This story was featured in: Episode 36 and Episode 35
Daniel Wnukowski is a Polish Canadian pianist from Windsor, Ontario, Canada. Born in 1981.
His fascination with music started at age 3 and a half. He has been playing the piano ever since.
He studied piano at the Fryderyk Chopin Academy of Music in Warsaw, Poland, with Piotr Paleczny, at the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore, Maryland, with Leon Fleisher and at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama with Ronan O’Hora and Graham Johnson. In 2006, he was awarded a scholarship to study at the International Piano Academy Lake Como.
He has performed throughout Europe, North America, South America and Asia in prestigious concert halls. He has performed with many orchestras, including the Polish Radio Orchestra, Sinfonia Varsovia, Windsor Symphony and Southfield Symphony with conductors such as Jerzy Maksymiuk, Alain Trudel and David Amos. He has also performed in numerous International Festivals such as Chopin and His Europe in Warsaw, Poland; Festival Dei Due Mondi in Spoleto, Italy; Chopiniana in Buenos Aires, Argentina; and the Pre-LSO Concert Series in London, UK.
During the 2015-2016 season, Daniel Wnukowski performed a solo piano recital tour in China. He also performed a recently published piano concerto by a Polish-Jewish composer, Jozef Koffler, who had died during the Holocaust. This performance was recorded in Warsaw, Poland, with Sinfonia Iuventus under the direction of Krzysztof Slowinski for release on commercial CD by the EDA label in late 2016. He performed two recitals at the Beethoven Festival in Vienna, Austria.
During the years 2013-2014, he recorded and edited the complete piano works of Walter Arlen, an Austrian composer who had escaped the Holocaust, for the Austrian record label Gramola and publisher Doblinger. He is the recipient of numerous scholarships and grants from the Canada Council for the Arts and other foundations for promoting the works of exiled Jewish composers of the early 20th century including Szymon Laks, Karol Rathaus, Józef Koffler, Władysław Szpilman, Viktor Ullmann, Alfred Schnittke, György Ligeti, György Kurtág, among others.
In May 2011, his all-Liszt recital was recorded and broadcast over European and U.S. radio stations. In the beginning of 2010, he inaugurated the Chopin year in Poznań, Poland, together with Metropolitan Opera Soprano Aleksandra Kurzak and was chosen as a Samling Scholar. In May of that same year, he performed a special recital in Tokyo, Japan, to commemorate the unveiling of a new Chopin monument in that city. This also led to a debut in Singapore, in the hall of the Singapore Chinese Orchestra. His outdoor concert at the Singapore Botanical Gardens received rousing ovations by a crowd of close to 3000 people (see below).
A bravura interpretation of Chopin’s famous waltz by pianist Daniel Wnukowski during an outdoor concert at the Singapore Botanical Gardens: