“…one reacts at thoughts, that have not even been transformed into notes yet”
Badische Neueste Nachrichten regarding the Berlin Piano Trio
The Berlin Piano Trio was founded in 2004 and is considered one of the leading internationally in its genre, impressing audiences and critics alike with its charismatic style and drive. The trio consists of the distinguished German pianist Nikolaus Resa, the Polish violin virtuoso and Berliner Philharmoniker concertmaster Krzysztof Polonek and the multi-award-winning Polish cellist Katarzyna Polonek, three internationally renowned soloists who have received major awards, are academically active and frequently appear with some of Europe’s most important orchestras, including Berliner Philharmoniker, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin and Brandenburgisches Staatsorchester Frankfurt, among others.
Some highlights of the Berlin Piano Trio’s musical course are the prize and interdisciplinary Grand Prix at the largest international chamber music competition in Poland, created by the internationally renowned Polish composer Krzysztof Penderecki (2007), the first prize and the audience award at the European Chamber Music Competition in Karlsruhe, the coveted “Prix Marguerite Dütschler” in Gstaad, Switzerland (2009), but also the fact that they tied for first place (ex aequo) at the Joseph-Haydn International Competition in Vienna, where they were also honoured with the audience award of the Esterhazy Foundation.
Born in 1980 in Berlin, Nikolaus Resa took his first piano lessons at the age of four. He studied piano with Georg Sava at the Academy of Music “Hanns Eisler”, Berlin, and took on his postgraduate studies at the Hannover University of Music, Drama and Media with Markus Becker. In every appearance, and especially as a member of the Berlin Piano Trio, he always impresses with his spontaneity and dynamic performances, which is why he is often invited to substitute in several internationally renowned orchestras such as the Berliner Philharmoniker or the Deutsches Sinfonie-Orchester (DSO) Berlin. He has received major awards and was a soloist on Howard Shore’s soundtrack for the film “A Dangerous Method” (2011). Furthermore, he is teaching at the Berlin University of the Arts and the Orchestra Academy of the Berliner Philharmoniker.
Krzysztof Polonek, a native of Kraków, initially studied at the Julius-Stern-Institute, University of the Arts, Berlin with Professor Tomasz Tomaszewski; he played his concert exam under the supervision of Professor Thomas Brandis at the Lübeck University of Music; and he has attended masterclasses with the professors R. Kussmaul, K. Węgrzyn, K. Sassmannshaus, I. Gitlis and Z. Bron. He has performed as soloist with the Lübeck Philharmonic Orchestra, the Brandenburgisches Staatsorchester Frankfurt (Oder), the Philharmonie Baden-Baden and the Filharmonia Krakowska, among others, while he has also participated in renowned festivals such as the “Music in old Kraków” festival, the Hubermann Violin Festival, the Aspen Music Festival, the Sommets Musicaux de Gstaad and the Max-Reger Tage at Weiden. He has been the concertmaster of the Dresdner Philharmonie, the Deutsche Oper Berlin and the Rundfunk Sinfonieorchester Berlin. Presently he is the concertmaster of the Berliner Philharmoniker.
Katarzyna Polonek was taught music by Mstislav Rostropovich, Natalia Shakovskaya, Angelica May, and Markus Nyikos, among others, while she has been awarded at international cello competitions in Liezen, Pörtschach, Poznań and Brno, as well as at chamber music competitions, such as the 11th International Competition of Contemporary Chamber Music in Kraków (First Prize and Grand Prix) and the J. Haydn International Chamber Music Competition in Vienna. She is co-founder of the Berlin Piano Trio, has performed as a soloist with many orchestras and has recorded for Polish, German, Swiss, Austrian and Japanese Radio and Television. As a chamber musician she has participated in many renowned music festivals and performed in the most important European concert halls; while playing as a guest in the Berliner Philharmoniker and Staatskapelle Berlin orchestras, she has collaborated with conductors such as Daniel Barenboim, Bernhard Haitink, Pierre Boulez, Michael Sanderling, Ivan Fischer and Sir Simon Rattle. After the completion of her doctoral thesis and habilitation, she has been teaching as an assistant professor of cello at the Music Academy Poznań and conducts masterclasses at the International Music Course in Opole.