Magda Amara

Magda Amara is a regular guest on many international stages. Playing in venues such as the Musikverein, Konzerthaus Vienna, Theater an der Wien, Mozarteum Salzburg, Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Laeiszhalle Hamburg, Festspielhaus Baden-Baden and Tonhalle Zürich, her performances bring her to many important concert halls in Europe and beyond. M. Amara has been invited to many prestigious festivals, including Dvořákova Praha, Le Sion Festival, Festival de Radio France in Montpellier, International chamber music festival Utrecht, Best of NRW, Neuberger Kulturtage and Attergauer Kultursommer, and enjoyed successful collaborations with the Vienna Chamber Orchestra, the North Netherlands Orchestra, the Cairo Symphony Orchestra and the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra Brno. As a devoted chamber musician, she has collaborated with outstanding partners, among them Janine Jansen, Renaud Capuçon, Julian Rachlin, Dora Schwarzberg and Stefan Vladar, as well as members of the Vienna Philharmonic and Berlin Philharmonic Orchestras. She shares a very close musical relationship with the Dutch cellist Harriet Krijgh, with whom she recorded two CDs, released by the Austrian Label Capriccio in 2013 and 2015. Her projects in the last season included concerts at the Lucerne Festival, the Concertgebouw Amsterdam, the Musikverein Vienna, Lincoln Center New York and many others. Magda Amara was born in Moscow and graduated from the Moscow State Conservatory in the class of Sergei Dorensky. She completed her studies with Stefan Vladar at the University of Music in Vienna, and has placed at eleven national and international competitions, including First Prize at the Jeunesses Musicales and Ennio Porrino Piano Competitions, and Third Prize at the Vladimir Horowitz International Piano Competition.

Matias Häkkinen

Artist is a versatile harpsichordist, at ease with a variety of musical styles. In this programme, he will be marrying folk melodies with baroque harmony and phrasing, and translate the refined style of the French school of harpsichord into a wide spectrum of the sounds of nature enriched with folk overtones.

Krzysztof Jakowicz

An outstanding violinist, particularly cherished by Witold Lutosławski, to whom the composer entrusted the Polish premieres of all his violin works (Chain II, Partita in the version with orchestra and Subito, his last work). At Lutosławski’s personal request, he performed the composer’s works under his direction at numerous important music centres around the globe. He received his degree (with distinction) having studied under the supervision of such eminent violin masters as Tadeusz Wroński, Josef Gingold, Eugenia Umińska, János Starker and Henryk Szeryng. He won the first prize in the Eugène Ysaÿe Competition in Warsaw (1959) and the third and the special prize of Henryk Szeryng in the Henryk Wieniawski International Violin Competition in Poznań (1962). Constantly invited to participate in world-renowned music festivals, he has performed during such prestigious events as the Warsaw Autumn, Edinburgh Festival, Berliner Festspiele, the Old Cracow Music Festival, the City of London Festival, Bregenzer Festspiele and Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival. He has performed with leading orchestras, including the English Chamber Orchestra, the Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra, Wiener Symphoniker, the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre National de France, the National Philharmonic Orchestra in Warsaw, the Sinfonia Varsovia Orchestra, NOSPR, the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra, Orquesta Nacional de España, the Amadeus Polish Radio Chamber Orchestra. He collaborates with outstanding Polish conductors, as well as with artists of international stature, including Riccardo Chailly, Pinchas Steinberg, Leopold Hager and Michel Tabachnik. For two years he was the first violinist of the famous Warsaw Quintet.

He has received numerous awards and distinctions, including the Orpheus Prize of the Association of Polish Musicians (for the best performance of a Polish composer’s work at the Warsaw Autumn Festival; 1986), the Diapason d’Or Prize of French critics (for Lutosławski’s Chain II; 1989) and the Fryderyk Prize (for his recording of Lutosławski’s Partita; 1996). He has also received awards from the Minister of Culture and Art, the Minister of Foreign Affairs for promoting Polish culture abroad and the Polish Composers’ Union for multiple performances of contemporary works (in many cases dedicated to him). In 2002 he was awarded the Knight’s Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta. He is a retired full professor at the Fryderyk Chopin University of Music in Warsaw and a visiting professor at Soai University in Osaka.

Krzysztof Jakowicz is considered to be Henryk Wieniawski’s ‘violin great-grandson’. He plays the Italian violin given to him by his master Professor Tadeusz Wroński.

