9th anniversary of the death of Piotr Janowski – first Polish winner of the International Henryk Wieniawski Violin Competition
Piotr Janowski was born in Grudziądz on 5th February 1951. In 1967, at the age of 16, he became the first Polish laureate of First Prize at the 5th International Henryk Wieniawski Violin Competition in Poznań. He also took first prizes at the following competitions: the Philadelphia Orchestra Competition (1 972), G.B. Dealy (Dallas, Texas, 1 974) and The Naumburg Competition (New York) together with New Arts Trio (1979, 1980) (twice). Within one academic year (1969/70) he covered educational programme of the Frederic Chopin University of Music in Warsaw in the violin class of professor Irena Dubiska, and graduated with an honours degree.
He continued his education under Zino Francescatti’s direction in Curtis Institute of Philadelphia; he was also taught by Ivan Galamian in Juilliard School of Music and Jascha Heifetz at the University of Southern California (Los Angeles).
As a soloist, he performed with the leading American and European orchestras, such as New York Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, St. Louis Symphony, Minnesota Orchestra, Oslo Philharmonic, Warsaw National Philharmonic Orchestra, collaborating with eminent conductors such as Leonard Bernstein, Leonard Slatkin, Eugene Ormandy, Erich Leinsdorf, David Effron, Stanisław Wisłocki, Andrzej Markowski, Bogusław Madey, Zdzisław Szostak. After several years he came to Poland with a series of concerts. One of them was a splendid recital in Poznań, thirty-two years after his “Wieniawski ’67” victory.
Piotr Janowski gave concerts in Asia, Europe, North and South America, performing recitals and chamber music, and achieving a great success. He performed with the legendary pianists: Mieczysław Horszowski and Arthur Balsam; he shared the stage with brilliant musicians such as Peter Serkin, Franco Agostini, Wolfgang Pflagge, Jerzy Lefeld, Maciej Paderewski, Jerzy Marchwinski. He took part in many music festivals, e.g., Marlboro Music Festival, VT, Chautauqua Music Festival, NY, Warsaw Autumn Festival and Dimitrios (Greece). Endowed with a phenomenal musical memory, he had a boundless repertoire. He was aI recognized professor of such institutions as University of Wisconsin in Milwaukee, Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY, and Barrat Due Institute in Oslo. He delivered a number ofImaster classes e.g., in Bologna Conservatorio (I taly), the Oberlin College and Northwestern University in Chicago.
Piotr Janowski made records for the following record labels: Muza, Pantheon, Aura, Phoenix, Norske Gram (Sony) and 2L (The Complete Works of Henryk Wieniawski). He was citizen of Poland and the United States, and an honorary citizen of the state of Arkansas (USA) and the city of Cognac (France).
He is considered to be one of the most outstanding violinists of the 20th century.
He died suddenly of a heart attack in London on 6th December 2008.
9th anniversary of the death of Piotr Janowski - first Polish winner of the International Henryk Wieniawski Violin Competitionmore >>