Anna Duczmal-Mróz is a daughter of a world famous conductor Agnieszka Duczmal.
Anna started her music education as a violinist. Her conducting talent was discovered during the student orchestra rehearsal at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Hannover, where she was studying violin with Prof. Krzysztof Wegrzyn. The conductor of the orchestra, Eiji Oue, suggested that orchestra members volunteer to take his place at the podium and conduct the orchestra. As a result of this experiment-“competition”, Anna was invited by Maestro Oue to study conducting with him (2001-2004). In June 2004 she graduated with honors and conducted NDR Radiophilharmonie Hannover on her diploma concert.
In 2000 she founded a student orchestra-Benjamin Britten Kammerorchester in Hannover with which she was giving concerts in Germany. Her interpretation of Stravinsky’s Soldier’s Tale was so successful that the organizers repeated this concert a few months later.
In 2003 since her Polish debut with Amadeus Chamber Orchestra of Polish Radio she is regulary recording and conducting concerts with this orchestra.
In 2004/2005 season she was an assistant conductor to Eiji Oue at NDR-Radiophilharmonie.
In January 2006 to June 2007 after the competition for the assistant position she was an assistant conductor to Antoni Wit at Warsaw National Philharmonic.
Anna Duczmal-Mróz repeatedly led concerts with orchestras in Germany, Italy, Belgium, Austria, France, Spain, South America, and has worked with all the major orchestras in Poland, including Warsaw National Philharmonic, Sinfonia Varsovia, NOSPR. Anna has performed in great concert halls such as the Wiener Konzerthaus Mozart Hall and the Palais des Beaux -Arts in Brussels and at many major festivals in Poland, Germany and South America.
Since 2009, Anna is the second conductor of the Amadeus Chamber Orchestra of Polish Radio with which she regularly performs and recording Polish music, which can be found on many CD albums. Her concerts have been broadcast by Polish Radio and Nord Deutsche Rundfunk. Cooperation with Capella Bydgostiensis resulted in burning the cd for DUX – ” Best of the twentieth century ” under the auspices of the Krzysztof Penderecki European Centre for Music.
Since 2009 she give masterclasses together with the Torun Symphony Orchestra and the great pianists such as Ilya Scheps, Robert McDonald, Andrzej Jasinski in Paderewski Piano Academy.
In 2014 Anna Duczmal-Mróz gave conducting masterclasses and concerts in South America.
In 2015 Dux and CPO released two discs with Anna-Music by Sebastian Krajewski and Symphony no 10 by M.Weinberg. Both together with Amadeus Chamber Orchestra of Polish Radio. In 2016 disc with M.Weinberg’s 10th Symphony was nominated for the most important Polish awards – Fryderyki.
Anna Duczmal-Mróz is a multiple holder of scholarships of Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts.
Simon Blendis enjoys an international career as a chamber musician, concertmaster and soloist.
He was the violinist with the Schubert Ensemble from 1995-2018, when the Ensemble retired after a celebrated 35 year career.
With the Ensemble, Simon performed in over thirty different countries, recorded over twenty CDs of music ranging from Brahms to Judith Weir, made frequent broadcasts for BBC Radio 3 and appeared regularly at Europe’s major venues such as the Wigmore Hall in London and the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam. In 1999 the group won the prestigious Royal Philharmonic Society Award for best chamber group, for which it was shortlisted again in 2010.
Alongside his work in the Ensemble, Simon has shared the position of First Concertmaster with Orchestra Ensemble Kanazawa in Japan since 1999, and in 2014 was appointed Concertmaster of the London Mozart Players, the UK’s oldest chamber orchestra. In addition to leading the orchestra, he regularly directs from the violin, and performs as soloist and with the LMP Chamber Ensemble.
Simon is also in demand as a guest concertmaster: he has appeared with most of the UK’s major orchestras, including all of the London orchestras, as well as with several orchestras abroad, including the Orquesta Nacional de Espana and the Mahler Chamber Orchestra. He has appeared as a guest-director with the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, the Scottish Ensemble and the English Chamber Orchestra.
A keen exponent of new music, Simon has given over 50 first performances, and has had new pieces written for him by, amongst others, Tansy Davies, Stuart Macrae, John Woolrich and jazz legend Dave Brubeck. He has premiered new violin concertos written for him by David Knotts (2013) and Jeff Moore (2017).
As a soloist he has performed and recorded with the Philharmonia Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, English Chamber Orchestra, Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and the BCMG in the UK and with Orchestra Ensemble Kanazawa in Japan, with whom he has recorded Vivaldi’s Four Seasons for the Warner Japan label.
During the recent Coronavirus lockdowns Simon undertook a research project into the salon music legacy of legendary light music violinist, Max Jaffa, and the resulting CD will be released in July 2022.
Simon is increasingly sought after as a teacher, and is a Professor of Violin at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.