Ilya Kaler

He is one of the most outstanding personalities of the violin today, with a career ranging from that of soloist and recording artist to chamber musician and professor. He is the only violinist in the world to win the Gold Medal at three of the world’s most prestigious international violin competitions: the Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow (1986), the Sibelius Competition in Helsinki (1985), and the Paganini Competition in Genoa (1981). Praised by Gramophone magazine as “the magician, bewitching our ears,” Kaler has earned rave reviews for his solo appearances with distinguished orchestras such as the Leningrad, Moscow, and Dresden Philharmonic Orchestras, the Montreal Symphony, the Danish and Berlin Radio Orchestras, the Moscow and Zurich Chamber Orchestras, and most major American orchestras. He has collaborated with a number of outstanding conductors, including Valery Gergiev, Dmitri Kitayenko, Mariss Jansons, and Jerzy Semkow. Kaler’s solo recitals have also taken him to five continents, where he received enthusiastic reviews. Kaler performs across the globe as a member of The Tempest Trio with cellist Amit Peled and pianist Alon Goldstein, a constellation of internationally acclaimed soloists. The trio recently released their debut album for Naxos Records, featuring the complete set of piano trios by Antonin Dvorák. His musical versatility extends to the symphony orchestra, as well, and he has appeared as guest Concertmaster with the Philadelphia Orchestra, the San Francisco, Pittsburgh, and Baltimore Symphonies, and on tour with the World Orchestra for Peace under Valery Gergiev. Kaler also held the Concertmaster position with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra in New York. As one of the most sought-after teachers in the world, Kaler was recently invited to join the violin faculty at the distinguished Cleveland Institute of Music, where he will begin teaching full-time in the Fall of 2018. He has also held professorships at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY, the Indiana University School of Music in Bloomington, IN, and at the DePaul University School of Music in Chicago, IL. Kaler regularly serves as a jury member at international violin competitions, including the Tchaikovsky International Competition in Moscow, Russia, the Jean Sibelius International Violin Competition, the Henri Marteau International Violin Competition in Germany, the International Music Competition Harbin (IMCH), the Elmar Oliveira International Violin Competition, and the Karol Lipinski International Violin Competition in Torun, Poland. He received his education at the Moscow Central Music School under Zinaida Gilels and at the Moscow State Conservatory under Leonid Kogan and Victor Tretyakov. Further influence and inspiration came from his long-time mentor, superb violinist and pedagogue Abram Shtern. Kaler records for Naxos Records and Ongaku Records. His highly acclaimed albums include Sonatas by Schumann and Brahms, Concertos by Paganini, Shostakovich, Tchaikovsky, Brahms, Schumann, Dvorák, Glazunov, Szymanowski, and Karlowicz, as well as the Taneyev Concert Suite, J.S. Bach’s Sonatas and Partitas for Solo Violin, Ysaÿe’s Six Sonatas for Solo Violin, and an album of works for solo violin.

Piotr Kopczyński

The pianist Piotr Kopczyński has been a lecturer at the Fryderyk Chopin University of Music in Warsaw since 2012. He graduated from the same university in 2008 in the piano class of Professor Piotr Paleczny and in chamber music under the direction of Professor Maja Nosowska. He perfected his skills during master classes in Poland and abroad, with such eminent musicians as Arie Vardi, Viera Gornostajewa, Alexei Orlowiecki, John O’Connor, Kevin Kenner and Vitaly Samoshko. The artist was also a scholar of the Polish Children’s Fund, the Minister of Culture and Art, and a two-time winner of the ‘Musical Forum of the Young’ of the Austrian Cultural Forum in Warsaw. As a chamber musician, he performed with such artists as Katarzyna Budnik-Gałązka, Ryszard Groblewski and Janusz Wawrowski.

As a soloist and chamber musician, he has performed in many prestigious concert halls in Poland and abroad, such as the National Philharmonic and the Witold Lutosławski Concert Studio in Warsaw, the Artur Rubinstein Philharmonic in Łódź, the Lviv Philharmonic, the National Philharmonic in Kiev, Universität der Künste in Berlin and the Polish Radio Concert Studio in Katowice.

Kreeta-Maria Kentalama

Kreeta-Maria has been brought up in an atmosphere of respect for folk music traditions nurtured by her parents. Already in her early childhood she became acquainted with the traditional melodies played by the pelimanni, i.e. Finnish folk musicians. As a violinist, performing a Baroque repertoire, she has participated in various projects combining the Baroque and folk musical traditions.

