View the “Chopin Olympics” on YouTube and the Google Cultural Institute

If you’re a piano afficionado, then you’re quite possibly also a fan of the great Polish piano virtuoso and composer Fryderyk Chopin. And if that’s you, you’re in luck: starting today, 78 of the world’s greatest pianists and new talents from 29 countries are gathering in Poland for the “Chopin Olympics”, more properly known as the International Fryderyk Chopin Competition.

This year, Google is the official partner of the competition, which runs throughout October. For the first time, you can watch all the performances on YouTube, including livestreaming of some of the concerts. And you can delve deep into the history of the competition and into Fryderyk Chopin’s history via two new online exhibitions on the Google Cultural Institute.

The Chopin Piano Competition started in 1927 and is one of few competitions in the world devoted entirely to the works of a single composer. Winners of the past editions became one of the greatest pianists in the world like Argentinian Martha Argerich or Polish Rafal Blechacz. Visit the Institute’s YouTube channel,, to watch more than 120 hours of performances, interviews with pianists, behind the scenes footage, and the Grand Finale concerts held from 18th to 20th October.

And on the Google Cultural Institute you can also view two new exhibitions, curated by the Polish National Fryderyk Chopin Institute. The first exhibition draws on an archive of more than 200 rare documents to guide you through the fascinating life of the child prodigy who developed into one of the Romantic era’s truly international superstars, before meeting an untimely death at the age of 39.

The Institute’s second exhibition provides an immersive, multimedia overview of Chopin’s piano music and the historic competition from 1927 to the present day. It unveils hidden stories, personal letters, original manuscript compositions, and great background footage about the early competition performances and the jury’s secret decisions.

The cherry on the cake for serious music lovers is a unique gigapixel image of a rare original composition penned by Chopin in 1833, entitled Fantasy-Impromptu in C sharp minor. The imagery is so sharp that you can examine every handwritten note, annotation and correction in minute detail:

We hope you’ll tune in to the Chopin Institute YouTube channel for some awe-inspiring performances - and that you’ll be inspired by the exhibits. Oh, and… best of luck to all the competitors!