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ACOUSTIC QUARTET – Mateusz Moś – I violin, Marcin Sidor – II violin, Ewa Sidor – viola, Mateusz Mańka – cello,was established in 2014. The string quartet consists of the graduates of the Karol Szymanowski Academy of Music in Katowice. The quartet has its roots in the AUKSO Chamber Orchestra of the City of Tychy. The orchestra has performed at festivals of classical and modern music, as well as on the radio (Polish Radio Channel 2). The musicians lead active professional lives, playing concerts as soloists, concertmasters in orchestras, and chamber musicians in classical, ethno and popular music ensembles. They pay particular attention to the promotion of Polish music. Along with Wojciech Waleczek, an outstanding pianist, the orchestra elaborated a project named “Pearls of Polish music “. The band has been successful in finding a common denominator for classical music, ethnic music, rock and jazz (projects with Katarzyna Gacek and Kasia Moś). They are experienced in giving concerts accompanied by state-of-the-art technologies (S. Reich Different Trains).
EWA BIEGAS – soprano; Ewa Biegas studied at the Music State Schools in Cieszyn and Gliwice, graduated in singing at the Music Academy, Katowice, and from 1998 to 2000 studied with Professor Helen Lazarska at the Universität für Musik in Vienna, and graduated in 2005 with a PhD in Vocal Studies at the Katowice Academy. Since the onset of her career Ewa Biegas has been successful at national and international competitions, and her awards include the 1st prize at the Polish National Vocal Competition in Wrocław (1996), the first class honor award at the Ada Sari International Vocal Art Competition in Nowy Sacz (1997), a competition award at the Internationale Sommerakademie Mozarteum in Salzburg (1997), the 2nd prize at the Anton Dvořák International Vocal Competition in Karlovy Vary (1997), the 1st class honour prize at the International Vocal Competition of Feruccio Taliavigni in Deutschlandsberg in Austria (1998), the 1st prize and four rewards beyond regulations at the International Schneider-Trnavski Vocal Competition in Trnava in Slovakia (1998), the 2nd prize at the Singing Competition of the Vocal Festival in Nowy Sacz (1999), the 2nd prize and the award for the best performance of Ignacy Jan Paderewski’s works at the Paderewski Vocal Competition in Bydgoszcz (2003), and the 3rd prize and four awards beyond regulations at the Stanislaw Moniuszko International Vocal Competition in Warsaw (2004). She has appeared in many opera productions in Poland and in Europe, and her most important parts include Lady Billows in Albert Herring by B. Britten in Vienna (1999), Rozalind in Die Fledermaus by J. Strauss in Vienna (2001), Friend in La liberta chiama la liberta by E. Knapik in Katowice (2002), Micaela in Carmen by G. Bizet in Katowice (2003), Tatiana in Evgeny Onegin by P. Tchaikovsky in Katowice (2003), Halka in Halka by S. Moniuszko in Cracow (2004), Leonora in Il Trovatore by G. Verdi in Cieszyn (2004) during the Viva Il Canto Festival. She has been supported by scholarships from the Polish Ministry of Culture and Art, from the Thyll-Dur Swiss Foundation, and since 2000 on a scholarship from the Austrian government.
MIKOŁAJ BLAJDA – conductor, bassist, music producer; graduate of the Academy of Music in Krakow. Having studied choral conducting under Prof. Stanisław Krawczyński and orchestral conducting (postgraduate) under Prof. Józef Radwan, he has collaborated with, among others, the Chicago Paderewski Orchestra (USA), the Orchestra of the Alexandrian Library (Egypt), the orchestras of the Lower Silesia Philharmonic and of the Świętokrzyska Philharmonic, the Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra and its Choir, the Orchestra of the Beethoven Academy, and the Krakow ‘Fresco Sonare’ Orchestra and the ‘Creo’ Orchestra. As an instrumentalist, he primarily plays the electric double bass; he also composes music and arrangements for his own and commissioned projects.
KATARZYNA BUDNIK – GAŁĄZKA – viola; graduated from the Fryderyk Chopin University of Music in Warsaw from the violin class of Professor Mirosław Ławrynowicz, Andrzej Gębski and Janusz Wawrowski, and from the viola class of Professor Piotr Reichert. She is currently employed at her alma mater as assistant lecturer. She has performed many times as soloist and in chamber ensembles in Poland and in many countries in Europe. In 2010 she was involved in the Chamber Music Connects the World project, organised by the Kronberg Academy, where she performed with some of the greatest musicians in the world, including Gidon Kremer, Tatiana Grindenko, Yuri Bashmet and Frans Helmerson. She has also performed at many renowned festivals, including the Music Festival in Łańcut, at the Muzyka na Szczytach International Chamber Music Festival in Zakopane and at the Kammermusikfest Lockenhaus (to which she was invited by Gidon Kremer). Released in November 2013, her solo album Viola Recital received the Polish Fryderyk 2014 award. For her outstanding achievements Katarzyna Budnik-Gałązka received a scholarship from the Minister of Culture and National Heritage. She has also received a scholarship from the Młoda Polska [Young Poland] program. In 2013 she was nominated for Polityka magazine’s Passport award. She has been the viola leader in the Sinfonia Varsovia Orchestra since 2014.
