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Artists

Conductors

INGOLF WUNDER

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WOJCIECH RAJSKI

Conductor, founder and artistic director of the Polish Chamber Philharmonic Sopot.

Born in Warsaw in 1948, Wojciech Rajski is a graduate of the Music Academy in Warsaw where he studied conducting with Bogusław Madey, gaining a diploma with distinction. He then studied at the Musikhochschule in Cologne, Germany, on a DAAD scholarship. In Vienna, he participated in Master Classes with Witold Rowicki.

He made his professional debut in 1971 at the Grand Opera Theatre in Warsaw conducting the ballet Giselle. From 1974-78, he served as Artistic Director and Principal Conductor for the State Philharmonic Orchestra in Poznań and also conduced the Betovenhalleorchester during 1978-80. In 1982 he founded the Polish Chamber Philharmonic Sopot.

From 1993 to 2006 Wojciech Rajski served as Artistic Director of the Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra in Warsaw, regularly performing some of the best European concert halls in France, Switzerland, Sweden, Austria, Spain and Italy.

In addition to concert performances, he realised many recordings for Polish Radio.

Beside the regular work with Polish orchestras, Wojciech Rajski has appeared as a guest conductor with numerous orchestras in Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Mexico, England, Sweden, Greece, Spain and Germany. He has worked closely with several orchestras, including the Orchestre de la Suisse Romaine, NDR Hannover and Bayerische Rundfunk. He has performed with many soloists of world renown including Mstislav Rostropovich, Henryk Szeryng, Sabine Meyer, Ivo Pogorelich and Krystian Zimerman, who toured Germany together with Wojciech Rajski and the Junge Deutsche Philharmonie.

Wojciech Rajski has taken part in numerous international festivals including the Prague Spring, the Festival of Flanders, Festival Gran Canaria, Festspiele Europäische Wochen Passau, the Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival, Festivals at Evian and Montpellier, La Chaise Dieu and the Festival in Copenhagen. His discography includes over 50 albums for labels such as EMI, Chant du Monde, Claves, Thorofon, Tacet, Midas, Bis Wifon, KOCH, and many others. He has also records for radio and television in Poland and Germany  for SAT 1, 3 SAT and ARD.

In 1993 Wojciech Rajski began teaching, accepting a position at the Hochschule für Musik in Karlsruhe where he was awarded the title of Professor. Since 1998 he has been a Professor of Conducting at the Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst in Frankfurt am Main, and has also taught conducting classes at the Music Academy in Gdańsk since 2008. In 2010, he received the title of Professor from the President of Poland.

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Artists

IZABELA MATUŁA soprano

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PIOTR BUSZEWSKI tenor

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MACIEJ KUŁAKOWSKI cello

Born 1996 in Gdansk, he began playing the cello at age six in the class of prof. Jadwiga Ewald.

In 2015 at the age of 19, Maciej won 1st Prize and a special award at the Lutoslawski International Cello Competition. He was a Laureate in the Finals of the 2017 Queen Elisabeth Competition in Brussels and was selected for representation by Young Classical Artists Trust (YCAT) in 2019.

As a soloist Maciej has appeared with the National Philharmony Warsaw, Baltic Philharmony, Sinfonia Cracovia, Sinfonia Iuventus, the Kammerphilharmonie Bremen, Brussels Philharmonic, St. Petersburg Symphony, Calgary Symphony and Aukso: Chamber Orchestra of Tychy, among many others.

Recitals and chamber music have taken him across Europe and further afield, including the Piatigorsky Cello Festival in Los Angeles, Beijing Cello Festival, the Penderecki, Lutoslawski, Moritzburg, Kronberg, Krzyzowa Music, Hohenstaufen and Munich Rising Stars Festivals.

He has collaborated with Krzysztof Penderecki, Emanuel Ax, Christoph Eschenbach, Viviane Hagner, Charles Neidich, Arnold Steinhardt, Jan Vogler, Lawrence Power, Kian Soltani and worked with conductors Eivind Gullberg Jensen, Frank Braley and Stéphane Denève, Marek Moś in a wide range of repertoire.

