Monday, February 27, 2023

Thomas Strahl

Teaching Languages : English, German, Polish

He graduated from the Fryderyk Chopin Academy of Music in Warsaw, cello class of Professor Kazimierz Michalik (1989). As a holder of the scholarship of the Austrian Government he completed a one-year postgraduate course at Hochschule für Musik und darstellende Kunst in Vienna under Tobias Kühne. He also studied chamber music under an outstanding violinist Krzysztof Jakowicz with whom he has performed for many years.

He was a laureate of all-Poland (Poznań, Warsaw) and international competitions, e.g. he won the 1st award at the 5th International Nicanor Zabaleta Music Competition in San Sebastian, Spain (1991). He was also awarded with the scholarship of the Polish and Japanese Foundation JESC (1994).

Among the masters of the baton with whom he had an opportunity to collaborate are: Mirosław Jacek Błaszczyk, Andrzej Boreyko, Łukasz Borowicz, Tomasz Bugaj, Kai Bumann, Massimiliano Caldi, Henryk Czyż, Philippe Entremont, Przemysław Fiugajski, José Maria Florêncio, Czesław Grabowski, Bogdan Jarmołowicz, Michał Klauza, Jerzy Kosek, Jan Krenz, Jerzy Maksymiuk, Wojciech Michniewski, Marcin Nałęcz-Niesiołowski, Krzysztof Penderecki, Marek Pijarowski, Paweł Przytocki, Wojciech Rodek, Jacek Rogala, Zygmunt Rychert, Jerzy Salwarowski, Tadeusz Strugała, Jerzy Swoboda, Tadeusz Wojciechowski, Monika Wolińska, Sławek A. Wróblewski, Ryszard Zimak, Maciej Żółtowski, and others.

For many years he has been an active concert musician, performing with such orchestras as: Polish Chamber Orchestra, Polish Radio Orchestra and National Symphony Orchestra of the Polish Radio in Katowice, Sinfonietta Cracovia, SinfoniaVarsovia, Concerto Avenna, Sofia Philharmonic, Orquestra Sinfônica Municipal São Paulo (Brazil) and with almost all philharmonic orchestras in Poland, with the National Philharmonic Orchestra at the top of them. He collaborates with both outstanding soloists and chamber musicians, e.g. The Wilanów Quartet, Prima Vista, or The Silesian Quartet.

Tomasz Strahl has performed in (among others): Schauspielhaus (Berlin), Brucknersaal (Linz), St. John’s Smith Square (London), Art Center (Tel Aviv), Toppan Hall (Tokyo), Auditori (Barcelona), Glinka Hall in Sankt Petersburg, Moniuszko Hall at the Great Theatre in Warsaw, and the National Philharmonic.

He had numerous tours around Japan, Canada and Spain (with Silesian Philharmonic). Together with Krzysztof Jabłoński with whom he creates the Chopin Duo he participated in the performance of Fortepianissimo presented at the Great Theatre in Warsaw. He was a guest artist of such festivals as: Warsaw Autumn , Warsaw Music Meetings, Music in the Old Cracow, Bravo Maestro in Kąśna Dolna, Festival in Łańcut, Chopin à Paris, and festivals in Guadix (Spain), Caracas, Busko Zdrój, Duszniki Zdrój, Antonin, Słupsk, Kamień Pomorski and Bydgoszcz. An important event for him was the performance of Witold Lutosławski’s Cello Concerto in the presence of the composer, under the baton of Mirosław Jacek Błaszczyk (1993). 

In 2005 Tomasz Strahl presented the Polish premiere of Cello Concerto no.2 by Piotr Moss at the festival called Premieres (2005) with the National Symphony Orchestra of the Polish Radio with which in 2006 he recorded the found Concerto by Zygmunt Stojowski. In 2007, together with Krzysztof Jabłoński and Konstanty Andrzej Kulka he recorded the complete chamber pieces by Fryderyk Chopin for the company BeArTon, and in 2012 he participated in the European promotion of The National Edition of Works by Fryderyk Chopin; on this occasion he performed concerts in Vienna, Rome and Geneva. The artist is also a devoted promoter of Cello Concerto by Stanisław Moryto.

He has made numerous archive recordings for the Polish Radio and the Polish Television, as well as the CBC Radio in Canada. His discography covers the recordings for Pony Canyon, CD Accord, Pavane Records, Gema Stereo, Polmusic, Acte Préalable and Sony Classics. He was three times nominated for the ‘Fryderyk’ award, which he won in 2003.

He teaches at the Fryderyk Chopin University of Music in Warsaw (in 2001 he obtained the title of Professor from President of the Republic of Poland). During the term of office 2012–2016 he held the function of Dean of the University’s Department of Instrumental Studies. During the election in 2016, he was re-elected for the same function for 2016–2020. 

He also teaches at master courses in Poland, Holland, Finland, Germany, Japan and South America (in 2005 he delivered a cycle of lectures and performed a few concerts during the prestigious ‘Wien, Prag, Budapest’ International Summer Academy).

Tomasz Strahl has been honoured with a number of state decorations: in 2002 he was awarded with The Golden Cross of Merit; in 2009 he received the 1st degree award of the Minister of Culture and National Heritage for his artistic and teaching achievements, and in 2010 he was awarded with the Silver Medal ‘For Merits to Culture’ Gloria Artis and the Knight’s Cross of the Order of Rebirth of Poland.

As part of the celebrations of the Chopin Year jubilee the artist gave concerts in Sankt Petersburg, during the Nafplion Festival in Greece and in Konzertverein in Ingoldstadt, and with Krzysztof Jabłoński he performed a recital before Her Majesty Queen Margrethe II of Denmark. In 2010 he was chosen to join the Council of the Phonographic Award of ‘Fryderyk’. 

The artist plays the instrument by Leopold Widhalm, Norymberg 1778.

Since 2012 he has taken part in the promotion of The National Edition of Chamber Works by Fryderyk Chopin edited by Professor Jan Ekier.