Albrecht Menzel

Winner of the Grand Prix and First Prize at the 2016 Toruń International Violin Competition in Poland, and a prizewinner at the 2015 Premio Paganini Competition in Genoa, Albrecht Menzel’s career has gained international recognition. As soloist Menzel has played with, among others, the London Philharmonic Orchestra, the Munich Radio Orchestra, the Magdeburg Philharmonic, the North West German Philharmonic Orchestra, the Leipzig Symphonie Orchestra, the Frankfurt Brandenburg State Orchestra, the Łódź Symphony Orchestra, the Polish Chamber Philharmonic Orchestra, the Silesian Philharmonic Katowice, the New Russia State Symphony Orchestra and the Orchestra del Carlo Felice Genova under the baton of Kurt Masur, Vasily Petrenko, Mirosław Jacek Błaszczyk, Kimbo Ishii und Juozas Domarkas. Under the baton of Maestro Kurt Masur, Albrecht Menzel performed the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto op. 64 with the Leipzig Symphony Orchestra at the Mendelssohn Festival. “…Albrecht Menzel charmed his audience with virtuoso sounds, breathtaking tempos and a rousing, lively interpretation of the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto op.64, which is heard not often in great concert halls in the world…” (Leipziger Volkszeitung 2011) Albrecht Menzel has also appeared as a soloist together with Anne-Sophie Mutter at the Philharmonie Berlin, Philharmonie Luxembourg, Palau de la Musica Barcelona, Aix-en-Provonce Grand Theatre, and toured with Anne-Sophie Mutter in the USA, Canada and Europe, giving concerts at New York`s Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center in Washington and the Roy Thomson Hall in Toronto. Albrecht Menzel has appeared at Elbphilharmonie Hamburg, Prinzregententheater Munich, NOSPR Katowice, House of Music Moscow, Teatro Carlo Felice Genova, Laeiszhalle Hamburg, Musikverein Vienna and Gasteig Munich, and has been invited to international festivals including the Mecklenburg Vorpommern Festival, Schleswig Holstein Music Festival, Rheingau Music Festival, Music Festival Dresden, International Eilat Music Festival Israel, Festival Moscow meet Friends, Sommets Musicaux de Gstaad Switzerland and George Enescu Festival. As a chamber musician Albrecht Menzel played with artists like Gidon Kremer, Jan Vogler, Steven Isserlis, Julian Rachlin, Igor Levit, Nils Mönkemeyer and Julien Quentin. Albrecht Menzel has been honored with scholarships by the Jürgen-Ponto Foundation Frankfurt, the Eduard-Söring-Prize and with the Gerd-Bucerius-scholarship by the German Music Foundation Hamburg. His Album “Thoughts”, featuring famous works “The last rose” and “Erlkönig” by Heinrich Wilhelm Ernst and sonatas by Robert Schumann, was released in 2015 on the OehmsClassics label, in a production with Radio Berlin Brandenburg. Born in 1992 in a family with silesian roots, Albrecht Menzel began playing the violin aged four and made his solo debut aged 13 at the Dresden Music Festival. He was educated by the renowned violin pedagogue professor Boris Kuschnir and studied at the University Vienna Conservatory with Julian Rachlin. Albrecht Menzel plays a violin by Antonio Stradivari (Cremona 1709), on loan by the German Music Foundation Hamburg.

Elizabeth Pitcairn

Violin virtuoso Elizabeth Pitcairn has earned a stunning reputation as one of America’s most beloved soloists. She appeared as soloist with the Philadelphia Orchestra at the Academy of Music and in the year 2000 gave her New York debut at Alice Tully Hall with the New York String Orchestra. She has since performed at Carnegie Hall, Walt Disney Concert Hall, the Fisher Center and the Kimmel Center. Passionate about youth and education, she serves as President and Artistic Director of the Luzerne Music Center which provides training for gifted young musicians ages 9 to 18 in upstate New York. Ms. Pitcairn attended the Marlboro Music Festival and is a graduate of the University of Southern California where she later taught alongside her former teacher, the renowned violin professor Robert Lipsett, and the Colburn School in Los Angeles. Her former teachers include Julian Meyer, Sylvia Ahramjian, Jascha Brodsky and Shmuel Ashkenasi. The artist performs with one of the world’s most legendary instruments, the Red Mendelssohn Stradivarius of 1720, said to have inspired the Academy Award–winning film The Red Violin. Pitcairn is featured on the 10th Anniversary edition of The Red Violin DVD in a special feature called “The Auction Block”. Named the Red Stradivarius violin while in the possession of Joseph Joachim, it was a gift from her grandfather in 1990 at Christie’s Auction in London. Originally from a musical family in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, she began the violin at age three. Pitcairn believes strongly in philanthropy and is a frequent performer for such charitable events as the American Cancer Society, the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, the Helping Hands and Hearts Foundation and the Nakashima Foundation for Peace. Her favorite activities are skiing, tennis, horseback riding, wine tasting. On the Red Mendelssohn Stradivarius, she uses the revolutionary Wittner Finetune-pegs. Her carbon titanium violin case is courtesy of GEWA.

