ZUMI Piano Duo
The ZUMI Piano Duo was established in 2007 in Montreal and features Mikolaj Warszynski and Zuzana Šimurdová – both concert pianists are versatile performers who enjoy playing a wide range of genres, as well as offering a unique alternative approach to traditional presentation. In addition to performing piano duo for four-hands and two pianos, they enjoy alternating solo repertoire and/or chamber music.
Since inception, ZUMI Duo has been regularly featured in the performance of music by contemporary composers. In 2007, they gave the Canadian premiere of Claude Vivier’s Disintegration for two pianos, at the Theatre de la Gésu in Montreal, as part of the Serie Hommage of the Société de musique contemporaine du Quebec. In 2009, they made their debut recital in Poland, during the prestigious contemporary music festival Swietokrzyskie Dni Muzyczne, held annually in the philharmonic hall in the city of Kielce. Also in 2009, during the Chopin bicentennial, they launched a cross-Canada tour featuring his concertos in the composer- favoured version for piano and string quartet/quintet, alongside multimedia educational Chopin recitals for Chopin2010 Alberta.
The ZUMI Duo has went on to perform across Canada, France, Poland, Austria, Czech Republic, Italy, South Korea,, and have successfully undertaken two national tours of China, performing concerts in auditoriums in major centres across that country. In 2014, the duo became the Laureates of an Artist residency at the Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris.
In Poland, ZUMI duo has opened for the Chopin on the Motława River concert cycle in Gdańsk; performed at the Iwaszkiewicz Muzeum and the Canadian Embassy in Warsaw; as soloists with the Kielce Philharmonic in Poulenc’s Two Piano Concerto. In Czech Republic, they were invited to perform at the Janacek Hukvaldy Festival, at the Janacek Academy in Brno; in Paris at the Société Historique et Literaire polonaise; in Vienna at the Alten Rathaus and at the Heiligenkreuz Gutenbrunn castle.
The ZUMI Piano Duo has been in high demand at performance venues in the Edmonton area, and has been invited to play at the King’s University Noon Tunes, Concordia University, McDougal Concert series, and at the Lenten concert series at the Holy Trinity Church. The Duo has often been featured at concerts of the Wirth Institute for Austrian and Central European Studies at the University of Alberta, most recently as part of the 20th and 21st anniversary on-line Christmas concerts, organized during the pandemic. ZUMI Piano Duo was also able to live-stream a series of concerts from their home studio in collaboration with, among others, Music at Southminster in Ottawa, Czechoslovak Society of Arts and Sciences, and Polish Culture Society. During the pandemic, they also enjoyed playing in a series of pop-up concerts around Edmonton communities, initiated by the Mazurka Music and Art Society.
ZUMI Piano Duo has continued to perform contemporary Canadian music and received commissions, which they premiered in recitals in Alberta and elsewhere, including New Music Edmonton’s 2017 Hear This Now festival.
Thanks to a grant from the Canada Council for the Arts in 2022, the ZUMI Piano Duo has undertaken a recording project of a series of online video performances of contemporary Canadian composers, with select video performances taking place in Vienna at the Steinway House, and in Hradec Kralove in Czech Republic at the Petrof factory. These and other videos are all accessible to view on the ZUMI Piano Duo YouTube Page.
The pianist Karel Jaša comes from Cesky Tesin (Czech Rep.) and he is an interpreter of new generation. In his early childhood, he was provided with a good musical foundation. Along with the piano he generally attended music classes aimed to singing. Despite of this, he successfully passed the piano talent exam at Janacek conservatory in Ostrava in 1994 (Czech Rep.).
After 6-year studies he determined to continue and was accepted to Music Faculty of Janacek Academy of Music and Performing Arts in Brno (Czech Rep.). During his studies he had taken part in a several solo competitions (i.e. Firkusny's contest in Prague) or chamber music competitions (L. Janacek in Brno Award competition, Beethoven's Hradec).
In 2004-2005 he obtained a year scholarship of Czech Government at Academy of Music and Performing Arts of F. Chopin in Warsaw (Poland). During the following year (2005-2006) he was given another scholarship accessing him further education at University of Leeds in the United Kingdom which was run by Socrates Erasmus.
Karel Jasa is a participator of international interpretation courses sponsored by publicly operating artists and politicians, too. His carrier, as a lecture, he began in compulsory piano and accompaniments at the Janacek Conservatory, Ostrava in 2011. His main areas of expertise include the saxophone, clarinet as well as violin.
Later, 2017 – 2019, he acted as a lecture and accompanist in Dubai (UAE). His current employment is at the People’s Conservatory of Ostrava, commenced in 2019. K. Jasa is generally considered as an interpreter of romantic music works composers (F. Chopin, F. Liszt) but also of 18th and 20th century music.
Including the Czech Republic, he performs on many places across Europe. The critics of his performance appreciates a natural sound, technical maturity and an intelligent interpreting attitude.
a native of Poland and a graduate of the Academy of Music in Gdansk, where she obtained her Master in Music, has been a violinist with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra since 1984. She has participated in many International Summer Master Classes in Poland and has performed with the Von Karajan Chamber Orchestra and the Festival Symphony Orchestra (Berlin, Germany), the Chamber Music Orchestra (Gdansk, Poland), the Gdansk Philharmonic Orchestra (Poland), and the Hamburg Symphony Orchestra (Germany).
Tatiana has been an ardent supporter of Canadian composers, whose works she has commissioned, premiered and performed over the years. She participated in the Edmonton and the Saskatchewan New Music Festivals as well as performed in chamber music and solo recital appearances in Edmonton and around Canada. In years 2007-09 Tatiana served as a concertmaster of the Edmonton Chamber Players, an orchestra that predominantly performed contemporary Canadian music. Tatiana is also a member of the Warszynski Trio, which was founded to commission and play Canadian and international contemporary works and which released their first CD “Devil’s Dance” in February 2009.
Mrs. Warszynski is also a founding member of the Mazurka Music and Art Society, an organization dedicated to the promotion and production of classical and contemporary music as well as visual art projects. In December 2012, Tatiana and her son, Dr. Mikolaj Warszynski performed together as soloists with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra at the Winspear Centre. She stays active as a performer in recitals and chamber music concerts in Edmonton and Alberta. Recently she performed a solo piece The Shape of Things by Erin Rogers with the ESO on the Winspear Stage at the New Music Concert.
Tatiana and her husband, Tadeusz, a visual artist and printmaker, have four children and live in Edmonton, Alberta. Tatiana’s new CD - The Shape of Things, New Music for violin solo on PGMaudio label was produced in 2020 with support of Alberta Foundation for the Arts and Edmonton Arts Council.