Wojciech Świtała

WOJCIECH SWITALAWOJCIECH ŚWITAŁA - is a graduate of the Karol Szymanowski Academy of Music in Katowice, where he studied with Professor Józef Stompel. In 1991-1996 he continued his studies under the guidance of Professors Karl-Heinz Kàmmerling, André Dumortier and Jean-Claude Vanden-Eynden. He is a prizewinner of numerous international competitions, including Bardolino (First Prize), the Long-Thibaud Competition in Paris (Second Grand Prix, audience prize and prize for the best European participant) and the Montreal Piano Competition. He received an award for the best interpretation of a polonaise, as well as several other prizes at the 12th International Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw in 1990.

Foreign tours have taken him to most European countries as well as Argentina, Morocco, the United Arab Emirates, Libya, the USA and Canada. He has performed with the majority of Polish symphony orchestras (including Sinfonia Varsovia, Amadeus, the Kraków Philharmonic and the Silesian Philharmonic), under the baton of such conductors as Agnieszka Duczmal, Jan Krenz, Tadeusz Strugała, Volker Schmidt-Gertenbach, Krzysztof Missona, Jerzy Katlewicz, Mirosław Błaszczyk and Tomasz Bugaj. In addition to solo performances, he has developed a career in chamber music, appearing with the violinist Szymon Krzeszowiec, the Silesian Quartet, the Camerata Quartet, the Royal String Quartet and the Aukso Orchestra.

Wojciech Świtała has recorded many CDs, mainly of music by Liszt, Schumann and Chopin (including the Scherzi, Walzes, and Rondos as part of the National Edition series). In 2000 and 2005 his discs were awarded the Grand Prix du Disque Frederic Chopin and in 2002 he received the Fryderyk Award of the Polish recording industry. In 2003, Świtała recorded both books of Debussy's Preludes for the BeArTon label and joined Szymon Krzeszowiec in the recording of the complete violin sonatas of Brahms for SONY Music Polska. His discography also includes works by Juliusz Zarębski (for BeArTon, recorded with the Royal String Quartet in Super Audio CD technology, 2006), Chopin's Preludes, Op. 28 and the Andante spianato and Grande Polonaise Brillante, Op. 22 (recorded for the National Fryderyk Chopin Institute on an 1848 Pleyel piano and an 1849 Erard piano, 2007) and Szymanowski's works for piano and violin (recorded with Piotr Pławner for DUX, the Fryderyk Award in 2009).

In 2010, the pianist recorded the complete collection of Chopin's songs with Ewa Iżykowska. The material was published in Blu-ray format by the National Centre of Culture as part of their collection. His latest recording is of the Ballades, both on modern piano and historic Pleyel fortepiano (published by the National Fryderyk Chopin Institute, 2012).

Since 1998, Wojciech Świtała has also pursued a teaching career. He is currently a Professor at the Piano Department. Between 2008 and 2012 he served a term as vice-rector of didactics and education. In September 2012, he became Head of the Piano Department. He was jury member at such competitions as: 66th International M. Long and J. Thibaud Piano Competition in Paris (2009), The National Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw (2007, 2008, 2011,2012), The International Paderewski Piano Competition in Bydgoszcz (2010), The International Chopin Piano Competition in Singapore (2010) as well as competitions for scholarships of the Yamaha Foundation and EPTA. He will be a jury member at the 17th International Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw (2015).