Nina Kuzma-Sapiejewska

Nina Kuzma SapiejewskaNina Kuźma-Sapiejewska-Artistic Director

Nina Kuzma-Sapiejewska is among the finest examples of today’s brilliantly talented and versatile musicians, recognized internationally as a true master of the keyboard. The New York Times calls her “an expert on Chopin,” “absolutely first rate” writes The Washington Star. The Washington Post describes her recital as “electrifying performance” and the Toronto’s Globe and Mail features an article entitled “Tenderly Warm Bach.” The Greek newspaper Makedonia comments “a pianist of international scale” and the Polish Gazeta Krakowska says “she is a virtuoso.” The Swiss Solothurner Zeitung praises her concert “the assets of this Polish pianist not only remind the meditative tone of Rubinstein, but also show the fiery temperament and virtuosity arousing enormous applause.”

Born in Warsaw, Poland, she received her formal education at the Music Lyceum in Bydgoszcz and at the Academy of Music in Gdansk where she was awarded Master of Arts Degree. Her teacher was Prof. Lucjan Galon, an eccentric pianist, a pupil of Frederic Lamond, a Scottish virtuoso, who was a protégé of Franz Liszt and Johannes Brahms. Nina Sapiejewska continued her studies at the Juilliard School of Music in New York with Prof. Jacob Lateiner and Prof. Claus Adam of the Juilliard String Quartet as well as at Tanglewood, Aspen and Temple University Music Festivals with Prof. Claude Frank, Prof. Jeannine Dowis, Prof. Sasha Gorodnitzky and Prof. Sydney Foster. Additionally, she worked with Prof. Leon Fleisher in Baltimore, Prof. Eugene List in New York and Prof. Maria Curcio in London.

She has been invited to perform as a recitalist and guest soloist with many symphony orchestras in America and in Europe. Her tours have taken her to Canada, Great Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, Greece, Holland, Norway, Poland, Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Turkey, Greek and Turkish Cyprus and Egypt.

She has been a soloist among others with the National Gallery Orchestra in Washington D.C., The South Bend Symphony Orchestra in Indiana, The Monterey Symphony Orchestra in California, The Santa Fe Chamber Orchestra in New Mexico, The Mannes Community Orchestra in New York, The Fairfax Symphony, The Arlington Symphony and The Amadeus Orchestra in Great Falls, Virginia, The Bloomfield Symphony in New Jersey, The Presidential Symphony Orchestra in Istambul and the Izmir Symphony Orchestra in Turkey, The Noordelijk Filharmonisch Orkest in Groningen, Holland, The Thessaloniki Symphony Orchestra in Greece, The Baltic Philharmonic in Gdansk, The Pomeranian Philharmonic and the Pomeranian Chamber Orchestra in Bydgoszcz, The A. Rubinstein Philharmonic in Lodz, The A. Malawski Philharmonic in Rzeszow, the Warmian-Mazurian Philharmonic in Olsztyn, The Philharmonic of Jelenia Gora, The T. Baird State Philharmonic in Zielona Gora, The H. Wieniawski Philharmonic in Lublin, The Sudetian Philharmonic in Walbrzych, The Opole Philharmonic and The Rybnik Philharmonic in Poland.

She has collaborated with the following conductors: Claude Monteux, Gurer Aykal, Newton Wayland, Peter Bellino, Richard Bales, Lutz Herbig, William Kirschke, Jacek Kaspszyk, Haymo Tauber, Kazimierz Wilkomirski, Antoni Szafranek, Marek Tracz, Zygmunt Rychert and Jerzy Sapiejewski.

Numerous classical, romantic, and modern music programs added some interesting features to this artist’s career as a recitalist. Sixteen “All Chopin Recitals” at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, and many other concerts at The Town Hall, The Kosciuszko Foundation, The Europa Club and The Consulate General of the Republic of Poland in New York, The Kennedy Center, The National Gallery of Art, The Phillips Collection, The Embassy of the Republic of Poland, The World Bank, The Barker Hall, The Wilson House, The University Club in Washington D.C., The Cathedral of Mary Our Queen in Baltimore, Maryland, The Isabelle Gardner Museum in Boston and the Longy School of Music in Cambridge, Massachusetts, John Jay Heritage Center in Rye, Chopin Salon in Larchmont, Irish Salon by the Sea in Mamaroneck, Saranac Lake Auditorium, NY. The Heritage Society in Philadelphia, The International Institute in Detroit, Michigan, The Washington Museum in Hagerstown, Maryland, The Cultural Society in Toronto, The Accademia Filarmonica Romana, The Teatro delle Clarisse in Rapallo, The Castello di Portofino and Villa Durazzo in Santa Margherita Ligure in Italy, The Macedonian Hall in Thessaloniki and the Patras Philharmonic Society and Anatolia College in Greece, The Museum of Art in Alexandria and the Conservatory of Music in Cairo, Egypt, The Town Hall of Limassol, The American Academy in Nicosia in Greek Cyprus and the Music Society of Nicosia in Turkish Cyprus, The Bank of Alicante, and The American Institute of Barcelona in Spain, The Halls of Solothurn, Balstahl and Herzogenbuchsee in Switzerland, The Church of Covent Garden in London, The Concert Hall of Wroclaw Philharmonic, The Concert Hall of Warmian – Mazurian Philharmonic in Olsztyn, The Concert Hall of Pomeranian Philharmonic in Bydgoszcz, The Concert Hall of the Forest Opera and The Grand Hotel in Sopot, The Castle of Pomeranian Dukes in Szczecin and The Castle of Glogowek – L. van Beethoven’s Hall, The Sanguszko Castle of Tarnow, The 15th century Castle of Debno, The XVIII century Castle of Moszna, The 18th  century Palace of Lubostron, The XVIII century Palace of Ostromecko, Bialopradnicki Manor in Cracow. Nobilis Gallery in Elbląg, Ball Room in Krynica Zdroj, Kazimierz Pulaski Museum in Warka. Jan Kiepura Club in Sosnowiec. In The XVIII century Little Palace of Grodzisk Mazowiecki, The Romantic Museum in Opinogora, The Central Maritime Museum in Gdansk, The Museum in Grudziadz, The Nalkowskis Museum in Wolomin, The Museum of Zielona Gora, The Museum of Bielsko Biala. The Town Hall of Gdansk, Kolobrzeg and Inowroclaw, The University of Torun, The Royal Salon in Suwalki, The Centers of Culture in Przemysl, Tczew, Kolobrzeg, Serock, Swiecie, Gorzow Wielkopolski, Zyrardow and Znin, The Music Schools of Chelmno, Szczecinek and Grudziac, The Collegiate Church in Radzymin, The Chopin Society at the Ostrogski Palace in Warsaw, The Manor of Zelazowa Wola – the birthplace of Frederic Chopin, the Basilica of St. John the Baptist in Brochow – the sacred church where F. Chopin was baptized and the Rose Garden in the Lazienki Park in Warsaw on the site of the most beautiful monument of Frederic Chopin.  

