organist, improvisator, researcher; b. 26th February 1980 in Wołomin (Poland). He started studying the organ at the age of 17 in Warsaw. He is a graduate of the Józef Elsner Public School of Music in Warsaw in the organ class of Prof. Roman Szlaużys and organ improvisation in the class of Prof. Marian Sawa. He had been studying organ performance as part of an artistic internship at the Fryderyk Chopin University of Music in Warsaw in Prof. Andrzej Chorosiński’s class, as well as organ improvisation at the Pontificio Istituto Ambrosiano di Musica Sacra in Milan (Italy) in Maestro Davide Paleari’s class.
He participated in master classes on the subject matter of organ works (Ullrich Böhme, Andrew Dewar, Pieter van Dijk, François Espinasse, Bernhard Gfrerer, François-Henri Houbart, Oliver Penin, Louis Robilliard, Daniel Roth, Jean-Claude Zehnder and others), organ improvisation (Frédéric Blanc, Sophie-Véronique Cauchefer-Choplin, Thierry Escaich, Gaétan Jarry, Samuel Liégeon, Baptiste-Florian Marle-Ouvrard, Wolfgang Seifen, Sietze de Vries and others) and liturgical music (Roman Catholic and Anglican). In February 2019, he obtained an academic degree of Doctor of Musical Arts in the field of 'Instrumental Studies' in discipline of 'Organ Performance' based on the dissertation of “Organ, as a source of inspiration in the art of improvisation and performance practice” written under the direction of Prof. Andrzej Chorosiński and defended at the Białystok faculty of the Fryderyk Chopin University of Music in Warsaw.
He is an international concert organist performing regular solo recitals in countries of Europe, North America, South America, Asia and Africa: Argentina, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Great Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Kazakhstan, Nigeria, Poland, Slovakia, Ukraine and the USA.
He has been conducting international didactic activities in the field of organ improvisation and practice of interpretation of organ literature from different periods, among others in cooperation with The Royal School of Church Music. He participates in international academic conferences on organ and sacred music (Belgium, Nigeria, Poland). His organological publications are issued regularly by prestigious organ magazines: British “The Organ”, Canadian “Organ Canada”, as well as American “The Diapason” and “The Vox Humana.” Since 2013 he has been a member of The Royal College of Organists, based in London, and since 2014 (as the first Pole) he has had a certificate from this organisation. Since 2017 he has been a member of The American Guild of Organists, based in New York City, and since 2018 he has been a member of The Organ Historical Society based in USA.
In the years 2002–2011, he was an organist at the Church of Our Lady of Lourdes in Warsaw; he wrote a monograph on the history of the organ (J.G. Meinert, 1782) of this church, and recorded a CD (with organ literature and improvisations), which is the only record of the sound of this instrument which no longer exists. At that time he co-authored a series of broadcasts on “Radio Warszawa 106.2” about organs in Warsaw-Prague Diocese. In the years 2011–2018, he had been working as the Music Director and the Principal Organist at the Sanctuary of the Virgin Mary in Licheń Stary, where he had been playing the largest organ in Poland (Zych, 157, 6M+P) located in the Basilica in Licheń Stary (the largest church in Poland). In 2017, he wrote the book The Lichen Organ in relation to the Largest Instruments in Poland, Europe and the World and recorded a compact disc Ave Regina Caelorum with improvisations. In 2018, he recorded a second compact disc in the Basilica in Licheń Stary with French literature and improvisations, French Inspirations: 2nd half of the 19th century.
In addition, he has completed Master’s and PhD studies in the area of economics at the Leon Koźmiński Academy in Warsaw. Since 2019, as an Assistant Professor (adjunct), he is associated with the University of Social Sciences in Warsaw, where he conducts interdisciplinary scientific research at the interface between business and art, as well as didactic activities for English-language MBA programs and the Polish branch of the Clark University, Worcester, USA, in the area of international finance, corporate finance, financial analysis, financial and managerial accounting, self-presentation, business presentations, marketing of visual arts, business ethics and CSR. He is also the founder and the president of the Jan Drzewoski Foundation dealing with a wide range of organ themes.
updated: 2021 (ac)
The official website: www.michalszostak.org