JAKUB CHRENOWICZ – conductor; He graduated in orchestral and stage conducting from the Ignacy Jan Paderewski Academy of Music in Poznań (diploma with distinction, 2010) after studies with Prof. Jerzy Salwarowski. As an LLP/Erasmus scholarship holder he studied at the Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst in Frankfurt-am-Main. Recipient of the Minister of Culture and National Heritage scholarships (three times), as well as the scholarship of the Accademia Musicale Chigiana, where he took part in Gianluigi Gelmetti’s master class.Winner of distinctions and awards in international conducting competitions and courses, including: the award for the best participant of the National Conducting Course, taught by Jerzy Salwarowski and accompanied by Częstochowa Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra (2007), as well as the award for the best participant of the of the International Course for Conductors in Ciudad de Torrevieja (Spain) in the same year. He reached the semi-finals of the M. Malko International Conducting Competition in Copenhagen (2009). Jakub Chrenowicz began his professional career as an assistant to Antoni Wit at Warsaw Philharmonic (2010-12). He has conducted such Polish orchestras as e.g. Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra, the Sinfonia Varsovia, the Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra, Poznań Philharmonic, the I. J. Paderewski Academy of Music Symphony Orchestra in Poznań, Łódź Philharmonic Orchestra, Podlasie Opera and Philharmonic Orchestra, the Pomeranian Philharmonic Orchestra, Częstochowa Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Lower Silesian Philharmonic Orchestra. He has led concerts featuring such outstanding soloists as Jadwiga Rappé, Izabella Kłosińska, Konstanty Andrzej Kulka, Piotr Paleczny, Romuald Tesarowicz, and Alexander Gavrylyuk.
The artist made his conducting debut with the Warsaw Philharmonic in the 2010-11 season at the Father Jerzy Popiełuszko Beatification concert in St Stanislaus Kostka Church in Warsaw, and the Independence Day concert. 2011-12 saw his debut at the Grand Theatre – National Opera, where he musically directed the premiere of Biblical Stories staged by the Polish National Ballet. Since the 2012-13 season Jakub Chrenowicz has been the principal conductor of the Podlasie Opera and Philharmonic in Białystok.
DUO VITARE & ARTO JARVELA – The Ensemble Arto Järvelä & Duo Vitare was formed in 2015 as a part of official Jean Sibelius 150th-celebration year, promoted by Finnish Arts Promotion Center and Finnish Culture Foundations. The project was a great success and trio performed “The Waltz of Ainola – Sibelius inspired by Folk” -program in festivals and concert halls both in Poland and Finland. After realizing the possibilities of this uncommon combination of classical duet and folk fiddler, trio decided to perform regularly. One of Finland’s premier fiddlers, Arto Järvelä has, over the past three decades, been a member of more than ten folk music groups. He’s primarily known as founder, second fiddler, composer and arranger of Kaustinen fiddle legends JPP, in action since 1982. Throughout the JPP history, Arto has demonstrated profound talents as a remarkably skilled player and as a gifted composer and multi-instrumentalist. Arto Järvelä has made many fascinating pieces and arrangements for this unconventional trio. Trios repertoire includes original pieces composed by Arto Järvelä, Finnish and Polish folk tunes arranged by trio and music by Jean Sibelius arranged by Arto and Duo Vitare.
GOETTINGER STADTKANTOREI (Niemcy) – jako jeden z najliczniejszych w kraju liczy sobie aż 100 śpiewaków. Za muzyczny cel zespół objął sobie wykonywanie dzieł muzyki kościelnej od okresu baroku aż po współczesność. Początków chóru należy szukać już w 1930 roku, wówczas na czele chóru stanął Ludwig Doormann, który prowadził go do 1971 roku. Po nim batutę przejął do 1999 roku Hermann Amlung. Do dziś od wspomnianego czasu szefem zespołu jest Bernd Eberhardt. W ciągu ostatnich lat niemal wszystkie utwory muzyki kościelnej zostały przez chór opracowane, przygotowane i wykonywane. Wśród nich znajdują się dzieła Richarda Straussa (Deutsche Motette), Franka Martina (Msza na podwójny chór) czy Franza Schmidta (Księga Siedmiu Pieczęci). Chór koncertował w wielu europejskich krajach, biorąc udział w m.in. w festiwalach. Regularnie uczestniczy też w nabożeństwach w kościele św. Jana w Getyndze.