Ella von Poucke

fot. Sarah Wijzenbeek

wiolonczelistka urodziła się w 1994 roku w Amsterdamie.  Studiowała u Fransa Helmersona w Kronberg Akademie, a obecnie u Gary’ego Hoffmana w Queen Elisabeth Music Chapel w Brukseli. Jest laureatką prestiżowego konkursu Premio Chigiana 2017 oraz Międzynarodowego Konkursu Wiolonczelowego Isang Yun 2015. Była również Artystą – rezydentem na Grachtenfestival Amsterdam 2018. Jako solistka występowała z Holenderską Orkiestrą Filharmoniczną, HR-Sinfonie Orchester, Brussels Philharmonic, Rotterdam Philharmonic Strings, Polish Chamber Orchestra, Leopoldinum Chamber Orchestra, Tongyeong Festival Orchestra i współpracowała z artystami takimi jak: Michael Sanderling i Christoph Eschenbach. Jako kameralistka występowała z Andrasem Schiffem, Garym Hoffmanem, Nobuko Imai, Tabea Zimmermann, Gidon Kremer.  Była gościem Festspiele Mecklenburg Vorpommern, Międzynarodowego Festiwalu Kamermuziek w Utrechcie, Grachten Festival Amsterdam. Wystąpiła także w niemieckiej „Stars von Morgen” prowadzonej przez Rolando Villazona.
Gra na wiolonczeli Rombouts, otrzymanej od anonimowego darczyńcy.

Voytek Proniewicz

Voytek Proniewicz made his solo debut with the Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra in 2005. Since then he has appeared with the orchestras of Wrocław Philharmonic, Szczecin Philharmonic, Rzeszów Philharmonic, Kielce Philharmonic, Gorzów Philharmonic, Toruń Symphony Orchestra as well as Sinfonia Iuventus Orchestra, Sinfonia Viva Orchestra and many youth orchestras. He performed under the baton of Jan Krenz, Jerzy Maksymiuk, Mariusz Smolij, Tadeusz Wojciechowski, Tomasz Radziwonowicz, Ewa Strusińska and played violin concertos of Mozart, Bach, Vivaldi, Tchaikovsky, Bruch as well as different works of Sarasate, Wieniawski, Lipiński, Kreisler, Lutosławski, Piazzolla. The violinist performed at the concert halls of Rudolfinum Philharmonic in Prague, Cracow Philharmonic, Baltic Philharmonic in Gdańsk, Poznań Philharmonic, Lublin Philharmonic, Silesian Philharmonic in Katowice and in many other Polish cities as well as the entire world – Vienna, Paris, Madrid, Brussels, St. Petersburg, Munich, Vilnius, Palermo, Hanoi, Bangkok, Singapore, Shanghai, Hong Kong and Caracas. Voytek Proniewicz recorded three CDs for the NAXOS record label – Karol Lipiński String Trios Op. 8 and Op. 12 (2018) – ICMA 2019 nomination, Ferenc Liszt Works for violin and piano (2014) and Pupils of Chopin (2011). The artist recorded music for the movie Chopin – The Space Concert. As a soloist performing Chopin’s Nocturne in E flat major he appeared on the CD “Polish music” performed by Sinfonia Viva Orchestra – ICMA 2017 nomination. In May 2009, Voytek Proniewicz, together with Sinfonia Viva Orchestra, gave a world premiere performance of Krzesimir Dębski’s composition „Dos Lid Far Jidisze Fidl” for violin and string orchestra. The artist performed at the Festival of Polish Music in Cracow, “Sphere of Silence” Royal Łazienki Music Festival in Warsaw, “Classics on the grass” Festival in Warsaw, Jerzy Waldorff Summer Festival in Radziejowice, the Mozartiana Mozart Festival in Gdańsk, Andrzej Nikodemowicz Festival in Lublin, Veranos de la Villa festival in Madrid, European Music Festival in Vietnam. The violinist is a 3rd prize laureate at the Ludwig van Beethoven International Competition in Hradec nad Moravici, the Czech Republic (1998), 1st prize holder at the Stanisław Serwaczyński National Violin Competition for Young Violinists in Lublin (2002), 3rd prize laureate at the 15th Kiejstut Bacewicz International Chamber Music Contest in Łódź (2004) and received a distinction at the Karol Szymanowski International Competition in Łódź (2005). Voytek Proniewicz graduated from the Fryderyk Chopin Academy of Music in Warsaw in the class of Prof. Mirosław Ławrynowicz in 2005. In 1998, the Polish Television produced and broadcast a film entitled Violin Impression which was devoted entirely to the person of the young violinist. He was also granted a scholarship by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage in 2001, the scholarship by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage “Młoda Polska” in 2009 and an award from the President of City Gliwice for Excellence in Arts and Culture in 2013.

