Kinga Augustyn Biography
Kinga Augustyn is a Polish-born and New York City-based versatile classical concert violinist and recording artist gaining worldwide recognition through her performances as a concerto soloist, recitalist and chamber musician. She has been described as “an adventurous performer valuable to New York’s scene” (NY Concert Review), “stylish and vibrant…playing with verve and superb control” (The Strad Magazine), and “beyond amazing, one hell of a violinist!” (The Fanfare Magazine). Her repertoire ranges from early baroque, which she sometimes performs on a baroque violin, to modern, oftentimes written especially for her. She is known for unique programming of unaccompanied solo violin recitals, and for her advocacy for quality, lesser-known works.
Kinga Augustyn has performed as a soloist with orchestras in the United States, Europe and Asia. Among them are the Deutsches Kammerorchester Berlin, Magdeburg Philharmonic Orchestra, the Chamber Orchestra Leopoldinum, the Wrocław Philharmonic Orchestra, the American Academy of Conducting Orchestra at the Aspen Music Festival, the Rogue Valley Symphony, and the Riverside Symphonia. She has toured China soloing with the Manhattan Symphonie and performing at China’s most prestigious venues such as Beijing Poly Theater and Shanghai Oriental Art Center. Other venues she has appeared at as a recitalist or chamber musician include both the Stern Auditorium and the Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Merkin Hall, The Kosciuszko Foundation, Bargemusic, The Aspen Music Festival, and Chicago’s Cultural Center. She has also performed as a featured artist at such festivals as the Memphis in May International Festival, Festival Amadeus in Montana, Paderewski Festival in California, the Sevenars Music Festival in Massachusetts, and the Henryk Wieniawski Festival in Poland. Kinga Augustyn frequently performs unaccompanied solo violin recitals. A unique artist, she has collaborated with The Jose Limon Dance Company in multiple performances at the Joyce Theater and Bryant Park in NYC.
Kinga Augustyn’s most recent recording of world premieres by the Polish composer Romuald Twardowski (b. 1930) has just been released on Naxos. Performed with the Torun Symphony Orchestra and maestro Mariusz Smolij, the project was initiated by Dr. Augustyn, who throughout the years has proven her commitment to increasing awareness of music by Polish composers. Previously, she had made a significant contribution to Polish music by recording a highly praised album of lesser known Polish Violin Music. Also released on Naxos, the Polish Violin Music album was called by The Strad Magazine a “fascinating traversar of a century and a half of virtuosic music from Poland”. The Fanfare Magazine compares the excitement in Augustyn’s performances of Zarzycki’s Mazurkas to David Oistrakh’s and it applauds her “fresh and dramatic approach to Lipinski’s music” predicting that it “shall bring her new admirers.” Music Web International calls Kinga Augustyn “another discovery.” Augustyn’s other recent and critically acclaimed recordings include the Mendelssohn and Bruch Violin Concerti with the Janacek Philharmonic Orchestra and Jakub Klecker, and the Telemann 12 Fantasias for Solo Violin, both on Centaur Records; Niccolo Paganini 24 Caprices for Solo Violin on RovenRecords; and Glen Roven’s Runaway Bunny Concerto performed with Catherine Zeta-Jones as a narrator and featuring Kinga Augustyn’s Solo Violin Cadenza on GPR Records. Her “exquisite playing” (Music Web International) is often praised for the profundity, deft phrasing, beautiful tone, mastery of the bow, and perfect intonation, to name a few.
Kinga Augustyn is an advocate of new music. She premieres and records new works, oftentimes written especially for her. A new album of exciting contemporary works will be released shortly. Most recently, Kinga has become interested in researching female composers, and has been collaborating with the New York Women Composers organization.
Ms. Augustyn has won international awards, including First Prizes at the Alexander & Buono International String Competition (NYC), Artist International Presentations (NYC), J. S. Bach String Competition (Zielona Gora, Poland), the 2015 Oustanding Pole Competition, category “Young Pole,” in the United States, and the 2017 "Young Poland" contest in Poland. Other top honors include prizes at the Johannes Brahms International Competition (Poertschach, Austria) and the Kloster Schoental International Young Artist Competition (Kloster Scheontal, Germany).
Kinga Augustyn began her music studies at the age of seven in her native Poland. Her first violin teachers were Aleksandra Bogdan and Zbigniew Szuflat. Musically she was also influenced by her mother, soprano Mariola Augustyn. She continued her musical education at The Juilliard School with Dorothy DeLay, Cho-Liang Lin, and Naoko Tanaka, and earned there both the Bachelor and the Master degrees. Augustyn also holds a doctorate from the Stony Brook University, where she worked with Phil Setzer and Pamela Frank. Her other former teachers include Petru Munteanu, Piotr Milewski, and Kurt Sassmannshauss. The last few years she has coached with Philip Greenberg, who is a former violin student of Josef Gingold and the Artistic Director of the Kiev Philharmonic.
As a teacher, Dr. Augustyn has served on the Violin Faculty for The Alexander & Buono Festival of Music. She has also conducted various violin, piano and chamber music masterclasses and workshops in the United States and Poland. Most recently they have taken place at Queens College, Florida Gulf Coast University, Millikin University and Wroclaw Music University.
Kinga Augustyn plays on an early 18th century violin made by Antonio Zanotti, generously on loan to her from a private collector.