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Artists

Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra

An ambassador of Polish culture on the international artistic scene.

The Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra (NOSPR) has collaborated with some of the greatest composers of the second half of the 20th century – Witold Lutosławski, Henryk Mikołaj Górecki and Krzysztof Penderecki, giving the first performances of their works.

The NOSPR was founded in 1935 in Warsaw by Grzegorz Fitelberg, who led it until the outbreak of the Second World War. In 1945, the Orchestra was revived in Katowice by Witold Rowicki. In 1947, the post of artistic director was taken again by Grzegorz Fitelberg. After his death (1953), the Orchestra was headed by Jan Krenz, Bohdan Wodiczko, Kazimierz Kord, Tadeusz Strugała, Jerzy Maksymiuk, Stanisław Wisłocki, Jacek Kaspszyk, Antoni Wit, Gabriel Chmura and, once again, Jacek Kaspszyk. In September 2000, Joanna Wnuk-Nazarowa became the NOSPR’s General and Programme Director. In August 2012, Alexander Liebreich became Chief Conductor and Artistic Director. In September 2018, Ewa Bogusz-Moore will take up the post of the NOSPR’s Director.

Apart from making archive recordings for Polish Radio, the Orchestra has recorded more than 200 CDs for many renowned record labels. The NOSPR has garnered numerous awards, including Diapason d’Or, Grand Prix du Disque de la Nouvelle Académie du Disque and International Classical Music Awards.

Many distinguished conductors and soloists have appeared with the NOSPR, which has performed throughout Europe, as well as in the Americas, Japan, Hong Kong, China, Australia, New Zealand, Korea and the Persian Gulf. The NOSPR has implemented numerous internationally acclaimed projects, such as ‘Maraton twórczości Góreckiego’ ‘Pociąg do muzyki Kilara’, ‘Muzyczne podróże morskie’.

Since 2015 the NOSPR – winner of 2018 ICMA Special Award – has organised the Katowice Kultura Natura Festival, and since 2005 the Festival of World Premieres – Polish Modern Music.

Alexander Humala

He studied choral and orchestral conducting at the Belarusian State Academy of Music and the Rotterdam Conservatory.

He took part in masterclasses leading by Colin Metters, Jorma Panula, Marin Alsop i.a. He assisted such maestros as Stanisław Skrowaczewski, Christoph Eschenbach, Lorin Maazel, Krzysztof Penderecki, Martyn Brabbins.
He is the winner of the Choral Conductors Competitions in Riga and Wrocław. He has been given the Award of the President of Belarus, Gaude Polonia and Huygens scholarships, and ‘Man of the Year’ title (Belarus, 2017).
He participated in festivals in Lucerne, Pärnu, Castleton, Cabrillo, Mogilev and the Orkney Islands. He performed with the Latvian National Symphony Orchestra, POR, NOSPR, the Belarusian and Kraków Philharmonic Orchestras. He cooperated with Agata Zubel, Szymon Nehring, Branford Marsalis, Chick Corea i.a. As opera conductor he frequently performed at the Wrocław Opera, Baltic Opera, Opéra National de Lyon, Ekaterinburg State Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre.
Since 2013, he has been the Chief Conductor and Artistic Director of the Capella Sonorus. He was the Assistant Conductor of NOSPR (2014–2016). Since 2018, he has worked with National Philharmonic of Russia, which the Chief Conductor and Artistic Director is Vladimir Spivakov.

Bartłomiej Wezner

one of the most versatile pianists of his generation.

He has won prizes in many competitions: St Martin’s Chamber Music Competition (2011, 1st prize), Premio Trio di Trieste (2015), Academie de Musique de Lausanne (2015), 50th International Vocal Competition‘s-Hertogenbosch (2014) and 17th Kiejstut Bacewicz Competition in Łódź (2010). As a soloist, he received the Special Award in the 6th International Paderewski Piano Competition in Bydgoszcz (2004), and an honourable mention in the 15th Leoš Janáček International Competition in Brno (2008). In 2006, he graduated from the Feliks Nowowiejski Academy of Music in Bydgoszcz, where he had studied piano with Ewa Pobłocka (2006). Between 2002 and 2004, he also studied with Jerzy Sulikowski, and harpsichord with Urszula Bartkiewicz. In 2013, he was awarded the degree of Doctor of Music, and in the next year, he was employed at the Academy of Music in Bydgoszcz. He has founded the ensembles BMF Piano Trio, Herbert Piano Trio, Surrealistic Five and the family quartet Wezner Ensemble. He has performed in Europe and the US. He has appeared with orchestras such as Capella Bydgostiensis, Toruń Symphony, Opole Philharmonic, Lviv National Chamber Orchestra “Akademia” and Pomeranian Philharmonic Orchestra. His recordings have been released on the labels CD Accord, Dux, Fonoteus and Acte Préalable.

