Polish violinist claims gold!


Mateusz Smoczyński won the main prize of € 10,000 in the 2nd Zbigniew Seifert International Jazz Violin Competition. The remaining prizes were awarded to musicians from Spain, France, and Germany for excellent interpretations of the famous Pole’s compositions.

“Zbyszek would be happy to hear so many excellent jazz violinists. There weren’t as many of them in Poland or elsewhere in the world in his lifetime. Unfortunately, he never lived to the moment but I know he would have been proud”, Agnieszka Seifert, Zbigniew’s widow, emphasised.

Her enthusiasm is well grounded: the auditions to the competition dazzled with excellent artistic creations, and Agnieszka admitted that what she enjoys most is that the music of her husband – the prematurely deceased genius of the jazz violin – is reborn thanks to the competition organised by the Zbigniew Seifert Foundation.

There were 59 entrants from 13 countries registered for the 2nd Zbigniew Seifert International Jazz Violin Competition. Of that number, 10 musicians qualified to the auditions that took place from 24 to 26 August at the Krzysztof Penderecki European Centre for Music in Lusławice. Having evaluated their performances, the jury – Mark Feldman, Janusz Stefański, and Josh Grossman – decided to award the following prizes: the First Prize of € 10,000 to Mateusz Smoczyński, a Polish violinist who has already managed to garner fame and renown. Besides the grand prix, the artist was honoured with two special prizes: a concert during the Emanations Festival at the Krzysztof Penderecki European Centre for Music in Lusławice in 2017, and a concert in Hamburg organised in partnership with the Foundation for Polish-German Cooperation and Jazz Federation Hamburg. Drawing for the second place were Florian Willeitner from Germany and Apel.les Carod Requesens from Spain (the latter participated in the first round of Seifert Competition in 2014, when he was also the runner-up).

The Third Prize went to a French violinist, Mario Forte, who also claimed a special prize from the Polish Radio 2 and the Jazzarium Foundation: a concert at Witold Lutosławski Concert Studio of the Polish Radio to be held on 16 December 2016. Another special prize, a concert at the Piwnica pod Baranami Summer Jazz Festival went into the hands of a German cello player, Stephan Braun.

A very special honour – the Audience Prize – was presented to the only woman to have qualified to Seifert Competition finals: violinist Dominika Rusinowska, born in Przemyśl, who has lived the last seven years in Kraków.

The 2nd Zbigniew Seifert International Jazz Violin Competition was organised by the Zbigniew Seifert Foundation on the 70th anniversary of its patron’s birth.


First Prize of € 10,000

Mateusz Smoczyński

drawing for the Second Prize (2 × € 2,500)

Florian Willeitner & Apel.les Carod Requesens (ex aequo)

Third Prize of € 2,000

Mario Forte

Audience Prize

Dominika Rusinowska

Calendar 2016

August 24
audition in Lusławice – semi-finals
August 25
audition in Lusławice – semi-finals
August 26
audition in Lusławice – finals
August 27 – gala concert in Cracow

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Zbigniew Seifert (1946-1979) was one of the most eminent Polish jazz musicians and a man of incredible musical talent. His untimely death did not let him fully develop his musical abilities and interrupted a promising worldwide career.

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Regulations for the 2nd edition of the International Zbigniew Seifert Jazz Violin Competition (24-27 August 2016).

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1st prize - 10.000 EURO

2nd prize - 5.000 EURO

3rd prize - 2.000 EURO

and special award

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Marek Karewicz photos

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