At the Glenn Gould Studio in Toronto, Canada, Nina Sapiejewska played the Canadian premiere of the Chopin Piano Concerto No.1 with the Penderecki String Quartet, receiving a standing ovation. She was invited to play several recital tours of the Residences of American Ambassadors in Paris, Madrid, Sofia, Prague, Warsaw, Budapest and Cairo. The pianist gave lecture recitals at various American and Canadian universities like: The American University, The Georgetown University, and The Catholic University in Washington D.C., The Bennington College in Vermont, The University of Albuquerque, The Las Vegas University and The University of Portales in New Mexico, The Hampden – Sydney College and The Christopher Newport College in Newport News, Virginia, Bethel College in Indiana. The University of Scranton, The Reding College and The Alliance College in Cambridge Springs, Pennsylvania, The Seton Hall University in New Jersey, The Canisius College in Buffalo and The Saranac Lake Auditorium in Saranac Lake, New York, The Central Connecticut State University in New Britain and The Carlton University in Ottawa, Canada.

Following the 19th century tradition of salon concerts, Nina Sapiejewska has established concert series called Il Piccollo Theatro presents at the Chopin Salon in Larchmont, and has been presenting many chamber music concerts and music & poetry recitals with Ewa Maria & Maya Sabina Wojcik-actresses and Jan Roszkowski-cellist. Lullaby for Chopin-little drama written by Nina tells about the history of Europe in XVIII-th century and about the life of Nicolas Chopin-Frederic Chopin’s father.

Nina Sapiejewska has been giving music seminars at universities in the United States and music institutions in Poland.

She made many recordings for the most major Radio and TV stations in Europe like the Norddeutscher Rundfunk in Hamburg, Radio in Hannover, France–Musique in Paris, the Hungarian Radio in Budapest, the Polish Radio in Warsaw, the Bulgarian Radio in Sofia, the Spanish Radio in Madrid, the Catalan Radio in Barcelona, the Greek Radio in Athens, Radio in Cyprus and Egyptian Radio and TV in Cairo, Radio WNYC in New York and WQXRTV Station in Washington D.C.

Nina Kuzma Sapiejewska Piano CenterThe pianist took part in many international festivals like:

  • Summer Music Festival of Northern Norway
  • Rencontres Internationales Frederic Chopin in Nohant, France
  • Festival Mois Moliere in Versailles, France
  • Summer Festival in Schloss Elmau in Bavaria, Germany
  • Autumn Festival of Kitchiner-Waterloo Chamber Music Society in Canada
  • Frederic Chopin Festival in Duszniki-Zdroj, Poland
  • V-th Festival of Chamber Music Festival in Hel, Poland
  • Festival September in Lublin
  • VI International Festival Caleidoscope of Musical Forms in Sopot, Poland
  • Festival of Polish Pianists in Slupsk, Poland
  • Chamber Music Festival in Hel, Poland
  • Festival Dialogue of Cultures in Antonin, Poland
  • XI Festival Peace Concerts in Jawor, Poland
  • The Polish-Czech Festival Silesia-Pradziad in Poland
  • Festival Music Autumn 2007 in Andrychow, Poland
  • Summer Festival in Grudziadz, Poland
  • Summer Festival in Kolobrzeg, Poland
  • Moonlight Summer Festival       in Lubostron, Poland
  • Ziema Kozielska Festival, Poland
  • Festival Musical Gardens in J.A. Iwaszkiewicz Museum , Stawisko, Poland
  • Festival Malopolskie Vespers in Nowy Sacz, Poland
  • Autumn Festival in Sieradz, Poland
  • Festival America Romantica vs Frederic Chopin in Museum of Romanticism in Opinogora, Poland
  • Gala Concert at the Summer Festival of the Royal Castle in Wilanow, Poland
  • Gala Concert at the Royal Castle of Warsaw during the New New Yorkers Festival
  • Greenpoint Cultural Festival in New York.
  • Chopin & Friends International Music Festival in New York – Artistic Director 1999-2004
  • Summer Festival in Villa Durazzo in S. Margherita Ligure, Italy
  • Festival Musica da Camera in Sestri Levante, Italy
  • Festival in Castello di Portofino – Gala Concert under the patronage of the President of the Italian Red Cross, Signora MariaPia Fanfani in the presence of many distinguished guests like Rex Harrison, Claudette Colbert, Valentina Cortese, Alida Valii, Lino Ciani, Patrice Chereaux and Maestro Piero LoFaro.
  • Summer Festival of the Accademia Filarmonica Romana, Gala Concert in Rome under the patronage of the distinguished Italian Ambassador to the United States, Signor Egidio Ortona.
  • Gala Concert at the University Club of the City of Washington D.C. under the patronage of the eminent Ambassador of the Republic of Poland, Mr. Kazimierz Dziewanowski.