Grzegorz Biegas

Graduated from the Karol Szymanowski Academy of Music in Katowice, where he had studied piano under professor Eugeniusz Knapik and chamber music under professor Maria Szwajger-Kułakowska.

He is the professor in the Department of Chamber Music at his alma mater. He cooperates with teachers, conductors, and directors, such as Walter Berry, Henryka Januszewska-Stańczyk, Helena Łazarska, Bogusław Makal, Leopold Spitzer, Daniel Weeks, Ingrid Kremling, Michał Znaniecki, Michael Ramach, Michał Klauza, Rudolf Piernay, Izabella Kłosińska, Włodzimierz Zalewski, Yanis Pouspourokase, Michael Sturminger, Ewa Marciniec, Joachim Schloemer. He has partnered soloists in numerous competitions, including the Bizakaia International Singing Competition in Bilbao, the Dvořák Competition in Karlovy Vary, the Belvedere and Hilde Zadek in Vienna, the Queen Sonja in Oslo, the Klaudia Taev in Pärnu, the Tibor Varga in Sion, the Schneider- -Trnavský, the Imrich Godin, the Rubinstein Competition in Düsseldorf, the Paderewski Competition, the Szymanowski Competition in Łódź, the Ada Sari Competition, the Veronica Dunne in Dublin, the Moniuszko Competition. He was awarded for his accompaniment, which has earned him e.g. the Jerzy Lefeld Award. He has given concerts in Europe, USA, Argentina and China. He has made numerous phonographic, radio and television recordings.

Marcin Sikorski

An outstanding chamber pianist, who made his debut at Carnegie Hall in 2001, Sikorski is a recipient of the Fryderyk Award.

He performs with Soyoung Yoon. His musical partners include Bartłomiej Nizioł, Alena Baeva, Reiko Otani, Erin Keefe, Haik Kazazyan, Mei Diyang, Jarosław Bręk, Katarzyna Polonek, Agata Szymczewska, Anna Maria Staśkiewicz, Rafał Kwiatkowski, the Silesian Quartet, the Akademos Quartet, Łukasz Błaszczyk, Radosław Pujanek, Katarzyna Budnik-Gałązka and Robert Kwiatkowski. He is co-founder of the Brahms Piano Quartet. He has won chamber music competitions in Paris and Gdańsk, and awards in competitions in Pörtschach, Vercelli, and Cracow. He has been the best pianist of many violin competitions, recently the 14th Henryk Wieniawski Competition and the Aram Khachaturian International Competition in Yerevan. He has given concerts in seventeen countries and at the Chopin Festival in Duszniki, Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival, International Conservatoire Week in St Petersburg and Osorske Glazbene Večeri. He has made numerous recordings. He is an assistant professor at the Academy of Music in Poznań, where he teaches chamber music. He acts as a solo and chamber performance consultant to Polish music schools and is a music populariser. He works with the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing as a teacher and a jury member.

Mirella Malorny-Konopka

Graduate of the Karol Szymanowski Academy of Music in Katowice, where she studied piano under professor Wojciech Świtała and chamber music under professor Regina Strokosz-Michalak.

She cooperates with accomplished singers (soloists at the Great Theatre—National Opera in Warsaw, the Kraków Opera, the Silesian Opera, the Wrocław Opera, the Poznań Opera etc.) and instrumentalists (the Metropolitan Opera New York, the New York City Orchestra, the Göteborg Symphony Orchestra, the Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra in Katowice, the Silesian Philharmonic Orchestra in Katowice). She has won numerous awards for outstanding accompaniment. She appeared at many festivals, including the Trombone Festival in Warsaw, the Jan Kiepura Festival in Krynica, the Talent Week Festival in Kąśna Dolna, the Bravo Maestro Festival in Kąśna Dolna, the Ave Maria Festival in Czeladź, the Belcanto Per Sempre Festival in Włocławek, the Moniuszko Festival in Kudowa-Zdrój, the Summer Concerts at Grochowska Street (organized by Sinfonia Varsovia), the Żywiec Trombone Festival. As a soloist, she performed with the Silesian Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Mirosław Jacek Błaszczyk, the Zabrze Philharmonic Orchestra and the Toruń Symphony Orchestra conducted by Sławomir Chrzanowski, the Polish Youth Symphony Orchestra conducted by Andrzej Affeltowicz, the Musici di Silesia Orchestra conducted by Wojciech Barczyński. Since the artistic season 2008-2009, she has been engaged with the Zabrze Philharmonic Orchestra. She makes guest appearances with the Silesian Philharmonic Orchestra, the Sinfonietta Cracovia, the Bielsko-Biała Festival Orchestra, the Mikołów Chamber Orchestra, the Rybnik Philharmonic Orchestra, the Gliwice Chamber Orchestra, the Tarnowskie Góry Chamber Orchestra, the New Music Orchestra. Currently she is employed in the Vocal and Instrumental Faculty at the Karol Szymanowski Academy of Music in Katowice.

