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Frontpage News 2010 Improving opportunities for visually impaired musicians

Chopin for the Blind.jpg

Improving opportunities for visually impaired musicians

With support from the Polish Cultural Exchange Fund of the EEA and Norway Grants, the Polish Association of the Blind participates actively in the celebrations of the 200th anniversary of Chopin’s birth.

In honor of the famous Polish composer and pianist Frédéric Chopin, the project “Chopin for the Blind” was inaugurated in Poland in February 2010 with a concert with the two young, blind pianists Karol Radwan (13 years old) and Patryk Matwieiczuk (18 years old).

The two artists have learned to play both the piano and the technically demanding compositions of Chopin by ear.

Publishing selected notes and letters
The project, which is developed by the Polish Association of the Blind, aims to guarantee equal access to cultural goods for the new generation by publishing selected notes and letters from the famous artist in the international formats accessible for visually impaired persons. Also, the project will provide knowledge of Chopin’s biography and masterpieces to the visually impaired in Europe.

Other main activities included in the project are the following:

• Organisation of a 5-day festival called “Contemporary Chopin” for blind Norwegian and Polish musicians;
• Preparation of audio description for the film “Chopin: desire for love” in Polish and English;
• Preparation and publication of the blind Polish pianist and finalist of the International Frederic Chopin Competition, Edwin Kowalik’s biography, in large print and in the form of an audio book;
• Organisation of a 1-week training course for ten persons who will later be involved in adaptation of standard notes to the needs of the blind;


The project is implemented in partnership with the Norwegian Association of the Blind and Partially Sighted and the Frederic Chopin Association in Warsaw, and will be carried out in Poland and Norway.

Photo credit: Sidsel Bleken, Royal Norwegian Embassy, Warsaw.