Today I had the great honor of being a guest at Radio RAM’s Sunday Lunch hosted by superb personalities Terry Clark-Ward and Maciek Przestalski. During the program we talked about the trombone as an instrument, my journey in music, and my life in Wroclaw, including a couple clips of my recordings (Grondahl’s Trombone Concerto accompanied by Roberta Garten, and the third movement of Ewazen’s Sonata performed with Monika Hanus). Also mentioned is this Friday’s NFM Wroclaw Philharmonic performance conducted by maestro Giancarlo Guerrero. Thank you very much to the hosts and the National Forum of Music for coordinating the interview. It was a great experience!

W czasie tegorocznych wakacji miałem zaszczyt brać udział jako wykładowca w IV Letnich Torturach Muzycznych w Wadowicach – kursach, które odbywały się między 20 a 28 sierpnia. 

Państwowa Szkoła Muzyczna I i II stopnia w Wadowicach

Każdy dzień zaczynaliśmy rozgrzewką, skupiając się przede wszystkim na oddychaniu, emisji dźwięku oraz innych elementach, które tworzą podstawę w rozwoju i ulepszaniu gry na puzonie.

Po rozgrzewce pracowałem z uczniami nad przygotowaniem utworów. Podczas tych zajęć skupialiśmy się głównie na elementach muzycznych, takich jak charakter, frazowanie, itd. 

Podczas zajęć z uczestnikiem. © Jarek Cajsel

Oprócz tych codziennych zajęć i rozgrywek, miałem przyjemność wziąć udział w zaplanowanych koncertach, z big bandem „Esposas” pod kierunkiem Ryszarda Krawczuka, a także z orkiestrą dętą, pod batutą Mariusza Płonki. 

Big band “Esposas” podczas koncertu. © Jarek Cajsel

W towarzystwie znakomitych muzyków miałem możliwość wystąpić jako solista, przy akompaniamencie Małgorzaty Pieniążek oraz w utworze “Fandango” Josepha Turrina z Anną Mendoncą przy fortepianie i Jakubem Waszczeniukiem na trąbce.

Chciałbym bardzo podziękować organizatorowi, Panu Janowi Kamińskiemu za zaproszenie oraz pogratulować wszystkim wykładowcom, uczniom, a także woluntariuszom, za wspaniałą robotę i stworzenie miłej atmosfery podczas tego znakomitego, a przede wszystkim intensywnego wydarzenia muzycznego! 

Wykładowcy (znane także jako Torturujący) © Jarek Cajsel

In this post I’d like to share some recordings from my years at the Colburn School. Once a month the Colburn Orchestra would perform a concert. During the three years I was a student in Los Angeles, we had the fortune to work with conductors like Gustavo Dudamel, Kurt Masur, Sir Neville Marriner, James Conlon, Michael Stern, Jahja Ling, and Yehuda Gilad, among others. The opportunity to work though the standard orchestral repertoire with conductors of this calibre and fellow students was crucial to my development as an orchestral trombone player and has informed much of the way I prepare music to this day.

First and fourth movement from Brahms’ Second Symphony conducted by Yehuda Gilad

Second movement from Shostakovich’s First Symphony conducted by James Conlon

First part from Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring conducted by James Conlon

First movement from Tchaikovsky’s Fourth Symphony conducted by Yehuda Gilad

Going through my hard drive, I came across some old recordings of myself. It had been a long time since I’d listened to them and thought it would be interesting to share them.

The first recording is from 2003, when I was still a student in Tenerife. I recorded the first movement of the Tomasi Concerto for a trombone competition. I was 17 years old at the time. Even though I feel the piece was over my head at that point, I think there is some really nice playing!

My second recording is a video from a live performance I gave in El Hierro, the island where I grew up. It’s from the summer of 2005 and I performed the third movement of the Tomasi Concerto. (Video coming soon :))

In 2007, while I was a student at the Rotterdam Conservatory, I recorded an audition tape for the Music Academy of the West, in Santa Barbara, California. The first movement of the Grondahl Concerto was my solo of choice. I have always liked this movement because it displays wonderfully the vast range of character our instrument is capable of producing!