On March 15, 1991 the pianist had the honor of playing. Chopin in New York’s Town Hall for the former President of the Republic of Poland, Mr. Lech Walesa during his first historic visit to the United States.

Nina Sapiejewska has performed many recitals on ships: Oceanic, S/S France and The Queen Elizabeth II during their transatlantic voyages and has been a Platinum World Club Member. She has given many benefit concerts among others for the Medecins sans Frontieres at the French Embassy in Washington D.C. and for the restoration of the city of Klodzko at the Klodzko Museum. She was invited to judge several music competitions, among others international piano competition “A. Rubinstein in memoriam” in Bydgoszcz, Poland. From 1999 to 2004 she was the Classical Music Director for New York Dance & Arts Innovations as well as Music Director for the Classical Concert Series at the Consulate of the Republic of Poland in New York. She presented numerous Polish, French, and Italian artists to the international New York audiences. She also wrote music reviews for Magazine. Art.

The Koch Classics issued Nina Sapiejewska’s CD of Frederic Chopin and the CD of Robert Schumann will be released this year. Her repertory consists of 15 piano concertos and her favorite composers are Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Chopin, Schumann, Debussy, Ravel, Rachmaninov, Scriabin, Szymanowski and Messiaen.

Her biography was featured in the 2006 Polish Telephone Book in the United States, the publication The Poles in the World, and she has been mentioned numerous times in the America Magazine, in the Congressional Records and in Ruch Muzyczny.

On January 21, 1993 Nina Sapiejewska received an award from the President of the Council of the City of New York in recognition of her outstanding cultural achievements. Nina Sapiejewska has two daughters: Maya Sabina and Ewa Maria. Her hobbies include: transatlantic voyages on the Queen Elizabeth II and Queen Mary 2, literature, art, jazz. Nina’s dream is to present concerts that would encompass classical music, dance, poetry and painting in a symbolic and prophetic atmosphere to reveal the philosophical meaning of all arts.

In March 2009 The New York Times published a long article about the pianist and a slide and sound show.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/01/realestate/01Habi.html?_r=0

Nina Kuzma-Sapiejewska owns Grotrian-Steinweg 275 cm Concert Grand Piano.

 

Reviews


"...absolutely first rate."

The Washington Star
Washington, DC

"...an expert on Chopin."

Dan Shaw
The New York Times

"...electryfing performance."

The Washington Post
Washington, DC

"...the pianist of international scale."

Makedonia
Thessaloniki,Greece

"...tenderly warm Bach."

John Krauglund
The GLobe and Mail
Toronto, Canada

"...she is virtuoso, her Chopin is excellent but she plays other composers equally great."

Gazeta Krakowska
Krakow, Poland

"...the assets of this Polish pianist not only remind the mediatative tone of Rubinstein but also show the fiery temperament and virtuosity arousing enormous applause."

Silvia Rietz
Solothurner Zeitung
Solothurn, Switzerland

"...this pianist has a lot to say in music."

Dziennik Polski
Poland

"...The presentation of Concerto No. 2 for piano and string quartet follows the classical-romantic aesthetics, a formal 18 th century outline that encourages highly individual flamboyant expression. Here at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, the pianist discovered a new, formidable way to shape Chopin verifying Chopinesque style through a noble reading of the Concerto combined with magical improvisatory flair. Her tone was opulent as she drew flawlessly the wonderful cantilena lines, producing a stunning tonal picture. That ability to conjure from the piano the fantastical and aerial aspects of Chopin's music can be attributed to very few performers and she would be among them."

Mariette Dalmacy
Magazine Art
New York

"...all-Chopin birthday program at the Kennedy Center Terrace Theater included an electrifying performance of Scherzo in B flat Minor. Radiant right hand passages articulated with sparkling clarity, balanced atop the left hand propulsive, rhytmic impetus to create kayboard poetry befitting Chopin.(...)in Ballade in G minor she brought out the grandeur and fractured beauty in that tempestuous masterpiece.(...) Polonaise in A-flat Major was on heroic scale with carefully drawn dramatic tension (...) high points were so exquisitely realized."

The Washington Post
Washington, DC

"...Indeed there probably couldn't have been a more rousing close for the Orchestra of Santa Fe last of season concert than Ms. Sapiejewska's performance, which I heard Sunday. Her lucid playing of the Concerto no. 2 in F Minor was intimate and decisive. She adhered closely to the score, utilizing a minimum of personal expressions. Her rubatos were spare and finely worked out and because of this she stunningly brought Chopin's musical dimensions to the forefront. Mostly I was impressed by the clarity of her voicings. In a work which seldom reduces to a simple texture-it is quite literally a maze of notes constantly rushing forward. Ms. Sapiejewska was strongest in how she refined the harmonic movement. And in this she touched the real legacy of Chopin:aside from the melodic sweep and the rubato style within the dance motifs, his greatest gift was for making tones clash and resolve. This legacy the pianist superbly revealed.

Thomas Larson
The New Mexican
Santa Fe, New Mexico

"...Nina Sapiejewska belongs to the international class of pianists. She confirmed fame giving a first class recital last night at the Macedonian Hall. She also left a great impression two years ago through an excellent performance of the Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No. 2 with the Thessaloniki Syphony. She plays with crystalline tone and has an outstanding power of expression. Through her music she transmits passion and feeling particularly in Chopin. The recital in Thessaloniki was a real highlight of the concert season."

