An Evening with Polish Songs

Performers: Paulina Swierczek, soprano and Zachary A. Peterson, piano

Saturday, October 16, 2021
7 p.m.

Asbury First United Methodist Church, 1050 East Avenue, Rochester, NY 14607

Presented by the Skalny Center for Polish and Central European Studies, University of Rochester—an evening of famous Polish songs composed by Moniuszko, Szymanowski, Lutosławski, Bacewicz, Krajewski, Kisielewski, and others.

Free and open to the public. Face masks are required.

Meet the Artists

Paulina Swierczek
Paulina Swierczek

Praised by the Rochester City Newspaper for her "honeyed tone," the Milbrook Independent for her “attractive, comforting appeal” and by the Boston Globe for “a rich voice that could go in a blink from speaking to soaring” - as well as her “killer side-eye” - soprano Paulina Swierczek is gaining acclaim as vibrant story-teller, combining technical facility with a passion for communication.

Concert highlights include Strauss’s Four Songs, op. 27, Beethoven’s Egmont, op. 84, Brahms’s Ein Deutsches Requiem, Mendelssohn’s Lobgesang, Poulenc’s Gloria, and Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass. Favorite roles include Brunnhilde (Die Walkure, Siegfried), Therese (Les Mamelles du Tiresias), Fiordiligi (Cosi fan tutte), The New Prioress (Les dialogues des Carmelites), Donna Anna (Don Giovanni), and the Countess Almaviva (Le nozze di Figaro). A Fellow of the Tanglewood Music Center (‘17+’18), she has premiered works at the Festival of Contemporary Music, performed with the TMCO (Sieben fruhe Lieder, Chantefleurs et Chantefables) and has been featured in numerous cantatas of J. S. Bach under John Harbison.

Paulina made her Boston Symphony Orchestra debut in September 2019 as a soloist in Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy under the baton of Andris Nelsons. She has also appeared with the Albany Symphony (Der Schauspieldirektor), The Orchestra Now, the Broad Street Orchestra (Mozart’s Requiem) and the Little Orchestra Society (Queen of the Night,Die Zauberflote). She was a featured artist in the Meistersinger Program under Jane Eaglen with Pittsburgh Festival Opera in 2019, appearing in scenes as Brunnhilde (Siegfried) and covering the title role in Die Walkure. In that same year, Paulina was also a Fellow at renowned mezzo-soprano Stephanie Blythe’s Fall Island Vocal Arts Seminar.

A native Polish speaker with much experience with Polish song literature and specifically the songs of Fryderyk Chopin, Paulina is thrilled to return to Rochester, NY, her second home, by invitation of the Skalny Center for Polish and Central European Studies (University of Rochester) to perform this recital of Polish song.

Paulina holds degrees from the Eastman School of Music and the Bard College Conservatory of Music, and notable teachers include Rita Shane, Dr. Constance Haas, Anthony Dean Griffey and Sanford Sylvan. She currently studies with Michaela Martens.

Zachary A. Peterson.
Zachary A. Peterson.

Zachary A. Peterson enjoys a multifaceted career as a collaborative pianist, educator, and higher education administrator. Recent collaborations include performances with trumpeter Jared Wallis, the 2019 Nebraska Music Educators Association (NMEA) All-State chorus with conductor Brady Allred, and the 2018 NMEA All-State Chorus with conductor Z. Randall Stroope. He has performed in the master classes of artists such as Renée Fleming, Matthew Haimovetz, Jake Heggie, and Gene Scheer. Mr. Peterson serves as an official pianist for the Lotte Lenya Competition. He was the pianist for the 2020 Lotte Lenya Competition Songbook, where he worked with composers, lyricists, and singers to create recordings of new musical theater songs that could be used for the Lotte Lenya Competition. Mr. Peterson currently serves as the Director of Graduate Advising and Services for the Eastman School of Music of the University. In addition, he teaches the Musical Theater Workshop for the Arthur Satz Department of Music of the University of Rochester. Mr. Peterson holds degrees from the Eastman School of Music of the University of Rochester and Hastings College. His principal teachers include Jean Barr, Ruth Moore, and Hillary Watter.