Radosław Kurek

Since he received the Bridget Doolan Prize for the best performance of a work by Mozart in the Dublin International Piano Competition in 2012 and won the 15th Johannes Brahms Competition in Pörtschach, Austria, in 2008 (with the cellist Georgy Lomakov), Radosław Kurek has been working intensively at broadening his repertoire.

He keeps on honing his skills as an interpreter of chamber music and shows his sensitivity to the audience when he performs works ranging from classical to contemporary ones during his well-thought-out solo recitals. The fruits of the pianist’s numerous musical encounters are his recordings released under labels such as Genuine Classics, Bayerischer Rundfunk, Anagram, Fryderyk Chopin Institute, Dux, Soliton, or BeArTon. The artist attended many prestigious musical events. He performs in Europe, America, Asia, and Africa both as a soloist and a chamber musician. He has appeared with ensembles including the Polish Baltic Philharmonic Orchestra, the Pomeranian Philharmonic Orchestra, the Wrocław Philharmonic Orchestra, the Orchestra of the Royal Capital City of Kraków “Sinfonietta Cracovia,” and Capella Bydgostiensis, led by many famous conductors, such as Jacek Kaspszyk, José Maria Florêncio, Michał Nesterowicz, or Jakub Chrenowicz. Radosław Kurek graduated summa cum laude from the Stanisław Moniuszko Academy of Music in Gdańsk, where he had studied piano under professor Katarzyna Popowa-Zydroń. In the years 2008-2009, he was an assistant to her. Since autumn 2009, he has been employed as an assistant professor at the Feliks Nowowiejski Academy of Music in Bydgoszcz. In 2014, he gained the degree of Doctor of Music.

Katarzyna Rzeszutek

A chamber pianist, she graduated from the Karol Szymanowski Academy of Music from in Katowice, where she had studied piano with Andrzej Jasiński and chamber music with Maria Szwajger-Kułakowska.

She has honed her skills in masterclasses given by Dominique Merlet, Ryszard Bakst, Krystian Zimerman, Lee Kum Sing, Rudolf Buchbinder, Jerzy Kotyczka, Arkadiusz Krupa, Marek Rzepka, Mariusz Kwiecień and Ewa Podleś. She gained her first experience of working with singers while accompanying Andrzej Hiolski. In 2016 and 2016, she accompanied the participants of the masterclasses given by Mariusz Kwiecień in Kraków (“Per academiam ad astra” cycle). She has won prizes in Polish and international piano competitions, including first prize in the 1st National Competition for the Performance of Music by Karol Szymanowski in Zakopane. She is particularly interested in music for voice and piano, as well as in historically informed performance. Between 2009 and 2012, she played in the Ensemble de la cour. Since 2013, she has been a member of the Risonanza Historical Instruments Ensemble. She has given concerts in England, France, Switzerland, Japan, Germany, Italy, Ukraine and Slovakia. She has made radio and TV recordings, both in Poland and abroad. In December 2016, her CD of Karol Szymanowski’s songs We mgłach, recorded with Rafał Majzner, was released (Dux).

Paweł Sommer

Pianist employed at the Fryderyk Chopin University of Music in Warsaw.

He graduated from that university, having studied under professor Anna Jastrzębska-Quinn. Sommer received the grant of the Minister of Culture and National Heritage. He attended the Opera Academy, masterclasses in song performance in Brussels and the School of Song at the Fryderyk Chopin University of Music, where he improved his knowledge of the repertoire and artistic awareness under the tutelage of outstanding singers and pianists. He performs both as a soloist and as a partner of singers and instrumentalists during numerous musical events in Poland and abroad.