In October 2005 he not only unanimously won the 15th International Chopin Competition in Warsaw (second prize has not been granted) but he also won four special prizes: the best performance of the mazurkas, the polonaise, the concerto and the best sonata performance award founded by Krystian Zimerman.
The jury member John O’Conor described him as “one of the greatest artists I have had a chance to hear in my entire life”. After standing in at short notice for Lang Lang at Verbier’s Salle Médran in July 2006, the English critic Julian Sykes, writing in Le Temps, observed: “…It seems we have gained by this exchange… this young man, modest, elegant, and slightly too serious, does not show any exaggerated manners”…. “Chopin fits him like a glove. Much like Krystian Zimerman, he projects this music with staggering naturalness. His control of line, his nobility of phrasing, his capacity for tailing off a melody without affectation – all of these mark him with special distinction.”
The Golden Medal at the Chopin Competition opened the door for him to the most prestigious concert halls all over the world.. Rafal Blechacz’s calendar is now fully booked 2 years in advance.
On May 29th, 2006 the artist signed an exclusive 5-year contract with Deutsche Grammophon for 3 recording productions.
W.A. Mozart – Piano Sonata No 9 in D major, KV 311
Debussy – Estampes
K. Szymanowski – Variations in B flat minor, Op. 3
Chopin – 24 Preludes, Op. 28