Biography of Jerzy Stryjniak


Dr. Stryjniak was born in Krakow, Poland. He graduated with distinction from the Krakow Academy of Music, where he studied with Professor Ludwik Stefanski. Upon the death of Professor Stefanski, Mr. Stryjniak completed his studies with Professor Ewa Bukojemska. He also studied under Professors Wiktor Mierzhanov, Rudolf Kehrer and with Regina Smendzianka.

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Jerzy Stryjniak.

Dr. Stryjniak has received many awards and distinctions, including the Fulbright Scholarship, Honors from the President of the City of Krakow, and a major award from the Polish Ministry of Culture. He was awarded the First Prize at the International Piano Competition (Artists International) in 1990 in New York, First Prize at the Polish Piano Festival in Slupsk in 1983, and First Prize at the Frederic Chopin Scholarship Competition in Warsaw in 1983. He was Chairman of the Judges at the International Piano Competition in Connecticut in 1994 and has been a juror at several piano competitions in New York since 1994.

Dr. Stryjniak is currently Director and President of the New York Conservatory of Music in Manhattan. As artist in residence, he also teaches a select group of talented young pianists. He continues to conduct master classes in Europe as well as across the United States.

Dr. Stryjniak's performances include solo piano recitals and piano concertos in Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Belgium, France, Hungary, Japan, Canada, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. He made his New York City debut at Carnegie Hall when he won the 1990 Special Presentation Recital Award. The New York Times described his debut as “impressive, dazzling and compelling.” Later that year, he was invited to return for Carnegie Hall's Centennial Celebration. In 1992, Mr. Stryjniak was honored to perform on the occasion of the return of the ashes of Ignacy Jan Paderewski from Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, D.C., to Poland. He subsequently received the Paderewski Medal from Kazimierz Dziewanowski, the Polish Ambassador to the United States. After his recital at the Chopin Festival in Miami, he was awarded the title of Honorary Mayor of Palm Beach. In March 2004 Mr. Stryjniak was the guest on Chopin’s Evenings radio broadcast by Jan Popis Polish Radio, Program no 1. During this program, the host mentions: “[Mr. Stryjniak’s] bravura performance and dramatic playing are supported by an excellent sound technique. And sound indeed is among the many qualities of his playing.”

Gazeta Wyborcza writes of the pianist: “Dr. Jerzy Stryjniak is an artist gifted with great sensibility, being at the same time mature and operating a flawless technique. One refers to artists like him as playing from their heart and soul. [His rendition of] Petrarca Sonet 104 brought the next mosaic of colors, mingling under the fingers of Dr. Jerzy Stryjniak, and his vision of the Consolation D-flat major took the listeners’ breath away. This wonderful moment, brought out in the most sublime and possible pianissimo, lasted a few short minutes, but it acquired an eternal dimension.”

Prof. Stryjniak has recently released three CDs from American Masters Recording & Management as a series of "PIANO MASTERPIECES." One is the all-Liszt including "Hungarian Rhapsody" No.2 and Sonata, and the other two are the all-Chopin including all the Ballads and "Andante Spianato & Grande Polonaise Brillante." Those two Chopin CDs, in particular, received critical acclaim from the local Polish piano critics. Also, Prof. Regina Smendzianka, a great pianist and music educator, who is well known among the Japanese, said that Prof. Stryjniak's Chopin became a favorite of her. Moreover, his recordings of Chopin were broadcast on the public radio station in Warsaw using the entire time of the program. Prof. Stryjniak is a great pianist who has strong and powerful but delicate and fine sensibilities. His skilful use of the pedal produces clear and brilliant sounds. His performances are so outstanding that those who study the piano should not miss.

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