Jan Kalinowski, cello
Marek Szlezer, piano
Sergei Rachmaninoff (1873–1943), 14 Romances, Op. 34, No. 14
Johannes Brahms (1833–1897), Cello Sonata No. 2 in F Major, Op. 99
I. Allegro vivace
II. Adagio affetuoso
III. Allegro passionato
IV. Allegro molto
Sergei Rachmaninoff, Sonata in G Major, Op. 19
I. Lento – Allegro Moderato
II. Allegro scherzando
IV. Allegro mosso
The concert is entirely dedicated to the 150th anniversary of the birth of Sergei Rachmaninoff and 190th anniversary of the birth of Johannes Brahms.
The Cracow Duo are renowned for their interpretive emotionality, honesty, spontaneity, and virtuosity. According to The Strad magazine: “Kalinowski and Szlezer, friends since childhood, have a wonderfully natural rapport and there is an arresting quality to their playing that gives life to the music”. They have been playing together for two decades, with their performances and recordings garnering the highest critical acclaim both at home and abroad in such media outlets as the Polish National Radio, Slovenski Rozhlas, Radio Suddeutsche Rundfunk and important magazines and websites such as Classique Info, Classical Music Review, Res Musica, American Record Guide, Ruch Muzyczny, Twoja Muza, The Strad, Gramophone, Classical Music Review, American Record Guide, and others.
The duo performed on some of the world’s most prestigious stages including: Seoul Arts Center in Seoul, Alfred Newman Hall in Los Angeles, Carnegie Hall in New York, Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico, Salle Cortot in Paris, St. Martin-in-the-Fields in London and Concertgebouw in Amsterdam. They promoted Polish music with tours in the Middle East (2006); the Caucasus (2013), Georgia (2014, 2017), USA and South Korea (2015), Mexico (2015; 2016), Brazil and Argentina (2016), and China (2018). In 2010, they represented their hometown at the Krakow Days in Nanjing (China).
Cellist Jan Kalinowski and pianist Marek Szlezer share a common special commitment to rarely performed Polish compositions by Fryderyk Chopin, Aleksander Tansman, Karol Szymanowski, Zygmunt Stojowski, Szymon Laks, Ludomir Rożycki, and Tadeusz Majerski. Furthermore, they revel in performing works composed expressly for them by Polish and foreign contemporary authors. Cracow Duo have been regularly recording and releasing albums since 2009 receiving numerous awards and distinctions (their album of Tansman’s and Chopin’s compositions received the La Clef de Res Musica, while their album of Penderecki’s chamber music was awarded the Gramophone Editor’s Choice Award). In 2019, their excellence was further commended with the Global Music Award for Outstanding Achievement for the best duo performance in Classical Music.
Jan Kalinowski (1982) studied at the Music Academy in Cracow, the École Normale de Musique in Paris, and the Staatliche Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst in Stuttgart. He perfected his craft at master classes with David Geringas, Ivan Monighetti, and Arto Noras. He has recorded for radio and television, and performed as a soloist with orchestras under the batons of several renowned conductors, such as: Rauf Abdullayev, Łukasz Borowicz, Wojciech Czepiel, Jacek Rafał Delekta, and a great many others. In 2014, he published his album of works for cello ensembles by Polish composers with the DUX publishing house. Kalinowski also recorded the 5. Suite by Johann Sebastian Bach for the Polish Bach Society and collaborated on ‘Krzysztof Penderecki – chamber music vol. II Violoncello Totale’ (DUX, 2017). Since 2022, he has been a professor of cello at the Krzysztof Penderecki Academy of Music in Krakow.
Marek Szlezer (1981) is one of the most sought-after Polish pianists. His career kicked off at the age of 12 with the Grand Prix at the International Piano Competition in Rome. He studied at the École Normale de Musique in Paris, the Music Academy in Cracow, and the Chapelle Musicale Reine Elisabeth in Belgium. His consummate performances of Frederic Chopin’s music have won numerous prizes: 1st Prize at the National Chopin Competition in Warsaw and the special prize of the Chopin National Edition. On the night Poland joined the European Union, he had the rare honour of playing Chopin’s original piano at the Jagiellonian University. Szlezer has performed with the world’s leading orchestras, including the English Chamber Orchestra, National Symphonic Orchestra of Ukraine, and the National Polish Radio Symphonic Orchestra. He discovered previously unknown piano music by Jadwiga Sarnecka and recorded a selection of her compositions for DUX as well as authored and published numerous research papers, books, and articles on Polish music. He recorded multiple albums, garnering enthusiastic critical reception in prestigious musical magazines (Gramophone, Kulturspiegel, The Strad, Pizzicato, Fanfare, American Record’s Guide …). He is a professor of piano at the Krzysztof Penderecki Academy of Music in Krakow. For his artistic activity and commitment to promoting Polish music, the Minister of Culture and National Heritage awarded him the Gloria Artis medal.
Complimentary tickets, courtesy of Adria Media Ljubljana, GenLan, and Essai & Acai, can be collected an hour before the concert at the venue. Reservations are not possible.
The event is part of the Festival Spectrum.