Krzysztof Smietana

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Chamber Music | Strings, Harp & Guitar
Associate Deputy Head of Strings; Chamber Music Coach (Chamber Music)
Krzysztof Smietana


“Everything about his playing is geared towards a musical purity” - The Times

Award-winning violinist Krzysztof Smietana was born in Poland, where he graduated from the Music Academy in Kraków. As a protégé of Yfrah Neaman, (a disciple of Carl Flesch, Jacques Thibaud and Max Rostal), he received a British scholarship for postgraduate studies at Guildhall School of Music & Drama, where he now teaches.

Krzysztof Smietana is a prize-winner of major international competitions such as Carl Flesch in London (including the audience prize), Fritz Kreisler in Vienna, Long-Thibaud in Paris, Gorizia in Italy, Brahms in Hamburg.

He has made many concerto and recital appearances throughout Britain as well as Europe, USA, Canada, South America, Middle East and Japan. As a soloist he has collaborated with conductors such as Sir Colin Davis, Valery Gergiev, Sir Andrew Davis, Sir Alexander Gibson, Sir Charles Groves, David Atherton, Jerzy Maksymiuk, Antoni Witt, Gabriel Chmura, Jiří Bělohlávek, Matthias Bamert.

Mr Smietana has made many recordings and broadcasts for BBC Radio 3, including the highly acclaimed performances of both Szymanowski’s Violin Concertos with the BBC Symphony Orchestra. The BBC Symphony Orchestra also accompanied him as a soloist during the Proms Festival at the Royal Albert Hall in London. Mr Smietana’s recording of Panufnik’s Violin Concerto with London Musici for Conifer, which took place in the presence of the composer, became the CD of the month in the CD Reviews Magazine. He has played the concerto throughout Europe, prompting The Strad Magazine to comment on his “beautifully controlled, slow bowing and languorous vibrato”. Mr Smietana has also recorded Stravinsky’s Violin Concerto with the Philharmonia Orchestra, conducted by Stravinsky’s close friend and expert in his music, Robert Craft; Fauré's Sonatas with John Blakely for Meridian; Brahms’ Sonatas with Caroline Palmer for ASV;  Respighi and Busoni with Colin Stone, as well as numerous CDs with the London Mozart Trio and Trio Cracovia.

In addition to his activities as a soloist and chamber musician he has appeared as a guest concertmaster of major British and Polish orchestras such as the London Symphony Orchestra, the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, the London Sinfonietta and Capella Cracoviensis.

Mr Smietana has given master classes throughout Britain as well as USA, Canada, Brazil, Middle East, Japan, Spain, Ireland, Iceland, Poland and Germany. He has taught at Guildhall School since 1982. Many of his students are winners of international competitions, successful soloists, orchestral leaders, chamber musicians and violin professors.

“… even nowadays, when there is no shortage of violinists of calibre, he stands out for the smoothness and beauty of his tone and the absolute reliability of both his pitch and bowing” - The Strad

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