BERKELEY HEIGHTS—The Winnicki family trio, featuring violinist Elzbieta Winnicki, pianist Andrzej Winnicki, and marimbist Michael Winnicki, will perform Sunday, October 27 at 3:00 p.m. in the Wharton Institute for the Performing Arts Salon Series at the Performing Arts School located at 60 Locust Avenue in Berkeley Heights. The Cabaret-style seating on stage with the performers in Wharton’s black box theatre serves as the setting for an intimate concert showcasing works by Wieniawski and Shostakovich as well as Astor Piazzolla’s Spring, Autumn, and Invierno Porteño. Wine and cheese will be served.
Having immigrated to the United States from Poland in 1983, the musical family has performed at the Polish Cultural Foundation in Clark (NJ) and at the Kosciuszko Foundation and Polish Consulat General in New York. Both Elzbieta and Andrzej received formal training in Poland and return annually to visit family and reconnect with their roots. All three members of the ensemble have served on the faculty of the Wharton Institute for the Performing Arts.
Says Elzbieta Winnicki, “I’ve been teaching violin at Wharton Arts for 26 years, and both my husband Andrzej and son Michael have served as instructors of piano, introduction to music technology, and percussion, so it is very special for us to be able to perform together on this concert series.”
“We chose three movements from Piazzolla’s The Four Seasons of Buenos Aires for our love of tango and anticipate the audience will highly enjoy the arrangement by Jose Bragato for violin, cello (to be played by my son Michael on marimba), and piano,“ continues Winnicki. “The Five Pieces by Shostakovich were originally written for two violins and piano accompaniment. As the story goes, Shostakovich as a young man had a job playing piano for silent movies—essentially improvising a live soundtrack—and based on this experience he composed these miniatures like a reel of scenes, each one a short story including a prelude, an elegy, and three dances.”
Tickets are $12 for adults, $6 for seniors, and free for all Wharton Institute for the Performing Arts students. Tickets are available at the door or by calling 908-790-0700. For full concert details, visit www.WhartonArts.org.
Elzbieta Winnicki is an active violinist and pedagogue. She is a faculty member of Fairleigh Dickinson University and Wharton Institute for the Performing Arts, where she has directed the String Camp for 14 summers. Her orchestral experience includes the Riverside Symphonia, Plainfield Symphony, Capital Philharmonic, Bravura Philharmonic, Bedford Spring Festival Orchestra, Spoleto Festival Orchestra In Italy, and the Szczecin Symphony Orchestra in Poland. She graduated from the Academy of Music in Wrocław, Poland with continued studies in the United States with Oscar Ravina of the New York Philharmonic. She has appeared at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, Carnegie Hall, and Avery Fisher Hall and has toured in Italy, South Korea, and China.
Andrzej Winnicki studied piano, accordion, and composition in his native Poland. In 2004, he formed the Komeda Project to pay homage to the legendary Polish film composer-jazz pianist Krzysztof Komeda. As a part of this project, he released two critically acclaimed CDs on the MW Records label: Crazy Girl (2007) and Requiem (2010). His newest recording, From a Familiar Place with son Michael Winnicki on drums, was selected as February 2018 DownBeat Magazine Editors' Pick. He is an active instructor and accompanist, teaching classical and jazz piano at Elefante Music School and Wharton Institute for the Performing Arts.
Michael Winnicki is a New York-based percussionist and recent graduate of Rutgers University with a double major in classical percussion and jazz drum set performance. He has performed at The Blue Note and Carnegie Hall in addition to touring Japan, Italy, and Poland. He has performed with the Plainfield Symphony and Komeda Project Quintet and regularly works as a modern dance accompanist at Rutgers University and Montclair State University.
The Wharton Institute for the Performing Arts’ mission is to provide the highest quality performing arts education to a wide range of students in a supportive and inclusive environment, where striving for personal excellence inspires and connects those we teach to the communities we serve.
Wharton is New Jersey’s largest independent non-profit community performing arts education center serving over 1,500 students through a range of classes and ensembles including the 15 ensembles of the New Jersey Youth Symphony, which serve 500 students in grades 3 – 12 by audition. Beginning with Out of the Box Music and Pathways classes for young children, Wharton offers private lessons, group classes, and ensembles for all ages and all abilities at the Performing Arts School. With the belief in the positive and unifying influence of music and the performing arts and that arts education should be accessible to all people regardless of their ability to pay, Wharton teaches all instruments and voice and has a robust musical theater program. Based in Paterson, New Jersey, the Paterson Music Project is an El Sistema-inspired program of the Wharton Institute for the Performing Arts that uses music as a vehicle for social change by empowering and inspiring children through the community experience of ensemble learning and playing.
Wharton Institute for the Performing Arts is located in Berkeley Heights, New Providence and Paterson, NJ and reaches students from 10 counties. All of Wharton’s extraordinary faculty members and conductors hold degrees in their teaching specialty and have been vetted and trained to enable our students to achieve their personal best.