“Empress of the modern harpsichord” (Le Monde)
“Wanda Landowska of the music of today” (Frankfurtere Allgemeine) “
Elisabeth Chojnacka is recognised by critics world-wide as an extraordinary artist and praised as the best modern harpsichord performer for her “torrid and passionate harpsichord playing”,”energy and passion”,”amazing rhytm” , prodigious and insolent style”,profound musicality”.
Thanks to Elisabeth Chojnacka, many composers have discoverd “how fantastically unique the old instrument still is”.Through her inspiration they have written and continue to write for her:Xénakis,Ligeti,Halffter,Ohana,Donatoni,Mâche,Bussotti,Gorecki,Solal,Gubaidulina Nyman,Ishyanagi,,to name but few.
Today,a young generation of composers enrich a repertory for modern harpsichord:Mauricio Sotelo,Steve Montague, Graziane Finzi,Granrt MacLachlan,Yann Maresz,Dmitri Yanov-Yanovsky,Pawel Mykietyn…….., wonderful testimony of permanency of interest for our instrument.
Music is “one,she says,as she ventures unceasingly into unknown musical terrtory,pushing back the limits of the harpsichord.Whilst her repertory has grown ever larger, from 16th and 21th centuries opening into their spheres such as rag-time and tango,her uncompromising approach and musical excellence never change.
Invited all over Europe,to the US,Mexico and Japan,she performs at major festivals of contemporary music and with such leading orcestras as the Cleveland,Minneapolis,French National Swiss Romande,Munich ,Warsaw Philharmonic,.In 2001 she was invited by Perliner Philharmonisher Orchester to give a recital in Berlin.
Born in Warsaw, Elisabeth Chojnacka complited her Master of Arts there, then studied in Paris with Aimée van de Wiele.Winner in 1968 of the International Competition of Vercelli (Italy), she was invited to perform the first contemporary harpsichord recital in Paris in 1970,and made her first recording in 1971 (Philips “Clavecin-Harpsichord 2000″)
She has since recorded for Erato, Wergo, ADDA; Auvidis, EMI, Naxos, Nonsuch, Timpani, Opus 111 in concert as well as with a variety of chamber music groups and orchestras playing a contemporary and classical music as well.
A brief résumé of some of her career highlights:
-1972-first collaboration with contemporary music groups such Ars Nova(Marius Constant),Domaine Musical(Gilbert Amy),2e2m,London Sinfonietta,Asko Ensemble,EIC,Xénakis Ensemble
-1975- With Xavier Daras, forms a duo for harpsichord and organ and create a new repertory for these two instruments.
-1981- With the percussionist Sylvio Gualda forms an exeptional duo, creating a completely new repertory who attains an international recognition
-1983 – Grand Prix of the SACEM for interpretation of French Music of Today
-1986-Radio France dedicates a full day to “Practically all of the harpsichord” with Elisabeth Chojnacka
-1991-Begins collaboration with the choreographer Lucinda Childs
-1995-Appointed Professor at the famous Mozarteum in Salzburg charged with creating a
class without precedent, for the study of contemporary harpsichord
2004-Grand Prix de l’Academie Charles Cros for « Maurice Ohana clavecin » (Timpani)
In 1999 honouring her outstanding artistic position she was awarded Legion d’ honeur.
She has been twice given the « Orpheo » Prize for the best performance of the Polish composer piece at the Warsaw Autumn Festival ( 1981 and 2000)
In 2009 she received a golden medal « GLORIA ARTIS » and the Award of the Polish Composers Union for 2009.