The string quartet “Antarja Quartet” was formed in 2009. The members of the Quartet are graduates of the Academy of Music in Cracow, who improved their solo skills in the classes of remarkable Polish instrumentalists: Kaja Danczowska, Janusz Pisarski and Dominik Połoński. Until 2015 the Antarja Quartet worked under the name: Amber Quartet.
In 2017 Antarja Quartet completed the postgraduate studies on Universität für Musik und darstellende Kunst in Vienna under the direction of prof. Johannesa Meissla and Vidy Vujic. The Quartet improved their skills with these two distinguished individuals for 3 years.
Until 2013 the Quartet was tutored by the members of the DAFO Quartet. In 2012-2013 the musicians participated in the master classes given by Peter Buck (Melos Quartet). The ensemble also worked under the supervision of other outstanding chamber musicians such as Piotr Kajdasz, Kaja Danczowska, Marek Moś (Silesian String Quartet, AUKSO Orchestra), and the members of Belcea Quartet, Shanghai Quartet, Apollon Musagete Quartett, Altenberg Trio and Fine Arts Quartet. In 2013 Amber Quartet worked under the guidance of prof. Krzysztof Penderecki performing his “String Quartet no. 3”.
The achievements of the Quartet include several Polish and world premieres, among others: “Variations for String Quartet, Op. 21" - W. Żeleński (2011), "Variations and Fugue for String Quartet, Op. 6" - Z. Stojowski (2011 ) , "Quintet" for string quartet and English horn written by Syrian composer Zaid Jabri for Amber Quartet and Witold Wróbel (2012) or „L’ascolto del spazio" dedicated to Amber Quartet by Alessandro Grego (2013).
The Quartet has performed at many international festivals including Festival dell Quartetto d’Archi 2013 and Festival dell Quartetto d’Archi 2016 in Loro Ciuffenna (Italy), Internationales Klassikfestival im Allgau - Oberstdorfer Muziksommer 2013 (Germany) and 12th Festival of Chroatian Music in Vienna (Austria).
In 2012 Amber Quartet won Special Prize for the Best Ensemble at 20th Internationales Klassikfestival im Allgau - Oberstdorfer Musiksommer 2012 which resulted in series of recitals and an invitation to perform during the next edition of the festival. The Quartet participated twice in the Easter Ludwig van Beethoven’s Festival in Cracow: in 2011 the ensemble was qualified to participate in master classes led by Fine Arts Quartet, in 2013 the Quartet performed at the opening of the exhibition of manuscripts in Jagiellonian Library.
In April 2016 Antarja Quartet won the First Prize during the Chamber Competition “III Turniej Kameralny” in Bydgoszcz, organized by the Academy of Music in Bydgoszcz. Very important performance for the Quartet was the concert on the 7 Nurtów – 7 Premier = 70 lat ZKP festival organised by the Polish Composers Union for the 70th anniversary of the Union activity. In December 2016 Antarja Quartet traveled to Teheran at the invitation of Contemporary Music Circle and Spectro Centre, where they led both solo and chamber Masterclasses and performed in the Teheran Museum of Contemporary Art. The Quartet presented there the most prominent pieces of Polish contemporary chamber music repertoire.
Antarja Quartet was twice awarded by the Adam Mickiewicz Institute in the frame of Polish culture around the world programme.
Graduate of the Academy of Music in Kraków (2013, Prof. Kaja Danczowska’s class). She has attended master classes with—among others—Jan Stanienda, Grigorij Zhislin, Krzysztof Jakowicz, and—as an onlooker—with Zakhar Bron. She held the scholarship of rector in the academic year 2011/2012. She made a live recording of Paganini’s Caprice No. 5 for Radio Kraków.
Her primary interest is chamber music performance. As a chamber musician she has worked with such artists as Kaja Danczowska, Aleksandra Kuls, Tomasz Strahl, Arkadiusz Krupa, Daniel Schnyder, Nikita Vaganov and Kirsten Ecke. In 2009 she joined fellow musicians to form the string Antarja Quartet.
On several occasions Barbara Mglej worked with the Sinfonietta Cracovia, the Beethoven Academy Orchestra, the Symphony Orchestra of the Karol Szymanowski Philharmonic in Kraków and with Kamerata Krakowska. She has taken part in numerous orchestral projects, such as the Orchestral Academy in Oberstdorf (Germany, 2012, 2013) and the International Orchestra in Conservatorio di Musica Domenico Cimarosa Avellino (Italy, 2010).
Her interest in contemporary music resulted in premiering many chamber and orchestral pieces by such composers as Zaid Jabri, Michał Jakub Papara, Alessandro Grego, Leopold Hurt, Joanna Woźny and Matthias Ockert. In 2013 she took part in the European Workshop for Contemporary Music during the 56th International Festival of Contemporary Music ‘Warsaw Autumn’. A year later she attended a workshop during the 47th International Summer Course for New Music in Darmstadt, followed by concerts taking place there as well as in the Witold Lutosławski Concert Studio of Polish Radio in Warsaw, the latter as part of the 57th International Festival of Contemporary Music ‘Warsaw Autumn’.
Maria Nowak graduated with honors from Jadwiga Kaliszewska Secondary Music School in 2013. She studied there in the class of professor Marcin Baranowski and Jan Romanowski. Five years later she graduated with honors from Ignacy Jan Paderewski Music Academy (Poznan, Poland) under the tutelage of professor Marcin Baranowski and Joanna Kreft.
