Workshops for jazz violinists, violists and cellists!


For the third time, the Zbigniew Seifert Foundatio organizes workshops for musicians who want to start their adventure with improvised music or explore the secrets of jazz on string instruments. Workshops will be held at the Krzysztof Penderecki European Music Center in Lusławice on July 2-8, 2019.

The workshop is organised by Zbigniew Seifert Foundation, organizer of the Zbigniew Seifert International Jazz Violin Competition. The event takes place regularly, every two years at the Krzysztof Penderecki European Music Center in Lusławice. This year, the Seifert Foundation will again visit this wonderful and modern facility, to teach and educate a new generation of jazz virtuoso violinists under the guidance of fantastic musicians and jazz legends. Though not only! The workshops will be intended for violinists as well as musicians playing jazz and improvised music on other string instruments  (MARK FELDMAN, MARIO FORTE, MATEUSZ SMOCZYŃSKI, BENJAMIN "BENNI" VON GUTZEIT). There is only one restriction - the participant must be at least 18 years old. The program of the workshops includes individual classes with lecturers, as well as learning to play in a team. An evening jam session with the band Kuba Płużek Trio has also been planned.



July 2 - arrival in Lusławice and afternoon / evening workshop

July 3 - July 6 - workshop

July 7 - morning workshop + evening concert of lecturers at the European Music Center Krzysztof Penderecki in Lusławice July 8 - departure to Krakow

PLACE: European Center for Music Krzysztof Penderecki in Lusławice

COST: EUR 480. The price includes: workshop, accommodation in double rooms, 3 meals per day and local transport on the route: Krakow-Lusławice-Krakow.

ATTENTION!!! For participants who sign up for the workshop by May 30 the fee is EUR 420.

ATTENTION!!! Mark Feldman will be available July 2 and 3.

On July 1, a concert will take place at Radio Krakow: Marek Feldman, Mario Forte and Mateusz Smoczyński. On July 7, a concert will take place at the Krzysztof Penderecki European Music Center in Lusławice: Mario Forte, Mateusz Smoczyński and Benni von Gutzeit with the trio of Kuba Płużek. Admission to the above mentioned concerts for participants of the workshops is free.

If you are interested, please fill in the attached form and send to:


Organizer: Zbigniew Seifert Foundation

For more information:


Mark Feldman

In 2006 he premiered the 2nd Violin Concerto of Jay Weigel with members of the Louisiana

Philharmonic Orchestra at the New Orleans Cultural Arts Center. In the past he was also a soloist with the WDR Radio Orchestra and the Basil Symphonetta. He has performed and recorded the complete String Quartets of John Zorn (Tzadik Records) and his own works for string quartet in Book of Tells (Enja Records).

With the Abaton Trio, Mark has performed the works of composer Sylvie Courvoisier and recorded them for the ECM. In October 2006, with John Taylor, Anders Jormin, and Tom Rainey he released What Exit on the same label. Mark is currently a member of the John Abercrombie Quartet along with Joey Baron and Marc Johnson. The international concert tours have brought the recording of Open Land, Cat n’Mouse, and Class Trip also with ECM. He has performed concerts with Kenny Wheeler, John Taylor, Paul Bley, Billy Hart, Lee Konitz, Joe Lovano, Anthony Davis, Dave Douglas, Richard Galliano, The Arcado String Trio, Louis Sclavis, Muhal Richard Abrams, Wolfgang Puschnig, Tim Berne, Dave Douglas, Mark Dresser, Uri Caine, and others.

Composer John Zorn has included Mark in many concert and recording projects in the past 10 years; these have included Massada String Trio, Bar Kokhba, film scores, chamber music and two CDs of his Masada compositions arranged for violin and piano: Masada Recital and Malphas: Book of Angels Vol. 3 on Tzadik Records.

Feldman’s compositions have been commissioned and performed by the Kronos Quartet and the WDR Radio Orchestra. In commercial music he has appeared as a studio musician with Cheryl Crow, The Manhattan Transfer, Diana Ross, Carol King, and others.


Mario Forte

the decades of musical training took him through five conservatories, including the National Superior

Conservatory of Paris for Music and Dance, where he finished his studies in 2010. He took classes with Didier Lockwood, Glenn Ferris, Dominique Juchors, Ida Haendel, and many others. A fresh graduate, he was appointed associate professor of music at the University of Lausanne in Switzerland, where he also

set up his orchestral project, the String Lab Ensemble. Based today in New York City, Mario Forte has lived in many different places and has played in around 30 countries the last decade. His projects emerge and develop along with his travels, and specific encounters give rise to a very eclectic career. In Morocco, he

performed traditional Arabic-Andaluz music, and appeared in a TV Show on the national 2M channel with a Gnawa musician Chada Alhan. In Mexico, he performed around 40 concerts with many local jazz and contemporary musicians. In New York he works with a great deal of musicians, notably a Brazilian percussionist Sergio Krakowski, the violinist Mark Feldman, an Israeli clarinettist Anat Cohen, and many others. In France, where Mario recorded his first album with an ensemble of over 100 musicians, and

