Karol Szymanowski Music School
Quartetto Nero is a young and dynamic Polish string quartet, producing its unique and intriguing sound by playing on the original period instruments (or their copies) as well as using gut strings and special bows, appropriate for the music of different eras. All this distinguishes the ensemble from other string quartets not only on Polish, but also international musical market.
The ensemble is dedicated to exploring and searching for the authentic sound of music written in baroque, classical and early romantic times; not only by using characteristic instruments of those eras, but also through historically informed interpretation of the pieces. What has a very special place in Quartetto Nero’s repertoire is Polish music from these periods, rarely performed nowadays. The idea of the group is also to bring the audience closer to the history of a string quartet as a chamber music ensemble.
Quartetto Nero is the winner of the 1st and Special prize in the Early Music Ensemble Competition in Poznan in Poland (2016) and also a finalist of an international competition XVIII. Biagio-Marini Wettbewerb in Neuburg in Germany (2017). In 2019 the quartet was also awarded with the “Young Poland” scholarship for outstanding artistic achievements. The ensemble already has a very vibrant concert schedule, performing in Poland and abroad - e.g. during the International Guitar Festival in Modra (Slovakia, 2017), Krakow Bach Festival (Poland, 2017), the International Early Music Festival ECOS in Spain (as a resident ensemble, 2018) and also the International Early Music Festival in Utrecht (Netherlands, 2018) as a part of the Fringe concert series. In October 2017 the very first concert tour of Quartetto Nero took place in the United Kingdom.
The members of the quartet are graduates of the Academy of Music in Krakow, Mozarteum University in Salzburg (Austria) and Conservatory of Music G. B. Martini in Bologna (Italy). The ensemble was established in 2015 in Krakow (Poland) and, since the very beginning, has been tutored by Prof. Sirkka-Liisa Kaakinen-Pilch at the Academy of Music in Krakow. The ensemble has also participated in masterclasses with Prof. Manfredo Kraemer (Escola Superior de Música de Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain).
The name of the ensemble refers to a multi-dimensional symbolism of the colour black. Blackness is associated with good taste and elegance, equated with luxury, sophistication and stylishness. It’s both the colour of modernity and tradition, containing numerous, often opposite, meanings. In the European culture it signifies mourning; in Japan it symbolizes nobility, age and experience. In China it’s the colour of happiness, while in the culture of Ancient Egypt and Indians – of life. In art and daily life, black is frequently used for emphasizing the atmosphere of mysteriousness, dignity, drama or formality. Despite its aquiline character, it perfectly matches almost every other colour.
Her fascination with early music and historically informed performance is a result of her loves of searching for and discovering the true sound of music of those times. What has a special place in her field of interest is performing compositions from the romantic era on period instrument with gut strings, opposing the contemporary manners of performance practice. She finished her studies of modern violin (2015) and baroque violin (2018) at the Academy of Music in Cracow (Poland). She was tutored e.g. by Sirkka-Liisa Kaakinen, Lucy van Dael and Leila Schayegh. In 2014 she was chosen to participate in the International Bach Academy in Świdnica (Poland), where she performed with musicians of Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin. As a soloist and a member of various ensembles and orchestras she took part in numerous early music festivals in Poland and abroad. She has performed e.g. with Gabrieli Consort&Players, Wroclaw Baroque Orchestra and Kore, while she is also a permanent member of Musicae Antiqua Collegium Varsoviense and Konfraternia Caper Lublinensis. She has already recorded a numerous times and performed in China and most European countries.
Graduated from the Academy of Music in Kraków under Prof. Magdalena Szczepanowska (modern violin) and also Prof. Sirkka-Liisa Kaakinen-Pilch and Zbigniew Pilch, PhD (baroque violin). Her interests cover diverse eras: both the early baroque and the newest music. As for baroque music performance, she has worked with masters of that genre, including Lucy van Dael, Alessandro Tampieri, Joshua Rifkin and Paul Esswood. She performed during some early music festivals, for example: Bach Festival in Świdnica, Annum Festival, Mozart Festival. She cooperates with ensembles: Il Giardino d'Amore, Capella di Ospedale della Pieta, Orchestra Famd.pl. Contemporary music takes a special place in her repertoire. She works with many young composers, premiering their pieces and also performs works by well known authors. With Spółdzielnia Muzyczna (Musicians' Community) Contemporary Ensemble and string quartet Sine Nomine Ensemble she took part in festivals: Warszawska Jesień (Warsaw Autumn), Elementi, Audio Art Festival.
