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Maciej Rakowski

MA, Dip Solo Performance

Born and trained in Poland, Maciej won his first major competition aged 14. He studied at the Warsaw Conservatoire, graduating from the class of Krzysztof Jakowicz. After this he continued his chamber music studies in Budapest with Vilmos Tatrai, winning quartet competitions in Warsaw, Rotterdam and Lodz. With his quartet he collaborated with the composers Lutoslawski and Penderecki, giving chamber and solo recitals across Europe and Scandinavia. After moving to the UK in 1976, Maciej was a founder member of the Spohr Quartet with principal players from the English Chamber Orchestra, giving concerts around the United Kingdom. 

As a soloist, engagements have included performances with the English Chamber Orchestra in England, Spain and the Bahamas and notably in Germany in November 1989 at the time of the fall of the Berlin Wall, where Maciej performed under the baton of Lord Menuhin playing Menuhin's Guarneri del Gesù violin, the "Lord Wilton". Enjoying 14 years with the ECO, many as Associate Leader, he also directed the orchestra with Mstislav Rostrovopich on tour in Finland. With the ECO, Maciej has collaborated with soloists and conductors including Pinchas Zukerman, Daniel Barenboim, Lorin Maazel, Henryk Szeryng, Murray Perahia, Mitsuko Uchida, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Isaac Stern, Gidon Kremer and Jessye Norman amongst others. He has toured Europe, Canada, Japan, North and South America and Scandinavia playing in all the major concert halls. Greatly in demand as a leader, Maciej has often been invited to be the guest leader of many orchestras including the London Symphony Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and the Hallé Orchestra.

Maciej has achieved enormous success as a teacher with many of his students achieving international acclaim. He was Nicola Benedetti's teacher for many years during the time when she won the BBC Young Musician of the Year Competition and throughout her first disc recordings. Other students have been prize-winners in the Menuhin Competition, the Nielsen Competition and quartet competitions in Australia and Hungary. Maciej taught at the RNCM for twenty-three years, at the Purcell School and at the Yehudi Menuhin School. He is now a professor at the RCM. Invitations to give masterclasses have come from most of the English conservatoires and he is regularly invited to the Academy of Music in Gdansk to give masterclasses and to coach. For a number of years Maciej also had a class at the Lake District Summer Music School and he has given masterclasses at the Valdres Festival in Norway. He was on the jury of the Manchester International Violin Competition 2011 and for the violin-making competition which was part of the Menuhin Competition in 2004.

Maciej plays on a J.B. Guadagnini violin, the "Burmester"

Faculties / departments: Strings


For enquires please contact:

Maciej Rakowski

Violin professor