…an ensemble that sounds like one instrument…

– violinist Maxim Vengerov

On March 25, the Polish Music Center will present one of the brightest stars of the young Polish chamber music scene: Duo Karolina Mikołajczyk & Iwo Jedynecki. Both virtuosos in their own right, Mikołajczyk and Jedynecki bring great energy to the stage, shining a bright spotlight on not only existing repertoire for accordion and violin but also innovative arrangements and commissions for this unusual ensemble.

Entitled “The History of Polish Music,” their program will present a kaleidoscope of works from the 17th-21st centuries, including an arrangement of Krzysztof Penderecki’s Violin Sonata that was approved by the Maestro himself, as well as a new work by Marcin Błażewicz that was dedicated to the Duo.

Saturday, March 25, 2023 | 4:00 p.m.
PMC Spring Concert: Duo Karolina Mikołajczyk & Iwo Jedynecki

Newman Recital Hall at USC (see campus map)
3616 Trousdale Pkwy, Los Angeles, CA
Campus Parking: $4/hr or $20/day (Parking Structure X)

Performers’ Biographies

The Karolina Mikołajczyk & lwo Jedynecki Duo is one of the most vibrant and innovative chamber ensembles of the young generation. Recognized by such musical icons as Maxim Vengerov and Krzysztof Penderecki, the Mikołajczyk-Jedynecki Duo are multiple winners of top prizes at international music competitions all across Europe. Their performances in New York’s Carnegie Hall, Guangzhou Opera House and Warsaw Philharmonic were all sold out engagements, and they have played a total of more than one hundred recitals in France, Germany, Switzerland, Spain, Italy, Georgia, United States, Cuba, Chile, China, Singapore, Vietnam, Cambodia, Malaysia, Brunei and Thailand.

Critics uniformly praised the Duo’s performances as perfect and mature, yet luminous and filled with youthful vitality. Hailed by Maxim Vengerov as “an ensemble that sounds like one instrument,” the Duo brings completely new qualities and original interpretations to classical masterpieces, thanks to Jedynecki’s violin and accordion transcriptions. Both artists boldly venture into renowned works of chamber music literature giving them new character and delightfully diverse coloring.

The Duo also collaborates with leading Polish composers, such as Marcin Błazewicz (Double Concerto for Violin, Accordion and Symphony Orchestra dedicated to Mikołajczyk and Jedynecki), Piotr Moss (performance of Opolian Concerto for violin, accordion and orchestra in 2021), and Krzysztof Penderecki (Violin Sonata in the Duo’s arrangement received official approval from the composer in 2019). In 2016 the Duo released its debut CD, Premiere, featuring works for violin and accordion written by three generations of composers between 1952 and 2015. As the first ever album with new music by a violin-accordion duo, this CD focused mostly on the repertoire never recorded earlier.

In addition to three successful CD recordings—one of which garnered a coveted Fryderyk Prize nomination—the Duo takes a modern approach to promotion through innovative performance videos shared on social media. Their interpretation of Mozart’s Violin Sonata has garnered more than a million views and was shared by Classic FM, the most popular online classical music platform. Other popular videos include their impromptu performance of Fritz Kreisler’s Chinese Tambourine on the Great Wall of China, as well as their arrangements of Bach’s Goldberg Variations and excerpts from film music-inspired The Hollywood Fantasy project. The latter was also presented by the Duo in 2021 at the Cracow Film Music Festival, one of the industry’s most important events in the world.

Karolina Mikołajczyk plays a Duke London violin from 1776. lwo Jedynecki plays a Pigini Sirius Millennium accordion. The purchase of both instruments was financed by Poland’s Ministry of Culture and National Heritage.

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