Other highlights include the premiere of a new work especially written for him by Tadeusz Kassak with the Kassak Brass Ensemble and a residency at the Ozawa International Academy in Switzerland. As a member of the Wilkormirski Trio, he has given concerts throughout Poland and recorded music by Arensky for the DUX label.

Maciej studies with Wolfgang Emanuel Schmidt at the Kronberg Academy. In 2016 he received a scholarship and special prize from the Deutsche Stiftung Musikleben at the Deutscher Musikwettbewerb, and in 2015 won 2nd Prize at the TONALI Competition in Hamburg (2015).

Maciej previously studied with Marcin Zdunik at the Stanislaw Moniuszko Academy of Music in Gdańsk, Mannheim University and the Franz Liszt University of Music in Weimar. He has taken part in masterclasses with Sir Andras Schiff, Gidon Kremer, Steven Isserlis, Frans Helmerson, Mischa Maisky, Truls Mørk, Gary Hoffman, Phillippe Muller, Jens Peter Maintz, Ivan Monighetti and Andrzej Bauer.

 Maciej is playing a Thorsten Theis cello from 2014.

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HELENA VONDRÁČKOVÁ

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KATARZYNA TRYLNIK soprano

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PUMEZA MATSHIKIZA soprano

Described as “one of today’s most exciting new operatic voices” (Independent), South African soprano Pumeza Matshikiza is one of today’s rising opera stars. Being an exclusive Decca Classics recording artist, her debut album “Voice of Hope” was released in 2014, featuring arias and traditional and popular African songs. Her second album “Arias” was released in May 2016.

Pumeza Matshikiza kicks off the 19/20 season in the title role of Dvořák’s Rusalka, at the Opera National du Rhin. This is her first opera production in Strasbourg after recital, given there 2 years ago. The new production by Nicola Raab will also be the first time Dvořák’s iconic piece is shown in Strasbourg. As Rusalka she also makes her house debut at Vlaanderen Opera. There the production is staged by Norwegian choreographer Alan Lucien Øyen and therefore it also gives dance important role in it. This is the third interpretation of Dvořák’s masterpiece, where soprano takes part, after her successful debut at the Stadttheater Klagenfurt in the previous 18/19 season. Besides that, she sings 3 Hymnen of Friedrich Hölderlin by Richard Strauss together with WPR orchestra, under Gregor Bühl’s conducting, and gives special gala performance at the Kirstenbosch Gardens in South Africa.

In 18/19 season Pumeza Matshikiza made her US debut performing one of her signature roles, Mimì in Puccini’s La Bohème, with Dallas Opera. In addition, soprano gave recital with Simon Lepper at Opera North in Leeds and solo concerts with Bilkent Symphony Orchestra, under Vladimir Fanshil’s conducting, with Giorquestra, conducted by Carlo Bernini, and with Folkwang Kammerorchester, under the baton of Johannes Klumpp. Closing the season, she shared the stage with Rolando Villazón at the renowned Grafenegg Festival and the Klassik am Dom Festival in Linz and also performed Leonard Bernstein’s Kaddish at LvivMozArt Festival. Moreover, she gave singing and acting masterclasses at Prague Summer Nights Festival.

In the 17/18 season the South African soprano gave recital in Rio de Janeiro, participated in Dmitry Korchak’s Festival at Novosibirsk, Russia, and sang solo concerts with the Württembergische Philharmonie Reutlingen, the Ensemble Conductus and Windkraft at SONORA 701 Festival. The soprano also made her debut with the Staatstheater Wiesbaden, singing Mimì (La Bohème). In July 2016 she also shared the stage with tenor Rolando Villazón under the baton of Duncan Ward, giving an open-air concert at Schloss Salem.

