Henryk Sztompka wrote in the competition program:
“For the first time in the history of Polish music we are witness to a piano competition, which is unique thanks to its program, and includes compositions by Chopin, Paderewski and Szymanowski. Yet the highlight of this event is provided by the father of all music – Jan Sebastian Bach. Paderewski […] original and creative in his music, deserved at the hundred anniversary of his birthday, to rank among the greatest, at the very forefront of the history of music, among artists so prolific, and so distinct through their language. Due to these reasons the I. J. Paderewski competition is gaining importance all over Poland […] and thanks to its program, reverberates its greatness far beyond the Polish border.”
The organizers of the competition included: The Ministry of Culture and the Arts, the Committee for the Celebration of the 100th Anniversary of Ignacy Jan Paderewski Birthday and the I. J. Paderewski Pomeranian Philharmonic in Bydgoszcz.
The competition was financed with funds from the Ministry of Culture and the Arts and took place from 1st till 10th of December, 1961, in the concert hall of the Pomeranian Philharmonic in Bydgoszcz.
Students and graduates of the 1960/61 academic year of higher music schools in Poland participated in the Competition. There were 27 candidates representing Katowice, Kraków, Łódź, Poznań, Sopot and Warsaw. In the end 17 participants came to the competition auditions. The most eminent Polish musicians took part in the jury of the competition. Today we can say that several of them are legends of Polish pianism.