One of the most promising Polish pianists of the young generation, Michal Karol Szymanowski was born in 1988 into a musical family. He graduated with honours from the Feliks Nowowiejski Academy of Music in Bydgoszcz, where he studied piano with Katarzyna Popowa-Zydron and symphonic-operatic conducting under Zygmunt Rychert. He honed his skills with Eldar Nebolsin at the Hochschule fur Musik Hanns Eisler in Berlin. At present he continues his piano education as a doctoral student and at the same time works as an assistant lecturer at his alma mater and at the Academy of Music in Lodz.
Michal has won top awards in a number of national and international piano competitions, including the International Chopin Piano Competition in Darmstadt, Germany (2017), MozARTe International Piano Competition in Aachen, Germany (2016), the International Chopin Piano Competition in Daegu, Korea (2015), the Zarembski International Music Competition in Warsaw (2012), the Yamaha Music Foundation of Europe Piano Competition in Katowice (2011), the Paderewski International Piano Competition in Bydgoszcz (2010), the International Competition in Memory of Vladimir Horowitz in Kyiv (2007), and the Polish National Chopin Piano Competitions in Warsaw (2008, 2015). In 2015 he was the highest placed quarter-finalist in the International Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw.
Michal has given performances in Poland and other European countries (including Germany, England, Italy, Spain, France, Belgium and Switzerland) as well as on other continents (in the United States, Japan, Brazil, Argentina and Venezuela). Of particular note, he has also performed in the Palace of Nations in Geneva, the Paul VI Audience Hall in the Vatican (a concert for Pope Benedict XVI), at Warsaw’s Belvedere Palace for Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski, numerous philharmonic halls throughout the world as well as major festivals in Poland and abroad, among them Oficina de Musica de Curitiba, Festival Internacional de piano Chopiniana in Buenos Aires, Festival Europeo de Solistas in Caracas, Festival Pianistico di Roma, the Long Lake Festival in Lugano, and the “Chopin and His Europe” Festival in Warsaw, where he brilliantly performed piano concertos by Ignacy Jan Paderewski and Jozef Wieniawski.
Michal has performed under such eminent conductors as Alfredo Rugeles, Medardo Caisabanda, Juri Gilbo, Jacek Kaspszyk, Antoni Wit, Marek Pijarowski and Michal Dworzynski with, among others, the Teresa Carreno Youth Orchestra of Venezuela, the Symphonic Orchestra of the Claudio Santoro National Theatre in Brasilia, Daegu Symphony Orchestra, Russian Chamber Philharmonic St. Petersburg, the Warsaw, Cracow, Wroclaw, Szczecin and Bydgoszcz Philharmonic orchestras, the Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Polish Sinfonia Iuventus Orchestra and the Capella Bydgostiensis Chamber Orchestra.
Apart from solo repertoire, Michal also frequently performs chamber music, in which his partners are the Silesian Quartet, Erzhan Kulibaev, Romain Garioud, Benedict Kloeckner, Anna Maria Stankiewicz, Maria Machowska, and many others.
Michal has released two solo albums for CD Accord (Naxos), featuring compositions by Fryderyk Chopin, Ignacy Jan Paderewski, Karol Szymanowski and Jozef Wieniawski. The recordings were critically acclaimed. One reviewer wrote: “Uncommon talent and a pianist of great promise.”