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Soloists

CARLOS PEÑA MONTOYA harp

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NATALIA EGIELMAN flute

Natalia Egielman was born in Gdańsk, Poland in 1997. She started playing flute at the age of seven in the Primary and Secondary Music School “Feliks Nowowiejski” in Gdańsk in the class of Małgorzata Dubrowińska-Egielman, which she graduated with distinction in 2016. Since October 2016 she has been studying in the class of Professor Michael Martin Kofler, at the Mozarteum University in Salzburg, Austria. In Summer 2020 she graduated from her bachelor’s degree and has started her Master studies in Fall 2020.

She is the laureate of more than 50 national and international music competitions. Her most important awards are: 1st Prize and Grand Prix at the 1st International Flute Competition in Jastrzębie Zdrój (2010), 1st Prize at the 34th Young Musician Competition in Szczecinek (2010), 2nd Prize at the 1st International Eugeniusz Towarnicki Flute Competition in Poznań (2020), Grand Prix at Der Karel-Kunc-Musikwettbewerb in Bad Dürkheim, Germany (2011), 1st Prize and Grand Prix at the 3rd  International Solo Flute Competition Il Flauto Ricercato in Łódź (2012), 1st Prize at the National Wind Instrument Competition Miniature 2013 in Bydgoszcz (2013), 3rd Prize at the 2nd International Flute Competition in Warsaw (2013), 1st Prize at the 8th International Wind Instruments Competition in Wrocław (2014), 1st Prize at the 6th National Flute Competition Marian Katarzyński in Sosnowiec (2015), 1st Prize at the 11th International Flute Competition in Sieradz (2016), Semi-finalist Diploma at the 7th International Flute Competition in Cracow (2017), Distinctive Diploma at the 1st National Competition for Piano Duos in Gdansk (2018), 2nd Prize and the Audience Prize (as a country representative), at the Lions European Music Competition (Europa Forum ’18) in Skopje, Macedonia (2018), 2nd Prize at the 1st International Eugeniusz Towarnicki Flute Competition in Poznań (2020).

Natalia Egielman three times (in 2011, 2013 and 2015) received a grant of Minister of Culture and National Heritage. She was a recipient of Minister of Culture and National Heritage Scholarship “Young Poland” in 2014.
For exceptional academic results Natalia twice (in 2017 and 2018) received the Mozarteum’s University Chancellor’s Scholarship.
Since 2016 her studies at the “Mozarteum” University have been supported by the President of Gdańsk with the Gabriel Daniel Fahrenheit Scientific Scholarship.

Natalia Egielman, as a soloist and an orchestra musician, has been invited to play concerts in venues such as the Golden Hall in Musikverein in Vienna, Neues Palais Sanssouci in Potsdam, Shenzhen Concert Hall, Zhongshan Culture and Art Center (China), Polish Baltic Philharmonic, Baltic Opera, Radio “Gdańsk”, Łazienki Park, The Royal Castle and The Grand Theatre – National Opera in Warsaw.

Since 2013 Natalia has been working with Polish Chamber Philharmonic Orchestra of Maestro Wojciech Rajski. Several times she has also been invited to work with Mozarteum Orchester, Baltic Youth Philharmonic, Philharmonie Salzburg, Mozarteum Symphony Orchestra, Bläserphilharmonie Mozarteum.

In November 2021 Natalia recorded a solo album with contemporary pieces for flute written by Polish composers.

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MARCIN PATRZAŁEK guitar

known simply as Marcin, is a Polish guitarist, composer, producer and arranger. He is the winner of two major talent shows in Europe, as well as semifinalist of America’s Got Talent. His music videos and performances amassed much over 200 million views online, and were discussed by notable publishers such as Rolling Stone, Metal Hammer, Classic FM, Guitar World, Billboard etc. He has toured multiple continents, and played venues such as the Royal Albert Hall. He is known primarily for combining percussive guitar playing with modern electronic production, orchestral music, as well as classical and flamenco techniques.

Marcin first gained popularity in 2015 after winning Poland’s largest music TV talent show Must Be The Music. After local success he went on to release his independent debut EP HUSH at age 16, accompanied by singles including Marcin’s percussive arrangement of a legendary classical guitar piece “Asturias”. The video of the arrangement was released through instrumental label CandyRat Records, and became extremely popular among guitarists initially amassing 10 million views on Youtube and Facebook. This was his first major video, he was 14 at the time of Asturias’ recording.

