Who is Rafal Blechacz?

Noble and purifying sound

Rafal Blechacz

Because of the nature of my work, I often see a new person and if time allows it I talk about Rafał Blechacz’s piano. The fact that I write a website dedicated to Blechacz surprises many people. I’m asked why. My answer is;
“Listening to his music purifies my soul, making me happy”.

Each of every sound he creates is soulful and profound. Noble and pure music.  For me it is unprecedented to be fascinated so deeply by the piano sound of a specific pianist.

When exhausted after tough work hours, or having a difficult time, when getting tired of things in life, his piano is touching, gentle and sometimes I can’t help crying; or sometimes I become optimistic believing that life is beautiful!

“Whichever piece you play, you always show us the world which is noble, delicate, beautiful and filled with harmony.
I feel your performance purifying me of the sadness, pain and even joy.”
(Takaakira Aosawa, music monthly “Chopin” April 2009)
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I was delighted to find the professional’s article that clearly describes what I was vaguely feeling.

I wanted to share my feelings with those equally fascinated

When I happened to know Rafał Blechacz, I didn’t understand why his piano is so touching and I tried to find the reason by reading articles and CD liner notes. I wanted to share my feeling with someone similarly fascinated. Maybe there could be many who have the same emotions. I would like to do something to help them. This was how I began writing the blog dedicated to Rafał Blechacz in spring 2008. I searched on the Internet to collect information about the artist, such as review, interview and news. I converted articles written in Polish, German, Japanese and other languages into English, so that as many people as possible can read (my “invention”). Quite a few fans of Rafał from various countries came up helping me. So far, I’ve had contact with fans from not only Poland but Americas, Europe and Asia. Several of them are nicely supportive, helping me in news collection and translation. I guess majority of readers have not had an opportunity to attend live concert of Blechacz. I feel universality of his artistry.

The depth of Rafał’s music

The depth of his music derives from his personality. He is very religious, attending church mass regularly since infancy and hymns and choir music as well as Bach’s music prompted him to enter into music world. If time allows it he reportedly plays organ even today for the mass at his parish church and other churches in neighborhood communities.

Rafal Blechacz

Blechacz plays the organ of the church
in Bydgoszcz
on Jan. 6, 2007, the date of Epiphany.

“When I was a child I was very patient and was able to devote myself to studying the music that was new to me for long hours. When I play a music piece I instinctively enter into it or its composer’s heart and mind, questing for the true interpretation through my sensitivity, understanding and feeling”.
(Rafał Blechacz , from pamphlet of 2007 Japan tour)

When I came across an interview about “music and sincere prayer” I thought that it represents his personality.

“….. music can be a sincere prayer. I decided to express myself through music, because it allows me to transfer the important essence without naming it directly. ”
(Interview with “Catholic Guide”, November 2007)
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He participates in Doctoral seminar at philosophical course of Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń. He is interested in phenomenology and aesthetics, philosophy of music as artistic interpretation of musical works. Blechacz had received individual lessons from Prof. Władysław Stróżewski of Uniwersytet Jagielloński (Jagiellonian University), who wrote the liner notes of Blechacz’s album “Chopin Piano Concertos”.
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Rafal Blechacz

In Hamburg, October 2009

“Studying philosophy is for me a great way to relax from the piano….Taking books with me and read them when I travel is my way of studying.”
“I am fascinated by the philosophy of music, so musicology supported by philosophy….. I can't exclude the possibility that my future thesis will concern the question of the correct interpretation of a given artistic work, but also the question of a certain freedom of interpretation”.
(Interview with Polish Radio, Aug. 2009)
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To show my gratitude for the beautiful music

Fortunately, I’ve had many opportunities to attend his concerts in several cities in America, Europe and Japan. Every time his performance deeply inspires me. One of the unforgettable experiences was his Washington DC debut recital in Feb. 2010.

Blessed with sophisticated audience, as Blechacz’s world evolved from Bach through to Mozart, Debussy and Chopin, I felt spiritual interactions between the artist and listeners growing, both emotionally uplifted. The way he wholeheartedly concluded Chopin’s Scherzo No.1 – the tremendous sound that his slim frame created and the scene- still linger in my memory.

Someone said that he is young and going forward witnessing his career development is a great pleasure. But for me, every piece he’s played so far already made me feel as if going up to Heaven. The sense of indebtedness to the exceptional artist compelled me to write this website. That’s said, I’m secretly waiting for the recording of Bach while I’m alive.

About this website

I want a visitor to know his piano sound first– the extraordinarily pure and achingly beautiful sound as well as the underlying noble personality. I produced the “Virtual concert hall” page where audio/video sources of his performance have been collected. (Legitimate ones only, for example, promotional videos provided by his label, Deutsche Grammophon.) “Rafał Blechacz quotes” page is a collection of impressive fragments from his interview articles. If you are interested in exploring his music and intelligent personality you might want to read the blog for updated information. Finally, I would like to thank those with expertise who gave me precious advices to create this website.

Akiko Ichikura

Rafal Blechacz

Historical moment, with Prof. Katarzyna
Popowa-Zydroń, October 22, 2005.