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String Soloists

Alicja Smietana

Alicja Smietana

Listen to Alicja in a Duo with Evelyne Berezovsky (piano)

Award-winning violinist Alicja Smietana has a highly successful career as a virtuoso violinist of international reputation. She has collaborated and appeared as a soloist and chamber musician with such world-class musicians as Nigel Kennedy, Gidon Kremer, Ivan Monighetti, Yuri Bashmet, Martha Argerich, Simon Rattle, Sir Neville Marriner, Boris Pergamenshikov, Thomas Zehetmair and other soloists around the world.

Alicja performs music from Bach to the Contemporary with what has been described by music critics as "extraordinary brilliance and sensibility." In recognition of her fine achievements, Alicja Smietana was honored by the Stradivari Trust in July 2011 in a ceremony in London to receive a Camillus Camilli violin dated 1740 and a Jean Persoit Bow thanks to Mr. Nigel Brown, O.B.E. It is the first time that a non-British musician has received such help from the Trust. On this occasion, Nigel Kennedy, one of Britain's foremost violinists, said, "I have been lucky enough to witness Alicja's progress. She is a totally dedicated, especially talented musician who will always do complete justice to the music she plays…”

In 2010 she was chosen by Nigel Kennedy to become a co-founder of his new ‘Orchestra of Life.’ She has performed as soloist with them at London’s Royal Festival Hall, the Berlin Philharmonic, Koeln Philharmonic, and the Munich Philharmonic.

As an orchestral soloist she has appeared with leading orchestras and ensembles and made her debut in London performing as orchestral soloist under the direction of Sir Neville Marriner with the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields.

Her most recent performances as an orchestral soloist included appearances in Royal Albert Hall, London, Bridgewater Hall, Birmingham Town and Symphony Halls as well as in Queen Elizabeth Hall and Barbican Hall. Earlier this season, she also performed to great success at the Stadtkasino Basel and the Palais de Congres in Paris. Alicja has also been the featured artist playing as a soloist and chamber musician at prestigious festivals in Buxton, Henley, Les Musiques, and in Schleswig-Holstein, among others. Since 2003 she has joined Kremerata Baltica, an internationally renowned group led by Gidon Kremer, on a number of occasions.

Attending many international master classes at the Bach Academy Stuttgart, Sommer Academy Prague-Vienna-Budapest, ABAM and Kronberg Academy, Alicja has been privileged to get artistic guidance from fine musicians including Hagai Shaham, Pavel Vernikov, Dorothy DeLay, Tabea Zimermann, Michael Frischenshlager, Helmuth Rilling, Erich Gruenberg, Albrecht Breuninger, Walter Forchert, Peter Buck, Zvi Zeitlin and Itzhak Perlman.

Born in 1983 in Krakow, Poland, Alicja Smietana is the winner of many competitions and awards including most recently a First Prize at the Israeli International Violin Competition, the Brahms Society Award, and received support from the Sir Georg Solti Foundation. She studied at the Krakow Academy of Music with Mieczyslaw Szlezer and later on moved to England to study at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London with David Takeno, Stephany Gonley and Ofer Falk. In October 2009 she joined Young Soloists at the Kronberg Academy in Germany where she studies with Christian Tetzlaff. Alicja resides in London and is scheduled to tour the United States in the 2013/2014 season.


"The determined Polish-born violinist Alicja Smietana, following studies in the Krakow Academy and at the Guildhall in London, now enjoys a busy international career while studying further with Christian Tetzlaff. Thanks to the Stradivari Trust, she has just taken possession of a violin by Camillus Camilli, and has also received Nigel Brown’s support in acquiring a magnificent Jean Persoit bow to match."
[THE STRAD, 2011]

"I know Alicja for a number of years. She is a devoted musician and has extraordinary skills as an instrumentalist"
[Gidon Kremer]

"Alicja is an extremely talented violinist. While working with her I found not only a brilliant musician, but a friend interested primarily in the greater good of music."
[Nigel Kennedy]

"First, Kennedy played some Bartok duets with the young violinist Alicja Smietana (miniatures with a folk character, full of mysterious sounds) The intensity was stronger than expected and the performance was sizzling."
(Tygodnik Powszechny, 2010)

"Mozart was represented by a couple of his youthful Salzburg works, beginning with the A major Violin Concerto, K.219. This was a late replacement to the program, the flutist in the announced Flute and Harp Concerto having succumbed to the germs going around, so Alicja Smietana, already due to play K219 with OOTS in Stratford tonight, was hijacked on her way from Manchester to London, and brought in to save the day. On one rehearsal this was an impressive performance, Curtis and Smietana between them found eloquent depths in the mellifluous slow movement."

"Alicja has presented works by Karol Szymanowski and Paul Ben-Haim. She turned out to be undoubtedly the best. Out of 16 young musicians from various countries, She was the one (by the decision of 8 jury members) to win the first prize."