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January 2011 - Nr. 1
Happy New Year from Echo Germanica

Friday, February 4 at 8 PM

Glenn Gould Studio
250 Front Street West (at John)

Adults, $35 / Seniors, $25 / Students, $15
416 872 4255
Glenn Gould Studio concert tickets purchased at
In person: box office at 60 Simcoe (at King)

TORONTO, ONTARIO – Polish Canadian pianist Daniel Wnukowski (vnoo-KOV-skee) is performing a homecoming recital on Friday, February 4 at Glenn Gould Studio, 8 PM. A highly gifted artist who left Ontario at age 15 to pursue studies in Europe and the US, Mr. Wnukowski will perform a concert entitled “Heaven and Hell: A Year of Liszt”. The repertoire features demonic and blissful works of Franz Liszt as well as the lyrical and dramatic works of Polish composers Chopin and Szymanowski.

In this return visit to Toronto, Mr. Wnukowski will perform Chopin Ballade No. 2 in F major, Op. 38; 3 Waltzes Op. 34; Szymanowski’s Masks, Op. 34; Liszt: Petrarcan Sonnet No. 2 in E major; Sancta Dorothea; In Festo Transfigurationis Domini Nostri Jesu Christi; Unstern! Sinistre, disastro; and Après une lecture de Dante (Fantasia quasi Sonata). Szymanowski is a lesser known Polish composer whose influences include Chopin, Wagner, Strauss, Scriabin, as well as Debussy and Ravel. Future plans for Daniel include a recording of all Szymanowski to be released at the end of 2011.

Fluent in English, Polish, and a French/Italian speaker, Daniel enjoys a busy touring schedule that takes him throughout Europe, South America, and Asia, including exotic countries as far away as India and Mauritius. Despite his Canadian upbringing, concert promoters abroad identified him an unofficial ambassador of Polish music. Fully immersed in the culture from an early age, he studied music, Polish dance (giving him a serious understanding of foot patterns for Polish dances), and he continues to regularly program the works of many Polish composers other than Chopin, including Szymanowski, Bacewicz, Lutoslawski, and Stachowski. Daniel pays homage to Chopin in the concert’s first half, as the composer’s bicentennial closes in 2010; the concert’s second half looks ahead to the 200th anniversary of Liszt’s birth. “What fascinates me most about Liszt's music is the gamut of emotions it can portray ranging from heavenly bliss to tormenting anguish. I believe he wore many masks throughout his life,” Daniel explains. “Sometimes he became the virtuoso Paganini performing daring feats on the piano never before thought possible, while other times he bore the masks of sublime poets such as Petrarca or Dante. Then there is the Liszt who resembles the devil, Mephisto, and lures his audiences into an intoxicating trance.

Making his Toronto debut at 16 in 1997 to a packed house at the then Ford Centre for the Performing Arts, Daniel Wnukowski has performed with many orchestras, including the Polish Radio Orchestra, Sinfonia Varsovia, Windsor Symphony and Southfield Symphony with conductors such as Jerzy Maksymiuk, Alain Trudel and David Amos. International Festivals include Chopin and His Europe in Warsaw; the Festival Dei Due Mondi in Spoleto, Italy; Chopiniana in Buenos Aires; and the Pre-LSO Concert Series in London, UK. In 2010, he inaugurated the Chopin year in Pozna, Poland, with Metropolitan Opera Soprano Aleksandra Kurzak. In May of that same year, he performed a recital in Tokyo to unveil a new Chopin monument. This led to a debut at the venue of the Singapore Chinese Orchestra. Daniel Wnukowski trained at the Lake Como International Piano Academy in Italy where he worked with distinguished artists such as Dmitri Bashkirov, Menahem Pressler, Claude Frank, William Grant Naboré, and Andreas Staier; the Peabody Institute of Baltimore with Leon Fleisher; and at Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London with Graham Johnson and Ronan O'Hora.

Mr. Wnukowski gratefully acknowledges the Canada Council for the Arts for its support in promoting the works of Polish composer Karol Szymanowski.

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