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Cracow Duo – Festival Spectrum 2023 (English)

CRACOW DUO (Poljska)

Festival Spectrum 2023

What: Chamber music
When: Monday, 3.7.2023 from 20.30 to 22.30
Where: the Ljubljana City Museum, Gosposka 15, 1000 Ljubljana
No admission fee
Free tickets can be picked up at the entrance to the City Museum at the last hour before the concert

Jan Kalinowski, cello

Marek Szlezer, piano

The concert is dedicated entirely to the 150th anniversary of the birth of Sergei Rachmaninoff and the 190th anniversary of the birth of Johannes Brahms


Sergei Rachmaninov – Vocalise
Johannes Brahms – Sonata in F major Op. 99
Sergei Rachmaninoff – Sonata in G minor Op. 1

The Cracow Duo is renowned for its interpretive emotion, sincerity, spontaneity, but also virtuosity. The Strad magazine said of the duo: “There is a wonderful, natural harmony between Kalinowski and Szlezer, who have been friends since childhood, and their playing has a surprising charge that breathes life into the music”. Both musicians studied in Krakow and Paris and began performing together fifteen years ago. Their performances and recordings have received outstanding reviews both in Poland and abroad, in media such as Polish National Radio, South German Radio, The Strad, Twoja Muza, Res Musica, Gramophone, Classical Music Review, American Record Guide and others.

They have performed on the most prestigious stages, including the Seoul Arts Center, the Alfred Newman Hall in Los Angeles, the Carnegie Hall in New York, the Palace of Fine Arts in Mexico City, the Cortot Hall in Paris, the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam and St Martin-in-the-Fields in London. Several week-long tours dedicated to the promotion of Polish music took them to the Middle East (2006), the Caucasus (2013), Georgia (2014), the United States and South Korea (2015), Mexico (2015, 2016), Brazil and Argentina (2016, 2017) and China (2018). In 2010, they represented their hometown at the Cracow Days in Nanjing, China.

Cellist Jan Kalinowski and pianist Marek Szlezer share a special devotion to rarely performed music from the treasury of Polish composers. They often play works for cello and piano by Frédéric Chopin, Aleksander Tansman, Karol Szymanowski, Zygmunt Stojowski, Szymon Laks, Ludomir Rożycki and Tadeusz Majerski, as well as compositions by contemporary Polish and foreign composers written especially for them. Since 2009, they have been recording regularly and their recordings have received numerous nominations and awards (including recordings of Tansman’s and Chopin’s compositions, as well as chamber music by Penderecki, which were awarded by Res Musica and Gramophone magazines).

Jan Kalinowski (born 1982) studied at the Academy of Music in Krakow, the École normale de musique in Paris and the State College of Music and Performing Arts in Stuttgart. He studied with David Geringas, Ivan Monighetti and Art Noras. He has recorded for radio and television and has given concerts with renowned conductors such as Rauf Abdulajev, Łukasz Borowicz, Wojciech Czepiel, Jacek Rafał Delekta, Michał Dworzyński, Jacek Kaspszyk, Adam Klocek, Daniel Rajskin, Jacek Rogala, Alan Urbanek and Antoni Wit. He is a teacher at the Academy of Music in Kraków, where he has his own cello class. In 2014, the DUX label released an album with the musician’s project Polish Music for Cello and Cello Ensembles. Kalinowski has also recorded Bach’s Suite No. 5 for the Bach Society and participated in the recording of an album of chamber music by Penderecki (DUX label, 2017). Since 2012 he has been playing a cello made by Wojciech Topa.

Marek Szlezer (born 1981) is one of Poland’s most sought-after pianists. He began his career at the age of twelve, when he won the Grand Prix at the International Piano Competition in Rome. He studied at the École normale de musique in Paris, at the Academy of Music in Krakow and furthered his studies at the Queen Elisabeth Music Chapel in Belgium. He has been awarded prizes at prestigious competitions at home and abroad. His complete performances of Chopin’s music have won him numerous prizes, including first prize at the National Chopin Competition in Warsaw. On Poland’s accession to the European Union, he was given the honour of playing Chopin’s original piano at Krakow’s Jagiellonian University. Marek Szlezer has performed at venues such as Carnegie Hall, Wigmore Hall, Palais des Beaux Arts, St Martin-in-the-Fields, Alfred Newman Hall. He has played with leading orchestras including the English Chamber Orchestra and the Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra. He discovered the unknown piano music of Jadwiga Sarnecka and recorded a selection of her works for the DUX label. He has written numerous scholarly articles on Polish music and discussions of piano compositions by Polish composers. He has recorded for DUX, EMI, Amadeus and Moderato Classics, and his recordings have received rave reviews in leading magazines (Gramophone, Kulturspiegel, The Strad, Pizzicato, Fanfare, American Record Guide). He teaches piano at the Academy of Music in Krakow.

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