GROHMAN ORCHESTRA – przyjęła swą nazwę od imienia wielkiego konesera sztuki i przyjaciela
artystów, łodzianina Henryka Grohmana. To nazwa bardzo związana z fabrykancką Łodzią. Zespół tworzą muzycy Filharmonii Łódzkiej, liderzy poszczególnych grup oraz koncertmistrz jako skrzypek-dyrygent. Dotychczas Grohman Orchestra grała głównie walce, arie, polki, uwertury i marsze rodziny Straussów. Jednak aby rozszerzyć swój repertuar powstał projekt – „Grohman Orchestra – Klasyka polskiej rozrywki”. Przeprowadzona wśród sympatyków zespołu i melomanów festiwalu Geyer Music Factory ankieta na temat najbardziej przebojowych utworów ostatnich 40 lat pokazała, że lubimy stare, dobre piosenki. One właśnie, w klasycznym brzmieniu naszego zespołu, zabrzmią w nowych, ciekawych aranżacjach. Klasyka polskiej rozrywki według Krzysztofa Herdzina!
GRZEGORZ KUPCZYK – singer; At the end of 1980 Grzegorz became the vocalist of Turbo. That day marks the beginning of the fully professional career, which can be divided into three main periods of time, when he simultaneously was the vocalist of three important for the Polish Rock history bands: Turbo, Ceti and Non Iron. It actually lasted until 2007, when he definitely broke up with Turbo, to commit solely to his own formation CETI, which he has been working with to this day. The story of the first important group in Grzegorz’s life – Turbo, is also a very meaningful element of his artistic biography. His impact on the popularity of the group during its best and the most successful period is unquestionable, as the history and the legend of the group is hugely based on the appreciation for the original and unique voice and personality of its frontman. It definitely reached its peak during Grzegorz’s time in the group. On the 28th of November 2012, GRZEGORZ KUPCZYK as the first and only amongst the precursors of the heavy sound in Poland, was awarded a a high state decoration GOLD CROSS OF MERRIT by the PRESIDENT of the Republic of Poland.
DR DANNY KELLEY -pianist, Dean of Music at Prairie View A&M University. He has performed extensively as a recitalist and chamber musician throughout the United States, Europe, and the Caribbean. He has performed with the San Antonio Youth Symphony, the Peabody Chamber Orchestra, Houston Symphony North, and the Houston Symphony. He has also performed at major concert venues, such as the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Carnegie Recital Hall (Weill Hall), Houston’s Museum of Fine Arts, and Steinway Hall. He has been hailed by New York Times critic Peter Davis as “…an artist of solid accomplishment.” Houston Chronicle music critic Charles Ward commented on his debut performance of the Johannes Brahms Piano Concerto No. 1 in D Minor with the Houston Symphony that his “…playing was very polished.” In March 2001, Kelley was presented in concert with the Houston Symphony in Jones Hall, in a commemorative concert, celebrating the 125th anniversary of the founding of Prairie View A&M University. In addition to his artistic endeavors, Dr. Kelley is active in community affairs. He is a member of the Music Staff of St. Francis Episcopal Church (Piney Point Village), and has served on the first Board of Directors of the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion in the Woodlands, as well as the past President of the Regional Arts Center in Tomball. In 1993, he received the first Scholars Award for Excellence in Cultural Enrichment awarded by the Sun Newspapers and the North Harris-Montgomery Community College District Foundation. He has also served on the Board of Advisors for the Houston Symphony and the Board of Directors for the Houston Ebony Opera Guild.
ANNA LASOTA – soprano; graduate of the Feliks Nowowiejski Academy of Music in Bydgoszcz, she has participated in numerous master classes in musical interpretation. Finalist of the K. Kurpiński Competition in Włoszakowice, the 9th Competition of Slavic Music in Katowice and of the country-wide Competition in Actor’s Song Interpretation in Bydgoszcz, winner of the audience award at the Royal Singing Festival in Wilanów; she was also awarded a distinction prize at the ‘Golden Voices of Mazovia’ Competition, the ZASP Prize and the Singing Festival Bel Canto in Nałęczów. In 2011, she received a distinction from the Poznań public (‘The White Lilac’) in the ‘Singer’ category. She has been also awarded the FLISS 2012 Prize by the Association of Culture and Art lovers: ‘for her great talent in singing and acting, for her scintillating voice and mesmerising musical and theatrical creations…’
SYLWIA LORENS – soprano; her productions include such shows as Symphonica, Opera e la Vita, Szeherezada. As a soloist, she is well known for her highly energetic interpretations of the classic works of opera and musical. She has collaborated at numerous instances with, among others, the National Philharmonic, the Krakow Philharmonic and the Krakow Opera, the Bogusław Kaczyński Foundation. A frequent participant in many prestigious musical programmes and music festivals (such as the European Jan Kiepura Festival in Krynica or the Summer Music Festival), she has performed on stage with most of the preeminent Polish opera artists. Her album recorded with the ‘Romanca’ Ensemble (‘Romanca operowo’) attained the platinum status in 2014. Her repertoire includes arias from operas and operettas, musicals and actor’s songs. Since 2015, she has been the general directior of the Filharmonia Futura (www.filharmoniafutura.pl), the first independent philharmonic.
