Jan Stanienda (1953-2021)


legendary Polish concertmaster, an eminent chamber musician, and a sparkling virtuoso. He was born in Bytom, Poland. He was a graduate of the Chopin Academy of Music in Warsaw, where he studied with Professor Krzysztof Jakowicz. His unbelievably rich imagination imparted to his interpretations a unique personal stamp. His masterful phrasing and use of colour and articulation left an unforgettable impression on the audience.


Since 1975, Jan Stanienda has been a member of the Polish Chamber Orchestra under Jerzy Maksymiuk, and in 1977 he became its concertmaster and soloist. In 1976 he received a prize at the Niccolo Paganini International Violin Competition in Genoa. He performed with many distinguished musicians, such as Sir Yehudi Menuhin, Maurice Andre, Michala Petri, Wanda Wilkomirska, Krzysztof Jakowicz, Janos Starker, Barbara Hendricks, Moris Bourge, Lidia Grzanka-Urbaniak, Guy Touvrone, Andrey Gridchuk, Grzegorz Nowak, Tadeusz Wojciechowski and Krzysztof Jablonski.v He has performed both as soloist and conductor in every European country and on every continent. He gave concerts at Carnegie Hall, New York, Berliner Philharmonie, Amsterdam Concertgebouw, Auditorio Nacional de Musica, Madrid, Barbican Centre and Royal Albert Hall, London (BBC Henry Wood Promenade Concerts), Santa Cecilia, Vatican and many others. From 1986 until 2000, he was concertmaster of Sinfonia Varsovia, and in the years 1993-1995 he was the artistic director of the orchestra Leopoldinum. Besides leading Sinfonia Varsovia and the Polish Chamber Orchestra, he has performed with, and directed, many chamber and symphonic orchestras in Poland and abroad. In 1991-92 he was the Premier Violon Solo of the Orchestre de Chambre National de Toulouse. With this orchestra he conducted the January 1, 1992 Concert for Peace in Dubrovnik in which Barbara Hendricks participated. In 1998 he performed in Atlanta’s Spive Hall at the gala concert on the occasion of Poland’s joining of NATO.


He has made numerous recordings on CD and for radio and television. He has recorded with such companies as Aperto, Linn Records, Pavane, Kos Warsaw Records and DUX. He was the creator and artistic director of the Wroclaw Chamber Music Festival Arsenal Nights and the laureate of the Wroclaw Music Award (2006).