Witold Lutosławski International Cello Competition

Purpose of competition

Witold Lutosławski International Cello Competition in Warsaw is the first, and up to date the only international cello competition in Poland.
The intention of this competition is to give young Polish cellists, up to age 24, an opportunity to present themselves to prominent cellists and cello professors from Poland and abroad and to compare their art of performance with their coleague-musicians from all over the world. This is thought to help establishing international cross-links between young musicians and prominent cello professors.

Differences from other cello competitions

This is the only cello competition, that we know of, in Poland and in Europe which limits the age of the participants to maximum 24 years and thus it is directed entirely to young students at the start of their artistic careers. Very advanced program of the Competition permits for selection of the most talented young cellists who have a chance to begin careers as soloists.
In the Program of the Competition there are all works of Witold Lutoslawski dedicated to cello. The Competition gives unique opportunity for young cellist to perform Lutoslawski’s concerto with orchestra in the final round.
Taking part in our Competition is meant to gather experience and serve as preparation for participation in big, most important international cello competition.

Repertoire

The Program of the Competition offers to Participants a choice from the most important and representative works of cello repertoire in a wide stylistic range, from baroque to contemporary music. We consider that both classical XIX century and contemporary XX century music should be studied by every young ambitious cellist. Therefore, in the 2nd round the Participants have to present themselves in romantic or classical and contemporary repertoire.

In our opinion this is a good test to prove the power and artistic creativity and perfect craftmenship.
The length of performances are the following:
1st round - approximately 30 min.
2nd round - approximately 45 min.
final round - depends on the length of the chosen concerto.

Since February 2000 The Witold Lutosławski Internationa Cello Competition is a member of The World Federation of International Music Competitions and since December 2000 it is a member of The European Union of Music Competitions for Youth

History - Development

1996 - announcement of the competition

Chairman of the Jury

1997 - 2005 Kazimierz Michalik
2007, 2009, Kazimierz Kord
2011 Miroslaw Jacek Blaszczyk
2013 Tsuyoshi Tsutsumi

1997: The First International Cello Competition in Warsaw (23 participants)

I + II Stage

  • The Karol Szymanowski Music School
  • Official pianist: Robert Marat

Stage III

  • The Frederic Chopin Academy of Music
  • The Jelenia Góra Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Miroslaw Blaszczyk - conductor

1999: II Witold Lutoslawski International Cello Competition (28 participants)

I + II Stage

  • The Karol Szymanowski Music School
  • Official pianist: Maria Szwajger-Kułakowska

Stage III

  • The Frederic Chopin Academy of Music
  • Orchestra of the Academy of Music
  • Marcin Nałęcz-Niesiołowski - conductor

2001: III Witold Lutoslawski International Cello Competition (27 participants)

I + II Stage

  • The Karol Szymanowski Music School
  • Official pianist: Barbara Halska

Stage III

  • The Frederic Chopin Academy of Music
  • Orchestra of the Academy of Music
  • Paweł Przytocki - conductor

2003: IV International Cello Competition. Witold Lutoslawski (36 participants)

I + II Stage

  • The Karol Szymanowski Music School
  • Officials pianists: Agnieszka Kozło, Scott Feigen

Stage III

  • National Philharmonic - Concert Hall
  • Polish Radio Orchestra
  • Wojciech Rajski - conductor

2005: V Witold Lutoslawski International Cello Competition (37 participants)

Stage I

  • The Karol Szymanowski Music School

Stage II

  • National Philharmonic - Chamber
  • Officials pianists: Agnieszka Kozło, Maria Sterczyńska

Stage III

  • National Philharmonic - Concert Hall
  • Polish Radio Orchestra
  • Wojciech Rajski - conductor

2007: VI Witold Lutoslawski International Cello Competition (36 participants)

Stage I

  • The Karol Szymanowski Music School

Stage II

  • National Philharmonic - Chamber Hall
  • Officials pianists: Agnieszka Kozło, Grzegorz Gorczyca

Stage III

  • National Philharmonic - Concert Hall
  • Polish Radio Orchestra
  • Massimiliano Caldi - conductor

2009: VII Witold Lutoslawski International Cello Competition (40 participants)

Stage I

  • The Karol Szymanowski Music School

Stage II

  • National Philharmonic - Chamber Hall
  • Officials pianists: Agnieszka Kozło and Miguel Angel Ortega Chalvadas

Stage III

  • National Philharmonic - Concert Hall
  • National Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra
  • Krzysztof Urbański - conductor

2011: VIII Witold Lutoslawski International Cello Competition (52 participants)

Stage I

  • The Karol Szymanowski Music School

Stage II

  • National Philharmonic - Chamber Hall
  • Officials pianists: Agnieszka Kozło and François Killian

Stage III

  • National Philharmonic - Concert Hall
  • National Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra
  • Piotr Dąbrowski - conductor

2013: IX Witold Lutoslawski International Cello Competition (36 participants)

Stage I

  • The Karol Szymanowski Music School

Stage II

  • National Philharmonic - Chamber Hall
  • Officials pianists: Agnieszka Kozło, Dominik Zabłocki
  • Officials cellists: Magdalena Bojanowicz, Mikołaj Pałosz

Stage III

  • National Philharmonic - Concert Hall
  • National Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra
  • Rafal Janiak - conductor

Awards

The equivalent of EUR 15 000 - since 2005.
(The equivalent of $ 10 000 - to 2003.)

For the best performance of "Grave" by Witold Lutosławski - 1000 EUR (previously $ 500)
For the best performance of "Variations Sacher" by Witold Lutosławski - 1000 EUR
For the best performance of a song written for the Competition:

  • Andrzej Bauer - 2005 - 600 Euro
  • Pawel Szymanski - 2007 - 600 EUR
  • Sławomir Kupczak - 2009 - 600 EUR
  • Aleksander Nowak - 2011 - 750 EUR
  • Veronica Ratusińska-Zamuszko - 2013 - 750 EUR

Publications

Małgorzata Bąkowska: "Pulling Strings to Help Young Musicians", The Warsaw Voice, 1997

Marcin Mierzejewski: "Strung Along", The Warsaw Voice, 1999

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