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Kaja Danczowska,

violinist and pedagogue; b. 25th March 1949 in Kraków. At the age of eight she started studying the violin with Eugenia Umińska, who became her teacher at the State Higher School of Music in Kraków. She graduated with honours in 1972. In the same year, she completed a two-year master class with Dawid Ojstrach at the Moscow Conservatory. In 1974, at the invitation of the Canadian Government, she participated in a master class of Ruggiero Ricci. Since 1972, she teaches violin at the Academy of Music in Kraków. In 1997 she received the title of professor and in 2016 she was awarded Doctor Honoris Causa of the Academy of Music in Kraków.

In 1959 she received the scholarship of the Association of Polish Music Artists funded by Henryk Szeryng, followed by the scholarships of Paweł Klecki, the Poznań Music Society and the Minister of Culture and Art.

She has won numerous national and international violin competitions, including the first place in the National Violin Competition in Wrocław (1959), the 3rd place in the 5th Henryk Wieniawski International Violin Competition in Poznań (1967), the 2nd place in the Alberto Curci Violin Competition in Naples (1969), the 2nd place in the Music Performance Competition in Geneva (1970), the 3rd place in the International Radio Competition in Munich (1975), a silver medal in the Queen Elizabeth International Music Competition in Brussels (1976).

She has been performing as a soloist in many European countries, both Americas, Asia and Australia under the baton of, among others, Jan Krenz, Jerzy Maksymiuk, Krzysztof Penderecki, Yuri Simonov, Stanisław Skrowaczewski, Stanisław Skrowaczewski, Tadeusz Strugała, Witold Rowicki and Antoni Wit. Since 1978, she collaborated with Krystian Zimerman, with whom she recorded sonatas by César Franck and W. A. Mozart as well as Karol Szymanowski’s Myths. In 1999 she took part in a tour of the Zimerman’s Polish Festival Orchestra, presenting Fryderyk Chopin’s concerts. In 2009, on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of Grażyna Bacewicz's birth, she took part in a concert tour organized by Krystian Zimerman in Poland. The entire programme was recorded at the Music Academy in Katowice for Deutsche Grammophon. She was also collaborating with Heinz Holliger, Gidon Kremera, Misha Maisky, and Ivan Monighetti.

The artist has released many albums. She recorded, among others, Mieczysław Karłowicz's Violin Concerto in A major with the Polish Radio and Television Orchestra in Kraków under Antoni Wit (Le Chant du Monde, 1992), Double Concerto for Violin and Cello "Lil" by Konstanty Regamey with Andrzej Bauer and Sinfonia Varsovia under Wojciech Michniewski (Swiss Broadcasting Corporation, 1994), Karol Szymanowski's Violin concerto No. 1 and No. 2 with the National Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Kazimierz Kord (Polygram, 1997). The latest album was awarded the Diapason d’Or Award in 1998. In addition, she participated in over 400 radio recordings, mostly for the Polish Radio and RIAS radio station.

In 2014, the Polish Radio Programme 2 with the support of the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage released a 7-disc album with approximately fifty archival recordings from the years 1974-2007 selected from the artist's entire phonographic output. In 2015, the album was awarded the "Fryderyk" statuette in the "Album of the Year – Solo Recital" category.

Kaja Danczowska has sat on the jury of numerous competitions in Poland and abroad, e.g. in Poznań (1986), Tokyo (1986), Munich (1992, 1998), New York (1999), Odense (2000), and Vienna (2008).

She has received numerous awards, including the State Award of the 2nd degree (1976), the City of Cracow Award (1977), the Award of the Minister of Culture and Art (1979, 1991, 1998), the Award of the Minister of Foreign Affairs (1982), the Award of the Radio and Television Committee (1984), the Golden Cross of Merit (1986), the Award of the Cracow Voivode (1992), the Award of the Polish Culture Foundation (1998), the Award of the Robinson Foundation for Educational Excellence (1999), the Officer's Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta (2001), the Gold Medal for Merit to Culture – Gloria Artis (2006), the Commander's Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta (2009), the Prime Minister's Award (2011).

updated: 2020 (ac)