In subsequent years Marcin’s popularity grew rapidly beyond Polish borders with mainstream audiences due to multiple viral releases online. His videos were posted by notable publishers such as Classic FM and Metal Hammer, as well as independently on his channels. His performances have amassed over 200 million views online, the main contributors to this number being his solo acoustic guitar arrangements of legendary tracks from genres such as classical, hip-hop, pop and metal, e.g. Moonlight Sonata, Kashmir, Beethoven’s 5th Symphony, Shape of You, Still D.R.E., Toxicity. He also writes and produces original material, which gains millions of views as well.

In 2018 Marcin became an official endorser of Ibanez Guitars. Fishman Pickups, Elixir Strings, Klotz Cables and other companies were soon to follow. As of now he has become the leading presence of acoustic guitar for Ibanez (one of the worlds largest guitar producers). He is working on unannounced exciting projects with them.

At the end of the same year Marcin won his second major talent show – the biggest Italian TV entertainment program Tu Si Que Vales, being the first contestant ever to get a 100% “yes” vote from the public, and a golden buzzer pass.

Next year Marcin was invited to his last talent show, America’s Got Talent. He reached the semifinal. Marcin’s videos of AGT performances became some of the most viral in the show, gathering tens of millions of views on each one.

Despite his age Marcin is an experienced touring musician and has played around the world in places like USA, South Africa, UK, Mexico, France, Malta, Germany, Poland and more… Due to his following and stage presence he has received invitations from numerous concert promotors around the world, for tours, single concerts and festivals.
He has built up a huge following online with over 600k subscribers on YouTube, 1.1M followers on TikTok, 460k followers on Instagram, 600k followers on Facebook, and as mentioned 200M+ views.

Unfortunately his quick rise in popularity coincided with the start of the COVID pandemic. After focusing on his online presence during lockdown, and education at Berklee College of Music in Boston, Marcin came back to the stage with seven performances at the Royal Albert Hall alongside the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra as a part of the Classical Spectacular show, in March 2022.

In early 2020 Marcin signed a global contract with Sony Masterworks, a division of Sony Music, being likely the first percussive guitarist to sign a deal with a major label. In 2020 he released two official singles – his arrangement of Moonlight Sonata, and an original reggaeton track Snow Monkey. Moonlight Sonata arranged and produced by Marcin includes modern production, the use of 808s, along with trap, orchestral string, and flamenco influences. The single gathered over 1 million YouTube views in less than a month, and now has 6.6 million. His Moonlight Sonata has been used in an ad campaign by luxury clothing brand Gucci. As a young artist Marcin is looking to expand his repertoire in the near future: now working to collaborate with popular singers and producers, with orchestras to accompany his percussive arrangements, and constantly experimenting on how to create a major show during his concerts. His version of Moonlight Sonata has been named no. 1 on Classic FM’s list of best interpretations of the piece.

In early 2021 Marcin’s 1-minute Kashmir arrangement became a TikTok and Instagram sensation, with an array of major figures from music and beyond expressing admiration. An official version of Kashmir on One Guitar followed. It became Marcin’s fastest growing music video and was noted by multiple global publications, such as a full article on Rolling Stone.

Due to the visually engaging and dynamic way of his playing Marcin’s live performances have been successful on TV stations around the world, and on the Internet. During the COVID pandemic Marcin increased his social media output significantly. His continued prolific output on Instagram and TikTok led to him being praised by major figures in music and beyond, and appearing on many TV programs globally.
He is currently working on his major label debut album.

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JOSE TORRES & HAVANA DREAMS

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THIAGO ARANCAM tenor

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SONDRA RADVANOVSKY soprano

Soprano Sondra Radvanovsky is a globally celebrated artist. The depth and exquisite color of her voice are matched by her dramatic acting ability and versatility across a remarkable range of repertoire, from the title roles in Rusalka and Lucrezia Borgia, to Roxanne in Cyrano de Bergerac and the title role in Manon Lescaut. She is widely regarded as one of the premiere Verdi sopranos alive today, as well as one of the premiere interpreters of bel canto.

Radvanovsky begins the season 21/22 on the operatic stage with her debut in Macbeth (Lady Macbeth) at the Lyric Opera of Chicago, in Tosca (Floria Tosca) at the Metropolitan Opera in New York and to the Teatro alla Scala in Milan in the role of Amelia in a new production of Verdi’s Un ballo in maschera. The soprano stars in the concert version of The Three Queens at the Teatro San Carlo in Naples, Italy, and makes her role debut as Turandot in Puccini’s Turandot at the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Rome, alongside Jonas Kaufmann and conducted by Maestro Antonio Pappano which will be recorded for Warner Classics. The season ends with Sondra Radvanovsky singing performances of Verdi’s Un ballo in maschera at the Munich State Opera and singing a recital with pianist Anthony Manoli at the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires and one gala concert at the Forest Opera in Sopot, Poland.

