About the Octet

The Silesian Guitar Octet is one of the few guitar octets in the world and also the first one that features the same line-up. The ensemble, formed by teachers, graduates and students of the Academy of Music in Katowice, was established on the initiative of Franciszek Wieczorek in 2001. At present the Octet involves graduates and students of the Academy as well as of the Academy of Music in Kraków: Dawid Bonk, Jan Kudełka, Franciszek Wieczorek, Katarína Wieczoreková, Wojciech Gurgul, Radosław Wieczorek, Wojciech Rysiecki and Krzysztof Kołodziej.

Apart from concerts in the country, the Silesian Guitar Octet performed in Slovakia, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Greece, Sweden, Denmark, Great Britain and Italy. They won the 1st Prize and were awarded the title of the Artist of the Year in the International Festival InterArtia in 2008, in the category of chamber ensembles.

The first CD Oct.Opus (2008) was nominated to the FRYDERYK AWARD 2009 by the Phonographic Academy. In the beginning of the 2011 the ensemble released the second CD - The XXth Century with the 20th century music. Bartłomiej Budzyński, Jerzy Bauer, Krzysztof Grzeszczak and Keiko Fujiie dedicated their compositions to the Octet.

Musicians

Dawid Bonk

Dawid Bonk - born in Świętochłowice, Poland, began his artistic education at the age of seven at the State Musical School in Bytom, continued his studies at the Academy of Music in Katowice under Professor Alina Gruszka and developed his skills in numerous master courses in Poland and abroad.
He gives concerts and records, among others, with the Silesian Guitar Octet, Andrysek Tango Ensemble, with the New Music Orchestra or the Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra in Katowice. As a soloist and chamber musician he appeared internationally on music stages of Poland, the Czech Republic, Austria, Switzerland, France, Germany, USA, Italy, Hungary and Slovakia. Apart from the guitar playing he is a chamber singer. He is a member of the Silesian Philharmonic Choir, Contento Core chamber ensemble and Cantus Floridus; he also cooperated with Camerata Silesia, the Choir of the Polish Radio, the Silesian Opera and the Choir of the Academy of Music in Katowice.
He is a laureate of many awards and distinctions in competitions in Poland, Germany and Italy.

 

Jan Kudełka

Jan Kudełka - graduated with distinction from the Karol Szymanowski Academy of Music in Katowice in the guitar class of Prof. Alina Gruszka. He developed his music career taking classes at the most outstanding contemporary guitarists, among others C. Marchione, O. Ghillia, Z. Dukic, R. Gallen, M. Dylla, O. Assad. He performs solo concerts as well as in the guitar duets with his brother Piotr, the guitar & saxophone KuBa Duo and the violin-guitar Diez Cuerdas. He gave concerts in numerous cultural venues e.g. in the W. Lutosławski Concert Hall in Warsaw, the Silesian Philharmonic Orchestra, the Opole Philharmonic Orchestra, the Ballroom of the Łańcut Castle, the Ducal Castle in Szczecin, in the prestigious guitar festival in Kutna Hora in the Czech Republic. He is a winner of a dozen or so awards and distinctions in all-Polish and international guitar competitions with the most important competitions in Rust (Austria), Omis (Croatia), Volos (Greece) and Warsaw.
In 2010, Jan Kudełka was a laureate of the 7th edition of the scholarship programme YOUNG POLAND of the National Centre for Culture, Poland. In 2012, together with Łukasz Kuropaczewski, Marek Nosal, Beata Będkowska-Huang and with Ewa and Dariusz Kupiński, he cooperated in recording project of the 6 cello J. S. Bach`s suites in edition for guitar by Prof. A. Gruszka.
In spite of his young age, Jan Kudełka conducted the guitar festival workshops in Tolmen (England), he has also successfully developed on pedagogic field teaching the guitar at the State Music School in Ruda Śląska, since 2014 at the Academy of Music in Katowice, and also leading the summer guitar workshops in Czorsztyn, Poland.
www.jankudelka.pl

 

Franciszek Wieczorek

Franciszek Wieczorek (Ph.D.) - graduated from the Academy of Music in Katowice in 1990. In the years 1990 - 2005 he was an academic lecturer at this Academy. He is a laureate of the 2nd Award in the Composer - Interpretative Competition in Tychy (the Silesian Guitar Autumn '88). He participated in master courses by Ichiro Suzuki, Vladimir Mikulka and Grant Gustafson. At present he is a teacher at the Karol Szymanowski State Secondary Music School in Katowice and the State Music School in Rybnik.
The originator, founder and artistic director of the Silesian Guitar Octet; since 1989 Art Director of the International Guitar Festival and Competition CITHARA IGNEA in Żory, Poland; owner of the MODRAN Publishing House and publisher of the Polish magazine of the classical guitarists "Six Strings of the World"; Chairman of the Silesian Society of the Classical Guitar Enthusiasts SILESIANA.
He also performs the guitar duet with his wife, Katarina.

