Can you master Chopin’s Ballade No. 1?

Hot on the heels of the publication of his book ‘Play It Again’, Guardian editor and keen amateur pianist Alan Rusbridger and publisher, Jonathan Cape, are organising a competition for amateur pianists to showcase their talents to the world.

If you have what it takes to play Chopin’s ‘Ballade No.1’, submit a video of your performance to YouTube, to be in with a chance of winning:

  • A trip to London
  • A piano masterclass
  • A chance to meet Alan Rusbridger
  • A tour of the Guardian offices
  • A year’s subscription to BBC Music Magazine


  • Alan Rusbridger (Editor of the Guardian)
  • Oliver Condy (Editor of BBC Music Magazine)
  • Andrew Clements (Guardian Music Critic)
  • Erica Worth (Editor of The Pianist)
  • Lucy Parham (Concert Pianist)
  • Alex Bowler (Editor at Jonathan Cape)

Pianists of all standards and levels of experience welcome

DEADLINE FOR ENTRY: March 8th 2013

Further information, entry form and full terms & conditions here

Check out the Play It Again website for piano and Ballade-related content, including interviews, video clips, articles on the brain and music, and much more

Murray Perahia plays Chopin’s Ballade No. 1:


  1. Just a thought – your statement that “Pianists of all standards and levels of experience welcome” is totally untrue, misleading and should be removed. How could a typical 8 year old with a year of lessons expect to have a go at the piece, or someone with say Grade 5 ability try ?


    • Quite right, Stephen. The same thought struck me when I was reading the blurb on the book’s website (where this text comes from). Really it should read “advanced pianists only need apply”. Meanwhile everyone else: keep practising!

    • I would – if I had time to refresh the piece (I learnt it in 2010) – but I’m too busy with my diploma preparations (the exam/recital is in April). It’s a great idea though.

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