Janusz Olejniczak

Janusz Olejniczak is a prominent Polish pianist, praised by critics for his extraordinary sensitivity and spotless technique. His interpretations are evocative, logical, yet following from inspiration not matter-of-fact calculation.

Born in Wrocław, Poland, he began taking piano lessons at the age of six in Łódź. He then trained in Warsaw with Luiza Walewska, who taught him through the primary and secondary school of music. From 1967 to 1969 he studied under Ryszard Bakst and Zbigniew Drzewiecki. In 1967 Janusz Olejniczak took part in the the International Radio Competition for Young Musicians Concertino Prague, reaching the finals. At the age of 17 he performed at the International Rostrum of Young Performers in Paris, which made it possible for him to perform in a concert at Midem, Cannes (1970). From 1971 to 1973 he studied piano in Paris under Konstanty Schmaeling and Witold Małcużyński. Having returned to Warsaw, he completed the State Higher School of Music under Professor Barbara Hesse-Bukowska (1974), followed by post-graduate studies with Victor Merzhanov in Warsaw and Paul Badura-Skoda in Essen (1977–78). In 1970 Janusz Oleniczak won the 6th prize of the 8th International Fryderyk Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw, then the 4th prize of the Alfredo Caselli Competition in Naples in 1972.

He has performed almost all over Europe, Japan, both Americas, Cuba, and Australia. He played at the Berlin Philharmonic Hall, Tonhalle (Düsseldorf), Teatro Colón (Buenos Aires), Salle Pleyel (Paris), Suntory Hall (Tokyo), and Lincoln Center (Washington). He has played under the baton of: Witold Rowicki, Kazimierz Kord, Jerzy Maksymiuk, Marek Pijarowski, Charles Dutoit, Grzegorz Nowak, and Andrzej Markowski.

He has appeared at prestigious festivals in Duszniki Zdrój, Warsaw, Mariánské Lázně, Nohant, and Aix-en-Provence. He has performed in chamber settings with violinists, cellists, and singers.

Janusz Olejniczak has made a range of recordings for radio and television stations in Poland, France, Slovakia, and Japan, and prominent record labels including Polskie Nagrania Muza, Wifon, Tonpress, Selene, Camerata, Pony Canyon, Opus 111, and CD Accord.

He played the role of Chopin in Andrzej Żuławski’s film La note bleu, and recorded the soundtrack for Jerzy Antczak’s film Chopin: Desire for Love and Roman Polański’s Pianist. He taught the piano at the Kraków Academy of Music and master classes for pianists in Poland, Canada, and Japan. Janusz Olejniczak has sat on juries of a range of Polish and international piano competitions.