Szabolcs Esztenyi
Iwona Mironiuk

Improvisation skill is a very specific musical skill. It used to be a common skill among musicians. Bach and Beethoven were great improvisers, many Liszt's pieces are written improvisational pieces...

Iwona Mironiuk studied on Fryderyk Chopin's Music Academy in Warsaw in piano class lead by Bronisława Kawalla and chamber music class lead by Jerzy Marchwiński. Being a Culture Fond scholarship holder she completed with honours the class of contemporary music performance lead by Sza­bolcs Esz­tényi. She perfected her piano skills on Master Interpretation Courses in Lubeck with Pavel Gililiov and in Zurich with Rudolf Buchbinder. For many years she has been cooperating with Polskie Towarzystwo Muzyki Współczesnej and Związek Kompozytorów Polskich (Polish Association for Contemporary Music and Polish Association of Composers). She also cooperates with Piwnica Artystyczna (of Wanda Warska and Andrzej Kurylewicz) and Piwnica Artystyczna (of Ryszard Ostromecki). She has also made many radio recordings, especially of contemporary music. Currently she is working on Fryderyk Chopin's Music Academy in Warsaw, in the Chamber Piano Music department.

Szabolcs Esztényi is a composer, pianist, improviser and a teacher of hungarian descent, who has been living in Poland since 1969. He studied piano in the class of Margerita Trombini-Kazuro and composition in the class of Witold Rudziński on Państwowa Wyższa Szkoła Muzyczna in Warsaw (Warsaw Higher Musical Education Public School). As a composer and a soloist he performed in Poland and abroad on many festivals (Warszawska Jesień [Warsaw Autmun], Poznańska Wiosna Muzyczna [Poznań Music Spring], Warszawskie Spotkania Muzyczne [Warsaw Music Meetings], Musica Polonica Nova Festival in Wrocław, Biennale Zagreb, Budapesti Zenei Hetek, Donaueschinger Musiktage and many others. He cooperated with well-known artists such as: Jerzy Artysz, Andrzej Hiolski, Heinz Holliger, Roman Jabłoński, Jadwiga Kotnowska, Wilanów Quartet, Halina Łukomska, Olga Pasiecznik, Jadwiga Rappé, Zygmunt Krauze's Music Workshop, Jerzy Witkowski, Iwona Mironiuk (with whom he has been performing as a piano duo since 1999). He has made many archive recordings for Polish Radio. For many years he has been cooperating with Ferenc Lantos nad Maria Apagyi, the creators of creative music-visual pedagogy and founders of Free Artistic School in Pécs, Hungary. Since 1972 he has been working as a piano teacher in Fryderyk Chopin's Higher Education School in Warsaw, as well as on Music Academy in Warsaw and Łódź. He is a regular guest in many academic centres with his illustrated lectures related to creative pedagogy and teaching improvisation.

Improvisation skill is a very specific musical skill. It used to be a common skill among musicians. Bach and Beethoven were great improvisers, many Liszt's pieces are written improvisational pieces. Liszt represents a case of a very harmonic combination of composer's and performer's talent, which is exactly the characteristic of an improviser. Nowadays, the ability of real improvisation is rare among 'classical' musicians. Music has been dominated with scores, which turns elusive sounds into permanent and unchangeable signs. Improvisation blooms in jazz and is the basis of jazz music. The practice of improvisation can be still noticed in churches, but only among the more talented and more ambitious organists, of which not many are left. On this background, Szabolcs Esztényi, a composer, a pianist and a teacher, appears as an exceptional phenomenon. He improvises in many different music fields: he improvises on piano, he composes 'improvised' pieces, finally he teaches improvisation on Music Academy and in high school in Warsaw. Teaching improvisation is what distinguishes Szabolcs Esztényi in a very specific way. However, can improvisations skill be acquired through learning?