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Drążkowska Barbara

A pianist specialising in contemporary music. She graduated with honours from the Music Academy in Poznań after studies with Grzegorz Kurzyński. She was then granted the prestigious DAAD scholarship of the German government to study with Pierre-Laurent Aimard and James Tocco in Cologne and Lübeck. The Grand Prix and New Sounds Award in the 13th International Contemporary Chamber Music Competition in Cracow (2009) led to collaboration with many composers and to further explorations in the field of new music.

Having lived in Poland, Germany, Spain, and now in Belgium, Barbara Drążkowska has gained widespread recognition in the European music circles, working with such composers as Paweł Mykietyn, Szymon Brzóska, Bartosz Smorągiewicz, Rafał Zapała, Wim Henderickx, Jorrit Tamminga, José María Sánchez-Verdú, Cesar Camarero, and Manuel Añon and performing in the major concert halls of Europe, the USA, Asia and Australia. She regularly gives first performances of new works, frequently composed specially for her (e.g. Paweł Mykietyn’s Klavierstück, Wax Music; Szymon Brzóska’s Concerto for Piano, Strings and Percussion, Septem, Miniatures for Cello and Piano, and others; Bartosz Smorągiewicz’s Homo Permeabilis; Rafał Zapała’s Miniatures for Piano and Live Electronics; Manuel Añon’s Strela do dia for the Drążkowska–Torner Piano Duo). She has appeared at such festivals as the Sounds New Contemporary Music Festival in Canterbury, Holland Festival, Ars Musica in Brussels, Festival of Polish Piano Music in Słupsk, Poznań Music Spring, as well as music theatres: e.g. Sydney Opera House, Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet in New York, Sadler’s Wells Theatre in London, Het Ballet in Amsterdam, DeSingel in Antwerp. She has played as a soloist with orchestras such as Amadeus Chamber Orchestra of the Polish Radio, Holland Symphony Orchestra, Baltic Neopolis Orchestra, Hanseatica Chamber Orchestra, and with such ensembles as Zahir Ensemble, Taller Sonoro, and Eastman Company. Barbara Drążkowska collaborates with eminent choreographers including Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, David Dawson, María Pagés, and Kaya Kołodziejczyk. Recently she has been working on three choreographic projects: Genesis – Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui (premiere in Beijing, November 2013); Overture – David Dawson/Szymon Brzóska (premiere in Amsterdam, June 2013) and Exkurs – Baltic Neopolis Orchestra/Szymon Brzóska/Kaya Kołodziejczyk (premiere in Szczecin, August 2013). The artist has recorded three CDs: with music by young Spanish composers (Zahir Ensemble, Creacion Injuve, Madrid 2010), by Piotr Bosacki (Little Scroll / Studies in Counterpoint, 2007) and the chamber music of Szymon Brzóska (The Wanderer, 2011).