Robert Kowalski was born in 1985. He took his first violin lesson at the age of seven, and barely four years later made his debut with Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto in E minor, accompanied by the orchestra of the Baltic Opera. After completing Levels 1 and 3 of the Feliks Nowowiejski Music School in Gdańsk, in Professor Krystyna Jurecka’s class, he studied in Germany and Switzerland under Valery Gradow. Kowalski was significantly influenced by Kolja Blacher and Ana Chumachenco; Bernard Greenhouse, Ivry Gitlis and Ida Haendel also strongly shaped his musical development. Kowalski has won prizes in the Val Tidone International Music Competition in Italy, and the Alexandre Tansman Musical Individuality Competition in Łódź; he won the Gdańsk Mayor’s Prize for Young Artists the first year it was awarded. Kowalski also won a Young Poland scholarship from the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage.
He regularly appears as a soloist and chamber player at festivals in Europe, the US and Asia, performing in renowned venues: Wigmore Hall in London, the Mozarteum in Salzburg, Laeiszhalle in Hamburg, Vienna’s Musikverein and New York’s Carnegie Hall. Kowalski also collaborates with outstanding musical personalities including Vladimir Ashkenazy, Reinhard Goebel, Martha Argerich and Julian Rachlin, who are a great source of inspiration for him. In 2018 Kowalski’s performance of Richard Strauss’s Violin Concerto was released on a CD from CPO; he is accompanied by the Orchestra della Svizzera italiana under the baton of Markus Poschner. The recording was well-received by critics around Europe, and nominated for the International Classical Music Awards.
Kowalski is concertmaster of the Orchestra della Svizzera italiana (Lugano), as well as a member of the Szymanowski Quartet, with whom he tours worldwide.
He plays a J.B. Vuillaume violin from 1860.