Graduated from the Academy of Music in Kraków (Poland), having studied baroque violin with Prof. Sirkka-Liisa Kaakinen-Pilch and Teresa Piech, PhD. Except that she has studied with Enrico Gatti at the Conservatory of Music G. B. Martini in Bologna (Italy) as a participant of the Erasmus+ Student Exchange Programme. She took part in many music projects and workshops in Poland and abroad (Germany, Austria, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Italy, France, UK and USA). Meanwhile she had worked with following musicians: Stefano Barneschi, Marco Bianchi and Marcello Scandelli from Il Giardino Armonico; Leila Schayegh, Joshua Rifkin, Emma Kirkby, Susanne Scholz, Oliver Webber, Walter Reiter, Fabio Bonizzoni, Jos van Veldhoven, Benjamin Bayl. In 2017 she has received a scholarship from the fundation Academia Montis Regalis Onlus and has performed with the orchestra tutored by Olivia Centurioni, Enrico Onofri, Thibault Noally, Ophélie Gaillard and Alessandro De Marchi. In 2018 she has received a scolarship from the iCons Foundation and she performs with Theresia Youth Orchestra tutored by Claudio Astronio, Chiara Banchini and Alfredo Bernardini. She has performed on such music festivals as for example: Wratislavia Cantas in Wrocław, Mozart Festival in Warsaw, International Bach Festival in Świdnica (Poland), International Guitar Festival in Modra (Slovakia), Mantova Chamber Music Festival “Trame Sonore” in Mantova (Italy) and Innsbruck Festival of Early Music in Innsbruck (Austria). She is a member of the orchestra Musicae Antiquae Collegium Varsoviense and of the baroque orchestra Cornu Copiae and collaborates with the international baroque orchestra Il Giardino d'Amore, with which, among others, in 2016 she had recorded a CD ‘Enemies in love’ and had a concert tour in the United States (San Diego, Chicago, Rochester, Syracuse and New York City) and with a group Cappella dell'Ospedale della Pietà. She also plays the baroque viola.
Graduatedfrom MA studies at the Academy of Music in Kraków, Poland, and postgraduate studies at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna, Austria, in the chamber music class of Prof. Johannes Meissl. In 2018 she graduated with honors (MA) from Mozarteum University in Salzburg in baroque cello class of Marco Testori. She developed soloist skills on musical interpretation courses at home and abroad, working with—among other teachers—Tomasz Strahl, Kazimierz Michalik (Poland), Claus Reichardt, Kristin von der Goltz (Germany), Suren Bagratuni (United States), Bruno Cocset (France). She has participated in many international festivals: Oudemuziek Festival in Utrecht (Holland), Ludwig van Beethoven Easter Festival, Festiwal Muzyki Polskiej in Kraków, 20° Festival Quartetto d’Archi (Italy), Bachwoche in Vienna (Austria), Internationales Klassikfestival im Allgau-Oberstdorfer Musiksommer (Germany), Tartini Festival in Piran (Slovenia), International New Music Festival in Darmstadt (Germany, 2014), International Contemporary Music Festival ‘Warsaw Autumn’, Mozartwoche in Salzburg (Austria). In 2012 as a member of Amber Quartet she won the special prize for the best chamber ensemble of the Oberstdorf Music Summer in Allgäu (Germany). She became actively interested in contemporary music, when her quartet had the honour of presenting the world’s first performance of pieces composed specifically for them by Zaid Jabri (2012) and Alessandro Grego (2013). In 2017 she performed a piece “Try to listen to this without crying #1” composed by Piotr Peszat for baroque cello, harpsichord and audio playback. Katarzyna Cichoń collaborates with various baroque orchestras, e.g.: Capella Cracoviensis (Poland), Wiener Akademie, Bach Consort, Orchester 1756 (Austria), Warsaw Chamber Opera. Since 2012 she has been a member of the international baroque orchestras Il Giardino d’Amore and Cappella di Ospedale della Pietà, with whom she appears both in Poland and abroad—e.g.: in the Netherlands, in Norway, in the United States, in Canada and China.
Karol Szymanowski Music School
International Guitar Festival
Festival "Baroque in Masuria"
Church of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross