Cellist Arek Tesarczyk joined the Minnesota Orchestra in 2004 and made his solo debut with the Orchestra in 2006, performing Beethoven’s Triple Concerto. He gave the world premiere performances of Rautavaara’s Cello Concerto No. 2, Towards the Horizon, under the baton of Osmo Vänskä in fall 2010. He has presented a full range of concerto repertoire, including works by Dvořák, Elgar, Saint-Saëns, Haydn, Schumann, Tchaikovsky and Goldschmidt, as soloist with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, Silesian Chamber Orchestra, Orchesta Sinfonica de Chile and Concert Artists of Baltimore.
Tesarczyk, winner of a 2008 McKnight Fellowship for Performing Musicians, has participated in many Minnesota Orchestra chamber concerts, performing works by Brahms, Schumann, Schubert, Messiaen, Dohnányi and Shostakovich, among others. In April 2011 he performed Grieg’s G-minor String Quartet on the Orchestra’s Chamber Music at MacPhail series. In fall 2010 he premiered Randall Bauer’s Metamorphosis, a work written for him and his pianist wife, Claudia Chen, and celebrated the bicentennial of Chopin’s birth with a performance of the composer’s Cello Sonata on the Bakken Trio series, also with Chen.
In 2006 Tesarczyk became a member of the American String Project, a Seattle-based, conductorless ensemble made up of 15 solo string players. In addition, he has performed at chamber music festivals in Europe, the U.S. and Canada, and has appeared at the Kennedy Center and Corcoran Gallery in Washington, D.C., and Merkin Hall in New York. For two years he has performed as principal cello and taught at Indiana University’s Summer Music Festival. Other performances have taken him to Finland, Switzerland, Germany, England, Scotland and Russia. He has collaborated with such artists as Joseph Silverstein, Pamela Frank, Martin Beaver and Scott St. John, and he has recorded Brahms’ G-minor Piano Quartet with Jon Kimura Parker for the Bravo television network. He has also performed widely with Chen, giving recitals in the United States, Canada, Chile and Poland.
Born in Poland into a family of musicians, Tesarczyk won three consecutive first prizes in the annual Polish National Cello and Chamber Music competitions before graduating with honors from the Karol Szymanowski School of Music in Katowice. Continuing his studies in the U.S., he worked with the late Stephen Kates at the Peabody Conservatory, where he received the Gregor Piatigorsky Memorial Scholarship and earned two artist diplomas: one in cello performance, the other in chamber music as a member of the Peabody String Quartet. Before joining the Minnesota Orchestra he was principal cello of the Winnipeg Symphony for 11 years.
Tesarczyk plays a cello crafted in 1997 by an American maker, Christopher Dungey, and uses two French bows, one made by E.A. Ouchard and the other by Victor Fetique. He lives in St. Paul with his wife Claudia Chen and their children Katia and Viktor.