 

Recent engagements include Pumeza Matshikiza’s debut as Eve in the world premiere of Giorgio Battistelli’s CO2 at Teatro alla Scala in Milan. The highly acclaimed production was staged by one of the most renowned contemporary opera directors – Robert Carsen, and libretto written by famous British dramatist Ian Burton. She also sang world premiere of Luca Francesconi’s Bread, Water and

Salt, based on the famous speech of Nelson Mandela, together with the Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Rome; and performed the role of Dido in Dido and Aeneas with the English Concert Orchestra as part of the Bristol Proms series. She appeared at the BBC Proms in the Park and a concert tour with Rolando Villazón that took her to Vienna’s Konzerthaus, Paris’ Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, Laeiszhalle Hamburg, Gasteig Munich, Kuppelsaal Hanover, Tonhalle Düsseldorf and Helsinki. As a five-year ensemble member of the Staatsoper Stuttgart, Pumeza Matshikiza appeared as Micaёla (Carmen), Mimì (La Bohème), Susanna (Le nozze di Figaro), Ännchen (Der Freischütz), Zerlina (Don Giovanni) and Pamina (Die Zauberflöte).

Pumeza Matshikiza studied at the University of Cape Town and the Royal College of Music. Roles at the RCM included Marenka (The Bartered Bride), Fiordiligi (Così fan tutte), Rosalinde (Die Fledermaus), Concepcion (L’heure espagnole), Poppea (L’incoronazione di Poppea) and Contessa (Le nozze di Figaro). The soprano also participated in masterclasses with renowned artists such as Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, Sir Thomas Allen, Renata Scotto, Joan Rogers, Paul Farrington, Philip Langridge and Ileana Cotrubas. She has worked with accompanists Paul Montag, Malcolm Martineau, Julius Drake, Simon Lepper.

Pumeza Matshikiza was a member of the Jette Parker Young Artists’ Programme at the Royal Opera House from 2007-2009 and could be heard as Blumenmädchen in Wagner’s Parsifal, Slave in Strauss’ Salome, Innocent (The Minotaur), Witch in Dido and Aeneas, Sandmann (Hänsel und Gretel) and Tebaldo in Verdi’s Don Carlo, conducted by Antonio Pappano. 2010 Pumeza Matshikiza was awarded with the 1st Prize in the Veronica Dunne International Singing Competition and became an Associate Artist of the Classical Opera Company, singing the title role in Mozart’s Zaide for which she was awarded with the Patrick Fyffe-Dame Hilda Brackett Prize.

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ROLANDO VILLAZON tenor

Through his uniquely compelling performances with leading opera houses and orchestras around the world, Rolando Villazón has firmly established himself as one of the music world’s most critically acclaimed and beloved stars and as one of the leading tenors of our day. Heralded as “the most charming of today’s divos” (The Times) with “a wonderfully virile voice…grandezza, elegance and power” (Süddeutsche Zeitung), Rolando Villazón is among the most versatile artists of today, maintaining successful careers as a stage director, novelist, and TV personality next to his on-stage career.

Rolando Villazón is one of the most sought-after performers of his generation and is a regular guest on the most renowned stages such as the State Operas in Berlin, Munich and Vienna, Milan’s Teatro alla Scala, the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, the Metropolitan Opera New York as well as the Salzburg Festival. He frequently collaborates with leading orchestras and conductors such as Daniel Barenboim and Yannick Nézet-Séguin on concert stages all over the world.

He made his directing debut in 2010 in Lyon and has since directed productions for the Festspielhaus Baden-Baden, the Deutsche Oper Berlin, the Vienna Volksoper and for Deutsche Oper am Rhein Düsseldorf. An exclusive recording artist with Deutsche Grammophon since 2007, Rolando Villazón has recorded over 20 CDs and DVDs and has sold worldwide over 2 million albums which have received numerous prizes. He is also a Chévalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in France, acts as ambassador for the Red Noses Clown Doctors International charity, and is a member of the Collège de Pataphysique Paris. In 2013, Rolando Villazón’s debut novel “Malabares” was published in Spain. German and French translations of the novel have been published in 2014. His second novel “Paladas de sombra contra la oscuridad” (“Lebenskünstler”) was published in Germany in April 2017 and his third novel will be published in summer 2020.

In early 2017, Rolando Villazón was appointed ambassador of the Salzburg Mozarteum Foundation and in July 2017, he was named artistic director of the Salzburg Mozart Week from 2019 onwards.

www.rolandovillazon.com

Rolando Villazón appears by arrangement with CSAM.

Mr. Villazón records exclusively for Deutsche Grammophon.

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Compere

MARIUSZ SZCZYGIEŁ

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TADEUSZ DESZKIEWICZ

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MONIKA RICHARDSON

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