New concertmaster at Berlin Philharmonic

Krzysztof Polonek of the Berlin Piano Trio has won the vacant concertmaster’s seat at the Berlin Phil.

He is already a member of the orchestra.

From his official Berlin Phil c.v.: Krzysztof Polonek studied first at Berlin’s Universität der Künste with Tomasz Tomaszewski, later with Thomas Brandis at the Lübeck Musikhochschule, where he completed his studies with a concert exam. Additionally he gave a graduate concert in the chamber music department of the Hanover Musikhochschule and received grants from the Seymour Obermer Foundation in Switzerland, the Ferenc Fricsay Society in Berlin and the Villa Musica of the German state of Rhineland-Palatinate. He began his orchestral career in 2001 as 2nd Konzertmeister of the Deutsche Oper in Berlin. Engagements followed in leading positions at the Dresden Philharmonic and Berlin’s Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester before he became a member of the Berliner Philharmoniker.

UPDATE: This just in from the Berlin Phil –

We congratulate Krzysztof Polonek who won the audition for the position of concertmaster on 14 February. He succeeds Andreas Buschatz, who left the Berliner Philharmoniker in 2017. The Krakow-born violinist, who has been a member of the first violin section since 2009, comes from a family of musicians. His father, the violist Zdzisław Polonek, was also a member of the Berliner Philharmoniker. Krzysztof Polonek, who studied under Tomasz Tomaszewski at Berlin University of the Arts, under Thomas Brandis at the University of Music Lübeck and under Markus Becker at the University of Music, Drama und Media Hanover, began his orchestral career in 2001 as second concertmaster with Deutsche Oper Berlin.

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  • Isn’t there another Polish guy as concertmaster. The one who recorded double concertos with Nigel Kennedy ?

  • Note – this position is slightly lower in rank than the three 1st Concertmasters – Noah Bendix-Balgley, Daishin Kashimoto, and Daniel Stabrawa. It was previously held by Andreas Buschatz, who left for a 1st Concertmaster position at the Leipzig Gewandhausorchester, and before that by Rainer Sonne, who was appointed in the 70s under Karajan.

    • Norman, please consider getting rid of these thumbs up/down icons. I love as much as anyone to see a bunch of thumbs-up(s) to one of my well-considered posts or takedowns of some insufferable bore (and sometimes even the thumbs-downs). But what’s the point of people approving/disapproving comments or questions seeking or sharing factual information? Just makes it a bit of a trolling game, rather than a sharing of insight.

  • Now anwser for former questions: Even if he’s title is “concertmaster” – Mr. Polonek is practically associate / 2nd concertmaster. There is three 1st concertmasters (normal in German) and Mr. Polonek would be 2nd.
    And even that he’s “just” 2nd, he will have a lot of leading etc. I remember when Andreas Buschatz was still 2nd concertmaster in BPO, he played big solos of Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade and Strauss’s Ein Heldenleben + he was quite often the leader when no one 1st concertmaster wasn’t in action. So was it 1st or 2nd – the concertmaster position in BPO is always a big thing.
    And btw, in 2022 Daniel Stabrawa (one of 1st concertmasters) is in retirement age so then is the next concertmaster audition.

  • I played quartett with him when we were at UdK. He is a fine violinist and and excellent orchestral musician. Fully deserving of the 2nd Konzertmeister chair. And good policy of the BPh to promote an internal candidate. For the 1st chair they dont do that.

    • Actually before Daniel Stabrava was appointed 1st concertmaster, he was already first violinist in BPO.
      And same thing as former 1st concertmaster Toru Yasunaga (Daishin Kashimoto’s predecessor) – he too was tutti violinist before promotion to 1st concertmaster.

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