Makedonia
Thessaloniki, Greece

"...This was the only and unprecedented piano recital here at the Radziwill Palace in Antonin, presented during the Festival "Dialogue of Cultures". The star was Nina Kuzma-Sapiejewska, who transported the audience to far away exotic places with Ernesto Lecuona's "Three African Dances" as well as she touched the soul with the music of Chopin. The audience unceasingly applauded spellbound in the appreciation of her talent."

Adam Kalina
Fakty Ostrowskie
Ostrow Wielkopolski, Poland

"...Almost at the very beginning of the Bartok's Concerto No. 3 with the Monterey Symphony, the soloist entered and immediately established the mood of strong emotion that characterizes this piece. Although written in the modern idiom, it is filled with a classical meditative lyricism, which the pianism of Miss Sapiejewska established in rapport with the orchestral timbre. This young soloist has a good technique, with fine dynamics and clarity concept. Her phrasing was accurately developed and her judicious use of the pedal added a dimension of good and accurate projection. The luminous atmospheric and tender second section was conceived in an introspective manner, with a stately note, with the pianist performing the chorale section with persuasive lyricism. In the finale, the scherzo-like complex fugue was played with transparency and grace, emphasizing the Hungarian master's final stylistic vivacity and rhytmic contrapuntalism."

Irving. W. Greenberg
Carmel Pine Cone
Carmel, California

"...Nina Sapiejewska exposed Mozart to us in a way that the objective beauty of this music in very moment of its sound was transmitting her subtle intuition and imagination of rich emotional character. One could call it a certain perfection of the inner and outer forces that created the performance. I am thinking about the entity of thechnical and spiritual efforts. Talking about technique I would like to mention that it was absolutely precise and transparent not as a goal in itself but as a way to shape musical expression. I was overwhelmed also by the quality of her sound: it was rich, varied and had an individual character. Thanks to those capabilities and sensitivity of the pianist and the unique charm of Mozart's music, the Concerto in B flat Major played with the accompaniament of the Opole Philharmonic made a great and everlasting impression on me."

Boleslaw Banas
Opole Tribune
Opole Poland

"...great interpretation of Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata."

Nordlandsporten
Bodo, Norway

"...The Festival's concert by the pianist Nina Sapiejewska was a real sucess and true experience."

Harstad Tidende
Harstad, Norway

"...Ms. Sapiejewska is a showperson who plays with broad, sweeping lines."

Santa Fe Reporter
Santa Fe, New Mexico

"...Ms. Sapiejewska brought to bear all the romantic fervor of the young, Polish composer-Chopin, in her permormance of the Piano Concerto No. 2 with the Orchestra of Santa Fe."

Los Alamos Monitor
Los Alamos, New Mexico

"...this was music in the classical sense, done with seemingly effortless ease here at the Hagerstown Museum."

The Daily Mail
Hagerstown, Maryland

"...brillant performance of Bartok's Piano Concerto No. 3. (...) The guest pianist received worthy applause from the audience by overcoming all the difficulties in this very hard to interpret Bartok's Piano Concerto No. 3."

Millyet Sanat Diagrisi
Ankara, Turkey

"...mysterious mood of the nocturne, dancelike sensual rhytm of the waltz, poetic atmosphere of the ballade or heroic presentation of the polonaise, these were various facets of the romantic aesthetics, which were so keenly interwoven in Miss Nina Sapiejewska's performance at the Chamber Music Festival in Hel.(...) Rich artistic experience paired with enthusiasm and excitiment allowed the pianist to conquer all the intricate technical difficulties of the repertoire.(...) the soloist mesmerized the audience playing in purely vocal manner the piano transcription of Liebestod, the aria from Wagner's opera Tristan and Isolde."

Dr. Stefan Munch
Helska Bliza
Hel, Poland

"...in her performance of the Symphonic Etudes of Schumann at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall Ms. Sapiejewska matched a flawless technique with tremendous expressive eloquence. The initial chorale-like theme built on resonant chords was played with grand sonority, as if an eight-voice choir were stretched across a spacious church. The pianist brought compelling richness to the lyrical variations; the maturity of her playing was astounding. Some parts brought sober elegance and deep sadness, while other glittered with lushness and allure. At the end one had to hold one's breath for the charging and rather teutonic march with its persistently repetitive motif, hailing the victory of the artistic Philistines, the imaginary characters that Schumann brought to life while conquering the artistic mediocrity of the time."

Michal Wojcikiewicz
Magazine Art
New York

Chopin With Conviction

"...The World Bank's piano week continued yesterday afternoon in the Building  H Auditiorium with an all-Chopin program presented by Nina Kuzma-Sapiejewska. The solist chose familiar works-the Scherzo in B flat Minor, the Ballade in G Minor and the Polonaise in A flat (Op. 53).
Although her arrival was delayed by a flat tire on route to the hall, she seem unperturbed and played with considerable poise and conviction. Nina Kuzma-Sapiejewska, a native of Poland, seems to have a nearly ideal temperament for interpreting Chopin. Her tasteful use of rubato, never allowing to obscure the underlying, is particularly noteworthy. Likewise, her deft pedaling and the clarity and smoothness of her appropriate balance between melody and accompaniament. the latter element was especially noticeable in her superb handling of the Scherzo at the recital here at the World Bank in Washington, DC. Certainly these quaities are among the most important an artist can possess in approaching Chopin."

