Concerts & Events

Friday, February 23, 2018  ♦  8:00 PM

Maria Pomianowska with special guests

4545 N Lincoln Ave · The Myron R. Szold Music & Dance Hall · 773.728.6000

  • Maria Pomianowska is an acclaimed Polish musician, composer and researcher whose work lies at the intersection of European classical music, new music and the folkloric traditions of Poland.

    Her career is the stuff of legend: 21 solo albums, collaborations with Yo-Yo Ma and Gonzalo Rubalcaba, studying the Sarangi in India under the tutelage of P. Ram Narayan, teaching violin to members of the Japanese Imperial family and founding the first Ethnic Music Department at the Academy of Music in Krakov. But her greatest achievement might be the resurrection of some of her
    homeland's lost medieval stringed instruments.

    Based on only a few centuries-old images and texts, Pomianowska painstakingly reconstructed the Bi goraj suka —a lost medieval ancestor of the modern violin played with an unusual fingernail technique —as well as the P ock fiddle, and the Mielec suka, all long-forgotten instruments dating to the Middle Age.

    The Bi goraj suka is a traditional string instrument originating from the town of Bi goraj in southeastern Poland. A long-lost medieval ancestor of the violin, the suka has a crude pegbox and a wide neck, and unlike modern string instruments, is played vertically, using the fingernail technique. The P ock fiddle originated in the city of P ock in central Poland. Dating to the 15th century, the P ock fiddle—a box-shaped instrument with six strings and no fingerboard—is even more primitive than the suka. Pomianowska was the first modern musician to play and reconstruct these instruments.

    Together with her band Reborn, Maria been crafting a new repertoire for these instruments, Founded in 2015, ReBorn consists of Aleksandra Kauf, Iwona Rapacz, and Patrycja Napiera a. Kauf studied cello at the Krakow Academy of Music from 2009 to 2012, then took up the suka under Pomianowska's tutelage. Rapacz (bass suka) also studied cello and has worked with the Polish Radio Orchestra and the Polish Chamber Philharmonic. Napiera a (frame drum) works as a session musician with the Euro Acoustics recording studio in Vienna.

    In 2016, the group released Reborn: Voice of Suka (2016), which blends the plaintive melodies of Polish folk music with the flavors Maria has absorbed in her musical travels across North Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. With earthy vocals and this powerful instrumental ensemble, Maria Pomianowksa spins a hypnotic musical experience that invokes ancient spirits.

The Old Town School of Folk Music, Inc.
4544 N. Lincoln Avenue, Chicago IL 60625  •  773.728.6000