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Artists

Conductors

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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PAWEŁ PRZYTOCKI

Paweł Przytocki is one of the most talented and exciting Polish conductors of his generation.He studied at the Academy of Music in Kraków, where he graduated with honors in the Faculty of Conducting (1985) under Professor Jerzy Katlewicz. He perfected his skills at the Bartok International Seminar with Peter Eötvös, the Master Conducting Course within the Oregon Bach Festival in Eugene with Helmuth Rilling .

From 1987 to 1988 Przytocki collaborated with the Grand Opera Theatre in Lodz.

From 1988 to 1991 he was the conductor and Music Director of the Baltic Philharmonic Orchestra in Gdansk.

In May 1990 he made his debut with the National Philharmonic in Warsaw. From 1995 to 1997 Przytocki was Music Director of the Artur Rubinstein Philharmonic Orchestra in Łódz.

Przytocki is a regular guest conductor with orchestras throughout Poland as well as with Budapest Concert Orchestra, Orchestra Sinfonica de Xalapa in Mexico, Real Filharmonia de Galicia in Spain, Capella Istropolitana in Bratislava, Philharmonisches Staatsorchester Halle, Neue Philharmonie Westfalen, Bilkent Symphony Orchestra Ankara,Janacek Philharmonic Orchestra Ostrava, National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine, Slovak Philharmonic in Bratislava, Santiago Philharmonic in Chile,Zagreb Philharmonic ,New Haifa Symphony Orchesta and Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra.

Paweł Przytocki has participated in numerous international music festivas, including the Athens Festival 1987, the Musikfest Stuttgart 1988, the Flanders Festival 1989, La Chaise- Dieu Festival 1996, Kissinger Sommer 1998, Bratislava Music Festival 1999, Prague Spring 2001,Wratislavia Cantans/2005.

Hs guest performances and concerts tours have led throughout Europe at a great numer of venues, including the Musikverein in Vienna , the Konzerhaus in Berlin,the Bela Bartok National Concert Hall in Budapest, the Teatro Municipal in Santiago, the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris, Palais des Beaux in Brussels , the Musikhalle in Hamburg and Beethovenhalle in Bonn.

From 2005 Przytocki was the conductor of the National Opera in Warsaw.Highlights of his time at the National Opera included conducting Aram Khachaturian’s ballet Spartacus; Tchaikovsky’s opera “Eugene Oniegin”; Verdi’s “La Traviata” ;Puccini’s “La Boheme” and the ballet based on “Eugene Oniegin”- choreographed by John Cranko

He has made archival recordings for Polish Radio and CD for DUX,Aurophon and Point Classic. His recording of Rachmaninoff`s First Symphony in 1991 has been appreciated by the american” La Folia Music Review Magazine” in a very special way.The magazin put it to the world`s five best recordings and compared it to those of Carlos Kleiber and Svjatoslav Richter.

From 2008 to 2012, Pawel Przytocki was the Chairman and Artistic Director of the Philharmonic in Krakow.

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MATTHIAS KUHN

Matthias Kuhn performs a wide range of musical activities as a conductor and a cellist with prestigious ensembles both in Switzerland and abroad. In recent years he has performed at the Menuhin Festival Gstaad, the Biennale Zagreb, the Theaterspektakel Zürich and the festival MESS Sarajevo. He has also realised numerous projects in Berne, at the cultural centre Zentrum Paul Klee and the Municipal Theatre among others.

Matthias Kuhn has helped to shape the musical scene in Berne and surroundings in many ways for years: He has been the principal conductor of Medizinerorchester Bern (Bernese Doctors’ Orchestra) – a position he also filled from 2004 to 2006 in the Akademisches Orchester (Academic Orchestra) in Freiburg i. Br, Germany. In 2006/07 Matthias Kuhn was moreover put in charge of an opera production as a visiting lecturer at the Y Institute of Transdisciplinarity at the Hochschule der Künste Bern HKB (Berne College of Arts).

His artistic work crosses boundaries between different genres. Thus he dedicates himself to chamber music, as a visiting conductor with Camerata Berne, the chamber orchestras of Berne and Basle, the Collegium Novum Zürich as well as the Württembergisches Kammerorchester Heilbronn, Germany. He is one of the persons responsible for the programming of the Berne-based chamber ensemble “La Strimpellata” whose permanent conductor he also is. As a cellist, in particular, Matthias Kuhn is predominantly devoted to chamber music, together with his duo partners Eva-Maria Zimmermann or Alexander Ruef (piano) and Romano Giefer (harpsichord).

In equal measure he has, however, worked with symphony orchestras such as the Bern Symphony Orchestra with which he regularly performs as a visiting conductor. With the OPUS Orchestra he debuted in opera with the much publicised world premiere of Christian Henking’s „Leonce and Lena“ at Stadttheater Bern (Berne’s Municipal Theatre) in 2004. He has moreover worked with the symphony orchestras of Basle, Biel and St. Gall, with Targu-Meres Philharmonic (Rumania), as well as the Philharmonie Südwestfalen and the Württembergische Philharmonie in Germany.

