The most famous violin piece by Lutoslawski was performed in Lviv in a new edition

Александра Корнович

She’s an 21-year-old violinist who have been at the best international competitions and famous contemporary festivals. In a couple of days, Aleksandra Kornowicz will perform a piece “Subito” by Witold Lutoslawski in the orchestral version of Jerzy Kornowicz.

A little announcement on Sunday concert. Ola, what would you like to tell our readers about yourself?

I study at The Fryderyk Chopin University of Music in Warsaw. I’m in the 3rd year of my bachelor studies. My professors are Jakub Jakowicz, famous violinist and wonderful Roksana Kwaśnikowska. She’s also a fantastic young violinist, and she has concerts all over the world. 

Unfortunately, two weeks ago a tragedy happened. My professor, Jan Stanienda, with whom I’ve been studying for almost four years, died. He was a legend of the Polish violin school, famous concertmaster of the Polish Chamber orchestra and a concertmaster of Sinfonia Varsovia. He was a huge inspiration and authority, so I owe him a lot. Thanks to him, I play the violin. 

I was preparing the piece “Subito” for the Closing of Contrasts with my late professor. That’s why I would like to dedicate this concert to him. 

“Subito” is a piece composed by Witold Lutoslawski, a famous Polish composer, in 1992. As the name suggests, it’s an astounding piece. What’s interesting, this piece was composed for the International Violin Competition of Indianapolis (USA). I guess it’s the most famous piece for the violin by Lutoslawski, known to everyone. It’s also quite demanding technically, a really great piece to play.

Now you’re playing an orchestral version of “Subito”. Have you compared this to the original piano and violin piece?

Yes, this version for orchestra is surprising for me. I’ve never played it this way. The sound and harmonization are maybe better than with a pianist. So I would prefer this version, that’s for now.

This version is made by your father, Jerzy Kornowicz. Had you asked him what had been his intention to do it?

His transcription was commissioned by the Orchestre de Picardie in France. My aunt Joanna Rezler played it with an orchestra for the first time. I have a lot of musicians in my family. My mother is a pianist, my father is a composer. 

Have you played “Subito” with your mother?

Not yet. We have to try it. 

How did your musical childhood begin?

I can’t remember this, but my mom always said that at the age of 4 I told my parents that I would like to play the violin. And they just had to give me the violin because if they wouldn’t do it, I can quit kindergarten. Like an ultimatum. I think that music was always natural for me because of my parents. 

After music school, you have entered the university.

I like my university, and I think about studying abroad in the future. I like to do projects, especially in this field of contemporary music. For example, I belong to Chopin University Modern Ensemble and European Workshop for Contemporary Music. Thanks to them, I had the opportunity to take part in “Warsaw Autumn” exactly 2 weeks ago. It was my second time at the Festival. Also, it was great to play with Shanghai Symphony Orchestra at New Music Week. It was amazing.

Ukrainian music academies contemporary is not so widespread. What is the situation in your university? Are some students are involved in contemporary field and some in classic?

That’s a system from Germany, we don’t have this. But my university is one of the best among eight academies in Poland in this way. Because we have these modern projects. It’s not that popular and that’s true, but. We have a composer who made it, Ignacy Zalewski, a couple of years ago, that’s why we have it. That’s not naturally for music academies to play contemporary. You have to play Paganini’s caprices and romantic concertos. But contemporary is really important. It gave me a lot in my violin playing. 

What are your favourite composers?

Lutoslawski, Szymanowski. It’s a pity that Polish musicians in the universities know Chopin more than them, especially Karol Szymanowski. Also, I like Brahms and Beethoven, Bach, of course.

Have you played much of the new music by young composers? How was the communication?

It was really fun. I had this opportunity just 2 weeks ago. Piece by Matthias Krüger. He had a lot of ideas like “let’s change everything”. Doing this, one just have to train the flexibility.

Vincent Kozlovsky is going to conduct the concert. What is his way of working with the orchestra in your opinion?

I think he’s fantastic and very clear in his conducting. Even if I’m rushing, he’s always with me. He’ll make the great orchestra sound.

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