Iwona Boesche

Iwona Boesche was born in Kluczbork, Poland on 23rd February 1971. Her parents were keen music lovers and had always encouraged their two daughters, Dorota and Iwona, to learn an instrument. At the age of seven, however, Iwona began learning the violin, which was partly occasioned by the fact that there was a choice only of violin, woodwind, trumpet, piano, accordion and percussion. She soon proved to be quite prodigious and likes the intimacy of the violin. Besides, she would not have to lug a piano around! She liked being able to play wherever and whenever she wanted. At first Iwona did not like practising but for the first three years her mother sat with her every day while she did so, helping her to play in tune by singing the correct notes. Her father was always very supportive of whatever his family wanted to do. By the age of ten Iwona felt ready to work by herself and within two years she was playing the first Caprice from Paganini’s set of 24 Caprices, Opus 1! She also played Wieniawski’s Violin Concerto in D minor. Concerts had been part of Iwona’s life from the age of twelve. She won her first state competition prize at the age of fourteen and from this point on there was no holding her back.

When Iwona was eighteen, she went to the Krakow Academy of Music where she came under the tutelage of Kaja Danczowska, herself a former pupil of David Oistrakh. The first year of study at the Academy comprised mainly of six hours practice each day followed by six hours of playing Bridge – a very popular game in intellectual circles. She also enjoyed reading a great deal and has a great love of cinema. By the time she was thirteen Iwona had already read all the plays of Shakespeare in Polish translations. More concerts took place throughout her student years in both Poland and Germany. With the German orchestras Iwona travelled through many countries in Europe, eventually coming to England for the first time in 1995. She was now a soloist with orchestras and in Cambridge Iwona performed Vivaldi’s The Seasons being interviewed by the BBC for Radio Cambridge. She performed these Concertos in many other places including Norwich, Lincoln and Oxford.

In 1994 Iwona took her Master of Arts degree which she passed with great distinction. Her thesis was about interpretation, values and ways of performing the Opus 1 Caprices of Paganini. Her first real professional engagement came when she joined the teaching staff of the Royal Academy of Music in the prestigious post of Violin Teacher, assisting her former Professor. From 1995 until coming to England in September 1997 Iwona held the post of Leader in the Krakow Radio Symphony Orchestra. There is one recording made by this orchestra which includes Iwona as Leader playing most touchingly in the solo passages contained in Richard Strauss’s Four Last Songs. The compact disc is music of Richard Strauss: Ein Heldenleben (with its original ending) played by the Tokyo Philharmonic plus Vier Letzte Lieder sung by Joanna Borowska on the Swiss record label: Nightingale Classics AG No: NC1161864-2.

In 1995 Iwona won a prize in the International competition held in Warsaw for unaccompanied violin solo in which she performed works by Telemann, Bach, Paganini, Ysaye and Bartok. In the same year she was also soloist in Mozart’s Violin Concerto No. 3 with her orchestra in Krakow. But by now Iwona felt she had probably gone as far as she could in Poland and, wishing to widen her education, applied for an audition for a post-graduate course at London’s Royal College of Music. Travelling from Krakow to London on a bus she successfully passed her audition and was given a scholarship to study here. She began her studies with Grigori Zhislin and completed her time there under Professor Dona Lee Croft.

In 1997, now resident in London, Iwona travelled to Mexico City to take part in the Henryk Szering Violin Competition where she gained second prize.

Graduating with distinction from the Royal College of Music in 1998 where she had won virtually every prize possible Iwona began her career as a soloist and is now working to this end from her tiny London flat.

May 2000