Kwadrofonik is a Polish music group comprised of pianists Emilia Sitarz and Bartek Wąsik, as well as percussionists Magdalena Kordylasińska and Miłosz Pękala. All are graduates of the Fryderyk Chopin University of Music in Warsaw.
Aside from works written in the 20th century (by such figures as, among others, Béla Bartók, Luciano Berio and George Crumb), a special place in their repertoire is occupied by the works of young Polish composers (among others, Wojciech Ziemowit Zych, Wojciech Blecharz, Alexandra Gryka, Andrzej Kwiecinski, Sławomir Wojciechowski, Agnieszka Stulgińska and Maciej Jabłoński). They also play improvised music, as well as their own compositions, which often draw inspiration from folk music.
In 2006, at the 9th New Tradition Folk Music Festival of Polish Radio, Kwadrofonik won the Grand Prix, as well as the Mayor of Warsaw’s Award and the Storm of Applause Audience Award. In 2007, they were awarded a Special Prize at the Svetozar Stracina Competition of the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) in Bratislava. Kwadrofonik has appeared at such venues as Carnegie Hall (New York), Izumi Hall (Osaka), Berlin Philharmonic Hall, Warsaw Philharmonic Hall and Chicago Symphony Center.
The musicians have won such recording prizes as the Folk Phonogram of the Year and the Gold Record. In 2015, Kwadrofonik was honored with the Polityka Passport journalists' award. The ensemble's latest project, released on CD by Polish Radio, is Requiem Ludowe [Folk Requiem], inspired by aristocratic funeral songs from the 17th century and featuring traditional singer Adam Struga. In the 2015/2016 season, as part of the Kwadrofonik – Beyond the Frontiers of Sound project, the ensemble will be promoting music by young Polish composers at international festivals.
Barbara Kinga Majewska
Polish vocalist. The holder of degrees in voice and in music education from the Hochschule für Musik Detmold, Barbara Kinga Majewska is currently a doctoral candidate in the Psychopedagogy of Creativity Group at the Academy of Special Education in Warsaw, and has also studied at the Royal Academy of Music in Stockholm (singing) and the University of Warsaw (musicology). She has received stipends from the Minister of Culture and National Heritage, DAAD, the Bertelsmann-Stiftung, the Richard-Wagner-Stiftung, the Werner Richard – Dr. Carl Dörken Stiftung and the Hans und Stefan Bernbeck-Stiftung, and been a finalist in the NEUE STIMMEN International Vocal Competition. Majewska has participated in master classes led by, among others, Angelika Kirschlager, Grace Bumbry, Christa Ludwig, Barbara Bonney, Anita Garanča, András Schiff and Donatienne Michel-Dansac.
In 2014, the artist debuted at the Teatr Wielki – Polish National Opera in Sławomir Wojciechowski’s opera Victory over the Sun (Project P). In 2015, she performed in Paweł Mykietyn’s opera The Magic Mountain. Many Polish composers have written especially for her, including Aleksandra Gryka, Andrzej Kwieciński, Wojciech Blecharz and Joanna Woźny. Barbara Kinga Majewska was the initiator of and soloist in a project entitled A CONCERT OF SONGS (2014) as part of the Installactions festival at Warsaw's Teatr Nowy. She has published in Glissando magazine, as well as on the websites of the Goethe Institute and the Muzykoteka Szkolna. In 2015, she won the top prize in the KROPKA Polish Music Critics' Competition.
Lutosławski Piano Duo
The Lutosławski Piano Duo began its career in 1999 at master classes under the tutelage of renowned piano duos: Brachy Eden and Alexander Tamir (Israel), as well as Hans-Peter and Volker Stenzl (Germany). The musicians are graduates of the Fryderyk Chopin University of Music in Warsaw, and have done postgraduate master classes in piano duo performance at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Rostock.
The duo has won over a dozen awards at international competitions in Greece, Poland, Italy, the Czech Republic and Lithuania. It is also a winner of the Fryderyk and the Folk Phonogram of the Year recording awards. The musicians have concertized in most European countries, both Americas, the Middle East and Japan, in such venues as Carnegie Hall (New York), Warsaw Philharmonic Hall and Witold Lutosławski Concert Studio (Warsaw), Izumi Hall (Osaka), Berlin Philharmonic Hall, Chicago Symphony Center and the Central Conservatory concert hall in Beijing. The duo has performed at such festivals as Kwartesencja, Warsaw Autumn, Łańcuch [Witold Lutosławski Chain Festival] and Polish Radio Festival (Warsaw); Festival of Premières (Katowice); Musica Polonica Nova and Wratislavia Cantans (Wrocław); Two Moors Festival (Great Britain); Festival de Música de Londrina (Brazil); Nova-Polska (France); Giacinto Scelsi Festival (Italy); and Spring Festival (Israel).
