photo Dariusz Senkowski

Emilia Sitarz piano
Bartłomiej Wąsik piano
Magdalena Kordylasińska percussion
Miłosz Pękala percussion

Kwadrofonik is the only quartet of its kind in Poland and one of a few in the world, formed from the joining of a piano duet and percussion duet. The quartet are: Emilia Sitarz and Bartłomiej Wąsik (Lutosławski Piano Duo) and Magdalena Kordylasińska and Miłosz Pękała (Hob-beats Duo). The ensemble’s career began in 2006 with a spectacular victory at the 9th “New Tradition” Folk Festival, at which the musicians won the Grand Prix, the Audience Prize and the Prize of the Mayor of Warsaw. It was then that music critics decided that the ensemble is innovative, blazing new paths in folk music.
Kwadrofonik is an ensemble in which the musicians are engaged in extraordinary dialogue, where the roles of the instruments shift almost imperceptibly – the pianos become percussion instruments and the percussion instruments take over as those which play the melody. Precision of performance, lively interpretation, a gift or direct contact with the audience – all provide for a guarantee of complete satisfaction for participants in the musical show created by the group. When playing their own works, the musicians often improvise, experiment and search for new solutions intended to maximise the performance capabilities of two pianos and percussion instruments.

In 2007 Kwadrofonik was awarded the prestigious Special Prize at the 3rd “Svetozar Stracina” European Broadcasting Union (EBU) Competition in Bratislava. In the same year the ensemble’s compositions were presented at the “Late Junction” programme broadcast by BBC Radio 3.

The musicians jointly also perform compositions written for their combination of instruments, including works by Bela Bartók, George Crumb and Rolf Wallin, as well as works composed especially for the ensemble (including Różnia by Wojciech Ziemowit Zych – the most anticipated first performance of the Warsaw Autumn Festival in 2010). An important place in the repertoire is occupied by the ensemble’s own transcriptions of symphonic works, including Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring (first performance of version for two pianos and percussion in 2008) and Szymanowski’s Mazurkas and Harnasie (in 2007).

In 2008 the ensemble released their debut album “Folklove”, released by the Polish Radio. The album was enthusiastically received by the critics and in 2009 brought the musicians the Folk Recording of the Year award – the critics’ prize for the best folk music album. The ensemble’s next album containing its own transcriptions of ballets by Stravinsky and Szymanowski is due to be released soon.

The ensemble has played at many concerts and festivals in Poland, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Israel, Brazil and in the United States. In 2010, during the celebration of the 200th anniversary of Chopin’s birthday, the musicians performed in New York’s renowned Carnegie Hall and in Chicago Symphony Hall, presenting a project combining folk music with the works of Chopin. In 2011 they made their debut in the Berlin Philharmonie, performing their own version of Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring. That year the ensemble travelled to Japan to perform at Izumi Hall (Osaka) and at contemporary music festivals in Moscow and Beijing. In 2012, during the 13th Colours of Poland Festival, Kwadrofonik and friends performed Steve Reich’s legendary Music For 18 Musicians. This was the first performance of this work by Polish musicians.

Kwadrofonik is valued by the public not only for their performance skills, but also for their surprising use of percussion instruments and two pianos. It is also worth noting that their concerts always turn into beautiful visual events, during which the musicians use several dozen instruments in a visually attractive way.

Szalone Dni Muzyki
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