Dr. Roy Guenther
The Washington Post
Washington, DC

"...with such diversity, the Midwest Pops Orchestra under the baton of Newton Wayland and with the artistry of guest pianist Nina Sapiejewska successfully captured the spirit of Arthur Fiedler in its tribute to him Sunday evening at Century Center. If from the genius of Chopin and Arthur Rubinstein alone, Poland has the distinction of being a repository of fine pianists, and the second portion of the program featured another Polish pianistic potential Miss Nina Sapiejewska. Overwhelmingly brillant in the Rachmaninoff C minor Concerto, the pianist demonstrated refined sense of the flamboyant and almost widly pessimistic mood of the first movement, and a deep regard for its melodic emphasis. More importantly; however, the strength that she displayed so well all evening was apparent in this initial section; Nina Sapiejewska dealt with power passages in a truly remarkable fashion. The force and velocity with which she executed sprawling chords, arpeggiated octaves and driving melodies in the upper regions of the keyboard was simply virtuosic, bombarding the audience with a wealth of sound that was just beautiful and highly rewarding. The lovely second movement was well played in most respects with some more of the powerful finger work of Miss Sapiejewska impressing the Century Center crowd. But here, too, her power ruled and the gracefulness needed to fulfill the beautiful melody was at  a premium. In the final movement it was this unshakable nature in the midst of such trials that showed her to be a true performer. This young Pole has all the ammunition, talent, potenitial and strength of an approach to become one of the world's finer pianists. Assuredly, more will be heard from this talented young lady."

Michael Lechlitner
South Bent Tribune
South Bent Indiana

 

Frederic Chopin at Carnegie Hall
New York

An all Chopin program at a Sunday matinee recital is a delight that is seldom on offer in New York City. On April1,2001, the Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall was filled by an audience who came to hear and applaud the Polish born pianist, Nina Kuźma-Sapiejewska.In this performance, Sapiejewska proved once again to be an avid interpreter of Chopin in a very solid yet passionate and fiery style. The concert in this exquisite hall will be remembered as one of exceptional distinction. Sapiejewska, who now resides in New York, studied at the Academy of Music in Gdansk and at the Juilliard School of Music.She has a very original style of playing the great Polish romantic. One hears echoes of orchestral interpretations of the late Beethoven,where form is essential and every sound is measured,designed to occupy its own space within a large entity. The sounds are given a rounded quality and properly placed within the formal treatment of the melodic line. These elements are combined with the sostenuto and tempo rubato that are at the heart of the Chopinesque romantic expression. The program was carefully structured to include three Mazurkas,the Sonata in B flat Minor (Op.35), two Nocturnes, one Scherzo (Op. 31), four Waltzes and the Polonaise in A   flat Major (Op. 53). The Chopin repertoire permits one to construct a scenario that combines light-hearted and stately poised dances, classical and intellectual pieces, and a monumental Sonata with the poignant Marche funebre. For this Sunday afternoon Sapiejewska created a very formal concert, an abstract drama infused with the expertise of the intellect and enveloped with subjective emotions.
The three Mazurkas, C Major (Op. 24 No.2), A Minor (Op. 24 No.4), and D Major (Op. 33 No.2) provided a Slavic note to introduce the performance. The Sonata in B flat Minor followed; it is a symphonic piece for piano. The Allegro is very classical in structure yet romantic in tone. It combines almost everything imaginable: perfect two subjects, well-developed motifs, polyphonic writing, long melodic line and thick textures of chords, all built into a very straight-forward compact musical form. Sapiejewska was technically precise, quick and strong in interpreting this very difficult work. The expression of the second theme was lyrical and passionate. The Scherzo was fast and dynamic. The Marche funebre with the slow middle section played within an ascetic frame was very profound; the precise rhythm of the march and the thick chord sequences full of modulations gave sort of a last, final philosophical message to the listener, a reminder of mortality. The Finale, Presto is the most innovative movement written for piano in the first half of the 19th century. The fast chromatic etude portrays the atmosphere of the unknown and scatters human emotions into "a whirl of dry leaves blown by the wind at the Valdemosa cementery."The one minute forty second pianissimo movement was played by Sapiejewska with utmost virtuosity. No piece of music could follow this finale directly; appropriately, it was the intermission that followed.
The Nocturnes in F Major (Op. 15 No.1) and C minor (Op.48 No.1) are poems for the piano, written in aba form and requiring an extremely cultured execution. The indecisive cantilenas added a pensive and sensual atmosphere. The Scherzo in B flat Minor is an awesome work, full of innovations. Here, Sapiejewska captured the vibrancy and velocity with precision, intepreting the short motif and allowing the subdued line to develop into cascades of sharply articulated passages. The contrasting romantic melody flowed easily over the rocking left-hand accompaniment. This technically impeccable presentation was a highlight of the concert.
The Waltzes in E Minor, C sharp Minor (Op. 64 No. 2), A flat Major, and A flat Major (Op. 48) transported the listener to Paris, 1841, where Chopin played and Franz Liszt wrote:
"The Salons of M. Playel were brillantly lighted; a ceaseless stream of carriages deposited at the foot of the steps, carpeted and decked with fragrant flowers, the most elegant ladies, the most fashionable young men, the most famous artists, the richest financiers, the most illustrious lords, the elite of a society- a complete aristocracy of birth, wealth, talent, and beauty. An open grand piano was on the platform; crowding around, people vied for the closest seats, composing themselves in anticipation; they would not miss a chord, a note, an intention, a thought of him, who was about to sit there. And they were right to be so greedy, attentive, and religiously wrought up, for the one they waited for, the one they wanted to see, hear, admire, and applaud, was not only a skilled virtuoso, a pianist expert in the playing of notes-he was not an artist great renown-he was all this and much more; he was Chopin."
Sapiejewska's performance of these Waltzes was worthy of that recollection; the recreation of such an experience is an enchanting dream for all pianist.
Finally came the Grand Polonaise in A flat Major, composed to celebrate the victory of Polish king Jan Sobieski over Turkish army near Vienna in 1831, and full of partiotic sentiment. Here Sapiejewska played impetuously, charging forward the dotted rhythms without losing the pace of the Polonaise. The middle section, military in character, started and continued pianissimo as Chopin intended. The last A flat Major chord reasserted the victory, uniting it with the glory of music. As an encore Sapiejewska performed Chopin's Etude in C Major (Op. 10), a superb and savory offering.