She has performed in every major opera house in the world, including the Royal Opera House, Teatro alla Scala, Opernhaus Zürich, and numerous others. Her signature interpretations of Verdi’s heroines include the title roles in Aïda and Luisa Miller, Elvira in Ernani, Elena in I Vespri Siciliani, Elisabeth de Valois in Don Carlo, Amelia in Simon Boccanegra, and Lina in Stiffelio, among others.

She trained at the Metropolitan Opera in the late 1990s in the Lindemann Young Artist Development Program. After performances in smaller roles there, Radvanovsky caught the attention of critics as Antonia in Les Contes d’Hoffmann and was singled out as a soprano to watch. On the concert platform, she has sung with the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the Verbier Festival Orchestra, both with James Levine; with the Chicago Symphony and David Zinman; with the San Francisco Symphony and James Conlon, and with the Bayerische Staatsoper and Zubin Mehta.

Radvanovsky’s debut recording, Verdi Arias, was released in April 2010 on the Delos label. The album quickly became a critical hit and made several season-best lists, including those of NPR and The New Yorker. In 2011 Delos released a CD of Verdi opera scenes with Radvanovsky and her frequent artistic partner Dmitri Hvorostovsky to coincide with the pair’s return to the Met stage in Il Trovatore. The disc was recorded with the Philharmonia of Russia and Constantine Orbelian.

Radvanovsky is no stranger to the screen. She stars in a Naxos DVD of Cyrano de Bergerac alongside Plácido Domingo, and in Il Trovatore, Un Ballo in Maschera, and Roberto Devereux for the wildly popular “Met: Live in HD” series. She has also been an enthusiastic host for the “Live in HD” transmissions of La Fanciulla del West, Otello, and Francesca da Rimini.

Born just outside Chicago, Radvanovsky now makes her home with her husband near Toronto and has dual citizenship.

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STEFAN PLEWNIAK violin, music leader

Stefan Plewniak received his initial violin training in is hometown, Krakow, where he studied with professor Barbara Śliwicka-Wysocka at the Krakow Academy of Music. He continued his studies under professor Robert Szreder at Maastricht Conservatory in the Netherlands and professor F.rancois Fernandez at Conservatoire National Superieur de Musique et de Danse in Paris.

His interest in playing the baroque violin was sparked during collaboration with Les Gôuts Reunis ensemble in the Netherlands. Subsequently, he has performed in many significant ensembles and orchestras, such as Cappella Cracoviensis, Warsaw Polish Radio Orchestra, Krakow Philharmonic, Kammeroper Köln and Amsterdam Symphony Orchestra. He has participated in numerous music festivals: Baroque Musique Festival d’Auvergne, Wildwood Festival, UM Maastricht Festival and Baroque Musique Festival d’Auberville, as well as Bach Festivals and Oude Muzik Festival Utrecht.

He collaborated with many renowned ensembles as a concertmaster, including Contrasto Armonico in the Hague, Marguerite Louise Ensemble in Paris and Orchestra 1756 in Salzburg. He also performed with other major orchestras in Europe such as William Christie’s Les Arts Florissants in Paris and Jordi Savall’s Le Concert des Nations in Barcelona.

He is the founder and leader of the Cantate.fr ensemble in Paris, Il Giardino d’Amore orchestra in Vienna/ Krakow and Cappella dell’Ospedale della Pietà. Stefan Plewniak was supported by the Meyer Foundation, Gouvernement Francais and Société Générale de Paris. Since 2013 he recorded CD’s with Jordi Savall & Le Concert des Nations, Marco Vitale & Contrasto Armonico, as well as with his orchestras Il Giardino d’Amore and Cappella dell’Ospedale della Pietà.

He performed as a soloist and leader in many important festivals and venues, among others the Oude Muzik Festival (Utrecht), Bach Festival (Vienna), Tartini Festival (Pirano), Styriarte Festival (Graz), Early Music Celebration (New York), Mozarteum Salzburg and Carnegie Hall. Stefan Plewniak regularly presents Masterclasses in Oslo, Norway as well as at the University of South California in L.A. and San Diego, Roosevelt University Chicago.

