Carter Johnson, a young and talented Canadian pianist has won the 2nd Stanisław Moniuszko International Competition of Polish Music in the piano category and there has been no match for the Książek Piano Duo (Agnieszka Zahaczewska-Książek and Krzysztof Książek) in the chamber ensemble category. The Awards Ceremony and the Prize Winners Concert will take place on 18 September at 7pm CET at the Artur Malawski Podkarpacka Philharmonic Hall in Rzeszów.

Printable version


– I enjoyed everything I played. It was such a joy! – Carter Johnson had commented during his audition performances. – I had spent so much time searching for and then preparing a repertoire I could really be fond of. And now I am so happy to have been finally able to perform these works in front of the audiences.

Carter Johnson graduated with distinction from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, where he studied piano performance and piano pedagogy. He went on to enrol at the Julliard School of Music in New York, where he is completing his MM and planning ahead to continue his education at Yale University in New Haven. He is also a graduate of Trinity College London, where he studied acting.

– We have given it our best – Agnieszka and Krzysztof Książek enthused after their performances. – We have managed to find a way into an atmosphere of a concert. If you cannot forget that you’re taking part in a competition, you may find it hard to perform, but when you approach it like you would a concert performance, you’re able to derive real joy from your playing.

The Książek Piano Duo (Poland) was formed in 2012. Agnieszka Zahaczewska-Książek graduated from the Krzysztof Penderecki Academy of Music in Kraków and Krzysztof Książek completed his studies at the Feliks Nowowiejski Academy of Music in Bydgoszcz.

The second prize in the piano category has been granted by Ivan Shemchuk (Ukraine), who was also amongst the laureates of the 1st Stanisław Moniuszko International Competition of Polish Music back in 2019. The second prize in the chamber ensemble category has been won by Kwintofonia (Poland), a wind quintet from Warsaw. The third prizes have been respectively awarded to Michał Karol Szymanowski (Poland), in a pianist category and a duo of violinist Aleksandra Kuls and pianist Marcin Koziak (Poland) in a chamber ensembles category.

Honourable mentions have been garnered to three pianists: Ruslan Kazakov (Russia), Adam Mikołaj Goździewski (Poland) and Krzysztof Kozłowski (Poland), as well as three chamber ensembles: Popko / Thieu-Quang (Poland), the Dobrowolski / Słapiński Duo (Poland) and Trio Legend (Poland).

There have also been special prizes for the best interpretations of compositions by specific composers. They have been won by Carter Johnson (performing a composition by Stanisław Moniuszko), Jakub Cetnarowski (Poland, for his interpretation of Władysław Żeleński) and Ivan Shemchuk (for his rendition of a work by Henryk Pachulski). MORE

The Jury has awarded no fewer than 38 additional prizes, most of them in the form of special concerts to be performed at prestigious philharmonic halls and at festivals in Poland and abroad. For the first time in the history of the Competition, there has also been selected a winner of the best interpretation of a chamber composition by Miłosz Magin, sponsored by the composer’s daughter Margot Magin, and special prizes awarded by a panel of journalists in the amount of one thousand euros in each category.

The winners will now play at a final, closing concert performing alongside the Podkarpacka Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Massimiliano Caldi and Tomasz Chmiel. This Prize Winners Concert will then be repeated on 20 September at 7pm at the Warsaw Philharmonic Hall.

– This year’s edition of the International Competition of Polish Music has eventually brought us what we had been looking forward to during the long and anxious months of the pandemic: live contact with music, the audiences and the wonderful artists alike – summarised Katarzyna Meissner, Director of the National Institute of Music and Dance. – We are grateful to Professor Piotr Gliński, whose Ministry has been consistently supportive of our mission to rediscover and promote Polish music. Our winners will now take the music by Moszkowski, Zarębski, Palester or Magin with them and present it around the world. While already looking ahead to the next edition of the event, I would like to invite the audiences to the Warsaw Philharmonic on Monday night for a repeat performance of this year’s Prize Winners Concert.

The 2nd Stanisław Moniuszko International Competition of Polish Music is organised by the National Institute of Music and Dance in cooperation with the Artur Malawski Podkarpacka Philharmonic in Rzeszów, and is funded by the Ministry of Culture, National Heritage and Sport of the Republic of Poland. The Marshal of Podkarpackie Voivodeship is the official partner of the event. The Competition has also received the Honorary Patronage of the President of the Republic of Poland Andrzej Duda. The International Competition of Polish Music is a member of the Alink-Argerich Foundation network.

Partners of the Competition: Yamaha, Centrum Medyczne MEDYK, ZAIKS, STOART, Pianist, Ruch Muzyczny. Special thanks to the University of Rzeszów for its support in the organization of the event.

Media patrons: TVP Kultura, PAP,,

LINKS: livestreaming of Saturday’s

Laureates Concert tickets to the Warsaw Philharmonic Hall concert

Media contact: Agata Szymczak (, + 48 785 310 000)