This year, more than 59 musicians from 13 different countries applied for the second edition of the International Seifert Jazz Violin Competition, however only 10 of them passed to the final round, held in the Krzysztof Penderecki European Music Center in Lutosławice. After the auditions, the jury of experienced musicians—Marek Feldman (USA), Janusza Stefański (Poland) and Josh Grossman (USA)—gave out the first prize to Mateusz Smoczyński for “the excellent interpretation of a composition by a Polish violinist.”

“Zbyszek would have been so happy to hear so many wonderful jazz violinists. During his lifetime there were not too many of them, neither in Poland nor in the world. Unfortunately he did not live long enough to witness this moment, but I know that he would be proud” – said the widow of Zbigniew Seifert, Agnieszka Seifert.

Mateusz Smoczyński has already established his name in the music world. An alum of the Fryderyk Chopin Academy of Music in Warsaw, he has performed on numerous jazz festivals in Poland and abroad. He worked with Jarosław Śmietana, Zbigniew Namysłowski and Adam Sztaba, and is a founding member of the Atom String Quartet. Among his achievements there are two Fryderyk Awards – for the albums “Fade In” and “Places.”
The second ex aequo prize of 2500 euro went to Florian Willeitner from Germany and Apel.les Carod Requesans from Spain. The third prize (2000 euro) was given to Mario Forte from France. The audience awarded Dominika Rusinowska from Kraków with a special prize.

Zbigniew Seifert was one of the most original and important Polish jazz musicians. Seifert was born in Kraków on June 7, 1946 and died on February 15, 1979 in Buffalo, NY. He played saxophone and violin, cooperated musicians such as: Jack DeJohnette, John Scofield, and the Oregon band.

For 5 years, he was a member of Tomasz Stańko Quintet, and after the break-up of the band he continued his career in Germany. Seifert recorded the following albums: “Solo Violin,” “Oregon/Violin,” “Man of the Light” and—three months before his death—“Passion” with guitarist John Scofield, pianist Richie Beirach, bass player Eddie Gomez, drummer Jack Dejohnette and Nana Vasconcelos on percussion instruments.

The Zbigniew Seifert Competition takes a place every two years, interchangeably with a new festival, started in 2015—the Jarosław Śmietana International Guitar Competition.

Source: September Polish Music Newsletter