MATEUSZ MAŃKA – cellist; graduate of the Karol Szymanowski Academy of Music in Katowice (2015). His numerous prizes and awards also include a cultural scholarship from the President and the City Council of Piekary Śląskie for outstanding artistic merit. He has collaborated with such orchestras as the AUKSO Chamber Music Orchestra of the City of Tychy, the National Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra in Katowice, the Silesian Chamber Music Orchestra, the Muzyka Nowa Orchestra, the Gorzów Philharmonic and the Entertainment Theatre in Chorzów. He is currently the concertmaster of the cellists in the Archetti Chamber Music Orchestra in Jaworzno, involved in the Acoustic Quartet, and a teacher in the Jasna Góra Comprehensive Public School of Music in Częstochowa.
MARCEL MARKOWSKI – cello; studied in Bartłomiej Budzyński’s Private Music School in Józefów in the cello class of Professor Tatiana Przybylska and Professor Michał Nyżnyk, in the Karol Kurpiński State Music School no. 4 in Warsaw in the class of Professor Karol Leonowicz (completed in 2002 with a top grade diploma), in the Fryderyk Chopin Secondary State Music School Complex in Warsaw in the cello class of Professor Karol Leonowicz, in the Zenon Brzewski General Music School in Warsaw in the cello class of Professor Stanisław Firlej, in the Henryk Wieniawski General Music School in Łódź in the class of Professor Stanisław Firlej (completed with honours), in the K. & G. Bacewicz Academy of Music in Łódź in the class of Professor Stanisław Firlej (bachelor degree completed with honours), in the K. & G. Bacewicz Academy of Music in Łódź in the class of Professor Stanisław Firlej (master’s degree) and in the class of Professor Michael Flaksman and Jelena Ocic in Mannheim (Germany) under the Erasmus international exchange program.In 2014 -2015 he was a student of the International Menuhin Music Academy in Coppet (Switzerland). Marcel Markowski is one of the most prominent and oustanding Polish cellists of the young generation. Markowski is the laureate of many awards and distinctions. He has participated in many master classes in Poland, Germany, Switzerland and the Netherlands with many renowned teachers, including Michael Flaksman, Jelena Ocic, Ivan Monighetti, Dominik Połoński, Tomasz Strahl and Jeroen Reuling, Pablo de Navarran, Niall Brown, Alexander Gebert. In June 2012 Marcel Markowski became the cello leader in the Sinfonia Varsovia Orchestra. He has performed numerous times under the baton of such acclaimed conductors as: Krzysztof Penderecki, Jerzy Maksymiuk, Alexander Sladkovsky, Benjamin Ellin, Andriy Yurkevich. He has been a lecturer of the Sinfonia Varsovia Academy, a project intended to refine the playing skills of orchestra musicians. In 2014 he recorded Mieczysław Weinberg’s Cello Concerto with Sinfonia Varsovia and Jerzy Maksymiuk (Anthology of Contemporary Polish Music 1939 -1945). In 2016 he recorded with violinist Jakub Haufa the first studio recording of Krzysztof Penderecki’s Doppio concerto (version for violin and cello) under the baton of the composer himself.
KRZYSZTOF MEISINGER – guitar; In the opinion of many critics and music lovers from around the world, Krzysztof is one of the most fascinating and charismatic young classical guitar players. Such teachers and music authorities as Bolesław Brzonkalik, Piotr Zaleski, Aniello Desiderio (Italy) and Christopher Parkening (USA) have had the immense influence on his artistic development. He is a winner of many national and international competitions. Krzysztof received scholarships from the Polish Ministry of Culture (1999), the Mayor of Bydgoszcz (2007), the KGHM “Polish Cuper“ Foundation and the “Młoda Polska“ Grant Programme. Krzysztof has performed all over the world giving solo recitals, chamber music concerts and performing with orchestras. He has performed in such halls as the Berliner Philharmonie, the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris, the Ryutopia Concert Hall in Niigata, the Tokyo International Forum, the National Philharmonic Concert Hall in Warsaw, the Lutosławski Polish Radio Concert Studio in Warsaw, the National Opera House in Warsaw, the Lysenko Concert Hall of the Ukrainian National Philharmonic Hall in Kiev, the Theatre du Palais Royal in Paris, the Raitt Recital Hall in Malibu, the Grossmunster in Zurich, or the Hatch Recital Hall in Rochester. His Berliner Philharmonie debut in 2014 ended with a long standing ovation. Krzysztof has performed at many festivals, e.g. the “Music in Old Krakow” Festival, the National Philharmonic Festival in Warsaw, the La Folle Journee de Varsovie, the “Toruń: Music and Architecture” Festival, the Polish Music Festival in Krakow, or the Music Competition Winners’ Festival in Bydgoszcz. He has also cooperated with the PWM Publishing House in Krakow.
