A leading cellist dies of brain cancer at 40

A leading cellist dies of brain cancer at 40


norman lebrecht

June 21, 2018

The tragic death has been announced of the Polish virtuoso Dominik Połoński, a cellist who overcame physical disability to play with his right hand alone.

A winner of the Lutoslawski Competition, Dominik was starting to perform on the world stage when he was diagnosed with brain cancer in 2004. After several operations, he was left with the use of just one hand, but his determination to play drew a number of Polish composers to write pieces for him.

His battle with adversity was a national inspiration.

May his brave soul find peace.


Dame Evelyn Glennie writes: 

I am deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Dominik Polonski…no talent could shine brighter.

I had the great pleasure of playing with Dominik in the Double Concerto for Cello by Olga Hans, who wrote ‘The Second Cello Concerto on the Right Hand’ for Dominik. Indeed, ‘Songs for the Right Hand’ constituted a collection of pieces composed by a series of composers especially for Dominik talents.

My thoughts are with his family, friends and the colleagues who were privileged to work with him. He will be missed.



  • Sue says:

    People – stop putting mobile phones up to your heads!! This tragedy should be a reminder of the increasingly toxic modern technology we are all addicted to and which could very possibly have led to this musician’s ridiculously early death. Yeah, the jury is still out – but why tempt fate?

  • Andrey says:

    Its really very sad news.
    He was a great character.