pianist; b. 17th March 1963 in Warsaw. He received his first musical training from Elzbieta Malanicz-Onoszko at the age of five. After graduating with distinction at the Szymanowski College of Music under Jan Wobozil he left his native city to continue his studies with Jorge Bolet at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. He then returned to Europe and perfected his craft with Rudolf Buchbinder in Basle and Harry Datyner in Geneva. His further musical knowledge Pawel Kamasa gained by studying historical keyboard instruments at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis. Finalist of the Terrence Judd Award International Competition in London in 1988 and laureate of the Chopin Institute in Warsaw in 1980, he was awarded the Baldwin Piano Prize in Philadelphia in 1982 and the Prix de l'Association des Musiciens Suisses in Lausanne in 1987.
Since his German debut at the Kissinger Sommer Festival in 1987 he has performed in major European centres including the Salle Gaveau in Paris, the Tonhalle in Zurich, the Warsaw Philharmonic and the Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Moscow. As a soloist he appeared with outstanding conductors such as Jan Krenz, Eivind Gullberg Jensen, Tadeusz Wojciechowski, Marek Pijarowski, Tomasz Bugaj, Wilfried Boettcher and Karol Teutsch. He has been invited to participate in numerous international festivals, including Chateauneuf-du-Pape, St. Savin, Braunwald, Thun, Zakopane Szymanowski Festival, Chopin Festivals in Warsaw, Geneva and Antonin. He participated as the only Polish pianist in the performance of the complete works of Chopin at the Festival of Evian in France in 1999. He also took part in the first performance of A Cradle Song by Hanna Kulenty at the Munich Biennale '94, and played the world premiere performance of the Musique polyphonique by Czeslaw Gladkowski at the international festival Jazz à Mulhouse in 1995.
Pawel Kamasa was the very first pianist ever to perform the complete cycle of mazurkas by Karol Szymanowski in Paris (1994). His recording of this oeuvre for KOCH/Schwann in Munich was very much praised by Gramophone London, and received the "Critic's Choice Award '98". In 2015 a new 2CD-set dedicated to the complete late work for piano solo op. 116-119 by Johannes Brahms has been released by DUX Recording Producers.
The 2016/17 concert season got him to China where he performed Chopin recitals during a two-weeks concert tour. In June 2017 he appeared in a project Korngold the child prodigy by the Teatr Wielki – National Opera Warsaw, together with Anna Maria Staśkiewicz (violin) and Marcin Zdunik (cello). Having been a formative factor in his musical development, chamber music continues to play an important role in Pawel Kamasa's activities. He has appeared with the most distinguished soloists and ensembles in Europe, among them the Amati-, Wilanow- and Szymanowski String Quartets.
In 2009 he was appointed artistic director of the international piano festival „Chopin – Inspirations. 1810–2010”, which has been praised as one of the most original projects of the Chopin 200th anniversary year in 2010.
Pawel Kamasa is a passionate pedagogue too. From 1997 to 2000 he led the piano and chamber music class at the Conservatory of Schaffhausen in Switzerland, 2012/13 he was visiting professor for piano chamber music at the Feliks Nowowiejski Academy of Music in Bydgoszcz, Poland. Since 2012 he has been leading a class for piano chamber music at the Josef Elsner College of Music in Warsaw, Poland, and he continues his teaching activity by giving master classes and lectures. In 2017 he served as a jury member of the 24th International Johannes Brahms Piano Competition in Pörtschach, Austria.
Seeking new forms of music presentation, Pawel Kamasa has performed his lecture-recital Mazurka - from Chopin to Szymanowski in German, Polish and English throughout Europe and overseas (South Africa tour 2007). Since 2008 he has been performing a programme called Letters of music, devoted to Johannes Brahms' late works for piano, accompanied by the correspondence of Clara Schumann to the composer in Kamasa's own translation into Polish. In 2012 he presented it with great acclaim in its language of origin to the public in Germany.
updated: January 2018
Pianist's own homepage: www.pawelkamasa.com
Karol Szymanowski Mazurkas opp.50 & 62, Koch/Schwann 3-1066-2 H1 (1996)
Johannes Brahms Sonatas op.120 nos. 1 & 2, Scherzo in C minor WoO2, Stefan Kamasa - viola, Polish Radio Records PRCD 068 (2006)
Johannes Brahms The Late Piano Works op. 116-119, DUX 1130-31 (2014)