Roman Lasocki is one of the greatest Polish violinists of his generation, and a professor at the Fryderyk Chopin University of Music in Warsaw.
He studied violin under the supervision of Franciszek Jamry at the Academy of Music in Łódź, from which he graduated with honours in 1971. After graduation, the musician continued his education under André Gertler, Henryk Szeryng, Tadeusz Wroński, and Stanisław Lewandowski. He participated in master courses in Budapest (1972), Weimar (1974), Geneva (1976), and Barcelona (1977).
He has performed in the most prestigious concert halls around the world, including Salle Gaveau in Paris, Bösendorfer Saal in Vienna, Carnegie Hall in New York and many other halls in Great Britain, Spain, Italy, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Germany, Bulgaria, Sweden, Denmark, Turkey, Cuba, the United States, and Canada. He has performed at reputed world music festivals, such as Festival de Paris and the Warsaw Autumn festival, having collaborated with the leading Polish and international conductors and orchestras, such as the Silesian Philharmonic, the Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Karol Stryj, Antoni Wit, Mirosław Jacek Błaszczyk, and Jerzy Swoboda. A special place in his repertoire is devoted to the recitals which he has performed with Kiejstut Bacewicz, Józef Stompel, Urszula Bożek-Musialska, and Tadeusz Chmielewski.
He gained the appreciation of audiences and critics as a performer of 20th-century Polish violin music. In his repertoire one finds many art pieces dedicated to him and written by: Rafał Augustyn, Jerzy Bauer, Marcin Błażewicz, Edward Bogusławski, Marian Borkowski, Sławomir Czarnecki, Andrzej Dutkiewicz, Jan Wincenty Hawel, Benedykt Konowalski, Włodzimierz Kotoński, Stanisław Moryto, Bronisław Kazimierz Przybylski, Witold Rudziński, and Romuald Twardowski.
Lasocki has recorded more than twenty albums for record companies in Poland, Germany, England, France, and Japan with Witold Lutosławski’s Partita, Dymitr Szostakowicz's First Violin A Minor Concert op. 77, Grażyna Bacewicz’s Violin Concertos, and Karol Szymanowski's Second Violin Concerto having been awarded prestigious prizes. Lasocki also recorded archival materials for different radio stations from Poland, Great Britain, France, Hungary, Germany, Bulgaria, Sweden, Belgium, Spain, the Czech Republic, Korea, the United States, and Canada, as well as for television channels around the globe. He is the creator of a television show with more than 250 episodes, where he performed and commented on the creations of the best violinists, alto violinists, and cellists from Poland and abroad.
Since 1970 he has also been engaged in music pedagogy as a professor at the Fryderyk Chopin University of Music in Warsaw and the Music Academy in Katowice. In the years 2002-2004, he lectured as a visiting professor at Keimyung University in Daegu (South Korea), while from 1996 to 2000 led master courses in Seoul. Furthermore, he is still asked to lead master courses in Germany, France, Holland, Spain, Hungary, South Korea, Japan, the United States, and Canada. He is often asked to be a judge at Polish and international violin competitions. Witold Lustosławski once wrote to Lasocki in a letter:
Thanks to yours and Ms Musialska's performances, I believe that Recitativo e Arioso was not written with my left hand as I truly enjoyed your performance.
Lutosławski also encouraged the violinist to take an interest in some of his other compositions. In response, Lasocki has performed Partita for violin and orchestra almost seventy times while his album recorded with the Silesian Philharmonic under the baton of Jerzy Swoboda was welcomed warmly by the critics. The great Polish violinist Tadeusz Wroński wrote in Ruch Muzyczny in 1998:
Roman Lasocki is a matured violinist with a fully deserved recognition around the world. His music imagination is particularly interesting owing to the level of sensitivity and understanding of contemporary music he posses. He does not stop being a universal musician who understands all styles though. Lasocki may count the performance of Lutosławski's Partita to his greatest achievements and – in my opinion – thanks to this recording, Partita will settle in the violin repertoire for good.
Lasocki is a laureate of many prestigious prizes and decorations, including Polonia Restituta Officer's Cross, Gold and Silver Crosses of Merit, the Gold Medal of the Polish Radio, the Golden Screen award, the Minister of Culture’s award (five times), the Rector’s Prize of the Karol Szymanowski Academy of Music in Katowice, the Gloria Artis medal, and the Commission of National Education Medal.
As the artistic director of the two festivals he created and ran for almost a quarter-century – Masters of Violin and Stars Promote – he received honorary citizenship of Jelenia Góra. After a few decades of playing a Maggini copy, the artist now focuses on succeeding violins named ‘Roman Lasocki’ and built by Stanisław Król.
In the years 2012-13, Lasocki was the chief of Polish Musicians Association, while since 2004 he has been the vice chief of Henryk Wieniawski Music Society in Lublin. In 2013 the artist became a honorary professor at the String Academy in Hamburg.
Author: Małgorzata Kosińska, Polish Music Information Centre, Polish Composers' Union, July 2003. Updated: May 2016 (AG), translated by AW, December 2016.