Kwartet Śląski / The Silesian Quartet is made up of Szymon Krzeszowiec (1st violin), Arkadiusz Kubica (2nd violin), Łukasz Syrnicki (viola) and Piotr Janosik (cello).
These musicians came together in 1978 as students of the Karol Szymanowski Academy of Music in Katowice. The quartet's members perfected their skills during master classes lead by the members of quartets like LaSalle, Amadeus, Juiliard, Smetana, Berg.
The repertoire of the Silesian Quartet encompasses over three hundred chamber music works of which approximately two hundred date from the 20th century. The ensemble has offered approximately forty world premiere performances of string quartets by Polish and foreign composers, of which a selection were written especially for the ensemble.
During a career that has spanned over twenty-five years, Silesian Quartet has appeared at such music festivals as the "Warszawska Jesień" / "Warsaw Autumn" Festival, the Poznańska Wiosna Muzyczna / Poznań Musical Spring, the Festiwal Polskiej Muzyki Współczesnej / Festival of Polish Contemporary Music in Wrocław, the Festiwal Krzysztofa Pendereckiego / Krzysztof Penderecki Festival in Lusławice and Krakow, the Dni Muzyki Karola Szymanowskiego / Karol Szymanowski Music Days in Zakopane, the Berliner Musiktage, the Time of Music Viitasaari, the Inventionen Berlin, the Lerchenborg-Musicdage, the Musicorama-Hong Kong, the Festival de Saint-Denis in Paris, the Melos-Etos Festival of Contemporary Music in Bratislava, the Wien Modern, the Romaeuropa Festival in Rome, the Festival musique et amitie in Bienne, (Switzerland), the Borholms Musik-Festival, the Musik Host in Odense, the Musik-Biennale Berlin and others.
The Silesian Quartet has given over one thousand concerts on the country's most important stages and has also appeared in concert on a number of occasions in Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Greece, Spain, Holland, Hong Kong, Israel, Canada, Lithuania, Mexico, Germany, Portugal, Russia, SLovakia, United States, Great Britain, Italy. The ensemble has also produced a number of significant recordings for commercial release on CD. These have included the first-ever recording of the complete quartets of Alexander Tansman for the Dutch-American label "Etcetera," the complete works for strings by Karol Szymanowski and Igor Stravinsky for the Dutch recording company "Partrige," the chamber works of Henryk Mikołaj Górecki for "Olimpia," Krzysztof Penderecki's chamber works for "Wergo," the chamber works of Zygmunt Krauze for "Thesis," the string quartets of Karol Szymanowski and Witold Lutosławski for "CD Accord," Stefan Wolpe's string quartet for "CPO," a chamber version of Frederick Chopin's Concerto in e-minor op. 11 featuring Kornelia Ogorkowna for the Belgian recording company "Recital Company Production," the piano quintets of Johannes Brahms and Juliusz Zarębski for "Polskie Nagrania" (Polish Recordings), and finally, for Polish Radio in Katowice, the string quartets of Mozart, Beethoven, Lasoń, Mendelssohn-Bartholdy and a series of miniatures for string quartet.
Since 1993 the Silesian Quartet has been the organizer of chamber music festivals held near the town of Tarnowskie Góry (specifically at the Palace at Rybna) and known as "Kwartet Śląski i jego goście" / "The Silesian Quartet and Its Guests". During this festival as well as on other occasions, the Silesian Quartet has appeared in concert with the likes of Dmitri Ashkenazy, Andrzej Bauer, Elena Braslavsky, Eduard Brunner, Jeremy Findley, Martin Frost, Maciej Grzybowski, Stefan Kamasa, Jadwiga Kotnowska, Eugeniusz Knapiki, Paweł Kowalski, Karri Krikku, Waldemar Malicki, Jerzy Marchwiński, Janusz Olejniczak, Piotr Pławner, Ewa Pobłocka, Ewa Podles, Jadwiga Rappé, Hokan Rosengren, Jan Stanienda, Hary Sparnay, Tatiana Szebanowa, Marek Toporowski, Marie-Pierre Langlamet, Krystian Zimerman, the Sibelius Quartet, the Dafo Quartet and the Warsaw-based "Da Camera" Brass Quintet.
The Silesian Quartet has garnered numerous awards:
- 1979 – award at the Konkurs Muzyki Współczesnej / Contemporary Music Competition in Krakow
- 1984 and 1988 – award at the Unesco International Composers' Rostrum in Paris for their recording of the quartets of Eugeniusz Knapik and Aleksander Lasoń
- 1988 – Nagroda Artystyczna Wojewody Katowickiego / Artistic Award of the Governor of the Voivodeship of Katowice
- 1990 – Nagroda Artystyczna Młodych im. Stanisława Wyspiańskiego / Stanisław Wyspiański Young Artists' Award
- 1992 – Nagroda Artystyczna Prezydenta Miasta Katowic / Art Award of the Mayor of the City of Katowice
- 1994 – Nagroda Zwiazku Kompozytorow Polskich / Award of the Association of Polish Composers
- 1996 – "Fryderyk" Polish Music Award for the Best Chamber Music Album of 1995 (the string quartets of Henryk Mikołaj Górecki)
- 1998 – Płyta Roku / Album of the Year as named by "Studio" music magazine (Szymanowski, Lutosławski)
- 1998 – "Fryderyk" Polish Music Award for the Best Chamber Music Album of 1997 (Szymanowski, Lutosławski)
- 1998 – Award of the Karol Szymanowski Society for its role in popularizing the works of Karol Szymanowski
- 1998 – Nagroda Artystyczna Burmistrza Tarnowskich Gór / Art Award of the Mayor of the City of Tarnowskie Góry
- 1998 - In recognition of the ensemble's achievements, its musicians were distinguished as "Zasłużony Działacz Kultury" / "Meritorious Cultural Activists" by the Minister of Culture and Art
- 1999 "Złoty Krzyż Zasługi" / "Golden Cross of Merit"
Prepared on the basis of: www.silesian-quartet.art.pl, October 2002.