Chopin in Jazz
|date:||Sunday, 28 November 2010|
|category:||music days, festival, jazz, concert, classical music, modern music|
|organizer:||Fundacja Jazz Jamboree|
InfoIn the year of the 200th birthday of the most eminent Polish composer, two Polish piano virtuosos, the a classical one, Janusz Olejniczak, and a jazzman, Adam Makowicz, will present a jazz fantasia on themes by Chopin.
Adam Makowicz was born in 1940 in Czech Republic, into a Polish family living in Cieszyn Silesia. In 1946, together with his parents, he came back to Poland. His mother, a pianist and singer, gave him the first piano lessons. However, he soon started attending the school for musically talented children in Rybnik and he was enrolled to a grand piano class of Professor Karol Szafranek.
Being fascinated with jazz, the pianist gave up school as a teenager and moved to Cracow, where, in 1962, together with Tomasz Stańko, Makowicz founded a music group, Jazz Darings, which is now regarded as the first European jazz combo. In that time, he cooperated with such artists as Andrzej Kurylewicz, Zbigniew Namysłowski, Jan Ptaszyn Wróblewski, Urszula Dudziak and Wojciech Młynarski.
In 1977, on the recommendation of Benny Goodman and Willis Conover, a jazz popularizer, John Hammond, a legendary producer, invited him for a 10-week tour of the USA, during which Makowicz recorded a solo album, titled 'Adam', for the CBS Columbia. After coming back to the States in 1978, he settled there. The concert in memory of Erroll Garner at the Carnegie Hall in New York and performances at the Cookery club in Greenwich Village opened the doors to his world career. He was on stage with such jazz giants as Benny Goodman, Herbie Hancock, Earl Hines, Freddie Hubbard, Sarah Vaughan, Teddy Wilson, George Shearing, George Mraz, Al Foster, Jack DeJohnette and Charlie Haden. As a soloist, he performed with numerous great orchestras and bands, i.a. National Symphony of Washington, London Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Moscow Symphony Orchestra, Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra, Chester String Quartet, Amici String Quartet, the Amadeus Chamber Orchestra, the Polish Chamber Philharmonic Orchestra and the Wilanów Quartet.
His bond with Chopin is special. He says that he became soaked in the music by this great composer when he was young, and he feels it "in jazz" like nobody else. His American album with jazz interpretations of Chopin's pieces and concerts, like the one held within the Jazz Jamboree 2010 festival, are the most convincing proofs.
Janusz Olejniczak was born in 1952 in Wrocław. He studied in Warsaw and Łódź under Professor Luiza Zalewska, Ryszard Bakst and Zbigniew Drzewiecki, in Paris in the class of Constantine Schmaeling and in Switzerland under Witold Małcużyński. In 1974, he obtained the Diploma of The Higher State School of Music in Warsaw, under Barbara Hesse-Bukowska and later continued his studies under Victor Mierzanov in Warsaw and Paul Badura-Skoda in Essen. He is the youngest winner of the 8th International Fryderyk Chopin Piano Competition held in 1970. He was also awarded at the International Alfredo Casella Competition in Naples.
The artist gives concerts in Europe, North and South America, Asia and Australia, in the most famous concert halls, such as Berlin Philharmonic, Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires, Salle Pleyel in Paris, Suntory Hall in Tokyo, Lincoln Center in Washington, Tonhalle in Düsseldorf and Concertgebouw in Amsterdam. Olejniczak was a lecturer of the Cracow Music Academy for four years, he was on a jury judging piano competitions numerous times and gave master lessons abroad, in Canada, Japan, Columbia and at the Mozart Academy.
In his repertoire, he focuses mainly on the pieces by Chopin, Bach, Schubert, Schumann and Liszt. His interpretations of the contemporary works, by Debussy and Ravel, Prokofiev and Messiaen as well as by Henryk Mikołaj Górecki, Wojciech Kilar and Witold Lutosławski, were highly acclaimed. Olejniczak eagerly takes part in chamber music performances. He recorded with Stefania Toczyska, Olga Pasiecznik and Andrzej Bauer. He was on stage with ensembles conducted by Witold Rowicki, Kazimierz Kord, Jerzy Maksymiuk, Marek Moś, Jacek Kaspszyk, Marek Pijarowski, Charles Dutoit, Grzegorz Nowak, Andrzej Markowski and many more. Recently, he has given concerts and recorded his playing the period instruments (Érard and Pleyel). Within the Chopin and His Europe Festival, he performed with Frans Brüggen Orchestra of the 18th Century and Orchestre des Champs-Élysées conducted by Philippe Herreweghe.
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