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Maria Ołdak
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Born in Poland, she began playing the violin at the age of five, studying with Danuta Sujata. In 2005 she graduated with First Class Honours from the Fryderyk Chopin Academy of Music (now University of Music) in Warsaw, where she was taught by Julia Jakimowicz-Jakowicz before she took up a full scholarship to study with Igor Petrushevski at the Royal Academy of Music in London. Graduating with Distinction in 2007, she was also awarded the DipRAM, given for an outstanding final recital and a prize from the Vice-Principal in recognition of her successes.
Maria is a competition prize winner. Most recently she has won first prize and two special prizes at the Competition “Allegro-Vivo” in Horn (Austria) as well at the audience prize at the prestigious Friends of the Academy Wigmore Award. At the Royal Academy of Music she was awarded the Sidney Griller Memorial Prize, Gill Culpin Award, Edna Seabright Memorial Prize, Franz Reizenstein Prize and Eric Falk Award. Other awards include scholarships from the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage in Warsaw, Center of Arts Education in Warsaw and President of the City of Opole.
She has taken part in master classes with prominent artists such as Maxim Vengerov, Sir Colin Davis, Kathryn Stott, Igor Oistrakh, Lydia Mordkovich, Thomas Brandis, Tomasz Tomaszewski, Yair Kless, Christiane Edinger and participated in many international music courses and festivals, including the Ravinia Festival, BBC Proms, Leeds International Chamber Season, Julian Rachlin & Friends Festival, Septembre Musical, Spitalfields Festival, “Paganini in London” Festival, Cheltenham Festival, Norwich & Norfolk Festival, Silesian Musical Summer, Princess Daisy Ensemble International Festival of Chamber Art, Warsaw’s Autumn and “Strefa Ciszy” Royal Łazienki Music Festival.
As a soloist, chamber and orchestral musician Maria has performed with a number of extraordinary artists, such as Martha Argerich, Pinchas Zukerman, Charles Dutoit, Renée Fleming, Edgar Meyer, Mark O’Connor, Sol Gabetta, Joshua Bell, Simon Mulligan, Paul Gulda, Toby Spence, Pekka Kuusisto, Marta Sudraba, Raphael Wallfisch, Clio Gould, Michael Collins, Vadim Repin. Between 2006 and 2011 she was a soloist for the Live Music Now scheme, founded by the late Sir Yehudi Menuhin, and also worked and recorded regularly with the Scottish Ensemble, London Sinfonietta and Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.
Interested in various musical genres, she has performed and recorded with Sigur Rós, Branford Marsalis, Chris Botti amongst others. In 2010 she has toured Canada and the US and recorded an album with Sting and the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra, having been appointed Sub-Principal 1st violin (No. 2) for this project.
In 2008 in recognition of achievements she has been awarded the most prestigious Polish scholarship of the Minister of Culture and National Heritage – “Young Poland”, which enabled her to buy a bow by Benoit Rolland. Between 2008 and 2011 she was Tomasz Tomaszewski’s assistant at the International Music Course in Opole, where she started teaching a class of her own in 2012. In July 2011, Maria recorded Patrick Nunn’s award winning work Transilient Fragments which was specifically written for her and will feature on his forthcoming CD.
Maria is the chairman of the Music Society (in Opole) as well as the founder and artistic director of the “W oparach dźwięków” Festival and the “Wędrowna Pracownia Muzyczna” concert series. She performs regularly with pianist, James Baillieu and harpist, Malwina Lipiec. She plays a violin made in 1992 by Roberto Piergiorgio, Cremona.


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