METTIS QUARTET – (LITHUANIA) -Kostas Tumosa (Violin), Bernardas Petrauskas (Violin), Karolis Rudokas (Viola), Rokas Vaitkevičius (Cello). The Winner of IX International V.E.Rimbotti competition in Italy July 2016. The 2nd prize winner of 8th International Bordeaux String Quartet Competition in France May 2016. European Chamber Music Academy (ECMA) ensemble. Since September 2014 the Mettis Quartet have been members of the European Chamber Music Academy (ECMA) and as such have participated in masterclasses across Europe. The quartet also took part in other notable masterclasses such as International Summer Academy (ISA) in Reichenau, Austria and Villecroze Academy of Music, France. The Mettis Quartet have participated in many string quartet and chamber music festivals such as: Harmos (Porto, Portugal), EFAM (Warsaw, Poland), Plovdiv (Bulgaria), Vilnius festival (Lithuania) Bordeaux string quartet festival (France), Janine Jansen chamber music festival (Utrecht, Netherlands), Aix-en-Provence (France), Montpellier Radio France, Luberon string quartet festival (France), Styrian chamber music festival (Austria), J.Haydn chamber music festival (Esterhaza, Hungary).
LEONEL MORALES – (SPAIN) – Professor at the Faculty of Music and Performing Arts at the University “Alfonso X el Sabio” (Madrid). Professor in the Sommerakademie Mozarteum of Salzburg and Professor for 13 years in the Conservatorio Superior of Castellón. He graduated from the University of Havana under the tutelage of Frank Fernandez, a student of Victor Merzhanov, which itself was a disciple of Feinberg, so he follows the traditional Russian school. First Prize in the Guerrero Foundation International Piano Competition (Madrid). Second Prize at Jaén International Piano Competition and Prizes to: “Best Interpretation Contemporary Music” and the “Best Interpretation of Spanish Music, Rosa Sabater Prize”. First Prize in the International Piano Competition “Ciudad de Manresa” (Spain).
MATEUSZ MOŚ – violinist, graduate of the Karol Szymanowski Academy of Music in Katowice (2009). He has led numerous chamber music projects at Polish festivals and collaborated with such artists as Piotr Anderszewski, Leszek Możdżer, T. Stańko, Xavier de Maistre, A. Kurzak, Maria Joao Pires, and the following conductors: J. Kasprzyk, G. Chmura, M. Klauza, Krzysztof Penderecki, Marek Moś. He is currently the 2nd concertmaster of the Aukso Chamber Music Orchestra of the City of Tychy and the 1st violinist of the Acoustic Quartet ensemble. Composer and music producer.
JAKUB OCZKOWSKI – graduate of the Faculty of Vocal Music and Drama of the Academy of Music in Bydgoszcz. He has received a number of scholarships, including from the President of the Capital City of Warsaw, the marshal of the Świętokrzyskie Voivodeship, the Zofia and Władysław Pokusa Foundation and the Busko Region Association. His awards include the Golden Nightingale from the Belcanto Festival in Nałęczów, from the Royal Singing Festival in Wilanów, and the Cultural Prize from the Marshal of the Świętokrzyskie Voivodeship. He collaborates with the Teatr Wielki and National Opera in Warsaw and the Krakow Filharmonia Futura.
The N-HARMONIA Chamber Music Orchestra – is a string instrument ensemble composed of a number of talented young musicians from all across Poland. The musicians, still studying at the high schools of music in eleven Polish cities, have been involved in the performances of the top youth orchestras in Poland (the Lutosławski Youth Orchestra, Polska Orkiestra Młodzieżowa LYO, Młoda Polska Filharmonia and the International Lutoslawski Youth Orchestra) and abroad (the European Campus Music Orchestra and the International Regions Symphony Orchestra). Its members have been awarded numerous prizes at country-wide and international competitions as soloists and chamber musicians.
