Christian Danowicz was born in 1983 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. At the age of four, he moved with his family to France. His father was his first violin teacher. He is a graduate of the Conservatory in Toulouse where he studied with Gilles Colliard. He completed his Master’s studies at Fryderyk Chopin University of Music in Warsaw, under the tutelage of Julia and Krzysztof Jakowicz, in 2010. The same year, he completed a Bachelor’s Degree from the opera and symphonic conducting class of Antoni Wit. He now studies conducting under the direction of prof. Tomasz Bugaj, at Fryderyk Chopin University. He is also pursuing doctoral studies at the Wroclaw Academy of Music under violin professor Jaroslaw Pietrzak. Danowicz is a laureate of the Tadeusz Wronski International Solo Violin Concourse in Warsaw and received first prize in the chamber music competition of the Duxbury Music Festival, in 2010. Since 2010, he has held the position of concertmaster of the Leopoldinum Chamber Orchestra, in Wroclaw. He performs regularly as a soloist and conductor with the ensemble, and as a member of the Leopoldinum Soloists Trio, he has received a scholarship to study for one year at the Escuela Superior de Musica Reina Sophia in Madrid, in the chamber class of G. Pichler.
Jakob Ludwig Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy was born in Hamburg on February 3, 1809 and died on November 4, 1847 in Leipzig. He was a German composer, pianist, organist and conductor. His music reflects a fundamental tension between Classicism and Romanticism in the generation of German composers after Beethoven. Felix was still young when his parents converted from Judaism to Christianity and changed the family name to Bartholdy in order to assimilate into German society. Felix went by Mendelssohn Bartholdy for the rest of his life, but he privately resented the change.
Mendelssohn composed five symphonies, numerous orchestral, stage and chamber works, and hundreds of vocal works, before his death at age thirty-eight. The String Octet, holds a unique place among Mendelssohn's works, however, as one of his first major successes. Mendelssohn was only sixteen when he composed it, intended as a birthday present for his friend and teacher, violinist Eduard Ritz. The string ensemble functions not as a pair of opposed quartets, common to older works, but as an integrated section. The piece is by all respects a symphony for reduced string orchestra, with a prominent violin solo part. From the almost minimalist textures in the Scherzo to the eight-part fugato in the Finale, Mendelssohn created a masterwork which his contemporary, German composer and violinist Louis Spohr, praised as "quite another kind of art." Mendelssohn’s parents were friends of the German poet and dramatist Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and a verse from Goethe's lyric poem Faust is believed to have inspired the Scherzo movement.
Wisps of cloud and mist
Are lit from above
Breeze in the foliage and wind in the reeds
And all is scattered.
Mendelssohn's String Symphony No. 10 was completed in May of 1823 when he was 14 years old. Only one movement has survived and it is uncertain whether the symphony was ever a multi-movement work, having been lost and rediscovered following World War Two. Felix completed this, as well as his other early symphonies, as an assignment in composition for his teacher Carl Zelter. Zelter’s conservative language is reflected in the piece’s form and style. The string symphonies of Carl Phillipp Emanuel Bach were an obvious inspiration to the young Mendelssohn in its writing and the slow introduction is reminiscent of Haydn, whose work he studied meticulously. The dramatisation, however, is pure Mendelssohn.
Mendelssohn was only 13 when he composed a piece in D minor for violin and string orchestra in 1822. The Violin Concerto in D minor is an obscure and unpublished work, uncovered and prepared for publication by Yehudi Menuhin in the early 1950s. The piece will not likely ever become standard repertory, but it is enjoyable to audiences and violinists play it, though few are willing to take the work seriously.
Alixandra Porembski, English Language Annotator