The persistent efforts of the authorities of the Music Society with the Minister of Culture and Art were crowned with the decision to transform the competition into a cyclic musical event called: "The I. J. Paderewski International Piano Competition in Bydgoszcz". It has been decided that starting from the current edition the competition will be held every 3 years and the struggles of young pianists from all over the world will be judged by an international jury.
Organizers of the competition: I. J. Paderewski Musical Society - the main organizer, I. J. Paderewski Pomeranian Philharmonic, F. Nowowiejski Academy of Music in Bydgoszcz. Editor Henryk Martenka became the competition director.
Honorary patronage over the 4th Competition was taken by Aleksander Kwaśniewski, President of the Republic of Poland.
The Competition was held from 3rd to 14th November 1998.
The Competition Regulations provided for the participation of pianists up to the age of 27. 59 pianists from the following countries entered the competition: England (1), Armenia (1), Belarus (1), Bosnia and Herzegovina (2), Estonia (2), Finland (1), Israel (1) Japan (8), Yugoslavia (1), Kyrgyzstan (1), Korea (3), Poland (26), Russia (5), United States (1), Ukraine (5).
The inaugural concert took place on November 6, 1998 at the Pomeranian Philharmonic Hall, on the 138th anniversary of the Patron's birth. The Symphony Orchestra of the Pomeranian Philharmonic under Jerzy Maksymiuk and soloist Wojciech Kocyan performed Paderewski's Piano Concerto in A minor. J. Paderewski. In the second part of the concert the audience listened to Symphony "Polonia" in B minor by I. J. Paderewski.
1st prize - Tomomi Okumura, Japan
2nd prize - Michael Schneider, USA
3rd prize – Katarzyna Borek, Poland
4th prize – Vladimir Milošević, Jugosłavia
5th prize – Ave Nahkur, Estonia
6 prize – Sonja Hanna Maria Fräki, Finland