RNCM Chopin Prize

Join us for an evening of exceptional piano music. Our annual Chopin Prize sees finalists from our School of Keyboard Studies showcase their skills in honour of this virtuoso pianist and his compositions.

Chopin famously played just one concert in Manchester at the prestigious Manchester Gentleman’s Concert Hall in August 1848 to one of his largest audiences. Reviewed by the Manchester Guardian, he was warmly received and made a strong impression on the Manchester music scene with his playing. A statue of Chopin by artist Ludwika Nitschowa can be found on the RNCM concourse, erected in 1973 in honour of the 125th anniversary of his appearance in Manchester.

This concert will include an interval and will end at approximately 9.30pm.


Students from Chetham’s School of Music

Scherzo no 1 in B minor Op 20

Nocturne Op 27 No1
Mazurka Op 33 No 1
Etude Op 10 No 5

Weng Yee
Variations Brilliantes Op 12

Hyeonwoo Jeon
Fantasy in F minor Op 49

Alicja Kojder
Scherzo No 2 in B flat minor


Students from the RNCM

Rose McLachlan
Nocturne Op 55 No 2 in E Flat Major
Ballade No 4 in F Minor

Yuxuan Zhao
Sonata Op 58 No 3 in B Minor

Xizong Chen
Nocturne in C Minor Op 48 No 1
Andante Spianato et Grande Polonaise Brillante Op 22 in E Flat Major

Adjudicator: Professor Anthony Byrne

Professor Anthony Byrne studied piano in Dublin with Marie Jones and John O’Conor. Anthony then continued his studies in Canada, New York and London with such internationally renowned teachers as Peter Katin, Adele Marcus and Alexander Kelly. Whilst studying in London Anthony became an associate of the Royal College of Music.

Anthony has given many recitals in Ireland, England, the US, Canada and Japan. In 1986 he made his London debut at the Purcell Room and made his Wigmore Hall debut in 1989. He has performed with the National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland and the RTÉ Concert Orchestra on numerous occasions and in July 1997, gave the Irish premier of Leroy Anderson’s piano concerto with the National Symphony Orchestra.

Anthony is a Senior Lecturer of Piano at the Royal Irish Academy of Music in Dublin. In 2012 he was appointed Specialist External Keyboard Examiner at the Royal Conservatoire Scotland. He has also been appointed as a panel examiner to the RCS DMus degree in the RCS. In June of 2016 he was appointed Specialist External Keyboard Examiner at the Royal College of Music, London. In 2021 he sat on the screening Jury for the Hastings International Piano Competition and in 2022 he sat on the jury for the live finals.



Mischa is a year 11 student from Manchester who studies with Murray McLachlan.


Marc is a year 10 student from Palestine who studies with Helen Krizos.

Weng Yee

Weng Yee is a year 10 student from Singapore who studies with Helen Krizos.

Hyeonwoo Jeon

Hyeonwoo is a year 13 student from South Korea who studies with Murray McLachlan.

Alicja Kojder

Alicja is a year 12 student from Manchester who studies with Helen Krizos.

Rose McLachlan

Rose was born into a family of musicians and began piano lessons with her father before entering Chetham’s School of Music in 2010 where she studied with Helen Krizos. She has performed in many solo recitals across the UK and has played with orchestra several times, including Shostakovich second Concerto with the BBC Concert Orchestra conducted by Barry Wordsworth which was broadcast of BBC R3. In 2019, Rose was the winner of the junior intercollegiate Beethoven Society of Europe competition and was the overall winner of the Dora Pejačević competition in Croatia. Rose is extremely grateful to receive financial support from the Waverley Fund for her studies at the RNCM.

Zhao Yuxuan

Zhao Yuxuan was born in China in 2002 and is currently studying as an undergraduate with Graham Scott as an ABRSM scholar.

Zhao Yuxuan studied at The Middle School of the Shenyang Conservatory of Music, where he was selected onto the Top Talent program. During his studies there he performed many recitals and won numerous prizes, including divisions of the 2018 Korean Youngchang International Piano Competition, the 2018 Huanglong International Music Festival Competition, the 2019 BIMFA International Piano Competition, and the 2021 UK Appelbe Piano Prize.

Xizong Chen

Xizong Chen is a pianist from China.  He showed an interest in music from a very early age but did not begin his formal training until he was eleven years of age.  Xizong studied with Professor Songwen Li, Head of Keyboard Studies at Xinghai Music Conservatory for four years  before commencing his studies at Changchun University, under the tutelage of senior lecturer Lin Li.

Xizong has also taken part in a number of prestigious competitions. In 2016 he participated in the German Wiesbaden International Piano Competition where he came 6th in the finals of  the Professional Youth Group.  The following year he  took part in the 81st Steinway International Piano Competition where he won First Prize in Professional Group C the Northeast Division of China.

Xizong is currently a first-year postgraduate student studying at the Royal Northern College of Music under the tutelage of Professor Frank Wilbaut.