A Conversation with Concert Pianist Krzysztof Jablonski


From Morningside Music Bridge archives: Pianist Krzysztof Jablonski joined by cellist Tomasz Strahl. 

There’s plenty of excitement around the Conservatory — Morningside Music Bridge kicks off today. We have more than 70 international and local students filling our hallways!

Our 18th annual intensive summer music school is a partnership between China, Poland and Canada, bringing together top students and the world’s leading musicians to teach them.

Among our talented teachers is Mount Royal Conservatory faculty member Prof. Krzysztof Jablonski.

Jablonski was born in 1965 in Wroclaw, Poland.

He started piano lessons at age six and he performed his first concert with an orchestra at age 12. He won many scholarships and first prizes at piano competitions in Poland. As the youngest competitor at age 15, he placed fifth at the Milan Piano Competition, Premio Dino Ciani.

Throughout his career as a concert pianist, he has received numerous awards from prestigious competitions and has toured the world.

In 1998, he immigrated to Canada and he now calls Calgary home.

Question: What are you most looking forward to at this year’s Morningside Music Bridge?

Krzysztof Jablonski: To work with young, energetic and eager-to-learn pianists, to share my knowledge and experience with them, to meet my dear friends and immerse myself in intense music making.

Question: How important is classical music in Poland: to listeners, to musicians?

Krzysztof Jablonski: Classical music has always had its important place in Polish people’s hearts. It’s a long tradition, our country had great composers and performers, great teachers as well.

Polish audiences are sensitive, and they react in an authentic way. If they don’t like something, no standing ovation. It was always difficult in the past to satisfy the Polish audience when there were more people knowing quite a lot about music.

With the changes that are affecting most countries in the world, classical music has still its audience and place, but I have a feeling it is not as strong as it used to be.

I think music is and has to be important to every musician — otherwise we would not be able to dedicate our lives to something that is so transient, ephemeral. We never really have it, we just experience it momentarily and the rest is just the feeling and impressions left.

Question: Why did you choose to perform to Chopin and Liszt for your upcoming concert? (July 6, 7 p.m. in the Leacock Theatre. Tickets are $25 for adults, $20 for students, seniors and MRU alumni. Click link for tickets.)

Krzysztof Jablonski: There are various reasons for that. The recital program is actually the same one I am going to perform during my Asian concert tour I am starting on July 14. As I am performing several different recitals, chamber repertoire as well as works with orchestra, it is simply wise to not overload my practice time with too many works, especially having teaching activities on top of my daily practice schedule.

Second and even more important: these are works that are all dear to me. There is a lot about life and death, about love, about losing of someone dear, about passions, screaming protest against our fate and much more.

I start the program with B flat minor Sonata which – in its centre point – has Funeral March. This is the music performed during Polish funerals. There is no person in Poland who does not recognize this heartbreaking melody. The extraordinarily beautiful music of Liszt is also in my program. I wanted to present to Calgarians another Liszt. This is the composer whose works, for many people, are associated with so called pianistic fireworks and virtuosity in its purest form.

Well, the works I will be performing are also virtuosic pieces but this is meaningful music at the same time. Focusing on its pianistic difficulties would be unforgivable. I try to expose the beauty of this music as much as it is only possible and I hope my listeners will like it!

Sherri Zickefoose, July 2, 2014


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