Cliburn Confidential: Meet contestant Marcin Koziak

05/19/2013 11:12 PM

05/19/2013 11:13 PM

Cliburn confidential

28 of 30

A series of conversations with the Cliburn competitors

Marcin Koziak

(Pronounced mar-CHEEN KO-zhi-ahk)

Nationality: Polish

Born: Krakow, Poland

Lives: Fort Worth (a student in the music department of Texas Christian University)

Age: 24

How he got started with piano: (from his TCU music professor, Tamas Ungar) “He started at the age of 5,” Ungar said. “Both parents are musicians; in fact, they were both teachers at the Academy of Music in Krakow, where he has studied until now. His parents taught him early, but when they found out he had talent, they handed him over to one of their colleagues. His father has passed away, but his mother still teaches there.”

Favorite contemporary pianists and why: The individuality of Grigory Sokolov. The perfection of Krystian Zimerman. The energy of Martha Argerich. The ability to bring to life the real classics: Radu Lupu and Murray Perahia.

Hobbies/interests: Mountain climbing and cycling. Every summer Koziak goes to the Tatra Mountains in Poland. Here in Texas, he loves to walk around Lake Benbrook.

Two of a kind: His girlfriend has won major violin competitions and is now concertizing across Europe. She and Koziak play chamber music together.

What he hopes to achieve at the Cliburn: “During the preparation, I hope to develop as a musician and an artist, to improve in many areas,” Koziak says. “I hope that the opportunity of playing for a knowledgeable public will give me inspiration.”

From Ungar: “I hope others will see the artistry in him that I can sense. I truly believe he is ready for a career, and that’s what the Cliburn does. It opens up career doors.”

— Tim Madigan

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