Poland's rising guitar star - Łukasz Kuropaczewski

Łukasz Kuropaczewski

Łukasz Kuropaczewski is an up-and-coming classical guitarist from Poland. He recently made his New York debut at the Carnegie Hall - a performance which has set the seal on an international career.

Now 26, Łukasz Kuropaczewski started to play the guitar at the age of 10 in a small locality in Western Poland where he was born. After so many years he remembers very vividly the day he became fascinated with the sound of the guitar.

‘I was nine, almost ten, it was in a little town where I was raised, in Strzałkowo, in western Poland. Every Sunday we went to church and one day there was a girl in the church, singing with the accompaniment of the guitar. I heard her sing and play and I thought – this is the most beautiful sound and the most beautiful colour I can imagine. This is the instrument of my life and I want to play just like this girl.’

That young woman became Łukasz Kuropaczewski’s first music teacher. He soon started attending a music school in a nearby town and continued at the Music Academy in the south-western town of Wroclaw. His entrance into the music world was unlike almost all child prodigies who usually start with the piano or violin. Łukasz knew right from the start that the guitar would be his instruments.

‘I absolutely fell in love with the colour of the guitar and the sound it produces. I felt this is more beautiful than anything else I’ve heard before. Then I was getting older, I was 17, 18 and I started to listen to a lot of piano music and I thought – this instrument is more powerful, it has a bigger repertoire, I’d love to be a pianist. But my teacher was really sad that I stopped liking the guitar and he said: ‘you should play the ‘Platero y Yo’ suite, that piece can help you realize that the guitar has something that other instruments don’t and maybe it would bring you back to our world and you decide to love the guitar again’, and this is what happened.’

Łukasz Kuropaczewski is currently a postgraduate student of the Peabody Institute of the John Hopkins University in Baltimore where he works with Maestro Manuel Barrueco. He has toured extensively in Europe, the two Americas and Japan. On Friday, November 2, he made his Carnegie Hall debut.

‘Every concert I treat the same. I always put all my respect to the public and I always put all my effort to play the best I can, it doesn’t really matter if it’s New York, Amsterdam, Konin or Słupca. The public is the same. All people come to see me and I appreciate that they came and I want to do everything to make their stay with me a nice time.’

The programme of Kuropaczewski’s Carnegie Hall recital included works by Polish composers Aleksander Tansman and Witold Lutosławski. On November 17 he will perform at another highly prestigious venue, the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam.