would like to express our sincerest appreciation for your donation.


$10,000 & up

  • Helen & David Belvin

  • Rainier Group, Inc., Alison & Skip Bell
  • Dr. & Mrs. Steven Lagerberg
  • George & Amy Tu
  • Dr. Adam Aleksander
  • Dr. Hanna Cyba
  • Allan Park

  • Kurt Kolb
  • Dr. Yelena Balabanova
  • Dr. Vladimir Balabanov
  • Yunbo Cassady
  • Rob and Janet Coe
  • Nicole and Weiyou Cui
  • Senu and Yuki Nakazato
  • Nino Merabishvili

  • Randall Jackson
  • Dr. Mary Chandler
  • Gourmet Music & Culture Club Foundation
  • Ni Liu
  • Tim & Cristelle Grote
  • Dr. Sasha Starcevich
  • Connor & Jaden Zhang
  • Conney Vernall
  • Ilene Garland
  • Christopher Moorhead
  • Ellen King
  • Daisy Tsang
  • Haiyuan & Mei Lu
  • Dr. Mary Chandler
  • Judy Baker
  • Bozena Checinska
  • Piali Choudhury
  • Betty Tonglao
  • Cindy Zhang
  • Long Cheng
  • Namdeuk Kim
  • Kun Chen
  • Dr. Oksana Ezhokina
  • Teresa Zhu
  • Alan Ying
  • Maria Maltseva
  • Jing Zheng
  • Dr. James Wang and Simone Wang

Address & Email

Northwest Chopin Festival
4957 Lakemont Blvd. SE
Suite C-4, #259
Bellevue, WA 98006

Dr. Adam Aleksander, President

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