THE MILITARY ORCHESTRA OF BYDGOSZCZ – founded in 1950, it has produced a sizeable collection of radio and television recordings, solo albums and CDs. The prizes and distinctions awarded to the Orchestra include: ‘The Crystal Mace’ in 1979 for the best military parade, the prize from the Minister of Culture and Art in 1989 for the best concert programme performed at the Festival of the Military Orchestras of the Polish Armed Forces, and the ‘Golden Lyre’ at the 7th International Wind Orchestras Festival in Rybnik in 1998, as well as the first prize in the category “military parade” at the 42nd Competition of Military Orchestras of the Polish Armed Forces – Świeradów Zdrój 2007. It has been awarded numerous prizes, cups, and diplomas for its artistic activities. The orchestra has become an important and indelible part of the cultural life in Bydgoszcz and Pomerania.
JADWIGA RAPPE – one of the most outstanding Polish singers, alto, graduate of the Department of Polish and Slavic Philology (University of Warsaw), student of professor Zofia Bregy and graduate of the Vocal Department of The Karol Lipinski Academy of Music in Wroclaw in professor Jerzy Artysz class; an active member of Polish Association of Music Artists since 1977; engaged in issues of Polish heritage in Poland and abroad (private benefactor of organ restorations and private sponsor of parts of renovation works in Vecpils church in Latvia); 2006-2009- Jadwiga Rappe held an office of president of Witold Lutosławski society. 2009- Jadwiga Rappe performs as artistic director of “Chain VI” festival which is organized by the Witold Lutosławski Society. ; since 2005 Chair of Council of the Anna and Jaroslaw Iwaszkiewicz Museum in Stawisko; 1995 – 2010 lecturer in the Vocal Department of Frederic Chopin Collective State Music Schools; professor for the Vocal Department of The Frederic Chopin Music University in Warsaw; creator of a number of exceptional concert projects with the participation of Academy of Music students; Jury member of various auditions and vocal competitions in Poland and abroad; Awarded the Gold Merit Cross.
MARCIN SIDOR – violinist; graduate of the Karol Szymanowski Academy of Music in Katowice (2006). His awards include a prize from the Bach Competition in Zielona Góra (1999) and the Silesian International Competition in Będzin (2000). He received several scholarships from the minister of Dąbrowa Górnicza (2002-2005). He has taken part in numerous masterclasses as a chamber musician. As an orchestra musician, he has performed with the Aukso Chamber Music Orchestra of the City of Tychy, the Muzyka Nowa Orchestra, the Silesian Chamber Music Orchestra, the Gorzów Philharmonic, and the Orchestra of Zagłębie Dąbrowskie (as the concertmaster). Since 2004, he has been a member of the Aukso Chamber Music Orchestra of the City of Tychy, the Acoustic Quartet, the Beskid Kingdom folk music group and the Dąbrowiacy folk ensemble.
EWA SIDOR – viola; she has performed as a soloist with the Aukso Chamber Music Orchestra of the City of Tychy and the Polish Youth Symphony Orchestra. In a variety of chamber music settings, she played at such festivals as Warsaw Autumn, the Nostalgia Festival (Poznań), the Festival of Premieres (Katowice: NOSPR), and the 16th Aukso Philharmonic Summer. Her concerts were held at Such venues as the Berlin Philharmonic, the Konzerthaus in Vienna, the King’s Hall in Edinburgh, the KKL in Luzern, Liderhalle Stuttgart, S1, the National Philharmonic, NOSPR, and Katowice Radio. As an orchestra musician she has collaborated with: Aukso Chamber Music Orchestra of the City of Tychy, NOSPR, the Beethoven Academy Orchestra, the Muzyka Nowa Orchestra, the Silesian Chamber Music Orchestra, the Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester, the European Philharmonic Orchestra. Currently, she is the second concertmaster of the viola section of the Aukso Chamber Music Orchestra and a member of the Acoustic Quartet ensemble.
MARIUSZ SMOLIJ – is considered one of the most exciting conductors of his generation. Praised by the New York Times for “compelling performances” he has led almost 120 orchestras in 27 countries, on five continents appearing in some of the most prestigious concert halls of the world. In the United States he conducted the major orchestras of Atlanta, Houston, New Jersey, Detroit, Chicago, St. Louis, Rochester, New Orleans, Indianapolis, among many others. Internationally, he enjoys notable reputation appearing with major symphonic ensembles of Germany, Italy, France, Switzerland, Holland, Israel, South Africa, Canada, Hungary, Serbia, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Slovak Republic and Poland. His most recent engagements include collaborations with the Sinfonieorchester Basel, Switzerland (CD recording and series of concerts including the Tonhalle in Zurich); a residency with the Johannesburg Philharmonic in South Africa; a collaboration with the Budapest Concert Orchestra; performances with Florence Chamber Orchestra in Italy; Israel Symphony Orchestra, Israel Sinfonietta as well as numerous orchestras in Germany and Poland. Maestro Smolij is in his sixth season as the Music Director of the Acadiana Symphony Orchestra in Lafayette, Louisiana and his thirteenth season as the Music Director of the Riverside Symphonia in New Jersey.
