“A pianist who is convincing, virtuosic, spontaneous, allows his imagination to carry him, and gives pure joy of listening”. – This is how Andrzej Wierciński was described by Ruch Muzyczny. On Saturday, April 23rd, the artist will give a recital at the Mediateka in Tychy as part of the Chopin 2020 series.
Interview with pianist Andrzej Wierciński.
Marta Odziomek: “Between competition performances he read Father Tischner’s meditations on imagination, truth, goodness, and beauty”. This is how it was written about you when reporting on the performances of the participants of the Chopin Competition in 2021. Is this true?
Andrzej Wiercinski: – Indeed, I have read these reflections, I sometimes like to deepen my knowledge in psychology and metaphysics, I’m interested in these fields. The book entitled. The book “Thinking in the Element of Beauty” by Józef Tischner was recommended to me by a professor from the Academy of Music in Katowice. The book is a collection of written texts dealing with the issues of beauty and art. When I allow myself to understand the world ontologically, I am able to focus, I could also meditate in a non-obvious aspect, get away from the competition for a while, as well as prepare for the auditions.
You are a two-time participant of the Chopin Competition. How do you recall it?
- My first participation in the competition, in 2015, was a beginning, a kind of springboard, maybe even a false start, because I was then guided by others, not by myself. I think in retrospect that my performances were not mature enough to present to an audience. However, I really enjoy going back and learning from listening to my youthful interpretations from almost 7 years ago.
My next approach to the competition, in 2021, was fully successful; I performed Chopin’s works with full awareness. I had well defined what I wanted to say.
What do you value Chopin’s music for?
- First of all, for the sincerity of expression and naturalness. These are two things in Chopin that always go hand in hand. It is very often possible to play it in a candy-colored way, to exaggerate rubato, tempo, and interpretation; to focus on too many details that come to the fore, without drawing a view of the whole composition. Chopin should be played simply and from the heart.
You studied in Katowice. Was it a conscious choice?
- I am from Warsaw, but I chose the direction of southern Poland. In Warsaw I studied with Professor Anna Jastrzębska-Quinn at the Zenon Brzewski Secondary Music School, but I needed a change, something new, to refresh my mind and a new way of playing. I decided to continue my education at the Academy of Music in Katowice under the guidance of Professor Wojciech Świtała. Thanks to him my playing became more noble, I also improved my performance skills and increased my palette of colors.
And then you started postgraduate studies in Salzburg with pianist and pedagogue Pavel Gililov.
- Due to the outbreak of the pandemic, I only studied officially at the Mozarteum Universitat for one year. Despite all difficulties, studying under this outstanding pedagogue was very intensive and gave me a lot of pleasure. In 2019, together with the professor, we were preparing for a competition in Hong Kong, where I won the bronze medal. It was a great honor for me. To this day, I still have a very good relationship with the professor. We will see each other soon in Lusławice, he is coming for masterclasses, in which I will participate.
You take part in numerous competitions for pianists. Why is it worth doing that?
- Because they give a lot of concert opportunities. Moreover, there is a chance to meet various wonderful musicians who are already giving concerts and often sit on juries. Competitions give the opportunity to present oneself to these acclaimed pianists and, in the case of popular competitions, such as the Chopin Competition, to audiences from all over the world. Thanks to my participation in the Chopin Competition, I have gained a large group of new listeners who closely follow my artistic endeavors and my piano career both in Poland and abroad.
What do you do in your free time?
- I like to meet with my friends and family, go for a walk, listen to a good concert or watch a play in the theater. These kinds of activities relax me. My passion is cycling on long distances. I also often run in the woods, sometimes I’ll look in the gym for a workout. I love doing sports. Workouts help to de-stress and are necessary to keep fit.
What repertoire will you play during the concert in Tychy?
- The repertoire of this recital will include works by Fryderyk Chopin – Scherzo in B minor, Op. 20 and Ballade in F minor, Op. 52, Ferruccio Busoni – Chaconne in D minor BWV 1004 and Sergei Rachmaninoff – Variations on a Theme of Corelli in D minor, Op. 42.
What are your plans for the coming months?
- I am certainly planning to take part in more piano competitions, I am beginning repertoire preparations for competitions that will be held next year in Tel Aviv and Bolzano.
Later this year there will be the I. Paderewski International Piano Competition in Bydgoszcz, I am considering my participation. The program is relatively free, I also intend to prepare more pieces by Paderewski himself, it is beautiful music and worth playing.
As far as concerts are concerned, an interesting event is coming up in Dubai. It will be a concert in the Digital Theater, where I had the honor to perform during the EXPO this year. I will also occasionally give concerts in Poland and Europe. I also have some art projects scheduled in the United States because of my competition achievements overseas. In March of this year, I won 3rd place at the 3rd American Paderewski International Piano Competition in Los Angeles.
Concerts in the series Chopin 2020 are held in Mediateka under the patronage of AUKSO Chamber Orchestra of Tychy. It starts this Saturday at 7 pm, tickets: PLN 30-40.
Author: Marta Odziomek