He is specializing in the opera and ballet repertoire from baroque era to 19th century repertoire. In 2015 /2016 Stefan Plewniak was conducting the opera productions during the Opera Festivals in Bydgoszcz and Warsaw as well as the Tchaikovsky ballet production in Norway. In 2017 – 2018 he is invited again to conduct in Warsaw and Oslo.

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JAKUB JÓZEF ORLIŃSKI countertenor

Polish countertenor Jakub Józef Orliński, Grand Finals winner of the 2016 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and winner of the 2015 Marcella Sembrich International Vocal Competition, is quickly gaining a reputation as a singer of striking vocal beauty and daring stage craft.

The 2016-17 season includes performances of Handel’s Messiah at Carnegie Hall with both Musica Sacra and Oratorio Society of New York, and for his debut with the Houston Symphony. He will join the Karlsruhe Handel Festival to sing Vivaldi’s Nisi Dominus and excerpts from Handel’s Dixit Dominus. He will debut with the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence in Cavalli’s opera Erismena, and makes his Oper Frankfurt debut.

While in Poland, Mr. Orliński performed the roles of Cupid in Venus & Adonis by Blow and Narciso in Agrippina by Handel. While in Germany, he performed the role of Ruggiero in Handel’s Alcina in Aachen and Cottbus, performed select Purcell songs with ballet at the Leipzig Opera House, and Philippus in Telemann’s Der Misslungene Braut-Wechsel oder Richardus I (based on Handel’s Riccardo Primo, Re d’Inghilterra) in Gießen.

Mr. Orliński has triumphed in several vocal competitions: the 1st Place Winner at the Oratorio Society of New York’s 2016 Lyndon Woodside Oratorio-Solo Competition, the 1st and 2nd annual International Early Music Vocal Competitions in Poland, where he received “Special Mention” and “Special Prize,” respectively, first prize at Rudolf Petrák’s Singing Competition in Slovakia, 3rd place at the Debut Competition in Igersheim, Germany, Special Mention at the 8th Annual Mazovian Golden Voices Competition in Poland, and 3rd place at Le Grand Prix de l’Opera in Bucharest, Romania.

While working toward his Master’s degree in vocal performance at the Fryderyk Chopin University of Music in Warsaw, he participated in the prestigious young artist programs at both Teatr Wielki and Opera Narodowa. He is currently working toward his Graduate Diploma at The Juilliard School, studying with Edith Wiens.

In his spare time, Mr. Orliński enjoys breakdancing, in addition to other styles of dance. His achievements in this arena include prizes in many dance competitions: 4th place at the Red Bull BC One Poland Cypher competition, 2nd place on the Stylish Strike – Top Rock Contest and 2nd place at The Style Control competition, among others. He has also been featured in a commercial for the street wear company CROPP, as well as featured as a dancer, model and acrobat in campaigns for Levi’s, Nike, Turbokolor, Samsung, Mercedes-Benz, MAC Cosmetics, Danon and Algida.

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MICHAEL MARTIN KOFLER flute

Michael Martin Kofler was born in 1966 in Villach and finished his studies with highest marks at the Academy of Music in Vienna with Prof. Wolfgang Schulz and Prof. Werner Tripp and at the Music Academy Basel with Peter-Lukas Graf. During this time he also attended masterclasses with Aurele Nicolet and Andre Jaunet.

In 1987 Michael Martin Kofler became principal flutist of the Gustav-Mahler-Youth Orchestra under the leadership of Claudio Abbado, in December 1987 Maestro Sergiu Celibidache engaged him as 1. principal flutist of the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra, where he is now still playing under the leadership of James Levine and – since 2004 – Christian Thielemann.

Already since his early youth Michael Martin Kofler won several prizes at international competitions, such as Prague, Brussels, Bari, Uelzen and the ARD-competition Munich. He was awarded the price of the Austrian Ministry of Art and Science.

Since 1983 Michael Martin Kofler is giving solo concerts, recitals, chambermusic evenings in whole Europe and Japan and has been engaged for CD- and radio recordins as well as TV performances. He is a regular popular guest with more than 80 renowned orchestras in Europe and elsewhere.

He is constantly working together as soloist with famous conductors like James Levine, Sir Neville Marriner, Dimitri Kitajenko, Fabio Luisi, Herbert Blomstedt, Frans Brüggen, Hans Graf, Pavel Kogan, Etc.

As chambermusician he plays together with many prestigious artist.

In addition since 1989 Michael Martin Kofler is professor at the University of Music and Dramatic Arts Mozarteum Salzburg with very big success and holds masterclasses in Europe, America, Korea, Japan and takes part as panel of judges at important competitions such as ARD-Munich, Cremona, Etc.

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