MICHAŁ SOBUŚ – double bass; graduate of the Frederic Chopin Academy of Music in Warsaw. He has collaborated with the Orchestra of the Polish Radio in Warsaw (1998), the Silesian Chamber Music Orchestra (2000-2002), the AYS Symphony Orchestra, the YMF Debut Orchestra (2000-2002), the USC Chamber Orchestra (2001), the USC Symphony Orchestra (2002), the Mahler Chamber Orchestra (2002), the Sinfonietta Cracovia Orchestra (2002) and the National Opera in Warsaw (2003). Since 2008, he has collaborated with the Sinfonia Varsovia Orchestra, where he is the vice-leader of the double bass section.
KAMIL STANICZEK – violin; Kamil Staniczek began playing the violin under the tutelage of his father, violinist and teacher Waldemar Staniczek. He completed the Primary State Music School in Gliwice in the class of E. Muszała and continued his studies in the Karol Szymanowski State General Secondary Music School in Katowice in the class of A. Wagner and in the class of Professor J. Stanienda at the Karol Szymanowski State Music School Complex No. 4 in Warsaw, from which he graduated. In September 2011 Staniczek graduated from the Fryderyk Chopin University of Music in the class of the renowned teacher, soloist and chamber musician, Professor Jan Stanienda. Staniczek is a laureate of many distinctions in regional, national and international violin competitions in Poland and abroad. In 2009, together with the “Chopin Piano Quintet” chamber ensemble he became a finalist of the Gianni Bergamo Classic Music Award International Competition in Lugano (Switzerland).
ANNA MARIA STAŚKIEWICZ – violin; she graduated with honors from the Ignacy Jan Paderewski Academy of Music in Poznań (Poland), where she pursued her Master Degree in the violin studio of Prof. Marcin Baranowski (2007). She perfected her violin skills with Prof. Wanda Wiłkomirska and Tatiana Grindenko.Anna Maria Staśkiewicz has performed concerts as a soloist in Poland and abroad: Albania, Brazil, China, Estonia, Georgia, Germany, Italy, Lithuania, Russia, Scotland, Slovakia, Switzerland, Sweden and Turkey. She was invited to cooperate with Polish Radio National Symphonic Orchestra in Katowice, National Symphonic Orchestra in Warsaw, Sinfonia Varsovia Orchestra, “Amadeus” Polish Radio Chamber Orchestra, “Leopoldinum” Chamber Orchestra, Toruń Chamber Orchestra. Anna Maria Staśkiewicz has been the acting concertmaster in the Sinfonia Varsovia Orchestra since February 2015. She has been a lecturer of the Sinfonia Varsovia Academy, a project intended to refine the playing skills of orchestra musicians.
MICHAŁ SZYMANOWSKI – is one of the most promising Polish pianists of the young generation. The winner of the Yamaha Music Foundation of Europe Piano Competition. The highest placed quarter-finalist in the 17. International Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw 2015, 2nd Prize winner in the International Chopin Piano Competition in Korea and 3rd Prize winner in the Paderewski International Piano Competition in Bydgoszcz. Michał has given performances in USA, Japan, Brazil, Argentina and Venezuela. He has performed in the Palace of Nations in Geneva, the Paul VI Audience Hall in the Vatican (a concert for Pope Benedict XVI), at Warsaw’s Belvedere Palace for Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski, and 3 times at the “Chopin and His Europe” Festival in Warsaw, where he brilliantly performed piano concertos by Ignacy Jan Paderewski and Jozef Wieniawski. Michał has released two solo albums for CD Accord (Naxos), featuring compositions by Chopin, Paderewski, Szymanowski and Wieniawski. The recordings were critically acclaimed. One reviewer wrote: “Uncommon talent and a pianist of great promise.”
TORUŃSKA ORKIESTRA SYMFONICZNA – It was founded as the Toruń Chamber Music Orchestra in the artistic season of 1978/79 and performed under the auspices of the City of Toruń since 1990. The orchestra receives the funding for its activities from the City of Toruń, to which it owes its dynamic development. Since February 2006 it is officially named as the Toruń Symphony Orchestra. The orchestra has gained a firm standing among many other cultural institutions in our town. This is due to the concerts performed in Toruń as well as at numerous tourneés, both in Poland and abroad. In the course of thirty-five years of their artistic activity, the orchestra played in most of Polish cities, in many European countries (e.g. Belgium, Switzerland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Germany, Denmark, Great Britain, Italy, France, Belarus, Lithuania), at many prestigious festivals. The orchestra is especially proud of a one-month tourneé in China, two concerts at the Opera Gala in Pamplona, as well as the concert at the Cirque Royal in Brussels (in October 2010). In July 2010, the Toruń Symphony Orchestra accompanied José Carreras at his performance in the Toruń Motoarena. The director of the Toruń Symphonic Orchestra is Marek Czekała.
