Cecylia Barczyk has achieved international recognition as a complete artist, successful teacher, and great humanitarian. She has given concerts, recitals, and master classes throughout Europe, Asia, North and South America and has appeared as a soloist with prominent orchestras including those of Amman, Baltimore, Beijing, Berlin, Boston, Berlin, Bucharest, Budapest, Jakarta, Leipzig, London, Moscow, New York, Prague, Rio de Janeiro, Salvador, Seoul, Shanghai, Sofia, St. Petersburg, Taiwan, Tel Aviv, Tianjin, Tokyo, Vilnius, and Warsaw. She has frequently performed on radio and television and has recorded much of the standard and new cello literature – as well as works composed especially for her – on the Muza, ICRecords, Melodya, Relief, and CRS labels.
Ms. Barczyk began studying cello at a young age and soon drew the attention of great musicians. Among her mentors were Marian Miendlar, Kazimierz Wilkomirski, Natalya Gutman, and Aldo Parisot. She studied at the Chopin Academy of Music (Warsaw), Moscow Conservatory of Music, and Yale School of Music; receiving advanced degrees with highest honors. She won prizes in prestigious music competitions including the Danczowski Cello Competition (Poznan), Pablo Casals Cello Competition (Budapest), Tchaikovsky Competition (Moscow), Aldo Parisot International Cello Competition (Brazil), J.S. Bach International Competition (Leipzig), Cassado International Cello Competition (Florence), and W.C. Byrd Young Artists Competition (Michigan).
Over the years Ms. Barczyk has received numerous awards and honors for her musical and pedagogical achievements. The Maryland Chapter of the American String Teachers Association twice voted her “Teacher of the Year” (1995 and 2004). The Tianjin Conservatory of Music (China) bestowed on her the title “Distinguished Honorary Professor.” The International Friends of the Cello Association honored her with the “Award for Great Achievements in Cello Music.” The International Music Tribute to Paderewski Committee honored her with the “Paderewki Award for Contributions to Society and Culture.” The Minister of Culture of the Republic of Poland presented her with a medal of recognition for outstanding musical achievement.
She served as Professor of Cello at Towson University (Maryland) for 38 years until May 2021, continuing her solo career while educating young cellists from virtually every part of the globe. Several of her students received top prizes in national/international music competitions (including the Kumho International Competition in Helsinki, the Young Concert Artists Auditions of New York, and the Corpus Christi Young Artists Competition). She is a frequent adjudicator of international music competitions, and a regular faculty member of advanced summer music courses in the USA and Europe. In 2003 she was appointed Artistic Director of the International Music Institute and Festival USA.
In 1986, Ms. Barczyk founded the International Cello Festival at Towson University. The ICF has attracted attention for innovative themed-concerts, such as “Music for the Mind, Feet, and Soul,” “Music from Vietnam,” “Music from Iceland,” and “Music for Peace in the Middle East.” The 2006 festival included the world-premier of a composition by the American composer Jody Nagel for two cellos and orchestra (performed together with her daughter, Frances Borowsky). Ms. Barczyk has also been among the organizers of the World Cello Congresses in St. Petersburg and Baltimore.
Recent performances have taken Ms. Barczyk to China, Germany, Poland, and Ukraine.
FROM THE PRESS
"One could write a long story about Cecylia Barczyk’s unrestrained technique, beautiful sound, musical sensitivity, and unlimited creativity. . . . She is a virtuoso in every way!”
The Warsaw Life (Poland)
"Cecylia Barczyk played with an appealing intensity."
The New York Times (USA)
“The concert was a musical heaven. She deeply impressed the audience with her virtuosity.”
China Music P.R. (China)
"She is the Grande Dame of classical music.”
Gwiazda Polarna (USA)
"Cecylia Barczyk is not only a magnificent cellist, but also a most eminent teacher.”
The Jakarta Post (Indonesia)
“Barczyk carried it all off with an ease and grace that would compare with a young Pablo Casals. . . . She let her flair for showmanship come to the surface so that it came off with a spectacular series of fireworks that was little short of miraculous.”
Waterbury American (USA)
"Her cello sounded like an oratorical speech full of dramatic and sublime declamation, like a chant filled with lofty poetry and deep philosophy.”
Sovietskaya Cultura (Russia)
"Thank you very much for the beautiful performance of my cello sonata at your Tully Hall recital. It contained cello playing of the highest quality. . . . It was most highly communicative and effective. . . . I am most grateful for your devotion and understanding of my work and your outstanding ability to put it across to the audience.”
Elliott Carter (USA)
"At the Japan Teleman Monthly concert she proved herself a brilliant virtuoso.”
"Cecylia indeed is a top cellist and teacher. We all admire her achievements and humility.”
Aldo Parisot (USA)
"Her performance was awesome! . . . Her closing number by the Polish composer left me breathless.”
The Leader Post (Canada)
“Cecylia Barczyk deeply impressed the audience from the first moment of touching her cello. She is the world's First Lady of the Cello."
Simon Krosky, (Russia)
“Ms. Barczyk gave a scintillating rendition of the Dvorak Concerto. She delivered her solo lines with expressive sensitivity, technical virtuosity, a passionate singing tonal coloring, and an obviously ardent and intelligent communication.”
The Manila Times (Phillipines)
"Barczyk is a lyrical rather than a bold cellist. . . . She played with sympathy, intensity, touching sincerity, and great authority.”
The Washington Post (USA)
"Barczyk gave an outstanding interpretation of Chopin’s works at the Schauspielhaus concert.”
Berliner Morgenpost (Germany)
"It was Cecylia Barczyk’s love for her instrument that gave birth to the International Cello Festival in Maryland. Obviously her virtuosity is personal as well as musical.”
The Baltimore Sun (USA)
"Cecylia Barczyk is a superb musician. Her playing is both dynamic and intelligent.”
Die Union Dresden (Germany)
"Magnificent interpretation of Bach! Excellent technique, beautiful tone, and noble phrasing.”
Daniel Shafran (Russia)