She studied piano under Zbigniew Śliwiński and Jerzy Sulikowski at the Academy of Music in Gdańsk and graduated with honours in 1981. In between 1979-1982, she did her post-graduate studies in Hamburg under Conrad Hansen. She also received artistic consultations from Janina Sukiennicka, Rudolf Kerer (1977), Tatiana Nikołajewa (1981), and Martha Argerich (1981).
She won the first prize at the Gian Battista Viotti International Piano Competition in Vercelli (1977), the gold medal at International Young Soloists’ Festival in Bordeaux (1979) and the V award as well as the Polish Radio award for the best performance of Fryderyk Chopin's mazurkas at the 10th International Fryderyk Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw (1980).
Ewa Pobłocka debuted on stage in 1970 accompanying her mother Zofia Janukowicz-Pobłocka during singing recitals. She has performed in almost every European country, as well as in both Americas, China, Indonesia, Vietnam, South Africa, Singapore, South Korea, Japan and Australia. She has played in such famous concert halls as Herkules-Saal in Munich, Musikhalle in Hamburg, Auditorio Nacional in Madrid, Barbican Centre and Wigmore Hall in London, St. Petersburg Philharmonic Hall, Théâtre des Champs Elysées in Paris, Kyoi Hall in Tokyo, Musikverein in Vienna, Lincoln Center in New York, Glenn Gould Studio in Toronto and many others. She has toured numerous times with the Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Kazimierz Kord. As a soloist she has also performed with the London Symphony Orchestra, the English Chamber Orchestra, Orchestra del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, Tonkünstler-Orchester Niederösterreich, the Polish Chamber Orchestra, the Polish Radio National Symphony Orchestra in Katowice, Sinfonia Varsovia with such conductors as Witold Lutosławski, Andrzej Panufnik, Kazimierz Kord, Henryk Czyż, Jan Krenz, Stanisław Skrowaczewski, Jerzy Maksymiuk, Grzegorz Nowak, Wojciech Michniewski, Jerzy Katlewicz, Jerzy Salwarowski, Tadeusz Strugała, Antoni Wit, Reinbert de Leeuw.
In September 1990, she inaugurated the ‘Warsaw Autumn’ International Festival of Contemporary Music with the first Polish performance of Piano Concertos by Andrzej Panufnik. A year later she made the first ever recording of the piece with the London Symphony Orchestra under the direction of the composer. Her recording of Witold Lutosławski’s Piano Concertos with the Polish Radio National Symphony is the first ever recording of the piece. The recording was then released by CD Accord and received Studio’s (music magazine) title of the ‘Album of the year 1996’. Her interpretation of the Concerto performed for the composers 80th birthday was transmitted in 30 radio stations in 27 European countries. In February 1995 in Paris she inaugurated UNESCO’s 50th anniversary with this piece. At the ‘Présences’ Festival (de création musicale) in Paris in 1995, she performed the world premiere of Paweł Szymański’s Piano Concerto that was dedicated to her, commissioned by the French Radio. She was also the first ever to perform it in front of a Polish audience at the ‘Warsaw Autumn’ Festival in 1995.
Ewa Pobłocka has worked with many radio broadcasters and record labels such as: Deutsche Grammophon, Grüner & Jahr, Polskie Nagrania, Victor JVC, Pony Canyon, Conifer Records, KOS Warsaw Records, BeArTon and CD Accord. She recorded the first ever in the history of phonography, set of John Field’s 20 Nocturnes, furthermore a set of Jan Sebastian Bachs Partitas, a set of Gabiela Fauré’s Nocturnes, all of Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy's Songs Without Words, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Concert Pianos with the Leopoldinum Orchestra under the direction of Jan Stanienda, Fryderyk Chopin Nocturnes that were recorded for the first time by the National Edition of Chopin's Complete Works under Jan Ekierka, Songs by Mieczysław Karłowicz – together with Jadwiga Rappé, Panufnik’s, Lutosławski’s and Szymański’s Piano Concertos accompanied by the Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Kazimierz Kord, a set of Mazurkas and The Fantasy of Polish Airs op.2 by Chopin along with Sinfonia Varsovia under Jacek Kaspszyk as well as songs by Chopin, Stanisława Moniuszko, Karłowicz, Karol Szymanowski and Lutosławski – along with Ewą Podleś. Her recordings were enthusiastically praised by critics and received prestigious awards, including two Fryderyk statuettes and the John Field Medal.
Ewa Pobłocka enjoys performing chamber music, she frequently collaborated with singers Jadwiga Rappé, Olga Pasiecznik, Krzysztof Jakowicz, Piotr Pławner and the Silesian String Quartet. Along with Marek Moś and Andrzej Bauer they created the Trio XXI wieku (Trio of the 21 century).
Since 2000, Ewa Pobłocka has taught piano at the Academy of Music in Bydgoszcz. In 2007, she received the title of professor. She has given masterclasses in Calgary and Tokyo. She has been a judge at numerous Polish and foreign piano competitions such as the International Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw (2005).
In 2004 Ewa Pobłocka received the annual award of the Minister of Culture was also awarded the Knight’s Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta by the President of the Republic of Poland.
Ewa Pobłocka is a versatile pianist with a rich and extensive repertoire. She is successful playing both Bach and Lutosławski.
I love Bach, I am playing more and more Mozart and contemporary music too. Lutosławski’s Concerto especially opened up a sphere of musical beauty I had not known before. It is a wonderful piece, well written for the piano. It gives the pianist the opportunity to show himself from various sides: its texture resembling that of 19th century tradition, that requires an impressionist sensitivity to the timbre, Bartókian rhythmical precision, a sonorous tone and wide musical phrasing. I love this concert and I practice it as well as Bach. Towards Bach, I have a very specific approach, the music requires a special attitude. You just can’t play Bach straight away or mix it with other types of music. A similar case is with Schubert. But back to contemporary music: I’d love to play it more often than has happened until now – Lutosławski’s Concerto, Alban Berg’s Sonata. However, only in some countries – Germany, Scandinavian countries – is the audience prepared to listen to contemporary music. (...)
I am a great lover of singing. I accompany vocalists with great joy, I go to the opera with pleasure. In almost every piece by Mozart, I hear one of his genius operas. Even more so than masters of technique, I am moved by pianists, whose music is overflowing with emotional charge and lyricism: Mieczysław Horszowski playing Bach or Mozart, Martha Argerich playing Schumann. I am overwhelmed with emotion when listening to Światosław Richter performing Fantasy in C minor by Mozart or Radu Lupu or Murray Perahia playing Fantasy in C minor by Schubert. My hope is that my concerts have moved my audience in a such a way. Music should elicit emotions. (Studio nr 5, 1994
The artists website: www.poblocka.com
Author: Małgorzata Kosińska, Polish Music Information Center, Polish Composers' Union, Translated by: Zuzanna Wisniewska, July 2015