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Andrzej Grabiec began studying violin at the age of seven. Since his first full recital at age 11 he has performed as a soloist in symphonic concerts and recitals in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Australia, New Caledonia, Vanuatu, Denmark, Belgium, Great Britain, East and West Germany, West Berlin, France, Switzerland, Italy, Luxembourg, Spain, Austria, Czechoslovakia, Rumania, Hungary, Bulgaria, Yugoslavia, former Soviet Union, and his native country, Poland.
He was a prizewinner at the Fifth International Henryk Wieniawski Violin Competition in Poznan, Poland, in 1967, and the International Jacques Thibaud Violin Competition in Paris, France, in 1969. He completed his formal studies in 1972 with highest honors at the Szymanowski Academy of Music in Katowice, Poland, where he became Professor of Violin. He has been invited to direct Master Classes in the United States, Canada, Great Britain, Austria and Poland.
Andrzej Grabiec was Soloist and Concertmaster of the Polish National Radio and Television Symphony Orchestra and leader of Capella per Musica da Camera, a chamber orchestra of the Polish Radio and Television. As a member of the Polish Radio Piano Trio (violin, cello, piano) he has won first prize at the Tenth International Competition for Chamber Music Ensembles in Colmar, France. Between 1979 and 1985 Mr. Grabiec was engaged by the Pueblo Symphony Association as Concertmaster of the Pueblo Symphony Orchestra and Music Director of the Mozart Festival Chamber Orchestra, which he founded. He was also Artist-in-Residence at the University of Southern Colorado in Pueblo, Colorado.
In May 1984 Mr. Grabiec had his highly successful Carnegie Hall debut recital. In 1985 Andrzej Grabiec was appointed Professor of Violin and Director of Strings and Orchestral Studies at the School of Music of the Wichita State University in Wichita, Kansas, where he was also first violinist of the Fairmount String Quartet. Simultaneously the Wichita Symphony Orchestra engaged him as Concertmaster. In 1986 the Eastern Music Festival in Greensboro, North Carolina, selected Mr. Grabiec to become Concertmaster of the Eastern Philharmonic Orchestra, principal violin faculty, as well as soloist and chamber musician in many summer concerts of this annual international festival.
Since 1989 Mr. Grabiec has been Concertmaster of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra in Rochester, New York, and since 1990, a founding member and soloist and Concertmaster of the American Sinfonietta, an ensemble comprised of some of the most outstanding musicians in the United States. In addition to these duties, Mr. Grabiec also assumed the post of music director of the Society for Chamber Music in Rochester and became a founding member of the Trio NOVA, which is enjoying an active career.
In the fall of 1995, Mr. Grabiec assumed a position of Professor of Violin at the Moores School of Music of the University of Houston in Houston, Texas, and in 1996 the American Sinfonietta offered him the position of Artistic Director of the American Sinfonietta Performance Academy, which is active every summer. Since moving to Houston Mr. Grabiec has become founder and Artistic Co-Director of the Virtuosi of Houston, a 45-piece orchestra comprised of some of the most outstanding young musicians in the metropolitan Houston area.
Throughout his artistic career Mr. Grabiec frequently collaborated as a soloist or as a chamber musician with many internationally recognized artists, such as - conductors Pierre Boulez, Erich Leinsdorf, Krzysztof Penderecki, Witold Lutoslawski, Jerzy Semkow, Kazimierz Kord, Mark Elder, Erich Bergel; - pianists Garrick Ohlsson, Michael Ponti, Andre-Michel Schub, Lee Luvisi, Robert Levin, John Perry; - violinists Joseph Silverstein, Robert McDuffie, Ani Kavafian, Fredell Lack, James Buswell; - violists Heidi Castleman, Lars Anders Tomter, Barbara Westphal, Robert Vernon, Thomas Riebl, Patricia McCarty, James Dunham; - cellists Leonard Rose, Laszlo Varga, Carter Brey, Nathaniel Rosen, Timothy Eddy, Ronald Leonard, Christoph Henkel, Heidi Litschauer; double bassist James Vandemark, Paul Ellison, Fred Bretschger, ; - guitarists Pepe Romero, Angel Romero; - wind players Hermann Baumann (French horn), Carol Wincenc and Wolfgang Schulz (flute), Franklin Cohen and Charles Neidich (clarinet), Alan Vogel and Neil Black (oboe); - and many others. During the summer of 1999 Mr. Grabiec was Artistic Director of an extensive Olympic Arts Tour to Australia (Sydney, Brisbane, Cairns, Townsville, Charters Towers, a.o.), New Zealand (Auckland), and South Pacific islands, where he played a double role as violin soloist and as a conductor.
Mr. Grabiec closed the year 1999 with a performance in the presence of former President George Bush, Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, Presidential Advisor Vernon Jordan, Senator Howard Baker, and German Consul General Wolfgang Moser, and with a performance as soloist with the Houston Symphony Orchestra. Recently Mr. Grabiec completed a CD recording of the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto with the American Sinfonietta, with Michael Palmer conducting. It was released on the Summit Records label, and is presently distributed to 52 countries around the world.
Most recently Mr. Grabiec completed another CD recording of contemporary American chamber music, and a unique CD recording of Strauss’ Don Quixote, arranged for septet by cellist, Laszlo Varga. In addition, recordings of Mr. Grabiec can be found on the Vifon and Natural Soundfields labels as well as in the archives of Polish Radio and Television, ORF (Austrian Radio, Vienna), and West German Radio (West-Deutsche Rundfunk).
Saturday, April 5, 2014, 7:30pm
Hobby Center for the Performing Arts, Zilkha Hall
"With many of your students headed to the best music schools and conservatories around the country, you are providing them with tools that will last their entire careers. Best wishes for your continued success. The Houston Symphony looks forward to its next opportunity to work with your students."
Roger Daily, Director of Education and Outreach, Houston Symphony