Biography of Piotr Janowski

January 1, 2011   |   PIOTR JANOWSKI

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Distinguished Polish violinist, born February 5th, 1951 in Grudziądz, died December 6th, 2008 in London.

Endowed with outstanding musical skills, he was arousing a sensation since his childhood. At the age of eight he started regular violin classes. At 16, in 1967 he became the first Polish laureate of the First Prize at the 5th international Henryk Wieniawski Violin Competition in Poznań. He was also a First Prize laureate of such competitions as: The Philadelphia Orchestra Competition (1972), G.B. Dealy (Dallas, Texas) (1974) and twice the Naumburg Competition (New York) along with New Arts Trio (1979, 1980).

He graduated with honours from the Higher State School of Music (now The Fryderyk Chopin University of Music) in Warsaw after only one year of studies -1969/1970- in a violin class under the guidance of Professor Irena Dubiska. He continued his education under Zino Francescatti in Curtis Institute of Philadelphia and under Ivan Galamian in Julliard School. He was also a student of Jascha Heifetz at the University of Southern California (Los Angeles).

As a soloist he performed with the most important American and European orchestras, i.e. New York Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, St. Louis Symphony, Minnesota Orchestra, Oslo Philharmonic, and The Warsaw National Philharmonic Orchestra collaborating with prominent conductors such as Leonard Bernstein, Leonard Slatkin, Eugene Ormandy and Erich Leinsdorf.

Piotr Janowski gave concerts with huge success in Asia, Europe, North and South America. He gave recitals and performed chamber music. He staged with pianists: Mieczysław Horszowski, Arthur Balsam, Peter Serkin, Franco Agostini, Wolfgang Plagge, Jerzy Lefeld, Maciej Paderewski, Jerzy Marchwiński. He participated in many musical festivals e.g.: Malboro, VT, Chautauqua, NY, “Warszawska Jesień” (“Warsaw Autumn”) and Dimitrios (in Greece).

Gifted with an extraordinary musical memory, Piotr Janowski acquired boundless repertoire. He was universally recognized professor of such institutions as: University of Wisconsin in Milwaukee, Eastman School of Music in Rochester (state of New York) and Barratt Due Institute in Oslo. He pursued many Master classes i.e.: in Bologna Conservatorio (Italy), the Oberlin College and Northwestern University in Chicago.

Piotr Janowski recorded for following record labels: Muza, Pantheon, Aura, Phoenix, Norske Gram (Sony) and 2L (The complete recording of Henryk Wieniawski’s works).

He was a citizen of the Republic of Poland and the Unites States of America, a honorable citizen of the state of Arkansas (USA) and city of Cognac (France).

He died suddenly from a heart attack.

 

Prizes
First Prize at the the 5th international Henryk Wieniawski Violin Competition in Poznań (Polska), 1967
First Prize at the Philadelphia Orchestra Competition, Philadelphia (USA), 1972
First Prize at the G. B. Dealy Competition, Dallas (USA), 1974
First Prize (along with New Arts Trio: Rebecca Penneys – piano, Steven Doane – cello) at The Walter W. Naumburg Competition, New York (USA), 1979
First Prize (along with New Arts Trio: Rebecca Penneys – piano, Steven Doane – cello) at The Walter W. Naumburg Competition, New York (USA), 1980

World First Performances
1968, Warsaw (Poland) – Marian Sawa Improvisazione for violin solo
1969, Warsaw (Poland) – Grażyna Bacewicz Violin Concerto #7 (Warszawska Jesień, Warsaw National Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Andrzej Markowski)
1976, New York (USA) – David Diamond Violin Concerto #3 (New York Philharmonic conducted by Leonard Bernstein)
1980, Madison (USA) – Yehuda Yannay Concertino
1980, Milwaukee (USA) – Burt Levy Chamber Music for Violin Alone
1980, New York (USA) – Robert Moevs Introduction and Presto for piano trio
1982, Rochester (USA) – John Harbison Quartet for clarinet, violin, cello and piano
1982, New York (USA) – Sidney Hodgkison Piano Trio
1983, New York (USA) – John Eaton In Mernoriam Mario Cristini – Trio
1991, Rio de Janeiro (Brasil) – Emani Aguiar Meloritmas 44
1994, Oslo (Norway) – Wolfgang Plagge Asteroide Suite for violin and piano
1994, Oslo (Norway) – Wolfgang Plagge Rhapsody for violin solo
1997, Poznań (Poland) – Wolfgang Plagge Sonata for violin and piano
1998, Oslo (Norway) – Wolfgang Plagge Lucky Man House – chamber music with dancers

Recordings
W. A. Mozart, violin concerto D-dur KV 218, K. Szymanowski violin concerto no 1 op. 35 (Warsaw National Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Stanisław Wisłocki),1969, Muza
J. Brahms, 2 Sonatas for piano and violin A-dur op. 100 and d-moll op. 108 (piano Maciej Paderewski), 1970, Muza
G. Bacewicz, violin concerto no 7 (Warsaw National Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Andrzej Markowski), 1969, Muza
M. Ravel, Piano Trio, G. Fauré, Piano Trio (New Arts Trio), 1982, Pantheon
L. van Beethoven, Piano Trio op. 97 – Archduke (New Arts Trio), 1983, Chamber Music Society of Rochester
F. Kreisler, F. Grieg, H. Wieniawski and others, Rose in the snow – a collection of short pieces (piano – Wolfgang Plagge), 1997, Norske Gram
F. Busoni, Sonatas for violin and piano (piano – Franco Agostini), 1998, Phoenix Classics
A. Hovhaness, C. Saint Saens, M. Ravel and others, Garden of Adonis – works for violin and harp (harp- Małgorzata Milewska-Sundberg), 2000, Porsgrunn Museum
H. Wieniawski, complete recordings (piano- Wolfgang Plagge) – CD nr 1 (2000), CD nr 2 (2005), 2L Records (Aura)