performed at many jazz festivals with Richard Bona and in his band. In Switzerland, where he leads the String Lab Ensemble project, he co-founded Artempo Festival in 2015 and has been its artistic director, and participated as composer and performer. In Austria, he Has collaborated with bassist GeorgeBreinschmid, and, when joined by a Bulgarian pianist Antony Donchev, performed in trio. A composer for

movies soundtracks and video performances, today beside his musical activities Mario Forte is in the process of making a movie translating his thoughts and personal vision of the contemporary situation in culture into moving images. Mario Forte is the winner of 1st prize of the Zbigniew Seifert International Jazz Violin Competition in 2018.


Mateusz Smoczyński a jazz violinist, graduate of the Academy of Music in Warsaw. Since 2017 he’s a teacher on the Music University in Warsaw. Mateusz won the 2nd edition of the Zbigniew Seifert International Jazz Violin Competition in 2016. He debuted with the Jacek Namysłowski Quintet in 1999 and since then has appeared at some most important jazz festivals and venues in Europe and the US. Along with Joachim Kühn, Bronisław Suchanek, Janusz Stefański and Bohdan Jarmołowicz, he took part in the premiere performance of the jazz concerto for violin, symphonic orchestra and rhythmic section composed by Zbigniew Seifert. He has concerted a lot with German band schultzing. Smoczyński is the leader of his own quintet, with which he recorder two albums: Inspirations and Expressions. The debut album brought him a scholarship of the Minister of Culture in 2007 and one year later he received a Jazz Oscar. Within his next project, New Trio (with his brother Jan Smoczyński on Hammond organ and Russian star of the drums – Alexander Zinger), Smoczyński recorded another CD, Simultaneuous Abstractions, which was nominated for the Fryderyk Music Award. Year 2013 saw the release of the trio’s second album Perpendicular Realities.

Smoczyński is the co-founder of Atom String Quartet, the first string quartet in Poland to play jazz. The collaboration resulted in another series of awards and distinctions. Their debut album Fade In and the following one, Places, both received the Fryderyk. In 2012 Smoczyński joined the legendary American band Turtle Island Quartet.


Benjamin “Benni” von Gutzeit

He received instruction from his father until age twelve when He became the pupil of esteemed viola player Emile Cantor of the Orpheus String Quartet. In 1992 and again in 1994, Benni took first place

in the finals of the German youth Competition: Jugend Musiziert. His 1994 win was with the maximum possible points and led to a concert tour of Japan at the age of fourteen. Expanded by this experience his musical interests broadened and at age fifteen he developer a fascination for popular music and took up

playing the electric bass in addition to viola. From 2001 to 2004 he studied at the Bruckner Conservatory in Linz, Austria under Jazz violinist Andreas Schreiber. This experience cementem his love for the genre and brought to bare his true forte. Jazz provided opportunities to maintain a high skill level on his instrument and to explore his creativity and self-expression. In 2004 Benni moved to Holland to further his

Jazz studies at the Conservatory of Amsterdam with Dutch Saxophone icons Ferdinand Povel and Jasper Blom and guitarist Jesse van Ruller. There he became an active part of the Dutch Jazz and improvised music scene. He performed with numerous formations including Elastic Jargon by Maurice Horsthuis, Starvinsky Orkestar by Martin Fondse, Laetitia van Krieken Big Bang, the Celano-Baggiani-Group and

Wicked Jazz Sounds. He performed at countless concert venues and festivals including the North Sea Jazz Festival. In 2010 he moved to New York City (supported by scholarships of the Dutch Fonds Podiumkunsten, the Deutsche Stiftung Musikleben, and the Kogel&Schmidt Foundation) and became the very first violist

to earn a Master’s Degree from the Jazz department at the Manhattan School of Music. His teachers there included Phil Markowitz, Garry Dial, Chris Rosenberg and John Riley. Benni has performed and recorded with many great musicians including jazz violinist Mark Feldman, electronic music virtuoso Matthew

Herbert, cellist Ernst Reijseger, Bassist Linda Oh, pianist Cyrus Chestnut and Saxophonist Dave Liebman. Since 2012 Benjamin is the violist of the Grammy-winning jazz ensemble Turtle Island Quartet.

Workshop 2017

Workshop 2015 

Calendar 2018

July  25
audition in Lusławice – semi-finals
July 26
audition in Lusławice – semi-finals
July 27
audition in Lusławice – finals
July 28 – gala concert in Cracow

More >>>


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 of the 3rd Zbigniew Seifert International Jazz Violin Competition, Poland, July 25-28, 2018.

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10,000 EURO – 1st prize

5,000 EURO – 2nd prize

2,000 EURO – 3rd prize

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Marek Karewicz photos

More videos

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