One of the most outstanding contemporary Chopin interpreters, Janusz Olejniczak was the youngest prize-winner of the 8th International Fryderyk Chopin Piano Competition in 1970, and he also won a prize in the Alfredo Casella International Competition in Naples. He has performed in Europe, both Americas, Asia and Australia, in the most famous concert halls (Berlin Philharmonic, Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires, Salle Pleyel, Suntory Hall, Lincoln Center, Tonhalle in Dusseldorf and Concertgebouw in Amsterdam). He has been a juror of piano competitions many times and given masterclasses in Europe, Canada, Japan and Columbia.
Besides the classic repertoire, he also performs Polish contemporary music (incl. Lutosławski, Górecki and Kilar). He has performed with ensembles led by such conductors as Witold Rowicki, Kazimierz Kord, Antoni Wit, Jerzy Maksymiuk, Tadeusz Strugała, Charles Dutoit, Andrzej Borejko, Grzegorz Nowak and Jacek Kaspszyk. For many years, he has worked with Marek Moś and the Aukso Orchestra. He was one of the first performers of Chopin’s music on period instruments. He has appeared regularly at Chopin and his Europe, including with Frans Brüggen’s Orchestra of the 18th Century and the Orchestre des Champs-Elysées under the baton of Philippe Herreweghe.
He has recorded over 40 discs, including for the Fryderyk Chopin Institute (notably Chopin’s complete mazurkas on fortepiano and the F minor Concerto with the Orchestra of the 18th Century and Frans Brüggen), as well as the soundtracks to Roman Polanski’s The Pianist and Andrzej Żuławski’s La note bleue. He was on the jury of the 17th and 18th editions of the International Fryderyk Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw (2015, 2021) and the 1st International Chopin Competition on period Instruments, also organised by the Fryderyk Chopin Institute (2018). He has been decorated with the Officer’s Cross of the Order of the Rebirth of Poland (2000), the ‘Gloria Artis’ gold medal for services to Polish culture (2005) and eight ‘Fryderyk’ awards from the Polish record industry. In 2015 he began working on a regular basis with the Fryderyk Chopin University of Music in Warsaw.