The Lutosławski Piano Duo’s repertoire includes masterpieces of classical music, 20th-century music and works by composers of the younger generation. They have released the following records: one with compositions by Igor Stravinsky, Witold Lutosławski, Mauricio Kagel and Francis Poulenc; and another with music by Tomasz Sikorski and (for four pianos) by Julius Eastman.
Ensemble Garage was founded in 2009 at the initiative of composer Brigitta Muntendorf, who is the ensemble's artistic director. Garage is an open platform for composers, performers and artists who want to collaboratively develop new concert ideas and concepts.
Each of Ensemble Garage’s concerts has an original, unique formula which transcends the traditional concert situation. The ensemble, comprised of ten musicians from seven countries, concentrates on performing pieces by the most interesting composers of the younger generation, as well as multimedia and performative works. Many composers write especially for Ensemble Garage, such as Brigitta Muntendorf, Jagoda Szmytka, Sergej Maingardt and Oxana Omelchuk. The ensemble also has in its repertoire works by John Cage, Peter Ablinger, Alvin Lucier, Georges Aperghis, Mauro Lanza and Michael Beil.
The musicians have concertized at such prestigious festivals of contemporary music as Donaueschinger Musiktage, Darmstädter Ferienkurse für Neue Musik, Ultraschall Berlin, Acht Brücken | Musik für Köln, aXes Kraków and De Bijloke Gent. The ensemble has made recordings for monographic albums of music by Brigitta Muntendorf (col legno) and Jagoda Szmytka (wergo), as well as for German radio broadcasters.
The Pękala/Kordylasińska/Pękala percussion duo has been active on the Polish music scene for over ten years, formerly under the name Hob-beats Percussion Duo. The musicians draw upon many different styles, trends and performance practices, from transcription of works from earlier eras, through new and alternative music, to noise. Miłosz is a vibraphonist and percussionist, an improviser, as well as an adjunct in a percussion studio at the Fryderyk Chopin University of Music in Warsaw; Magda is a marimba player specializing in 20th- and 21st-century chamber music, as well as a pedagogue. Together, they seek out new compositions scored for percussion instruments. Especially dear to them is the minimal music trend, as well as electroacoustic music in the broad sense. They collaborate with many artists and ensembles (among others, Percussions Claviers de Lyon, Steven Schick, Mitch&Mitch, Felix Kubin), and are also the founders of the Hob-beats Percussion Group, with which they realize chamber music projects for larger ensemble.
The Pękala/Kordylasińska/Pękala percussion duo has won awards at numerous international competitions. The musicians concertize in Poland and abroad, and their interpretations meet with recognition from critics and audiences alike. Together with the pianists of the Lutosławski Piano Duo, they form the ensemble Kwadrofonik, a group specializing in the performance of 20th- and 21st-century music, as well as of their own arrangements of Polish folk music.
Asamisimasa is an ensemble founded in 2002 by Norwegian musicians fascinated by avant-garde music and its history. Since that time, they have given many premières of pieces, frequently multimedia, written especially for them by the most original composers of the younger generation, in the context of works by the historic avant-garde. The ensemble’s concerts stand out by virtue of their distinctive programs, which comprise a thematic, philosophical and aesthetic whole. They are often reminiscent of conceptual performance-art works, which blur the lines between sound, image and action.
Among the composers collaborating with Asamisimasa are Helmut Lachenmann, Mathias Spahlinger, Alvin Lucier, Brian Ferneyhough, Clemens Gadenstätter, Johannes Kreidler, Joanna Baillie, Simon Steen-Andersen, Øyvind Torvund, Martin Schüttler, Matthew Shlomowitz and Trond Reinholdtsen. The musicians have performed at the most prestigious new music festivals, such as Donaueschinger Musiktage, Darmstädter Ferienkurse für Neue Musik, Ultraschall Berlin, Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, Ultima Oslo and others. Their discography includes a monographic album of music by Simon Steen-Andersen (awarded a Norwegian Grammy in 2012); currently, they are preparing monographic albums of music by Øyvind Torvund (Norway) and Laurence Crane (Great Britain).