Mariette Dalmacy
Magazine.Art
New York

 

"...Yesterday's soloist at the Phillips Collection was Nina Sapiejewska, a young Polish pianist who is gaining an increasing authority as an interpreter of piano music. Miss Sapiejewska studied at the Juilliard School of Music. She plays like a musician. she is so completely absorbed she seems to be making music in public instead of performing. I have rarely heard any of the mazurkas of Chopin played with the sensitivity and grace she gave to the three yesterday, with a touch of waywardness in the rhythm reserved to the Poles who love and play their own music. The rest of the program set a high standard, the more significant because everything she played is known to every pianist. The scherzo and largo of the Chopin sonata were exquisite; and the two etudes revealed a power and command remarkable for a rather tiny young lady. It was the strength of motion rather than muscle, and the sound was always velvety and agreeable, at whatever dynamic level. She gave a good account of the Bach and Schubert, but was at her best in the music of Poland, a nation that has given many fine composers and performers to the world of the piano."

Wendell Margrave
The Evening Star
Washington, DC

"...for music lovers there are not so many opportunities to hear such a great pianist who can render heart-tearing melodies of the romantic era. The Polonaise in A-flat Major and the Sonata no. 2 of Chopin moved the audience profoundly."

Irena Syrokomla
Echo Germanica
Kitchener-Waterloo, Canada

"...I was wowed by this performer. She broke every stereotype of the classical concert pianist during her recital at the Longy School of Music in Cambridge. She was steadfast, her playing was technically flawless and her emotions were subdued letting the drama and the beauty of the music speak for themselves. I was very impressed by the pianist's talent."

Karen Wood
The Life of Polonia
Boston, Massachusetts

"...the virtuosity of Nina Sapiejewska was evident in the Nocturne in C minor Op. 48 and in the Ballade in G Minor of Chopin, in Sonata No. 5 by Scriabin and in Allegro de Concierto by Granados. These pieces are very difficult and there the pianist was able to transmit the fascinating beauty to the audience. Chopin's works were interpreted with great understainding of the technique and the emotional content, thus revealing the composer's genius and the mastery of the performer.

30 Dias
Barcelona, Spain

"...Miss Sapiejewska has charm and grace. The precedent for piano playing presidents may well have been set by Paderewski who interrupted his career as a concert artist and composer to serve as Poland's first premier. Last evening another Polish pianist, Nina Sapiejewska, who now resides in Washington, gave a recital at Georgetown University-Gaston Hall in commemoration of the 30th anniversary of Paderewski's death. Miss Sapiejewska opened the program with the best known of his works, the Menuet Op. 4, a favorite of piano students since its introduction by the composer at his concerts. She infused this far-too-often misplayed work with the same charm and grace as must have Paderewski in order to so endear it to his public. She began each of her three subsequent groups with one of Paderewski's lesser known compositions. These dances: Sarabande, Cracovienne and Mazurka although not monumental contributions to piano literature, are pleasant enough pieces which could be added to the teaching literature for piano students. They were played with much affection and nationalistic identification by the young pianist. In the works by her other compatriot, Chopin, Miss Sapiejewska displayed facile and secure technique and amazingly unflagging rhytmic stability."

Ylda Novik
The Evening Star
Washington, DC

"...at Carnegie Recitall Hall's full house, Nina Kuzma-Sapiejewska gave a virtuoso performance of the Variations of Paderewski and Szymanowski rarely played in New York(...) a solid pianist with great imagination(...) the artist received a very warm applause and many bouquets of flowers."

Ruch Muzyczny
Warsaw, Poland

Congressional Record

Paderwski well done by Miss Sapiejewska

Hon. Roman C. Pucinski of Illinois in the House of Representatives Mr. Pucinski, Mr. speaker, Mr. Wendell Margrave, a contributing critic for the Washington Star has written and excellent review of Miss Nina Sapiejewska, who performed here the other day. I am placing this review in the Record today because Mr. Margrave captured in a most inspiring way the real spirit of Ignace Jan Paderewski and the interpretation of his music by Miss Sapiejewska. Paderewski was not only a great artist but also a great statesman and champion of human dignity. It is reassuring that we have an artist of outstanding talent, Miss Sapiejewska, to interpret the works of the great master. The review follows:

