Critics have given the internationally renowned marimba virtuoso and chamber musician Katarzyna Myćka the sobriquet “she who dances with the mallets”. Her “perfect mallet technique” and “marvelous, rhythmic precision” are characteristic for the musician, who performs on a beautiful five-octave concert marimba.
Expert circles testify to the “extraordinary richness of tone quality” and “fascinatingly broad palette of musical effects” of the marimba, which is rarely heard as a solo instrument. Audiences are also enthralled by the artistic elegance and dance-like energy of her playing. After receiving training in piano and percussion, she discovered the marimba as her “ideal medium for musical expression” while studying at music academies in Gdańsk, Stuttgart, and Salzburg. Numerous prizes and awards at international music competitions then followed: in 1995, first prize and audience prize at the International Percussion Competition Luxembourgfor Marimba Solo, one year later first place at the first World Marimba Competition Stuttgart.
Invitations to give concerts and master classes in America, Asia, and various European countries followed naturally. Appearances as a soloist at the most important marimba festivals and events (Osaka, 1998; Linz, 2004; Minneapolis, 2010; various editions of PASIC in the USA) as well as solo parts with well-known orchestras around the world (Stuttgart Philharmonic Orchestra, Bochum Symphony, Polish Chamber Philharmonic Sopot, Vienna, Prague and Heilbronn Chamber Orchestras (WKO), Beijing Symphony Orchestra, Camerata Israeli, RSO Luxemburg and many others) today make Katarzyna Myćka one of the leading pioneers in her still-evolving instrument.
The large concert marimba has only existed in its current form since the mid-1980s. Myćka, who was honored by the Polish Percussive Arts Society in 1999 as „Ambassadress of Polish Percussion Art”, emphatically promotes the popularization of the marimba. For her, this includes a commitment to training young players and participation in juries at international competitions, but in particular the International Katarzyna Myćka Marimba Academy (IKMMA), which she established in 2003. The 10th edition in 2023 consolidated 20 years of history connecting people through love to marimba, music and friendship. This same year, Katarzyna Myćka was appointed as professor for percussion at the Folkwang University of Arts in Essen, Germany, while she continues her educational work at the Stanisław Moniuszko Music Academy in Gdańsk, Poland. Katarzyna Myćka dedicates „a lot of time and enthusiasm“ to collaborating with composers who „explore and understand the special and marvelous sound of the marimba.“ In this, the guiding principle —says the musician, to whom numerous concerts and chamber music works have been dedicated— is „musical trust.“
The artist’s multifaceted solo program includes not only transcriptions of the works of Johann Sebastian Bach or Sergei Prokofiev, but also original compositions by coetaneous composers such as Emmanuel Séjourné or Anna Ignatowicz-Glińska. Over the years, she has recorded a cross-section of her repertoire on ten CDs. Her most recent album, “Marimba & Organ Melange”, includes yet another collection of premiere recordings.
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