LEON P. TURNER – bass-baritone, holds a Bachelor of Music Education Degree from Northeast Louisiana University and a Master of Music Degree from Southern Methodist University. He has performed in master classes conducted by noted singers such as Leontyne Price and Blanche Thebom. Mr. Turner’s operatic and oratorio experiences include such roles as, Bonze, in Puccini’s Madam Butterfly, Sarastro in Mozart’s The Magic Flute and bass soloist in Handel’s Messiah as well as Paul McCartney’s Liverpool Oratorio. He also appeared as 2nd Philistine in Saint-Saens’ Samson et Dalilah, Sergeant in Puccini’s La Boheme, Figaro in Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro, Leporello in Don Giovanni, and Alfonso in Cosi fan tutte, the title role in Mussorgsky’s Boris Godunov, and King Philip in Verdi’s Don Carlo. His appearances also include leading roles with Fort Worth Opera, Portland Opera Theatre, and N.L.U. Opera Workshop. Mr. Turner was cast in the movie “Leap of Faith” by Paramount Pictures as a gospel singer. The movie starred Steve Martin, Debra Winger, and Liam Neeson. This movie engagement resulted in a guest appearance with Steve Martin on the Arsenio Hall Talk Show as a featured soloist.
DAMIAN UKEJE – singer, song writer and composer. In 2009, he took part in the television show Szansa na sukces. In 2011, he participated in the first edition of the show The Voice of Poland as a member of Nergal’s team. He was qualified to sing in the final stage and presented his own song ‘We haven’t got anything’, for which he was awarded the first prize of the show. The main prize in the television show was the title of ‘the best voice in Poland’ and a contract with the Universal Music Poland record label. His first single – with the title ‘Interregnum’ – was released in November 2012, while the release of his first debut studio album (entitled Ukeje) took place on 5 February 2013. This album was listed on the 44th position of the bestselling music albums in Poland. He was nominated to the Frederic prize in the category Debut of the year in February 2014. His second studio album, UZO, appeared on 30 September 2016.
WOJCIECH WALECZEK – is recognized internationally as a pianist with uncompromisingly high standards in performance. Artist, born in 1980, has been pursuing a robust concert career playing as soloist with symphonic orchestras, solo piano recitals and chamber music concerts in the 21 countries of the European Union as well as in Switzerland, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Moldova, Belarus, Russia, Kazachstan, Jordan, Tunesia, Palestina, Algeria, Turkey, Iran, Iraq, Japan, Argentina, Canada and the USA. Wojciech Waleczek has graduated with a distinction from the Academy of Music in Katowice, Poland in a piano class of Prof. Zbigniew Raubo in 2003. He continued his studies with Prof. Lee Kum-Sing in the Vancouver Academy of Music, Canada. He received the degrees of Doctor of Arts and Habilitated Doctor of Arts from the Academy of Music in Bydgoszcz, Poland (2014 and 2017). Pianist was awarded by the Prime Minister and the Minister of Culture of the Republic of Poland, by the presidents of Katowice and Gliwice as well as by the Regional Council of the Silesian Province and many other private and public institutions.
Beside concert activity he works as an Assistant Professor at the Music Institute of the Silesian University in Katowice. In 2017 he received the Decoration of Honor „Meritorious for Polish Culture” from the Polish Minister of Culture and National Heritage.
PIOTR ŻUKOWSKI – pianist. Graduate of the Academy of Music in Poznań (with distinction). He has taught as an associate professor of piano at the Academy since 2013. He has given numerous concerts all across Poland and abroad: France, Brazil, Belgium, China, Iceland, England, Russia, Switzerland, Saudi Arabia, Italy, the Czech Republic, the USA, Spain, Slovakia, Hungary, Germany, and Japan. He has taken part in recording numerous musical programs for the Polish television. In July 1997, he recorded the music for a biographical film about Frederic Chopin produced and broadcast by the French-German ARTE television channel and the Second Channel of Polish Television. In September 1997, he received a scholarship from the French government and came to the Académie Maurice Ravel to study under the supervision of Prof. Jean-Francois Heisser. He has performed at such festivals as, among others, the International Paderewski Festival in Chicago, the Chopin Festival in Tucson (USA), the 24th Festival of Polish Pianists in Słupsk, the 19th International Festival “Chopin in Autumn Colours” in Antonin, the International Chopin Forum of Young Pianists in Wrocław and the International Paderewski Festival in Kąśna Dolna.