Polish Percussion Artist Dazzles
In American Debut
ALEXANDRIA, VIRGINIA, USA, March 26, 2015. Making her American debut recently, 21 year-old Polish Percussion Artist Marianna Bednarska mesmerized the audience with her virtuosi performance at the George Washington Masonic National Memorial Theater in Alexandria, Virginia. Hailed by the NY Times as being a “gifted” performer on a recently released CD of Anders Koppel’s Marimba Concertos, Ms. Bednarska performed with the International Chamber Orchestra of Washington, lead by Music Director Masatoshi Mitsumoto. Playing pieces by Emmanuel Sejourne, George Hamilton Greene and Astor Piazzolla, the full breadth of Ms. Bednarska’s talent was on display.
The International Chamber Orchestra of Washington (ICW) opened the concert with a celebration of spring by playing Mozart’s Divertimento in F, K138. In the next piece by Sejourne, Concerto for Marimba and Strings, Ms. Bednarska’s play was flowing and showed a musical deftness, nicely contrasted by the string play of the orchestra, which captured the mood of the reflective and pensive first movement and the energy of the second movement perfectly. Similarly, her performance of Greene’s Valse Brilliante for Xylophone and Strings (str. arr. by Mr. Mitsumoto) was a showcase for her virtuosic technique and brilliant sound. For her encore, Ms. Bednarska played a captivating Libertango by Astor Piazzolla (arr. by E. Sammut).
In the second half of the concert, the orchestra played a varied and interesting program, which raptly held the audiences attention. Pieces included Witold Lutoslawski’s Five Polish Folk Melodies, Einojuhani Rautavaara’s Selections from Pelimannit (Fiddlers), Op.1, and Edvard Grieg’s From Holberg’s Time (Holberg Suite), Op.40.
Overall, Music Director Mitsumoto should be highly commended for introducing Ms. Bednarska to American audiences and for putting together a fine concert program.
ABOUT MARIANNA BEDNARSKA (http://mariannabednarska.com/en/bio/) She was born 12th December 1993 in Warsaw. In 2012 she finished her musical education in the percussion class of Complex of Music Schools No.4 in Warsaw. Presently she is a student of Marta Klimasara’s percussion class in the Staatliche Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst in Stuttgart. She has won numerous Polish and international percussion and marimba competitions. As a soloist, Marianna played many recitals in the most prestigious concert halls of Poland and has performed in Switzerland, France, Germany, Italy, Denmark, Bulgaria, Belgium and Ukraine. She has also performed marimba concertos with many symphonic orchestras including Sinfonia Varsovia, Orchestra of the Polsih Radio in Warsaw, Lviv Philharmonic Orchestra, K. Namysłowski Symphonic Orchestra in Zamość, and the Tarnów Chamber Orchestra.
In the summer of 2013 Marianna recorded in Denmark her first CD with Marimba Concertos (1-4) by Anders Koppel with the Aalborg Symphonic Orchestra conducted by Henrik Vagn Christensen. Mr. Koppel asked Marianna to record his compositions after listening to her play one of them on Youtube. In that same year she was awarded the prestigious ‘Polish-Danish Friendship Prize’ for her special activity in the musical world. The CD was released in the fall of 2014 to critical praise (http://www.dacapo-records.dk/en/recording-anders-koppel-marimba-concertos.aspx)
ABOUT THE INTERNATIONAL CHAMBER ORCHESTRA OF WASHINGTON It was started in 2013 by Music Director Masatoshi Mitsumoto to help young professional musicians in their career development by providing performance opportunities in the greater Washington D.C. metro area. ICW (http://www.internationalchamberorchestraofwashington.org) also has the mission to introduce international rising star soloists to the area in affordable venues. Mr. Mitsumoto has a long distinguished career as a cellist, composer, and music director having headed previously the Laguna Beach Summer Music Festival, the Concordia Orchestra, and the Hakone Summer Chamber Music Festival in Japan. He has also made several CD recordings including ones with the Polish Radio Symphony, Krakow.
Major funders of the concert included Embassy of Poland, Washington, D.C. (http://www.washington.mfa.gov.pl/en/) and United Technologies Corporation, Hartford, CT, a worldwide leader in the aerospace and building industries, with approximately 10,500 employees in Poland (http://wwwutc.com/Pages/Home.aspx). Local 161-710 of the American Federation of Musicians of the United States and Canada also provided significant funding for this event (http://musiciansdc.org/).
OUTUBE OF MARIANNA LIBERTANGO SOLO AT CONCERT: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2OI5PRkB2NI