Agata Szymczewska is a violinist and chamber music performer. She has won awards at many violin competitions, including the International Henryk Wieniawski Violin Competition in Poznań.
She was born on 7th October, 1985 in Gdańsk. She studied with Professor Bartosz Bryła at the Academy of Music in Poznań and with Professor Krzysztof Węgrzyn at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Hannover, polishing her skills at master classes with Pamela Frank, Koichiro Harada, Nobuko Imai, Nam Yun Kim, Yu Lina, Sadao Harady, Robert Mann, Wolfgang Marschner, Petru Munteanu, Seiji Ozawa, Wanda Wiłkomirska, and Grigori Zhislin. In October 2010, Szymczewska started to work as a faculty member at the Academy of Music in Poznań.
She has won awards at many violin competitions. In 2006, she received the first prize, the Gold Medal and the TVP Kultura Audience Award at the 13th International Henryk Wieniawski Violin Competition in Poznań. She was also awarded London Music Masters 2009, the first prize at the Internationaler Violinwettbewerb 'Zell an der Pram in Austria, Gundlach Musikpreis in Hannover, and the Concerto Competition in Calgary. The artist has received stipends from the National Fund for Children, the Prime Minister of Poland, the Yehudi Menuhin’s Live Music Now Foundation, Gundlach Musikpreis in Hannover and the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage within the Young Poland programme. In addition, she was honoured with Polityka magazine’s Passport award, the Transatlantic Chopin Award (2011), and a Fryderyk Award in the category of symphonic and concert music. Tim Homfray wrote about the artist in The Strad in 2011:
The young Polish violinist Agata Szymczewska, prizewinner of a string of international competitions, also boasts a London Music Masters Award, which enabled her to make her debut with the London Philharmonic Orchestra (LPO) under Osmo Vänskä on 13 October (Royal Festival Hall). She performed, like many a debutant before her, Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto. It was an accomplished performance, poised, full of charm and youthful energy. She is not the first to treat the second subject of the opening movement as a rubato-laden reverie, but she did it nicely. There was a fine sense of scale in all her playing, combining joy and colour with delicacy and purpose, and she blazed through the finale, provoking an instant noisy ovation from a phalanx of young listeners in the audience who cheered and hooted. She provided them, and us, with a short encore, Bacewich’s arrangement of a Polish folk tune, a colourful, virtuosic bon-bon delivered with winning style.
In October 2009, she debuted in Wigmore Hall which effected in an invitation to pefrorm in the Royal Festival Hall together with the London Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Osmo Vanska in the autumn of 2010. After the concert Hilary Finch wrote about her in The Times:
She plays with a poise, authority and musical intelligence beyond her years, sounding at times like a fiery young Ida Haendel.
She has given concerts in the most famous concert halls across Europe (Théatre des Champs-Élysées in Paris, Victoria Hall in Geneva, Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Konzerthaus in Berlin, Berwaldhallen in Stockholm, Wigmore Hall in London, Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow), China, Japan, Korea, Canada, Israel, and the United States, having performed with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, The Sinfonia Varsovia, The Orchestra of the National Philharmonic in Warsaw, Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra in Katowice, Lahti Symphony Orchestra, Istanbul State Symphony Orchestra, China National Symphony Orchestra, Konzerthausorchester Berlin, Sinfonieorchester St. Gallen, and many more in Poland, under the baton of Krzysztof Penderecki, Andrey Boreyko, Maxim Vengerov, Sir Neville Marriner, John Axelrod, Okko Kamu, Jerzy Maksymiuk, Tadeusz Strugała, Marek Moś, Tadeusz Wojciechowski, Jacek Kaspszyk, Jan Krenz, and Krzysztof Urbański. She has performed with Anne-Sophie Mutter, Martha Argerich, Yuri Bashmet, Krystian Zimerman, Gidon Kremer, Frans Helmerson, and Kaja Danczowska.
In the 2014/2015 season, she became a member of the Szymanowski Quartet.
In September 2016, she released her newest album, Modern Soul, which includes sonatas written by young Polish composers: Ignacy Zalewski, Marcin Markowicz, Mikołaj Majkusiak, and Aleksandra Nowak. Szymczewska performs together with the pianists Grzegorz Skrobiński and Marek Bracha, the guitarist Łukasz Kuropaczewski, and the accordionist Maciej Frąckiewicz.
She plays a Nicolo Gagliano violin (1755) courtesy of Anne-Sophie Mutter.
The artist’s website: www.agataszymczewska.pl
Author: Małgorzata Kosińska, Polish Music Information Centre, Polish Composers' Union, December 2006, updated by AG, October 2016, translated by AW, November 2016.