Full of curiosity Matthias Kuhn likewise switches back and forth between different musical eras. He is equally dedicated to historically informed performance – for instance in concerts with the Neue Orchester Köln, the Freitagsakademie, the Affetti Musicali or in the framework of the Händel Festspiele Karlsruhe – as to contemporary music. He has performed contemporary compositions with Collegium Novum Zürich, basel sinfonietta, the piano quartett Charmillon which he cofounded, as well as with La Strimpellata and the SONEMUS Ensemble Sarajevo among others.

As varied as his activities are the musical influences that have shaped him: In addition to his studies in Berne and with Prof. Dr. P. Gülke in Freiburg i. Br., Germany, he has worked with renowned artists such as Claudio Abbado, Pierre Boulez, Lorin Maazel, Isaac Stern und Leon Fleisher in the framework of masterclasses and festivals. He has moreover been awarded the S.&N. Kay–Fellowship for conducting at the Tanglewood Music Festival where he studied with Seiji Ozawa, André Previn and Jorma Panula.

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Artists

PETER JABLONSKI piano

Born in the south of Sweden to Swedish and Polish parents, Peter showed an early talent for music when he started playing the drums at the age of five and piano at six. Rapid development on the drums led to performances at some major festivals and venues including the `Village Vanguard` in New York when he was aged nine and with musicians such as Buddy Rich and Thad Jones. Peter even received praise from the legendary Miles Davis.

Meanwhile, Peter developed an interest in the classical piano repertoire which led to his first solo performance at the age of eleven and his orchestral debut, playing Mozart’s Piano Concerto in G, K.453 the following year. At this time he was accepted into the Malmo Academy of Music to pursue studies in piano and percussion, and by the time of his graduation he was invited to perform Beethoven’s Concerto No.1 with the Swedish, Danish and Polish radio orchestras.

Further studies in piano and conducting followed at the Royal College of Music in London when, in his final year, Jablonski was heard by Vladimir Ashkenazy who invited him to record his debut disc for Decca with Ashkenazy conducting the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in London.

Two years later he again joined forces with Ashkenazy and the RPO, this time playing Shostakovich’s Piano Concerto No.1, Rachmaninov’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini and Lutoslawski’s Paganini Rhapsody, a work he studied with the composer. The CD of this performance won the coveted Edison award for “Best Concerto Recording”.

Other recordings include the Complete Concertos of Tchaikovsky conducted by Peter Maag and Charles Dutoit, the Scriabin Concerto and Prometheus with Vladimir Ashkenazy, the Complete Sonatas by Prokofiev and several other discs with solo works by Chopin, Liszt, Mussorgsky, Grieg and the cello sonatas of Prokofiev & Shostakovich with Ralph Kirshbaum. His most recent recording is of Mazurkas by Chopin, Szymanowski and Maciejewski for the Altara label. A live performance of Gershwin’s Second Rhapsody was issued in March 2010 by the BBC Music Magazine.

Since his debut in Washington DC in 1992 and at the Royal Festival Hall in London 1993, Peter has worked with many of the world’s finest orchestras including the Philadelphia Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Philharmonia, BBC Symphony, DSO Berlin, Leipzig Gewandhaus, Kirov, Tonhalle Zurich, Orchestre Nationale de France, La Scala Philharmonic and NHK Tokyo conducted by, among others, Riccardo Chailly, Myung-Whun Chung, Charles Dutoit, Valery Gergiev, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Daniele Gatti, Kurt Sanderling and Esa-Pekka Salonen.

This season will include performances with the Seoul Philharmonic and Chung, the Beethoven Orchestra Bonn, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic, Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie, Ensemble Orchestral de Paris, Tokyo Symphony and Osaka Philharmonic as part of Peter’s 18th tour of Japan. Peter will also be appearing with the Mostly Mozart Orchestra at Lincoln Center, New York under the baton of Louis Langree.

Later this season he will be recording Mozart’s Piano Concerto No.17 and Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No.1, directing the Swedish Chamber Philharmonia from the keyboard. Recently Peter has taken up conducting and has worked with a number of European orchestras. Next season will see him conducting the Krakow Philharmonic.

Always a passionate chamber musician, Peter is the Artistic director of the Karlskrona Chamber Music Festival in the South of Sweden.

Peter received the Orpheus award for his world premier performance of Wojciech Kilar’s Piano Concerto at the Warsaw Autumn Festival, a work written for and dedicated to him. In 2005 he was awarded the Litteris et Artibus medal by the King of Sweden.

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JUSTYNA STECZKOWSKA soprano

Justyna Steczkowska is a singer, composer, and actress. She was born on August 2nd, 1972, so the Jubilee Concert of the Polish Chamber Philharmonic Orchestra is a splendid occasion for her to celebrate her 40th birthday. She graduated from the Music High School in Rzeszow and polished her skills as a violinist at the Gdansk Music Academy. Together with her family she created a band that became very popular in the TV programme Meetings of Music Families.