The last recording is from 2010, from my first recital as a student at The Colburn School, in Los Angeles. I performed Jan Sandstrom’s Cantos de La Mancha for trombone and tape. What a fantastic piece! Unfortunately, I don’t have a video recording, since there is a lot of acting involved which isn’t perceivable in an audio format.

It is fascinating to hear how I used to struggle with certain aspects of my playing and how a couple of years later I was able to fix things and improve. However, it is equally fascinating to see how there are  also aspects, I struggle with now, that used to come very naturally to my playing. There is always and will always be work to be done.

2020 is proving to be a very challenging year. All of us have been affected in one way or another by the COVID-19 pandemic, with human losses being the most tragic consequence. Many cultural events have been put on hold as a result, turning what, at first, we thought would be a brief halt, into a crisis as severe, if not more so, than the financial fallout of 2008.

However, through readily available technology, as well as the determination and altruism of performers and organizers, music has still had the power to reach audiences. This was certainly  the case with this year’s Żywieckie Suwakowanie trombone festival, which normally takes place during the summer, in Żywiec, Poland.

I had the honor of taking part in this year’s event as a soloist, a member of the Trombosphere trombone octet, and as an educator, offering private instruction over the web.

The festival also included daily lectures from renowned trombone players from within Poland. Recordings, of which, are available at the festival’s YouTube channel.

Trombosphere performed the inaugurational concert with selections by Ewa Fabiańska-Jelińska, Johann Sebastian Bach, Franz Biebl, Gordon Jacob, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky and John Williams.

Inauguration concert featuring Trombosphere, Regina Gowarzewska, presenter

On Friday, September 25th, I performed Sonatine for Trombone and Piano by Jacques Castérède alongside, wonderful pianist, Monika Hanus, as part of a special showcase for soloists. 

In order of appearance: Eloy Panizo Padron, Monika Hanus, Zdzisław Stolarczyk, Mirella Malorny-Konopka, Karol Gajda, Jakub Urbanczyk, Natalia Domanska, Tomasz Hajda

Trombosphere closed the festival with a concert of popular upbeat selections. Listening to them, I cannot help but feel optimistic that we will navigate our current situation and we’ll be able to see each other in person at next years’ festival, in Żywiec.

We are very pleased to announce an exciting new project in Poland! TromboSphere is a trombone octet comprised of the top trombone players from Poland’s leading Symphony Orchestras! Our members include:

  • Karol Gajda – National Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra
  • Jarek Meisner – Polish Baltic Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Eloy Panizo Padrón – National Forum of Music Wroclaw Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Wojciech Jeliński – Poznan Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Mateusz Konopka – Silesian Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Tomasz Hajda – National Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra
  • Piotr Misiak – Silesian Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Tomasz Kaczor – The Grand Theatre Orchestra of Poznan

Despite the fact that the ensemble came to fruition during the COVID-19 global pandemic, we have already planned a number of exciting projects that will be realized in short order. Stay tuned by Liking and Following our Facebook page!

I’ve just returned from a successful United States tour with the NFM Wroclaw Philharmonic Orchestra. We performed twelve concerts over a period of four weeks, starting in Florida (Ft. Myers, Gainesville, Daytona Beach, and West Palm Beach), continuing to Greenville S.C., Nashville TN, Carmel IN, Chicago IL, Wickenburg AZ, and finishing in California (Orange, Palo Alto and Rohnert Park).

We performed three different programs including, Brahms’ First Symphony, Dvorak’s Ninth Symphony, Lutoslawski’s Concerto for Orchestra and Symphonic Variations, and Szymanowski’s Concert Overture.

The NFM Wroclaw Philharmonic Low Brass Section joined by Jake Mezera in our concert at Schermerhorn Symphony Center in Nashville, TN

The chance to perform in Orchestra Hall at Symphony Center, in Chicago, was without a doubt the highlight of the tour! To our delight, the orchestra was well received at every venue were it performed, impressing critics and earning praise from audiences.

On a more personal level, it was also a great opportunity for me to see family and friends, as well as reconnect with fellow alumni and my professor, Mark Lawrence, from The Colburn School, who I hadn’t seen since my graduation, nine years ago.

