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Kwadrofonik

The band Kwadrofonik was established in 2006 as a result of the merger of two duets: a 
percussion and piano duet of Magdalena Kordylasińska and Miłosz Pękala (Hob-Beats Duo) 
and the Lutoslawski Piano Duo with Emilia Sitarz and Bartłomiej Wasik. They now form the 
only quartet of this kind in Poland and one of very few ones in the world.

Together they perform the music of the twentieth and twenty-first century, pieces specially 
composed for the band, as well as transcriptions of symphonic works and their own 
compositions inspired by traditional Polish music.
The band’s career began with the project Folklove, which was met with an enthusiastic 
reception at the Folk Music Festival "New Tradition" where the musicians received the 
Grand Prix Award of the President of Warsaw and the Audience Award. Critics described 
the band as visionary and setting out new directions in folk music. 

In 2007, Kwadrofonik was awarded the prestigious Special Prize at the 3. Competition of 
the European Broadcasting Union EBU "Svetozar Stracina" in Bratislava. The prize for 
modernity, innovation and being faithful to tradition was awarded for the first time in the 
history of the competition. The quartet is also the winner of the Folk Phonogram of the 
Year – a phonographic award for the best folk album of 2007. 
In 2010, Kwadrofonik presented the project "I was here. Frederick" for the first time. It is a 
musical collage inspired by Chopin's music, traditional music and contemporary performing  
techniques. At the Warsaw Autumn Festival in the same year, the artists performed the 
monumental work "Różnia" by Wojciech Ziemowit Zych written specifically for the band. It 
was the most awaited premiere of the festival. 

Within a few years the quartet prepared many transcriptions including Bartok’s Microcosm 
and Karol Szymanowski’s Harnasie. They have also - along with the cellist Andrzej Bauer and 
composer Cezary Duchnowski performed Witold Lutoslawski’s Cello Concerto in a version 
for a cello, prepared pianos, percussion and electronic instruments. They played several 
premieres of contemporary works including pieces composed by  GM Zych and M. 
Jablonski, and prepared the first fully Polish performance of Steve Reich’s  "Music for 
eighteen musicians". 

The last four premieres written for the band and the mezzo-soprano Barbara Kinga 
Majewska (A. Gryka, W. Blecharz, A. Kwieciński, S. Wojciechowski) were the main event of 
the festival Instalakcje at the New Theatre in Warsaw in 2014. 
The band toured many cities of Poland, Europe, the Middle East, Far East and the Americas. 
It has performed at such venues as the National Philharmonic, The Witold Lutoslawski 
Studio, the Carnegie Hall, the Chicago Symphony Center, the Berlin Philharmonic, the Izumi 
Hall (Osaka) and the Hall of Central Conservatory in Beijing. Many concerts were organized 
at the invitation of Polish Embassies and Institutes. After the concert in Chicago "The New 
Herald Tribune" found the band extremely visionary, and the arrangement of Preludes in E 
minor by F. Chopin absolutely brilliant.

When working on their compositions the musicians often follow the path of improvisation, 
experiences and explorations of sound, in order to maximize the capabilities of the two 
pianos and the percussion. The band is appreciated by the public, not only for the high level 
of performance, but also for surprising ideas and ways of using the percussion instruments 
and the pianos. It is worth noting that their concerts are great spectacles, during which the 
musicians often use dozens of instruments. They also conduct master classes and 
contemporary music education concerts for pre-school children.
 
From 2013 the quartet has collaborated with the jazz singer Dorota Miśkiewicz, with whom 
they developed new arrangements of songs for children composed by Witold Lutoslawski to 
the words by Julian Tuwim. The disc with these compositions was released by Sony and 
three months later received a Gold Record and was nominated for the phonographic award 
Fryderyk.

In November 2014 - in connection with the celebration of the Kolberg Year - Kwadrofonik 
along with the singer Adam Strug prepared the Folk Requiem concert for the Polish Radio, 
inspired by traditional Polish mourning music. A record with this program was released in 
March 2015 by the Polish Radio and the National Audiovisual Institute. In the autumn of 
this year the first of Contemporary Chamber Music Marathon hosted and initiated by 
Kwadrofonik will be held in Warsaw.

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