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Violinist unveiled as first Artist-in-Residence

Published: 12 February 2018 at 16:31

Alicja Smietana stood in front of a black background, holding a violin down by her hip.

Anglia Ruskin’s Department of Music and Performing Arts welcomes Alicja Smietana

Talented violinist Alicja Smietana has been announced as Anglia Ruskin University’s first Artist-in-Residence in the Department of Music and Performing Arts.

Following her dazzling concert at the Mumford Theatre last October, which was part of Anglia Ruskin’s lunchtime concert series, Alicja will be presenting further public concerts, guest talks and workshops over the next nine months. 

Paul Jackson, Director of Music and Performance, said: 
“We are thrilled to welcome Alicja to Anglia Ruskin.  It is the first time we have initiated something like this, and I know that what Alicja has planned will be hugely beneficial to our students and our local community.”

Born in Poland in 1983, Alicja studied at the Krakow Academy of Music, the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, and the Kronberg Academy, and has become a renowned and respected practitioner across several disciplines, winning several awards and prizes along the way. 

Described by BBC Music Magazine as “a powerful player with bagfuls of personality who takes admirable risks”, Alicja has performed as a soloist and chamber musician with such world-famous musicians as Gidon Kremer, Nigel Kennedy, Ivan Monighetti, Yuri Bashmet, Martha Argerich, Simon Rattle, Gustav Dudamel and Boris Pergamenshikov.

In addition to her work as both a classical and jazz violinist, Alicja is equally active as a bandleader, arranger and composer.  It is this multi-disciplinary approach to music making and performing that Alicja says “makes this whole project so much more interesting”. 

She added: 


“I’m very excited about the new artistic residency at Anglia Ruskin University. Over the last few years I have learned that it is an institution with a very progressive approach to music and art, which is so promising for our cooperation.”

Alicja plans to give workshops demonstrating and developing baroque traditions, as well as her unique approach to free improvisation and experimental music.  She will also be taking advantage of the university’s state-of-the-art Digital Performance Laboratory and surround sound-equipped concert hall to present works for violin and electronics, and to investigate with students the importance of lighting, visuals and staging when performing contemporary works. 

Her first performance will be with the Smietana Ensemble on Friday, 13 April in the Music Recital Hall at Anglia Ruskin’s Cambridge campus, in a programme featuring Bach’s Goldberg Variations, Vivaldi’s La Follia, and Philip Glass’ String Quartet No. 2.