Adam Baldych - Biography

Adam Baldych by Steven Haberland Adam Baldych Margo Tlałka AdamBaldych by BartoszMaz 06
© Steven Haberland © Bartosz Maz © Margo Tlafka

"Without any doubt the greatest living jazz violinist. One can expect everything from him." Ulrich Olshausen from German newspaper „Frankfurter Allgemeinen  Zeitung“ about Adam Bałdych’s concert at Jazzfest Berlin 2011. Bałdych was born in Gorzów Wlkp in Poland in 1986.

His outstanding talent was detected early. He was celebrated a prodigy in Poland. “By the age of 9 I decided to visit a school of music” he remembers. He already was well aware of his home country’s music tradition. “Poland has a great music tradition, especially referring to piano music and since Henryk Wieniawski also referring to violin playing.” Only by the age of 11 he decided to start playing the violin with great role models in mind: “I was very much influenced by the famous East-European composers, such as Rachmaninoff, Chopin and Tschaikowski.“ A number of awards for young musicians in classical music proof his talent: In 1999 he became third in Polish national violinist competition in Poznan. The same year he was awarded the first price at regional violinist competition in Szczecin and at Baroque music competition in Gorzow. Expelled from music school for inappropriate behavior and jazz aspirations, few years later Adam got scholarship at Berklee College of Music and graduated with honors jazz department at Music Academy in Katowice (Poland).

By the age of 13 he finally decided to play Jazz. “Jazz offered me the musical freedom, I was searching for.” A noteworthy series of awards followed: In 2002 he won the „Jazz Celebration“ competition in Gorzów. Since 2001 he was annually awarded the „Key for Career Award“ by renowned Polish magazine “Jazz Forum”. Adam is the winner of ECHO Jazz 2013 – the most important German music award bestowed on artists by the German music industry.

By the age of 16 his international career began. He toured through Europe and Asia. After finishing his jazz degree with merit at Kattowitz conservatory, he got a scholarship at the Berklee College of Music in Boston. Ever since, New York is the  place  of departure for his musical journey through the world. In recent years he was touring with Grammy-award-winning pianist Jim Beard, other famous violinists like Didier Lockwood, Pierre Blanchard, Jerry Goodman, Krzesimir Debski or Christian Howes and he participated in Jaroslaw Smietana’s project „Tribute to  Seifert“. He himself recorded several noteworthy albums in different collaborations –with Singer Mika Urbaniak or the „Groove Razors“. On his album “Magical Theatre“ he also dealt with author Herman Hesse’s famous novel “Der Steppenwolf”. He first gained international attention with his band “Damage Control”.

Besides his regular work for international theatre- and film productions, and even though he partly lives in the US, Bałdych always stays in touch with Polish musicians. It therefore is no wonder that Polish piano star and ACT-artist Leszek Możdżer got to know Bałdych in 2008. Together they wrote the soundtrack to the movie “Sir Arnes  Schatz”  by Swedish director Mauritz Stiller. Możdżer hereupon introduced Bałdych to ACT head Siggi Loch. Loch did not hesitate to ask Bałdych to join the ACT family.

Together with Loch and Nils Landgren as the producers and a first-class studio band, Bałdych started to record his ACT debut “Imaginary Room” (ACT 9532-2) in March 2012 at Hansa Studios in Berlin. Lars Danielsson, one of the leading bass players in contemporary jazz, drummer Morten Lund and Swedish pianist Jacob Karlzon form the rhythm section. Two of the greatest talents in Scandinavian jazz –trumpet player Verneri Pohjola and Norwegian saxophonist Marius Neset make up the brass section.

On “Imaginary Room” one experiences a kind of violin playing rarely ever heard. Bałdych’s violin technique simply is breath-taking. His slightly raw and bluesy sounds remind one of the sounds of a trumpet player or the chord playing of a pianist. On "Imaginary Room" one forgets every violin stereotype and gains an impression of why Bałdych is nicknamed "Evil" - because of his "devilish" virtuosity, expressiveness and variability.

His second album for ACT “The New Tradition” was recorded together with Israeli pianist Yaron Herman and released on 30th of May 2014.