Steczkowska sang in rock bands, such as Agressiva 69, Wanka Wstanka and Revolutio Cordis. She also participated in jazz projects, creating her own band „Shoco & Duet”. Her professional career took off in 1994, when she won first place in the singing contest A Chance for Success.  She subsequently represented Poland at the 1995 Eurovision Music Contest.

She has appeared in films including Billboard and Till the End of the World. She starred in a trans-opera created for the Musical Theater in Gdynia, where she also played the double leading female role in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. She has collaborated with top Polish musicians, such as Irena Santor, Grzegorz Turnau, Voo Voo, Maciej Maleńczuk, Jan A.P. Kaczmarek, Tomasz Stańko and Marcin Pospieszalski, to mention just a few.

Justyna Steczkowska has recorded 12 studio solo albums, the latest being her anniversary album summing up 15 years on stage. The album, entitled XV, was released in April this year. Almost everybody recognizes Justyna’s amazing and unique voice. Her extraordinary range that reaches over four octaves and has brought her fans both in Poland and abroad.

She is undoubtedly a multi-talented person, who has made herself known not only as a singer, but also as an actress, violinist, composer of film and TV scores, lyricist, dancer and, surprisingly, an amazing photographer.

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KATARZYNA MYCKA marimba

Besides her years of study at the music academies in Gdansk, Stuttgart and Salzburg, where she graduated with honors, her artistic development has been documented by numerous prizes at international competitions. She won not only the Luxembourg International Percussion Competition for Marimba Solo, as well as the Audience Prize in 1995, but also the First World Marimba Competition in Stuttgart in 1996. She has also been successful at other percussion competitions, winning First Prize at the 1991 Polish Percussion Competition in Opole and being awarded a special prize in the

form of a stipend for foreign study at the 1992 “Concours International d’Execution Musicale” in Geneva. She was also a finalist at the 1997 ARD Competition in Munich.

In 1997, she appeared as a soloist at the First Marimba Festival in Osaka, Japan, in 2004 she performed at the International Marimba Festival in Linz, Austria and at the most important marimba event until today, the International Marimba Festival in Minneapolis 2010. She is a guest soloist with many philharmonic and chamber orchestras all over the world.

After being awarded the honor of “Ambassadress of Polish Percussive Arts” by the Polish Percussive Arts Society in 1999, a scholarship from the Baden-Württemberg Artistic Foundation followed, as well as invitations to perform in concerts and give master classes in the U.S.A., Germany, Poland, Japan, China, Korea, Mexico, Luxembourg, Belgium, Bulgaria and Switzerland.

Katarzyna Myćka made her American debut at the International Percussion Festival PASIC 1997 in Anaheim, then in 2001 and 2008 she came back to PASIC performances in Nashville and Austin. Meanwhile, Katarzyna Myćka has been called upon to serve on the juries of international percussion and marimba competitions including in Luxembourg in 1999 and 2002, Warsaw in 2000, Ostrava, Czech Republic in 2001, and at the Federal German Competition Jugend Musiziert in 2004 and 2007, Plovdiv, Bulgaria in 2005, 2007 and 2009, and at the International Marimba Competition in Linz, Austria in 2006, the Concours de Genève in 2009, and in Bonn, Germany in 2010. For three years she taught marimba at the Music Academy in Poznan and also collaborated with the Music Academy in Mannheim.

Following CDs have been released:

1997 Katarzyna Myćka – Marimba Spiritual

1999 Katarzyna Myćka – Marimba Dance

2001 Katarzyna Myćka – Marimba Concerto

2003 Katarzyna Myćka – Marimba Sculpture

2005 Mycka/Bacanu – J. S. Bach – Marimba Concertos

2008 Katarzyna Myćka – Marimba Classica

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IGOR CECOCHO trumpet

Igor Cecocho is a graduate of the Belarus Academy of Music, where he studied under Prof. N. Volkov. From 1979 to 1990 he was a soloist at the Minsk Bolshoi Theatre Symphony Orchestra. He lectured at the Belarus Academy of Music from 1986 to 1990.

A laureate of several trumpet competitions, including the international competition in Daugavpils in 1983, he was a soloist of the W. Lutoslawski Philharmonic Orchestra in Wroclaw from 1992 to 2006. In October 1990 Igor Cecocho took over the direction of trumpet studies at the Academy of Music in Wroclaw and, beginning in 2006, at the Academy of Music in Łódź. He has appeared as a soloist in Poland and abroad, playing on modern and historical trumpets.

Igor Cecocho has performed with the majority of Polish symphony and chamber orchestras, including  Sinfonia Varsovia and Concerto Polacco, and appeared together with such maestros as Jerzy Maksymiuk, Robert Satanowski, Reinhard Seehafer (Germany), Larry Livingston (USA), Martin Hardy (Britain), Nikolai Dyadiura (Ukraine),  Marek Pijarowski and Jerzy Salwarowski.

Among his chamber performances are collaborations with Emma Kirkby, Crispian Steele-Perkins, Paul Esswood, Gillian Keith, Daniel Stabrawa and Andrzej Chorosinski.

Igor Cecocho has recorded for radio, television and CD. He has world premiered numerous contemporary works, given master classes and trained several laureates of international competitions.

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Compere