About the musicians
A top prizewinner at the 2001 Szymanowski International Violin Competition in Łódź and the International Pierre Lantier Competition in Paris, Agnieszka Marucha was born in Warsaw into a musical family.
Recent highlights include a critically acclaimed performance of Szymanowski’s Violin concerto No. 2 with the Bern Symphony Orchestra, as well as solo performances with The Anglian Chamber Players, The Dutch Aurora Philharmonic, and with symphony orchestras in Warsaw, Łódź, Lublin, Zielona Góra and Jelenia Góra in Poland. She has given recitals all over Europe, in China and Hong Kong, and has performed at numerous music festivals.
In 2003 she graduated with distinction from the Warsaw Chopin Academy in the class Prof. M. Lawrynowcz. She is also a holder of the Masters Diploma from the Zuid Nederlandse Hogeschool voor Musiek in Maastricht (class of Prof. R. Szreder) and the Soloist Diploma from the Hochschule der Künste in Bern (class of Prof. M. Urbaniak-Lisik).
In September 2008 she completed the Doctorate Programme at the Warsaw Chopin Academy where she was a student of Prof. Jan Stanienda. In 2008 she studied Baroque Violin with Prof. Chiara Banchini in the Schola Cantorum in Basel.
Her studies were generously funded by scholarships from the Polish Ministry of Culture, Horst Flock Foundation, Polish Cultural Foundation, The ESKAS Swiss Government Scholarship and the Kiefer Hablitzer Foundation.
Between 2006-2008 she held a position of Violin Professor at the Elsner Specialist Music School in Warsaw and regularly gives master classes in the Bosa Antiqua Music Courses in Sardigna. In January 2009 she became a concertmaster of the Danish Chamber Players and Storstrom Symphony Orchestra (violin solo position).
In her native Poland, Ms Marucha won the 1st Prize in the Elbląg Violin Competition in 1997 and was also a prize winner in the “Zdzislaw Jahnke” Violin Competition in Poznań.
Her violin and piano ensemble „Polish Duo”, enjoyed considerable success winning the 1st Prize and the Polish Ministry of Culture Prize at the Zakopane Chamber Music Competition in 1998, and the II Prize at the Penderecki Contemporary Music Competition in Cracow in 2001. The Duo performed several times at the Chanterelle Festival, in the Polish Cultural Institute in Rome, as part of the prestigious “Wednesdays at the Music Academy” concert series in Warsaw and made several recordings for radio and TV stations throughout Poland and Switzerland.
An avid chamber musician Ms. Marucha is a member of the Galant Piano Trio with which she recorded a CD. Since 2004 she has also extensively performed with Trio Arditto. In 2007 the ensemble released a CD for Acte Préalable (AP0159) with world-premiere recordings of pieces for two violins and piano by Arnold Mendelssohn, Hans Huber and Maurice Moszkowski. In 2009 Agnieszka Marucha released CD with world-premiere recording of violin works by Zygmunt Stojowski (AP 0221).
Ms. Marucha was a member of the Bern Symphony Orchestra Academy (2003-2004) and the Zurich Opera House Academy (2005-2006). She has worked with the Camerata Bern, Ensemble Modern, Berner Kammerorchester, Schweizerkammerorchester, the Warsaw New Chamber Orchestra, Polish Radio symphony Orchestra, Storstroms Symphony Orchestra and many baroque ensembles. In 2007 she performed as part of the Ensemble Modern Orchestra in venues including the Baden Baden Festspielhaus, Alte Oper Frankfurt, Amsterdam Concertgebouw and Salle Pleyel in Paris under the direction of Pierre Boulez.
Winner of the BBC Young Musician of the Year Competition in 1996, Rafal Zambrzycki-Payne was born in Lodz, Poland. He studied with Wen Zhou Li at the Yehudi Menuhin School and at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, and subsequently in Vienna with Gerhard Schulz where he was also a scholar at the Herbert von Karajan Centre. His studies have been generously funded by various organisations including Ashurst Morris Crisp.
Rafal has performed with many of the major UK orchestras (English Chamber Orchestra, Bournemouth Symphony, Philharmonia, London Philharmonic, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic) at venues including Royal Albert Hall, Wigmore Hall, Barbican, Bridgewater Hall, Cadogan Hall, Glasgow Royal Concert Hall and Symphony Hall in Birmingham. He worked on several occasions with Lord Menuhin as conductor.
He has performed throughout Europe as well as in the Middle East, Far East, USA, South Africa and Zimbabwe. He performed Khatchaturian’s Violin Concerto for the composer’s centenary celebrations with the Armenian Philharmonic Orchestra and in 2004 gave the British premiere of Alexander Arutunian’s Violin Concerto as well as performing the work at the composer’s 75th Birthday Concert. Recent engagements have included performances with the London Philharmonic, Royal Philharmonic, Armenian Chamber Orchestra, Danubia Symphony in Budapest, KZN Philharmonic in Durban, Johannesburg Philharmonic, Sinfonia Varsovia, Munich and Zurich Chamber Orchestras.
In 2004 Rafal became solo violinist and leader of the international Frankfurt-based contemporary music group Ensemble Modern, as part of which he regularly performs in many of the world’s top venues and festivals. He has performed on numerous occasions as a soloist with the Ensemble Modern (Salzburg Festival - Ferneyhough’s Terrain, Schwetzingen SWR Festival and the Alte Oper in Frankfurt - Berg’s Chamber Concerto) and regurarly works with many of today’s leading composers - George Benjamin, Oliver Knussen, Mark- Anthony Turnage, Wolfgang Rihm to name just a few.
An avid chamber musician, Rafal is a founding member of DIMENSION Piano Trio, winners of the 2005 Parkhouse Award. The trio has given acclaimed performances at the South Bank, St. John’s Smiths Square and the Wigmore Hall and performed the Beethoven Triple Concerto with the London Philharmonic, Royal Philharmonic, Orquesta Odissea in Madrid and the Lutoslawski Philharmonic in Wroclaw (Poland).
Festival performances have included the BBC Proms, Berliner Maerz Musik, Festival d’Autumne a Paris, Huddersfield, Luzern, Monte Carlo, Davos, Menuhin Festival Gstaad, Euro Musica Vitae, Bastad, Banff, Domaine Forget, Paxos, Yerevan, Kastav, Warsaw Beethoven Easter Festival and Chanterelle in Poland. Recent chamber music collaborations have included performances with atists such as David Pyatt, Michael Collins, Heinz Holliger, Julian Rachlin, Radovan Vlatkovic and members of the Alban Berg, Belcea and Szymanowski String Quartets. Rafal has had performances broadcast on many radio stations throughout Europe, Asia and Australia.
Rafal’s first commercial recording was released on the EMI Debut Series featuring works by Szymanowski, Britten and Grieg together with pianist Carole Presland.
In September 2009 he performed the Polish premiere of Hanna Kulenty’s 2nd Violin Concerto with the Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra at the Warsaw Autumn Festival.
Rafal plays on a violin made by J.B.Villaume in 1844
“Zambrzycki-Payne played with bite all evening, leaping the technical hurdles of Lutoslawski’s Partita with abandon” – The Strad