Persons related to Chopin Persons related to Chopin

Wojciech Świtała

Wojciech Świtała

Wojciech Świtała

*5 X 1967 Ruda Śląska

A graduate from the class of Józef Stompel at the Karol Szymanowski Academy of Music in Katowice, in the years 1991-1996 Wojciech Świtała studied under Karl-Heinz Kammerling, Andre Dumortier and Jean-Claude Vanden-Eynden. He won prizes in a number of international competitions: in Bardolino, Italy (First Prize), the Long/Thibaud in Paris (Second Grand Prix, audience prize, prize for the leading European) and the Montreal Piano Competition. In the 12th Chopin Competition in Warsaw (1990), he received the prize for best performance of a polonaise and also a number of hors concours prizes. He has given recitals in most European countries, as well as in Argentina, Morocco, the UAE, Libya, the USA and Canada. He has performed with most Polish symphony orchestras, including the Sinfonia Varsovia, Cracow Philharmonic and Silesian Philharmonic, under the baton of such conductors as Jan Krenz, Tadeusz Strugała, Volker Schmidt-Gertenbach, Krzysztof Missona, Jerzy Katlewicz, Mirosław Błaszczyk and Tomasz Bugaj. Besides his solo piano work, he also readily performs chamber music with the violinist Szymon Krzeszowiec, the Silesian Quartet, Camerata Quartet, Royal String Quartet and Aukso Orchestra.

Świtała has many CD recordings to his name, featuring music by Liszt, Schumann and Chopin (including the scherzos, waltzes and rondos in the National Edition series). In 2000 and 2005, his discs were twice awarded the Grand Prix du Disque Frédéric Chopin, and in 2002 he received a ‘Fryderyk' prize awarded by the Polish record industry. In 2003, he recorded both books of Debussy's Preludes for BeArTon and joined Szymon Krzeszowiec in the complete violin sonatas of Brahms for Sony Music Polska. The autumn of 2006 brought a collaboration with the Royal String Quartet in works by Zarębski, recorded in Super Audio CD technology, and 2007 saw the Fryderyk Chopin Institute release an album coupling Chopin's Preludes, Op. 28, recorded on an 1848 Pleyel, with the Andante spianato and Grande Polonaise brillante, Op. 22, on an 1849 Pleyel. In 2008, DUX released a disc of works for violin and piano by Karol Szymanowski recorded by Świtała with Piotr Pławner, which received a Fryderyk prize. In 2010, he joined the singer Ewa Iżykowska to record the complete songs of Fryderyk Chopin at the Paris Conservatoire; that material was released in Blu-ray format as part of the National Centre for Culture's collection. Most recently, he recorded Chopin's ballades on both a modern instrument and a period Pleyel (Fryderyk Chopin Institute, 2012).

Since 1998, Wojciech Świtała has also taught music, and he is currently an academic professor on the Piano Department of the Karol Szymanowski Academy of Music in Katowice; from 2008-2012, he was also head of that department. He has sat on the jury of such piano competitions as the Long/Thibaud in Paris, the Paderewski International Piano Competition in Bydgoszcz, the All-Poland Fryderyk Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw, the Yamaha Music Foundation of Europe's Scholarship Competition and the EPTA Competition in Cracow. In 2014, Świtała was appointed to the Programme Committee of the Fryderyk Chopin Institute. In 2015, he will be making his debut as a juror of the International Chopin Competition in Warsaw.


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