Louise Thomas

Pianist Louise Thomas has concertized extensively throughout Europe, North America and Asia at such concert venues as the Tchaikovsky Conservatoire in Moscow, the Franz Liszt Academy Museum in Budapest, the Forbidden City Concert Hall in Beijing, Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles and Weill Hall in New York City. Louise Thomas was born in Ireland and completed undergraduate musicology studies at Trinity College, Dublin. She received a German Government scholarship to continue piano performance studies at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Hannover, Germany where she received a Konzertdiplom in the solo piano class. Dr. Thomas won second prize at the Ibla-Ragusa competition in Sicily where she was awarded the Béla Bartók Prize. She also won the concerto competition at the University of Southern California and performed with Maestro Sergiu Comissiona.  Dr. Thomas received her doctorate in piano performance in 1999 from USC where she studied with Prof. John Perry and Director of Keyboard Collaborative Arts, Dr. Alan Smith. Dr. Thomas joined Chapman University in 2001 as Director of Keyboard Collaborative Arts. In June 2014, she was named Associate Dean for Academic Affairs in the College of Performing Arts at Chapman and in 2015, was promoted to Full Professor.

Toruń Symphony Orchestra

In 2019, the Toruń Symphony Orchestra celebrates its 41st anniversary. 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). Among the significant achievements of the Toruń Orchestra is the International Summer Festival ‘Music and Architecture’ (organized every year since 1997). Every July and August, the concerts at the festival gather large audiences in the historic interiors of Toruń monuments and present the art of eminent conductors and extraordinarily talented soloists. In July 2010, the Toruń Symphony Orchestra accompanied José Carreras at his performance in the Toruń Motoarena. The orchestra has performed at a number of Polish and European festivals and recorded for the Polish Radio and Television and for the Radio Suisse Romande. In 1996, still as the Toruń Chamber Music Orchestra, the orchestra recorded the album ‘Famous Classical Miniatures’ conducted by Jerzy Salwarowski and in 1997, a monography of the music by Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy. Also in 1997, the orchestra recorded the Great Mass in C minor (KV 427) by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (conducted by Knud Vad in Soroe, Denmark). In 1999, also in Soroe, the orchestra recorded Mozart’s Requiem in D minor (KV 626), Ave verum corpus (KV 618) and Laudate Dominum (KV 339). In 2001, in Soroe, the orchestra recorded two works by Ludwig van Beethoven: Leonora Overture No. 2 (Op. 72a) and the oratory ‘Christ on the Mount of Olives’ (Op. 85) with the Soranus Choir and the Copenhagen Academic Choir (Knud Vad – conductor, Ann Petersen – soprano, Adam Zdunikowski – tenor, Ole Stovring Larsen – baritone). Another aspect of the artistic activities of the orchestra is the musical education for children and youth not only in Toruń, but also in the region (Kuiavian-Pomeranian Voivodeship). For many years, the orchestra – in collaboration with the Szymanowski Music School in Toruń – has organised special concerts to provide opportunities for young talented artists to perform as soloists. The general director of the Torun Symphony Orchestra (currently gathering 62 musicians) is Marek Czekała.