The NFM Wroclaw Philharmonic Low Brass Section after our concert at Symphony Center in Chicago

Last month, I returned to the Żywieckie Suwakowanie for the second year in a row. The festival is a week long, during which, students, amateurs and professionals from Poland and abroad exchange ideas, experiences, and come together to make music!

This year’s artists were Mateusz Dwulecki, György Gyivicsan and Krunoslav Babic, each of whom performed wonderful solos in a showcase concert accompanied by Natalia Domańska at the piano.

From left to right: Me, Peter Malton, Tomasz Hajda, Wojciech Jeliński, György Gyivicsan, Jakub Domański, Natalia Domańska, Jan-Olof Skalenius, Krunoslav Babic

During the week, I had the pleasure to teach, play with the trombone choir in several concerts, and perform with this year’s festival trombone ensemble. I cannot wait to go back next year! I hope to see you in Żywiec!

A couple of months ago, I had the opportunity to record, Rafał Augustyn‘s Miroirs, for five performers (1995) alongside colleagues Władysław Kosendiak (saxophone), Wojciech Buliński (percussion), Janusz Musiał (double bass) and Krzysztof Książek (piano).

The composition’s complexity, due in part to constant changes in meter as well as demanding technical proficiency from each player, made the recording very challenging.

The piece is divided into three short intense movements.

The first movement is based on a theme that is kept from developing by continuous interruptions in the other voices. Towards the conclusion, a moment of respite manifests itself and the music becomes static and even peaceful, but this state of tranquility is swiftly broken by further intrusions.

The second movement consists of the reading of a text by the composer, in Esperanto. The effect evokes the experience of attending a lecture about something not fully understood. Fanfares, chorals and repeated patterns in the piano part accompany the text as it gradually disappears.

The opening of the third movement reminds me of the opening of the last movement of Witold Lutoslawski’s Concerto for Orchestra. The music builds in complexity and volume ultimately leading to a danceable section of multi-meter rhythms and a melody invariably played in canon.

The recording is available in its entirety on Spotify by clicking on the embedded player and logging-in.


W zeszłym tygodniu miałem przyjemność grać ten utwór jako solista z kolegami z Filharmonii Wrocławskiej pod batutą naszego dyrektora muzycznego Giancarlo Guerrero.

To jest nietypowy koncert, w którym występują jako soliści flet, obój, klarnet, fagot, waltornia, trąbka, puzon i kotły. Koncert został skomponowane przez szwajcarskiego artystę Franka Martina w 1949 roku.

Pierwszą część koncertu cechują interesujące rytmy jazzowe, które sprawiają uczucie lekkości muzyki.

Moją ulubioną częścią jest druga część. To jest o wiele wolniejsza i cięższa w porównaniu z pierwszą częścią. To zaczyna i kończy się tym samym nieustannym rytmem marszowem. Każdy solista może pokazać swoją śpiewającą zdolność przez piękne melodie.

Trzecia część jest bardzo taneczna. Tutaj można słuchać marszów i nawet melodii przypominających folklor hiszpański.

To było wspaniałe doświadczenie. Publiczność zareagowała wielkimi brawami po zakończeniu utworu.

La semana pasada tuve el placer de tocar este concierto junto a mis colegas de la Orquesta Filarmónica de Wroclaw bajo la dirección de nuestro director artístico Giancarlo Guerrero.

Este es un concierto excepcional para flauta, oboe, clarinete, fagot, trompa, trompeta, trombón y timbales, compuesto por el artista suizo Frank Martin en 1949.

El primer movimiento del concierto se caracteriza por interesantes ritmos de jazz, los cuales aportan ligereza a la música.

El segundo movimiento es mi favorito. Es mucho más lento y pesado en comparación con el primero. Empieza y acaba con un incesante ritmo marcial. Cada solista puede mostrar su habilidad lírica a través de preciosas melodías.

El tercer movimiento es muy bailable. Se pueden escuchar marchas e incluso melodías que recuerdan al folclore español.

Fue una experiencia muy gratificante. El público nos recompensó con una gran ovación al finalizar el concierto.

From left to right: Me, Diego Yañez Busto (timpani), Wojciech Merena (oboe), Jan Krzeszowiec (flute), Maciej Dobosz (clarinet), Mateusz Feliński (french horn), Aleksander Kobus (trumpet) and Alicja Kieruzalska (bassoon)