Poland’s Independence Day Celebrated At USC

On November 11, the Polish Music Center celebrates Poland’s Independence Day with a concert featuring virtuoso violinist Mariusz Patyra and pianist Krzysztof Herdzin in a program of music by Polish composers. Join the Honorable Mariusz Brymora, Consul General of the Republic of Poland, representatives of the City of Los Angeles and the diplomatic corps at this gala concert at the University of Southern California’s Newman Recital Hall.

Their exciting program is comprised of the following Romantic virtuosic showpieces:

  • Henryk Wieniawski (1835-1880): Polonaise de concert, Op. 4
  • Josef Suk (1874-1935): Chant d’amour, Op. 7 no. 1
  • Fritz Kreisler (1875-1962): Caprice viennois, Op. 2
  • Frederic Chopin (1810-1849): Nocturne in C-sharp minor, Op. posthumous (arr. Nathan Milstein)
  • Niccolò Paganini (1782-1840): Capriccio No. 24
  • Krzysztof Herdzin (b. 1970): Improvisation on Chopin’s Etude, Op. 10 no. 3
  • Antonin Dvořak (1841-1904):  Humoresque, Op. 101 no. 7 (arr. Jascha Heifetz)
  • Niccolò Paganini: I Palpiti – Introduction and Variations on a theme by Rossini

Violinist Mariusz Patyra was born in Poland in 1977 and began to study music at the age of six. Professor Antoni Hoffmann in Olsztyn was Patyra’s first violin teacher. Later Patyra studied with Professor Janusz Kucharski and attended the Chopin Music Academy in Warsaw for one year before continuing to study with Professor Krzysztof Węgrzyn at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Hannover, Germany. In October 2000, Mr. Patyra won a scholarship to Cremona, Italy, where he apprenticed under the tutelage of one of the greatest violinists of modern era, Salvatore Accardo.

Mariusz Patyra’s rapid rise as a violin virtuoso followed his triumphs at several of international violin competitions, including the Joseph Joachim International Violin Competition in Hannover, the Stradivari International Competition in Cremona, the Carl Nielsen International Violin Competition in Odense, Odense Symphony Orchestra Prize, and the Paganini International Violin Competition in Genoa, where he was awarded the First Prize—Premio Paganini—in 2001. After winning possibly the most important violin competition in the world, Mr. Patyra averred that, “The Paganini Competition represented a turning point in my life. […] Every time I played and appeared in public, I would have to be able to prove that I was worthy of such an important prize. For me, this was a moment of great happiness… and when I heard that I was declared a winner, I wanted to weep with joy.”

The young violinist’s success at such prestigious competitions was followed by a number of concert tours around the world, including Poland, Czech Republic, Russia, Austria, Germany, Italy, Spain, the United States, Mexico, and Japan. Mr. Patyra has been featured as a soloist with such renowned ensembles as the Warsaw National Philharmonic Orchestra, Sinfonia Varsovia, the Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Polish Radio Chamber Orchestra, Orchestra di Roma, Filharmonica Fondazione Arturo Toscanini, Orchestra Filarmonica Marchigiana, the Jalisco Philharmonic Orchestra, and Tokyo Royal Chamber Orchestra.

Besides concerts with orchestra, Mr. Patyra has also toured with violin and piano duet programs and recorded Vivaldi’s famous Four Seasons Concertos, Paganini’s Violin Concerto No. 1, Wieniawski’s Violin Concertos No. 1 & 2, as well as works by Saint-Saëns and Massenet for the Lipinski Royal Fidelity and DUX labels. Throughout the past decade has also appeared in radio broadcasts in Germany (WDR and NDR), Italy (RAI TRE) and Poland.

For his concert performances, Mariusz Patyra uses replicas of two great historical violins. The first is a copy of the 1733 Guarneri del Gesù, built in Hannover in 2003 by Christian Erichson. The other, a copy of 1742 Il Cannone—another Guarneri instrument that was once owned by Paganini—was built by John. B. Erwin in Dallas in 2000 and awarded by the Italian record label, Dynamic, to Mr. Patyra following his winning performance at the 2001 Paganini Competition.

Krzysztof Herdzin, pianist, composer, arranger, conductor and music producer, was born in Poland in 1970. His father was a tenor soloist and his mother a chorister at the Bydgoszcz Opera. After studying piano with Katarzyna Popowa-Zydroń and making a debut at the Bydgoszcz Philharmonic, Mr. Herdzin was offered a teaching position at the Bydgoszcz Music Academy. Although since 1995 he has been living in Warsaw, Mr. Herdzin continues his professorship in music in Bydgoszcz. During the 1990s, together with clarinetist Wojciech Mrożek, flutist Jadwiga Kotnowska and violinist Vadim Brodsky, Mr. Herdzin toured Germany under the auspices of Sir Yehudi Menuhin’s “Live Music Now” program. Shifting easily from classical to jazz throughout the 1990s, Krzysztof Herdzin performed with a number of iconic jazz groups, including the City Jazz Trio, Janusz Muniak’s Quartet, Jan Ptaszyn Wróblewski’s Quartet and Zbigniew Namysłowski’s Ensemble. More recently, as pianist and arranger, Krzysztof Herdzin has worked with such great soloists as Maria Schneider, Richard Bona, Gil Goldstein, Gregoire Maret, Gonzalo Rubalcaba, Clarence Penn, Oscar Castro Neves, Gary Husband, and Jon Lord, among others.

A prolific arranger and conductor, Krzysztof Herdzin’s compositional catalogue contains several works for orchestra and big band, while the catalogue of his recordings—currently well over 200—includes 16 Gold and 3 Platinum Records. He has also directed many television programs, musicals (Singing in the Rain, Five Guys Named Moe) and organized numerous concerts for TV broadcasts. Touring frequently, Mr. Herdzin has performed all across Europe, Turkey, Canada, United States, Mexico, India, China and Japan and led such prestigious orchestras as Belgian National Orchestra, Zhejiang Symphony Orchestra, Polish Radio Orchestra, Sinfonia Varsovia, Polish Chamber Philharmonic, and most of the philharmonic and opera orchestras throughout Poland. A pioneering recording with jazz arrangements of Chopin’s music and the orchestrations of Jan A.P. Kaczmarek’s Oscar-winning soundtrack to Finding Neverland in 2005 are among Krzysztof Herdzin’s highest musical achievements.

In one of his entries, Dobiasz, a blogger at www.dobiasz.art.pl, aptly summarized Herdzin’s artistry, writing that, “Herdzin’s style is naturally very subtle and bright, rich in ornaments and carefully devised harmonic changes. […] It is an aristocratic, sublime European jazz, perhaps slightly too sweet at times, but it is to be forgiven considering the vast amount of fineness.”

November 11, 2014 | 7:00 pm
Poland’s Independence Day Concert
USC Newman Recital Hall, 3616 Trousdale Pkwy, Los Angeles, CA
Info: 213. 821.1356 | polmusic@thornton.usc.edu
Admission: FREE
Info: music.usc.edu