Polish cellist Marcin Sieniawski is among the most versatile and sought-after cellists of our day. As a soloist, a founding member of the Szymanowski String Quartet and a duo partner of such eminent musicians as Alexej Sultanov, Malcolm Bilson, Elsbeth Moser, Peter Jablonski, Francesco Piemontesi and Kit Armstrong, he has performed in over 40 countries, on such prestigious stages as Carnegie Hall in New York, London’s Wigmore Hall, the Auditorium du Louvre in Paris, Philharmonie de Paris, Concertgebouw Amsterdam and Konzerthaus Berlin, and in the great concert halls of Asia and Australia. He has participated in renowned music festivals, such as the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival, Rheingau Musikfestival, Niedersächsische Musiktage, Schubertiade Schwarzenberg, Cheltenham Festival, and Bath Festival, and appeared at the Kammermusikfest Lockenhaus by personal invitation from Gidon Kremer.
Born in Warsaw in 1970, Marcin Sieniawski began his studies at the Moscow State Tchaikovsky Conservatory. He subsequently continued his studies at the Hanover University of Music, Drama and Media in Germany, where, as the cellist of the newly founded Szymanowski Quartet, he received important musical impulses from Prof. Hatto Beyerle, founder of the Alban Berg Quartet. During this formative period he also worked with the distinguished Russian cellist Daniil Shafran. He names Boris Pergamenschikow, Heinrich Schiff, David Geringas and Bernard Greenhouse as further major influences on his musical development. As a soloist he has been invited to perform with diverse orchestras, joining them on their tours of Poland, the USSR and the USA.
The Szymanowski Quartet enjoyed extensive encouragement and support from such musical legends as Isaac Stern, Walter Levin and Gidon Kremer. Alfred Brendel invited the quartet to play at the Gewandhaus Leipzig and the Musikverein in Vienna as part of his 80th birthday celebrations. The pre-eminent quartets of the twentieth century, notably the Amadeus Quartet, Guarneri Quartet, Juilliard String Quartet and Emerson String Quartet, were also decisive influences on the interpretative approach and musical path taken by the Szymanowski Quartet.
One of Marcin Sieniawski’s most unforgettable moments is Vladimir Krainev’s appearance at the Szymanowski & Friends Festival in Lviv, where the pianist chose the quartet as his partner for the last public concert of his career. As the cellist of his quartet, Marcin performed with such eminent chamber music partners as Oleg Maisenberg, Cyprien Katsaris, Paul Meyer, Anthony Pay, Gary Hoffmann, Adrian Brendel and Martin Stadtfeld.
In October 2017 Marcin Sieniawski left the Szymanowski Quartet, of which he was the last remaining founding member, to pursue new musical horizons. Committed to passing on his vast experience to younger generations of musicians, he has an intense interest in teaching. But, armed with enormous musical curiosity, he is also looking forward to new challenges as a performer.
He has been sharing his profound knowledge with up-and-coming young cellists and ensembles for many years, giving masterclasses in Europe, North and South America and Asia. Teaching invitations have taken him to the Mozarteum Salzburg, European Chamber Music Academy, Konzertarbeitswochen Goslar, Holland Music Sessions, Zeist Music Days, the University of Southern California in Los Angeles and Irvine, Tokyo Music University and the Central Conservatory of Music Beijing.
Marcin Sieniawski is the recipient of numerous awards, among them, in 2005, the Szymanowski Prize, which has also gone to such distinguished musicians as Sir Simon Rattle and Piotr Anderszewski for their exceptional contributions to the perpetuation of the work of Karol Szymanowski. In 2007 he received the Medal of Honour from the Polish Ministry of Culture and National Heritage for his commitment to the recognition and preservation of Polish music and culture.
He appears on CDs released by Decca, Hyperion, Hänssler Classic and CAvi-music, and can be heard on numerous radio recordings for the BBC, in the framework of the “New Generation Artists” scheme, and for radio stations in Germany and many other countries.