Tomasz Ritter is a pianist who won the 1st International Chopin Competition on Period Instruments. He studied at the Moscow State Tchaikovsky Conservatory under Mikhail Voskresensky (piano), Marya Uspenskaya (harpsichord), and Alexei Lubimov (period piano).
He was born on 21st January 1995 in Lublin where, in 2002, he started at the Karol Lipiński Music School under the tuition of Bożena Bechta-Krzemińska. In 2008, he became a pupil of Professor Irina Rumiancewa-Dąbrowska at the Karol Szymanowski No. 4 Complex of State Music Schools in Warsaw. He has attended master classes conducted by Victor Merzhanov, Tatyana Shebanova, Avedisa Kouyoumdjiana, Ian Hobson, Pavel Gililov and others. He has also gained experience playing period instruments through his work with harpsichord maker Peter Šefl and in courses conducted by Johannes Sonnleitner, Alexei Lubimov, Malcolm Bilson, Andreas Staier, and Tobias Koch.
In November 2011, he won the 9th Arthur Rubinstein Memorial International Young Pianist Competition in Bydgoszcz. He has also received the Aniela Młynarska-Rubinstein Special Award, the Arthur Rubinstein Ruby Pin for artistic personality, the Pomeranian Philharmonic’s Symphonic Orchestra Award, and many others. In September 2018, he received the Main Award at the 1st International Chopin Competition on Period Instruments in Warsaw.
He is also the laureate of many other competitions, including the San Sebastian International Piano Competition (Spain, 2008, 1st prize), the 8th International Piano Competition for Young Musicians in Enschede (Netherlands, 2010, 1st prize and the Journalist Award), the Prague Music Conservatory’s Mlady Klavir Competition (2010, the Mlady Klavir Title), and the 3rd Szymanowski Memorial Polish Piano Competition in Warsaw (2011, 1st prize). In 2018, he was nominated for Polityka magazine’s Passport Award in the Classical Music category.
Ritter has toured in many European countries, Russia and Japan. He performed under the baton of conductors such as Łukasz Borowicz, Ian Hobson, Jerzy Maksymiuk, Jan Stanienda and Jakub Chrenowicz. Among others, he has worked with Kvarteto Martinů, Stradivari Quartett, singer Elena Zolotova and flautist Benedek Csalog. In 2014, an album of Ritter’s performances was released by Polskie Nagrania. It features music by Bach, Beethoven, Szymanowski, and Ginastera.
What do the critics think of Ritter’s performances? In 2012, Maciej Pinkwart wrote the following for Ruch Muzyczny magazine: ‘In the second part, the 17-year-old pianist Tomasz Ritter took the stage, a student of the Karol Szymanowski Complex of State Music Schools in Warsaw. If this is the level he represents as a student, what will we able to hear from him in the future?’ One year later, Witold Paprocki added the following in another article for the magazine: ‘Ritter’s performance draws attention to the deliberate, consistent concept of interpretation and the ability to use the display of virtuosity to highlight the music’s expressive qualities’.