An interview with Katarzyna Piotrowska, participant of the Santander Orchestra educational project

Do you remember how your adventure with music actually started? What is the role of music in your life?

I remember precisely my entrance exam to the music school. My parents told me many times ”Remember, when they ask you which instrument you want to play, you should say the guitar (my brother played the guitar), the violin or the viola”. But when during the exam the committee asked me which instrument I wanted to play I answered at once without even thinking „I want to play the violin”. I don’t know why but I was sure that it was the right instrument for me.

Music is my greatest passion in life. I have a strong inner need to experience music all the time. That’s why, I think, I don’t find practicing, rehearsing or playing concerts tiring at all. I always want more. The more I achieve the bigger my appetite gets. I have high ambitions and hopes related to music and I believe my passion and love for music will always stay so strong.

What are your goals in the world of music? How do you develop your career?

I try to have precisely defined music objectives. For a while I was looking for my own path but I think that this summer I realised what I wanted most from life. My goal is to become a member of one of the renowned orchestras in Poland or abroad but as a concertmaster or a lead second violinist. I hope I will have enough good luck and persistence to make this dream come true. I develop my career at different levels. I am open to various concert proposals, including both solo performances, and chamber and orchestra concerts. In addition to performing on stage I am actively engaged in organizing artistic events, particularly in my college which also gives me a lot of satisfaction and new experience.

In 2017, the Santander Orchestra Academy was founded which offers a series of practical but also theoretical classes, including such subjects as building an artistic portfolio or managing one’s image. What do you think about the project?

I think that both the practical and theoretical classes offered by the Santander Orchestra Academy are a very good idea. Nowadays musicians must be prepared to be their own managers. They should know how the market operates and how to find their way on the market after graduation. Such knowledge also helps to identify one’s own goals so it’s great that we can acquire it during the classes.

You have been one of the participants of the Santander Orchestra project from the very beginning. Which iteration of the project do you remember best and why?

That’s true. I have been associated with the Santander Orchestra from the beginning of its existence and I think the first season is the one that I have best memories of. I remember that for me, a sophomore at the time, the project had a kind of magic aura. I met wonderful people with whom I keep regularly in touch to date. I also remember the first iteration of the project as the most refined one. The tutors were excellent – renowned musicians from all over the world. The long residency in the European Centre of Music in Lusławice helped us prepare very well for the concert tour. And the tour itself, with performances in the most prestigious concert halls, was a great pleasure. It was the first time in my life that I had a chance to play in the majority of those venues.

What does Santander Orchestra mean to you?

In my opinion, Santander Orchestra is a unique educational project among many other initiatives which offers an opportunity to gain experience in playing in an orchestra and knowledge in such different fields as project management or social media. On top of all that, the European Centre of Music in Lusławice is a simply magic place which makes you want to return to the orchestra and experience once again all the exciting emotions associated with the project. Saying that, I already dream of the next iteration which I hope will be launched soon!

Santander Orchestra in numbers (valid as at October 2018):

  • 4 iterations of the programme
  • 64 best musicians from all over Poland
  • 5 conductors
  • 12,013 people in the audience
  • 7,000 records released
  • 10 musical pieces
  • 12 concerts
  • 4 soloists
  • 20 000 travelled during the concert tour
  • 216 hours of recordings