 

Katarína Wieczoreková

Katarína Wieczoreková - graduated from the Music Conservatory in Bratislava, the Czech Republic, in the guitar class of Prof. Jozef Zsapka. She studied at the Higher Artistic School in Bratislava, next continued her studies and graduated from the Academy of Music in Katowice (1991) under Prof. Alina Gruszka. She participated in master courses led by Ichiro Suzuki, Štěpán Rak, David Tanenbaum and Grant Gustafson. At present, she is a teacher at the Karol Szymanowski State Secondary Music School in Katowice and Art Director of the International Guitar Festival in Modra, Slovakia. Along with her husband, Franciszek, she performs in the guitar duet as well as organizes the Żory Guitar Festival and runs the MODRAN Artistic Agency.

 

Wojciech Gurgul

Wojciech Gurgul - is a graduate of the Feliks Nowowiejski Secondary Music School in Gdańsk at the class of the guitar of Joanna Rudnicka and under Alina Gruszka (Prof.) he graduated the Karol Szymanowski Academy of Music in Katowice. He is a winner of competitions in Świdnica (2009), Olsztyn (2010, 2011) and Gdańsk (2011); participant of numerous scientific sessions and workshops, master courses taken by such artists as Ricardo Gallén, Alexis Muzurakis, Reinbert Evers, Zoran Anić, Davide Ficco, Heiki Mätlik and Stefano Viola. He gives concerts in chamber ensembles, among others in duets with the vocals (Palabras Duo), with the double bass, the violin or the guitar, as well as in trios and guitar quartets. He is an enthusiast of the new music; performed the premieres of numerous compositions, among others of Jerzy Bauer, Peter Scartabello, Jan Edmund Jurkowski or Jan Kasprzyk. He also leads scientific activity (guitar music publications and lectures), pedagogic (teacher at music schools in the province of Lesser Poland), organizational (manager of the competition of the Silesian Guitar Autumn in Tychy, co-organizer of the Guitar Music Festival in Pruszcz Gdański) and journalistic (the editor-in-chief of the quarterly "Six Strings of the World").

 

Radosław Wieczorek

Radosław Wieczorek - began his education at the State Primary Music School in Żory at the age of 6. He is a graduate of the Karol Szymanowski State Secondary Music School in Katowice, where he studied under (his father) Franciszek Wieczorek (Ph.D.). He is a student of the Academy of Music in Kraków, in the class of the guitar of Prof. Janusz Sochacki. He is a laureate of over 20 national and international guitar competitions. The most important awards are:
2012 - 1st Prize - the 2nd All-Polish Guitar Meetings in Elbląg, Poland,
2013 - 2nd Prize - Alirio Diaz - the guitar competition in Rust, Austria,
2014 - 2nd Prize - the International Guitar Competition "Cithara Ignea" in Żory, Poland,
2014 - 3rd Prize - "Mladi gitaristi" Competition in Dolny Kubin, Slovakia,
2015 - 2nd Prize - the Guitar in the Borderland - competition, Chełm, Poland.
He is a participant of guitar courses and workshops in Poland and abroad. He developed his skills under such masters as Marcin Dylla, Łukasz Kuropaczewski, Judicaël Perroy, Paolo Pegoraro, Adriana del of Rooms, Carlo Marchione, Hubert Käppel, Thomas Müller-Pering, David Russel and Oscar Ghiglia.
Since 2012 he has been a member of the Silesian Guitar Octet, performing concerts in various compositions: duets with the violin, in guitar duets and a quartet. Both in the octet and the guitar duet he performed premieres of music works; performed as a soloist and chamber musician in Poland, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Austria, Switzerland and Great Britain.
He is a grant holder of the Centre of Art Education (CEA, Warsaw) and a participant of the National Fund for Children programme (in 2013-2015).

