Ekaterina Popowa-Zydroń, Polish pianist of Bulgarian origin. Graduated with honours from State High School of Music (now Academy of Music) in Gdansk, from prof. Zbigniew Sliwinski's class, in 1973. Completed her postgraduate studies in Hochschule für Musik und darstellende Kunst in Vienna, in prof. Alexander Jenner's class. Participant of master classes run by Susanne Roche, Dieter Zechlin and Georgy Sebok. Prizewinner of the following Polish competitions: 4th Polish Festival of Young Musicians; 2nd Polish Competition of Piano Music. Entered semi-finals of 9th International Chopin Competition, Warsaw, 1974 (won 4th award); Piano Competition in Terni, Italy, 1975 and ARD Piano Competition in Munich in 1978.
She gives performances both in Poland and other countries. Her repertoire ranges from Baroque to 20th c. music and includes works of Mozart, Beethoven (Sonata op. 106 among others), Schubert, Schumann, Chopin, Debussy, Bartok and others. She has also given first performances of Polish contemporary composers. Chamber music is amongst her favourites; she has played in piano duet, piano and violin, piano and cello, piano and flute; trio and quintet. She has also performed with singers such as Urszula Kryger, Piotr Kusiewicz, Florian Skulski and others.
According to some music reviewers ,,...her performance of G-major concert by Beethoven was an extremally successful creation..."; „... Chopin's music played by Katarzyna Popowa-Zydron seems to be contemporary, full of simplicity, deprived of any exaggeration. The lyricism of Chopin's music is profound as well as his moods tragic..."; „... The pianist has once again proved her high standards. On the stage again after a long span of time, she showed again her stamp of genius, her exquisite multicoloured tone and mastery of the keyboard..."; „... her extraordinary sense of soundquality. The pianist was able to build up a totaly personal world of music. Her sounds was moving; it made us sad, marvelled, relaxed. Katarzyna Popowa - Zydroń is an artist of thoroughly romantic nature. Her great commitment and a deeply convincing interpretation engage the audience and create a new reality. The mastery of her technique, musicality of the highest order, her extraordinary individual interpretation showed the great range of musical abilities.
Together with her colleagues Ekaterina Popowa - Zydroń founded the „Society of Music Lovers in Gdańsk" in 1996. It organizes chamber music concerts, which are well-known for their high standards; among its achievements is also the organization of annual international festival of chamber music „Musica nos unit". Ekaterina Popowa - Zydroń was awarded the Prince M¶ciwoj medal by the Town Council for her social accomplishment in the field of culture. She is also recipient of several significant state decorations.
Katarzyna (Ekaterina) Popowa-Zydron's links with musical education are long-lasting. At present she is a professor of piano at the Academy of Music in Gdansk and in Bydgoszcz. She has alaso been teaching several talented high school students in Pomeranian Voivodship and in Kujawsko-Pomorskie Voivodship.She has also been invited to run numerous masterclasses in Poland and other countries, held seminars ,open classes and consultations. She co-operates with the Centre of Artistic Education in Warsaw. She has been a jury member for several Polish and foreign competitions. Her students have been prizewinners of of various piano competitions in Poland and abroad. Some of them have become performers or piano teachers themselves. Among her students are: Ewa Jasinska (now in Chile), Pawel Rydel (lecturer at the Gdansk Academy of Music), Ireneusz Manuszewski (now in Germany), Piotr Kepinski (outstanding chamber music performer, teacher at the Academy of Music in Bydgoszcz), Marek Ruszczynski (now in London); Aleksandra Mozgiel and Agata Nowakowska - both prizewinners of numerous Polish and foreign competitions; Julia Stetkiewicz and Katarzyna Borek - also prizewinners of many competitions as well as participants of Chopin Piano Competition in 2000; Elżbieta Pasierowska (lecturer at the Academy of Music in Gdansk); Krzysztof Herdzin (a well-known jazzman); Agnieszka Chelkowska (now in Iceland); Karolina Nadolska (Prizewinner of Chopin Competition in Marianskie Laznie in 2003); Rafal Blechacz (In October 2005 he unanimously won the 15th International Frederic Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw); Michio Nishihara Toro; Takayuki Hirata etc.
Photo: Private archive