Tadeusz Szostak, nicknamed Berda, was a fiddler, storyteller, and fiddle-maker from Kośne Hamry, Poronin, regarded as one of the best musicians of the Podhale Skalne region. He was born in 1928, died in 2006.
Fiddler, story teller, and fiddle-maker.
His father played bass, his mother was an accomplished singer, and his brothers were also musically inclined. His family home hosted many artists from the Poronin area, and was regularly reverberated with music on a regular basis. Tadeusz Szostak started to play the fiddle at the age of 12. At first he imitated well known local musicians: the forester Józef Futro, his brother, and Jan Nędza. He usually listened to them playinging in the evenings, after returning from daily pasturage grazing sheep of lambs on the nearby Palenica glade.
Tadeusz Szostak started playing at weddings at the age of 18. He played in various bands; however, for the longest time (from 1984 onwards), he was mostly involved with three of his young cousins, who he had taught Goral music. It was with them that he received many prestigious awards, for instance two Baszta awards at the National Festival of Folk Bands and Singers in Kazimierz. He collaborated with many regional bands from the Podhale region, and since he was regarded as a master of the music from Podhale, he performed at prestigious festivals and folk reviews as a band leader (with the Holny Band he received a Golden Ciupaga Award award at the International Goral Folk Festival in Zakopane).
Tadeusz Szostak received many individual awards and he won main prizes at regional and national bands competitions. He was a three-times winner at the National Festival of Polish Gorals in Żywiec, twice at the International Goral Folk Festival in Zakopane, and several times he received an honorary mention at the National Competition of Storytellers, Instrumentalists and Folk Singers in Bukowina Tatrzańska several times. His musical body of work has been preserved in the form of recordings collected in the archive of Radio Centre of Folk Culture and the Sokół Lesser Poland’s Sokół Centre of Culture in Nowy Sącz.
Tadeusz Szostak Berda
Not only Tadeusz was Szostak was a goodn acclaimed musician, but also a highly valued fiddle - maker (he specialized in making złóbcoki – the three -string oblong fiddle), an excellent storyteller, and above all, an engaged and warm-hearted educator. He led music bands in Bukowina Tatrzańska and in the Community Centre in Poronin. Tadeusz Szostak died in 2006.
Source: www.nagrodakolberg.pl, transl. G. Soczewka, Dec 2014