 

Wojciech Rysiecki

Wojciech Rysiecki born in 1993, is a graduate of the Stanisław Moniuszko State Primary Music School in Katowice in the class of the guitar of Michał Mitko, the Karol Szymanowski State Secondary Music School in Katowice in the class of Franciszek Wieczorek (Ph.D.) and at present a student of the Senior Lecturer Prof. Wanda Palacz at the K. Szymanowski Academy of Music in Katowice. He developed his guitar skills as part of master courses with Marcin Dylla, Zoran Dukić (Croatia), Judicaël Perroy (France), Carles Trepat (Spain), with Paul O'Dette (USA) and Dale Kavanagh (Canada/Germany). As a soloist he played concerts, among others, in the Old Castle in Żywiec, the Royal Castle in Warsaw, the Warmian - Mazurian Philharmonic Orchestra, in the Silesian Museum in Katowice; he performed twice with the K. Szymanowski Youth Symphony Orchestra. He was awarded in many national and international guitar competitions. His major accomplishments include:
2008 - 2nd Prize – 17th International Guitar Festival and Courses in Brno, the Czech Republic,
2010 - Grand Prix - 13th International Guitar Music Festival in Trzęsacz, Poland,
2011 - Grand Prix – 3rd All-Polish Guitar Competition in Tomaszów Mazowiecki, Poland,
2011 - 2nd Prize – 16th International Music Festival in Dolny Kubin, Slovakia,
2012 - 2nd Prize – 18th International Guitar Festival in Żory, Poland,
2013 - 1st Prize – 17th International Guitar Competition in Kutna Hora, the Czech Republic,
2016 - 1st Prize –18th International Guitar Competition in Krynica-Zdrój, Poland,
2016 - Grand Prix – 8th International Guitar Competition (the 10th J. Rodrigo Guitar Festival) in Olsztyn, Poland,
2016 – 4th Prize – 5th International Guitar Festival in Changsha, China.
Twice he obtained the scholarship of the Minister of Culture and National Heritage for artistic achievements, in 2014 he was a winner of the YOUNG POLAND grant programme.
He plays the guitar made by Daryl Perry, the Canadian guitar-maker. He has been a member of the Silesian Guitar Octet since 2011.

 

Krzysztof Kołodziej

Krzysztof Kołodziej - born in 1988 in Katowice, began his musical education at the age of 7 at the Stanisław Moniuszko State Primary Music School in Katowice under Michał Mitko, and next continued under Franciszek Wieczorek (Ph.D.) at the Karol Szymanowski State Secondary Music School in Katowice. In 2012 he graduated with distinction from the Academy of Music in Kraków from the guitar class of Michał Nagy (Assoc. Prof.).
He participated in master classes and courses by world famous teachers and virtuoso performers of the guitar such as Carlo Marchione, Petr Saidl, Marco Socias, Graham Wade, Andrea Dieci, Alieksey Vianna, Thomas Offermann, Josef Eotvos, Susana Prieto, Alexis Muzurakis, Boško Radojković, Judicael Perroy, Marcin Dylla, Beata Będkowska-Huang, Łukasz Kuropaczewski.
As a soloist and a chamber musician he performed in numerous festivals in Poland and abroad (the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Finland, Greece, Italy, Ukraine, Austria, Great Britain).
He also appeared in the Witold Lutosławski Concert Studio of the Polish Radio, the Royal Castle and in the Royal Łazienki - Palace on the Isle in Warsaw, the Silesian Opera Concert Hall in Bytom and in the Chamber Hall of the Silesian Philharmonic in Katowice.
In the years 1999-2007 he was awarded the grant by the National Fund for Children.
Three times he received the Prize of the President of the City of Katowice; in 2011 he was a YOUNG POLAND scholarship laureate of the Minister of Culture and National Heritage.
He is a winner of a dozen or so competitions:
2012 – 1st Prize – 9th Competition of Musical Personalities, Kiev, Ukraine (duo with Radosława Jasik - grand piano),
2011 – 3rd Prize – 5th All-Polish Competition of Musical Interpretation – Krasiczyn, Poland,
2010 – 1st Prize – 20th Young Musicians International Competition "Citta di Barletta", Barletta, Italy (duo with Radosława Jasik - grand piano),
2010 - 1st Prize – International Music Competition InterArtia, Volos, Greece (duo with Radosława Jasik - grand piano),
2006 - 1st Prize – International Guitar Competition – Stramberk, the Czech Republic,
2006 - 3rd Prize - International Guitar Competition – Żory, Poland,
2006 - 2nd Prize - International Guitar Competition – Olsztyn, Poland,
2005 - 2nd Prize - International Art Competition – Uzhorod, Ukraine,
2000, 2002, 2003 - 2nd Prize - International Guitar Competition - Gryfice - Trzebiatów, Poland.
He is a founder and art director of the TangoStan Quintet performing Astor Piazzolla`s music in original quintet composition. At the end of 2015 he took musical charge of the musical retro performance "Bodo Cafe" preparing music and arrangements for the show which he has already presented several times in 2016 at theatres all around Poland.