"Nina Sapiejewska, a pianist trained at the Academy of Music in Gdansk and later at the Juilliard School of music was heard in recital at Barker Hall in a program of music by the great Polish pianist, composer and statesman, Ignace Jan Paderewski.
I believe it was Saint-Saens who said that Paderewski was a  genius who happened to play the piano. He also happened to compose a good deal of music, including a symphony, a piano concerto and an opera, Mauru, which was given at the Metropolitan Opera in  1902, besides songs and a number of piano pieces. Miss Sapiejewska played a cross section of these pieces, beginning with the Minuet that every pianist used to play, and which I remember as the last event in every Paderewski recital, when the children would come trooping down the aisle calling for it. He wrote better pieces, but none so well-known.
It has become the fasion (based on imperfect recording and few jealous contemporary statements) to consider that Padarewski did not have a commanding technique, and so on. Be that as it may, he appeared like a meteor on the musical horizon and quickly won a position of preeminence, against such formidable rivals as Anton Rubinstein, Teresa Carreno, Busoni, Rachmaninoff and the whole list of Liszt's later pupils. He was more famous and made more money(much of which he gave away to support worthy causes) than any of the rivals through out a concert career that stretched from about 1888 to 1939.
I had never seen a man who had more presence.
Miss Sapiejewska played her music with care, respect and in style. I liked best the Mazurka and the delighful little piece in the style of Scarlatti. The audience responded with great enthusiasm to the brillant theme with variations. As an encore Ms. Sapiejewska played the second movement of sonatina written by her husband Jerzy, now a graduate fellow at the Catholic University. It was bright and contemporary."

 

 "...At the concert of the Chamber Ensemble at the Baltimore Cathedral the Schubert "Trout" Quintet displayed the resources of the Ensemble's string players to good advantage. Here pianist Nina Sapiejewska joined the strings and the result was some beautifully turned melody. Ms. Sapiejewska produced a smooth and crystalline tone which made the work delight to hear."

Christopher Hunter
The New American
Baltimore, Maryland

"...First there was a woodwind quintet. Then a string quartet. Than a quitarist who has studied under Segovia. And finally, a most extraordinary pianist, Nina Sapiejewska, whose very choice of a Chopin Scherzo, Ballade, Polonaise and Etude demanded the virtuosity she displayed in abundance. She received a standing ovation from the audience. And all played in the wonderful acoustics of St. Catherine Siena Church."

Frank Leary
The Gazette
McLean & Vienna, Virginia

"The Monterey County Symphony Orchestra opened its season at Monterey Peninsula College with Nina Sapiejewska as featured soloist. The concert repeated last night in the Sunset Center Auditiorium was filled with the promise of yet another rewarding yes for local music lovers. The Polish-born pianist was heard in Bela Bartok's Concerto no. 3 for piano and orchestra and despite splendid performance by the Orchestra the evening clearly belonged to Ms. Sapiejewska. The concerto, actually "unfinished," was first performed in Philadelphia in 1946 by Gyorgy Sandor with Eugene Ormandy conducting. The last 17 bars had been written after Bartok's death by Tibor Serly. Barok's works  show the influence of his extensive study of Hungarian folk music and have been characterized as being severe, harsh and passionate. Most music lovers are impressed by his tremendous individuality of direction in both tone and color. The Third Piano Concerto was completed more than five years after Bartok came to live in America, where he existed in relative obscurity until just before his death. From the very first note, a muted woodwind invitation into the restless world of the Hungarian peasant, to the brillant piano finale, the soloist and the conductor collaborated beautifully to illustrate that the years between Bartok's departure from Hungary and the writing of his work had not diluted his love and knowledge of the music of his homeland. Miss Sapiejewska's rare artistry and technical maturity were most apparent in the second movement. This is where Bartok celebrates the beauty of the peasants' out-of-doors nightlife, replete with birds and insects. The soloist displayed remarkable agility for one so disciplined. She executed the difficult arpeggios with dazzling accuracy without any tendency toward evading the demands of lyrical tone color dictated by the composer."

Sanford Chambliss
Monterey Peninsula Hearald
Monterey, California

...Despite adverse weather conditions and frigid cold, a large number of people filled Convention Hall at Century Center on the Sunday night before Christmas for extraordinary performance of gifted Polish pianist, Nina Sapiejewska with finely attuned Midwest Pops Orchestra conducted by Newton Wayland. Their response was a tremendous and heart warming standing ovation for Nina, who was born in Warsaw, Poland and now resides in Falls Church, Virginia. In that time and space after the customary introduction when Sapiejewska walked from the podium and seated herself at the grand piano, everyone watched her silently with eager anticipation. She did not disappoint the audience. From the moment she played the first chord of Rachmaninoff's Concerto No. 2, the audience became spellbound in a kind of reveire. Nina used all her expertise, technique and deep rooted love for music to make the piano an expressive device. Indeed Sapiejewska follows the tradition of Ignace Jan Paderewski, one of the greatest pianists of all times. It was an unforgetable night...

Tri County News
South Bend, Indiana
Bernard Pinkowski

 

Sapiejewska's performance is solid and secure

In recital Monday evening, pianist Nina Sapiejewska fulfilled completely the high musical expectations of her audience. The artist immediately overcame the considerable disadvantage of an "uncooperative" piano and produced a solid, resonating sound. Romanticism prevailed in the selection of works. Impressionism found its place on the program, however, as did an extraordinary new composition of Jerzy Sapiejewski. Mr. Sapiejewski provided an unexpected extra when he rose to give short introductions to each standard selection, as well as an explanation of the meaning of his own work. Madame Sapiejewska immediately asserted her technical security in the first book of "Images" by Claude Debussy." Reflets dans l' eau" and "Hommage a Rameau" are deep and introspective works; the interpretation offered was perhaps a bit too straight-forward; but impressive nevertheless. The third division of the suite, "Mouvement" pulsated with irregular accents and rippling thirds. Unfortunately, the artist experienced some difficulty with loose keys and noisy dampers. This situation proved annoying but could not obscure the basic intention of the playing. "In Schloss Elmau" by Jerzy Sapiejewski found its inspiration in Bavaria. The couple was visiting Castle Elmau when the idea for this new work came to Mr. Sapiejewski. He describes it as " a changing of moods" and the work confronted faithfully to that description. Brillant technical passages and flashing bits of color added spice to the work, which can only be described as first-rate. The songful romanticism of Rachmaninoff greeted the audience after intermission. The artist comunicated her emotion well with polished intonation and line in the E flat and G sharp Minor Preludes. The best playing of the evening came in the formidable Chopin Etudes. The technical terrors of these priceless minitures are notorious among pianists, and mastery of the set remains a mark of distinction and promise. Sapiejewska displayed virtuoso techniques throughout the entire set. Despite a small hand, the pianist produced particularly astounding execution in the etude for right hand extentions.