During those years she was a member of chamber ensembles which were awarded at many national and international competitions: Honourable mention at XII Strings Chamber Competition Grażyna Bacewicz in memoriam (Lodz, Poland), 3rd prize at National Chamber Auditions (Warsaw, Poland), Grand Prix at International Chamber Competition (Barletta, Italy) and Finalist diploma at International Stasys Vainiunas Chamber Competition (Vilnius, Lithuania). She was also awarded a prestigious Rector’s Scholarship for the best students.
Maria Nowak took part in numerous Masterclasses with many prominent violin teachers, such as Agata Szymczewska, Piotr Tarcholik, Bartłomiej Nizioł, Monika Urbaniak - Lisik and Andrej Bielow. Furthermore, gained her orchestral experience both in Poland and abroad. Performed at the International Festival “Karol Szymanowski - artist who was ahead of his time” (Beijing, China) and Kintai Music Festival (Kintai, Lithuania). In 2017 Maria became a member of the Orchestra Academy at the National Forum of Music (Wroclaw, Poland). From September 2018 Maria Nowak is a violinist in the Sinfonia Iuventus Polish Orchestra.
PhD student at Academy of Music in Krakow under guidance of prof. Janusz Pisarski. She graduated with honors her home academy in 2013 in the class of prof. Janusz Pisarski and assistant Aneta Dumanowska. She also improved her skills at Universität für Musik und darstellende Kunst in Graz in the class of prof. Matthias Maurer. She is a graduate of post diploma studies at Universität für Musik und darstellende Kunst in Vienna in the chamber music class of prof. Johannes Meissel and Vida Vujic. She attended master classes conducted by Tabea Zimmerman, Peter Buck, Grigori Zhislin, Danilo Rossi, Jerzy Kosmala, Stefan Kamasa, Avri Levitan.
She was a scholar of Lesser Poland Scholarship Foundation Sapere Auso (twice) and Institute of Adam Mickiewicz (three times) for exceptional artistic achievements. Many times during her Bachelor and MA studies she was granted scholarship of Rector of Academy of Music in Krakow – also as a PhD student. She is a laureate of many soloist competitions. She has received a special mention at 2nd Competition of Young Violists in Wrocław (2005), special award at 14th International Competition for Viola, Bled, Slovenia (2012). She is also a semi-finalist of 4 th Michał Spisak International Music Competition in Dąbrowa Górnicza (2010).
She is an active orchestral musician. She participated in projects of: Karol Szymanowski Philharmonic in Krakow, Beethoven Academy Orchestra, Sinfonietta Cracovia, Central European Initiative Youth Orchestra, International Orchestra of Conservatorio di Musica Domenico Cimarosa Avellino (Italy) and Orchestral Academy in Oberstdorf (Germany). Her achievements include many chamber concerts in Poland, Italy, Germany, Austria and Netherlands.
She is a co-founder of string quartet Antarja Quartet (until 2015 under the name Amber Quartet). The ensemble was awarded among others at Oberstdorfer Musiksommer 2012, received a special award for the best ensemble, in April 2016 won the 1 st place at 3 rd Competition of Chamber Music "Competition in three stages" in Bydgoszcz. It resulted in recording of CD with compositions of F. Mendelssohn and K. Penderecki, published in July 2016
She develops her interest also in the field of early music. She is a member of international ensembles specialized in early music: Cappella di Ospedale della Pieta and Il Giardino d’Amore, with which she gave concerts in such concert halls as: Carnegie Hall in New York, halls in Norway, Netherlands, Slovenia, Austria, Vienna and Italy. She co-operated with Orchester 1756 and Contrasto Armonico. Her artistic achievements include concerts at such festivals as: Festival Quartetto d’Archi (2013, 2016, Italy), Bach Woche (2013, Austria), L. van Beethoven Easter Festival (2013, Krakow), Festival OudeMuziek (2013, Netherlands), Tartini Festival (2014, Slovenia), International Viola Congress (2014, Krakow). Her artistic output includes recordings with the following ensembles: Il Giardino d’Amore, Antarja Quartet, Krakow Young Philharmonic, Sinfonietta Cracovia. She is a member of Polish Viola Society. Her recent success was a performance at the festiwal 7 7 currents + 7 premieres = 70 years of Polish Composers Association where she presented string quartets of H.M. Górecki, Z. Krauze and Z. Konieczny and a composition of T.Wielecki Gentle swaying, dramatic music piece for bass clarinet, violin, tape and informal ensemble (2013).
Elzbieta Mudlaff – in 2012 graduated with honors from Music Academy in Cracow (violin class of prof. Kaja Danczowska). She took part in many violin masterclasses, i.a. in Łancut (prof. A. Cofalik), Janowiec (prof. J. Stanienda), Darlow (P. Janowski) and Cracow (prof. Grigorij Zhislin, prof. Marcin Baranowski).
In March 2008 she received an Individual Revard of Polish Culture Foundation form prof. Aleksander Krawczuk. During the studies she won the I prize in internal competition for performance of the Mieczysław Karłowicz Violin Concerto.
From 2009 she was the member of Amber Quartet (in 2015 it became the Antarja Quartet). Together with the group she participated in many chamber masterclasses guided by the most famous artists and teachers, i.a.: Shanghai Quartet, Fine Arts Quartet, Apollon Musagete Quartet, prof. Peter Buck (Melos Quartet), Krzysztof Chorzelski (Belcea Quartet).
In 2014 as a member of Inaversa Trio she won the I prize on the 9. International Competition Musica Insieme in San Dona di Piave (Italy) in the category for chamber music.
In 2016 together with Antarja Quartet she received the I prize on the 3. Chamber Music Tournament in Bydgoszcz.