Photo Wojciech Grzędziński

jury secretary

Witold Kawalec

In 1998, he graduated with distinction from the Feliks Nowowiejski Academy of Music in Bydgoszcz, where he studied piano with Jarosław Drzewiecki. He perfected his skills at the International Piano Master Classes in Duszniki-Zdrój under Tatiana Szebanowa and Włodzimierz Obidowicz, and at the ‘Fryderyk Chopin in memoriam’ classes in Słupsk under Halina Czerny-Stefańska and Andrzej Tatarski. In 2004, he completed postgraduate studies at the Feliks Nowowiejski Academy of Music in Bydgoszcz with Katarzyna Popowa-Zydroń. In 2011, he became the doctor of musical arts at the Stanisław Moniuszko Academy of Music in Gdańsk.

Kawalec has won the Twenty-Seventh Fryderyk Chopin Piano Competitions for Artistic Scholarships in Warsaw (1994), the second prize at the First International Master Competition for Music Teachers in Warsaw (2013) and the first prize at the Ninth International Competition of Musical Interpretation in Przemyśl (2015). He has also taken part in other piano competitions, such as the Fourth International Paderewski Piano Competition in Bydgoszcz (1998), the Seventh International Chopin Piano Competition in Darmstadt (2002) and the Fourth Ferenc Liszt International Piano Competition in Wrocław (2008). In 2001, he was the only Polish participant at the Thirty-Sixth Franz Liszt International Piano Competition in Budapest. He has performed as a soloist and chamber musician in a number of cities throughout Poland, Germany, Serbia, Lithuania and Norway.

Kawalec was one of the initiators and co-organisers of the Students’ Piano Festival ‘Forte Piano’, held between 1994 and 1999 in Bydgoszcz, where he also repeatedly performed. Since 1998, he has worked at the Juliusz Zarębski State Combined Schools of Music in Inowrocław, where he is also now employed as manager of the keyboard section at the secondary school of music. He also works at the Faculty of Musical Education of the Kazimierz Wielki University in Bydgoszcz, where he was also deputy dean in 2016-2019.

In 2017, he took part in the recording sessions for the album Radość dawania – Artyści dla Rotary (The Joy of Giving – Artists for Rotary), where he performed the solo part in the Variations on Themes by Chopin for jazz trio and string orchestra by Konstantin Vilensky. He has premiered a number of works written by contemporary composers, such as Marcin Kopczyński, Ryszard Kwiatkowski, Piotr Komorowski and Bohdan Riemer. He records for the label Acte Préalable and Polskie Radio Pomorza i Kujaw (Radio PIK).