Edgar Rice
The Tiger
Hampden-Sydney College
Hampden-Sydney,Viriginia

 

Concerto Repertory

W.A. Mozart
Concerto in B-Flat Major KV.595

L.van Beethoven
Concerto No. 3 in C-Minor

Frederic Chopin
Concerto No. 1 in F-minor
Concerto No. 2 in E-Minor

Sergei Rachmaninoff
Concerto No. 2 in C-Minor

Edward Grieg
Concerto in A-Minor

Peter I. Tchaikovsky
Concerto in B-Flat Minor

Maurice Ravel
Concerto in G-Major

Bela Bartok
Concerto No. 3

Fine

Piano Recitals

Programs

I.
Great Art of Romanticism

Frederic Chopin

Three Mazurkas Op. 59

Robert Schumann

Kreisleriana Op. 16

Intermission

Frederic Chopin

Ballade in G-minor Op. 23

Alexander Skriabin

Sonate  No. 5 Op. 53

Isaac Abeniz

El Albaicin-Iberia

Triana-Iberia

Frederic Chopin

Scherzo in C Sharp Minor Op. 39

Walz in A Flat Major Op. 42

Polonaise in A Flat Major Op. 53

Fine

II
Love and Drama

John Field

Nocturne in E Flat Major

Alexander Michalowski

Prelude in B-Flat Minor

Frederic Chopin

Sonate in B Flat Minor Op. 35

Grave
Scherzo
Marche Funebre
Finale

Intermission

Frederic Chopin

Barcarole

F. Schubert-F.Liszt

Margaret at the Spinning Wheel

R. Schumann-F.Liszt

Dedication

R. Wagner-F. Liszt

"Liebestood" from "Tristan & Isolde"

Alexander Skriabin

Poeme " Vers la Flamme" Op. 72

Etude in D-Sharp Minor Op. 8 No. 2

Frederic Chopin

Walz in A-Flat Major Op.42

Polonaise in A Flat Major Op. 53

Fine

III
Musica Fantasia

John Field

Romance in A-Major

Frederic Chopin

Sonate B-Minor Op.58

Allegro Maestoso
Scherzo
Largo
Finale

Intermission

Claude Debussy

L'Isle Joyeuse

Heitor Villa Lobos

Prole do Bebe-The Baby's Family

Branquinha-The Porcelain Doll
Moreninha-The Paper Doll
Caboclinha-The Clay Doll

Mulatinha-The Rubber Doll
Negrinha-The Wooden Doll
A Probresinha-The Rag Doll
O Polichinelo-Punch
Bruxa-The Witch Doll

Maurice Ravel

Gaspard de la Nuit
3 Poems by Aloysius Bertrand

Ondine
Le Gibet
Scrabo

Fine

IV
The Art of Dream

Frederic Chopin

Nocturne in C Sharp Minor Op. 27 nr 1

Nocturne in D Flat Major Op. 27 nr 2

Robert Schumann

Symphonic Etudes Op. 13

Intermission

Claude Debussy

Images I

Reflets dans l'eau
Hommage a Rameau
Mouvement

Sergei Rachmaninoff

Prelude in D Major Op.23 No. 4
Prelude in E Flat Major Op. 23 No. 6
Prelude in CMinor Op. 23 No. 7
Prelude in G Minor  Op. 23 No. 5

Etude Tableau in E Flat Minor No. 5

Frederic Chopin

Scherzo C Sharp Minor Op. 39

Polonaise  in A Flat Major Op. 53

Fine

V
Romanticism i Virtuosity

Frederic Chopin

Nocturne in F Major Op. 15 nr 1

Mazurka in C Major Op. 24 nr 2
Mazurka in A Minor Op. 17 nr 4
Mazurka in D MAjor Op. 33 nr 2

Heitor Villa-Lobos

Prole do Bebe-The Baby's Family

Branquinha-The Porcelain Doll
Caboclinha-The Clay Doll

A Probresinha-The Rag Doll
O Polichinelo-Punch

Claude Debussy

L'isle Joyeuse

Frederic Chopin

Scherzo in B Flat Minor Op.31

Alexander Scriabin

Etude in D Sharp  Minor Op. 8 No. 2

Ernesto Lecuona y Cassado

Three African-Cuban Dances

La Comparsa-The Carnaval Procession
Danza Negra
...Y la Negra bailaba

Frederic Chopin

Polonaise in A Flat Major Op. 53

Fine

VI
The Beauty of Dance

Polonaises, Waltzes and Flamenco.

Frederic Chopin

Waltz in E Minor opus posthumous
Waltz in C Sharp Minor Op. 64 No. 2
Waltz in A Flat Major opus posthumous

Teresa Carreno Garcia de Sena

Pequeno Valse-Little Waltz

Frederic Chopin

Polonaise in  F Sharp Minor Op. 44

Isaac Albeniz

El Albaicin-Iberia

Triana-Iberia

Frederic Chopin

Waltz in A Flat Major Op. 34 No. 1

Waltz in A Flat Major Op. 42

Polonaise in A Flat Major Op. 53

Johann Strauss-Andre Schulz-Evler

Concert Arabesque
"By the Beautiful Blue Danube"

Fine