Piotr Plawner is one of Poland's most acclaimed contemporary violinists. With a strong presence in both Poland and western Europe, he has specialized in the music of Polish composers, often performing neglected works. Plawner was born in 1974 in Lodz and took up the violin at six. By nine, he had performed a concerto with a symphony orchestra. Plawner studied at the State Secondary School of Music in Lodz with Iwona Wojciechowska, then moved on to the Lodz Music Academy, where he worked with Zenon Ploszaj. Earning a Henryk Szeryng Scholarship from the foundation in Monaco named for the great Polish violinist, he was able to travel to Bern, Switzerland, and enroll in master classes with Igor Ozim. Plawner won several key prizes in the early 1990s, including the International Festival of Young Talents in Bayreuth and the International Wieniawski Competition in Poznan in 1991, and, most prestigiously, the International Music Competition of the ARD in Munich, Germany, in 1995. He has performed widely as a concerto soloist in such top venues as the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, the Herkulessaal in Munich, and the Tivoli in Copenhagen, appearing with a variety of top European orchestras, and often participating in radio and television concerts in various European countries. He founded the Subito Ensemble string quartet, which has specialized in Polish music, and since 2006, he has been the first violinist of the quartet I Salonisti. With that group, he participated in the internationally acclaimed Music in Theresienstadt theater production. Plawner performs a wide variety of music, but both in performance and on recordings, he has specialized in Polish music, often performing music by lesser-known composers such as Mieczyslaw Karlowicz, Emile Mlynarski, and Mikołaj Górecki, as well as the more famous names. He has recorded, among others, for the Dux, Naxos, and Hänssler labels, recording the violin sonatas of Grazyna Bacewicz for the latter in 2006, as well as the album Polish Miniatures there in 2018. In 2020, Plawner released an album of music by Philip Glass, including the Violin Concerto No. 2, on Naxos.
© James Manheim /TiVo
© James Manheim /TiVo
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Classical - Released March 1, 2013 | DUX
Violinist Piotr Plawner continues in his quest to provide listeners with a magnificent collection of the violin works of Karol Szymanowski. This album is the second volume of works for violin and piano. Szymanowski's literature is inexcusably absent from recital halls, and this album features most of the obscure ones. While there are plenty of composers out there whose "unheard" works are dormant for a reason, such is not the case with Szymanowski. His close working relationship with violinist Paul Kochanski ensured that everything Szymanowski wrote for the violin was completely idiomatic to the instrument and filled with his characteristic Polish passion and introspection. The majority of the works on this album is actually transcriptions Szymanowski made of his own works. In the case of the three Paganini Caprices, it is not sufficient to say that Szymanowski merely "arranged" these works for violin and piano. They are more likely a very sophisticated and thoroughly engaging exploration based on Paganini's themes. Throughout the album, Plawner gives these obscure pieces precisely what they need: immense amounts of conviction and assuredness that convince listeners of the importance of each track. Intonation, musical interpretation, and technique are superior as is the interplay between Plawner and pianist Wojciech Switala. This album is another must-have for anyone seeking to broaden the collection of violin repertoire. © TiVo