The Chopin Foundation of the United States, Inc. is a national non-profit organization dedicated to the support of talented young American musicians in their struggle for career recognition. Since its inception in 1977, the Foundation has provided for young pianists the performance opportunities, exchange programs, special scholarships and awards and a chance to compete in the National Chopin Piano Competition of the U.S. held every five years in Miami. The Chopin Foundation is committed to making classical music available to the community initiating such diverse activities as free major public concerts, home musicales, and free publications. Its regional councils in South Florida, New York, San Francisco and Seattle carry on the Chopin Foundation mission nationally and locally.

Welcome to the new web site of the Chopin Council of San Francisco. We hope to keep you up-to-date about all of our activities, to publicize and honor our young prizewinners and tell you about their current achievements, and to offer from time to time interesting articles about Chopin, his time and environment, the piano, current and historical pianists and other related subjects. Please feel free to call us or e-mail us with questions or suggestions.

For many years we have been proud to sponsor the Chopin Competition for Young Pianists. One of the interesting features of this competition is the required and recommended repertoire list that has been put together over the years by past president Gosia Kossakowski, vice president William Wellborn and myself. Many teachers give their students pieces that are far too difficult, sometimes because they hope for the glory of becoming known as a "maker of prizewinners," or because they don't know the repertoire. In any case this practice can lead to hand injuries, "burnout" and poor morale. We have specifically suggested wonderful pieces that are age-appropriate, and our judges are instructed not to reward a contestant who is struggling (however heroically) with a too-difficult piece. There are many polonaises, mazurkas, nocturnes, waltzes and other pieces that are musically and technically demanding within the healthy boundaries of seven-to-fifteen year-olds. We also try to provide opportunities for our young prizewinners to perform at such venues as the Winners' Concert at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and the annual Holiday Concert at the beautiful Queen Anne Hotel.

We hope you will join us this year in celebrating the joy of Chopin's music, the thrill of listening to and supporting aspiring young artists and the multi-faceted splendor of our cultural heritage.

--Mack McCray