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#1340849 - 01/04/10 07:03 PM Aleksander Kudajczyk
RonaldSteinway Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/11/08
Posts: 1474
I am not sure if this guy is well known, may be some of the forum members had heard about him, otherwise, enjoy the article below.

Polish cleaner discovered to be brilliant concert pianist
Last updated at 07:52am on 19.06.07
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When university cleaner Aleksander Kudajczyk put down his mop to have a tinkle on a grand piano he thought no one would hear him.

Had he known of the camera in the corner of the room he would never have touched the instrument - and his virtuoso talent would have remained undiscovered.

But in a story which echoes the plot of the film Good Will Hunting he has graduated from lowly cleaner to concert pianist after a spellbinding performance of Chopin compositions played to an empty room.

Sound of success: Aleksander Kudajczyk now hopes to become a concert pianist


The 28-year-old, who arrived in Britain six months ago, had considered himself lucky to land a job cleaning the university law department.

He saw no need to mention the fact he had studied at one of Poland's finest music academies.

But the unwitting public performance in Glasgow University chapel so enraptured his on-line audience that he is now playing packed venues.

Mr Kudajczyk's extraordinary unmasking as a virtuoso pianist could almost come from the script of the Good Will Hunting in which Matt Damon plays a university cleaner who also happens to be a mathematical genius.



Maths prodigy: Matt Damon in Good Will Hunting

In the movie Damon takes a break from cleaning to solve an equation which had puzzled the finest minds at the university - and is caught in the act by a maths professor.

In Mr Kudajczyk's case, it was Joan Keenan, a secretary in the Glasgow University chaplaincy, who caught the pianist's act.

She said: "Aleksander is a lovely but shy lad. He works as a cleaner but nobody knew what a talent he had.

"He asked the university chaplain Stuart MacQuarrie if he might have a go on the grand piano.

"It is a beautiful and precious old piano and I think Stuart was a little unsure, but he cautiously agreed when Aleksander said he could play a bit.

"I knew he was playing and logged on to the internet, to a webcam we have set up in the chapel to watch weddings and other events held there.

"I couldn't believe what I was hearing as he played exquisite Chopin.

"Right away I started emailing the music librarian who is a member of an orchestra, and friends and colleagues around the university.

"Then she emailed friends and musicians she knew and soon everyone was listening in. Aleksander is the talk of the university. People say he's like a musical Good Will Hunting."

The pianist now spends up to seven hours a day practising in the chapel and on other pianos around the university. When the principal, Sir Muir Russell heard of his talent he invited him to play at dinner parties.

Soon he was offered the chance to play a concert at the chapel and today he will give another performance there, playing a selection from Chopin's Four Ballades, Preludes, Nocturnes and Grandes Valses.

He has also been entertaining crowds at Glasgow's West End Festival.

Miss Keenan said: "He was nervous playing his first concert in the chapel, but the crowd were stunned. He was incredible and deserves his chance to play on a bigger stage.

"His hands are far too precious to continue cleaning for long, as the chemicals affect them.'

West End Festival director Michael Dale said: "It is a remarkable tale.

"He was discovered playing piano in the chapel and I was immediately urged to get him on to the bill of the festival.

"I said if they could organise a piano I would get him involved. Everyone has been taken entirely by surprise. He's been a revelation.

"I expect this will be a springboard to much greater things.'

Mr Kudajczyk, who comes from Katowice and is a graduate of the town's Akademia Muzyczna, has been playing piano since was four.

He said: "In Poland I played jazz and classical piano in restaurants and I also played concerts on cruise-liners in America.

"I came to Scotland because I want to settle down and the opportunities to make a living are better here than in Poland.

"I found work, cleaning the law department in the university from 6am to 10am, then I practice when I can.

"I only asked Stuart MacQuarrie if I could play the chapel piano for myself, but people were listening.

"They have been very kind.

"I was terribly nervous playing my first concert of Chopin, but I'm getting used to it.

"I'm just trying to settle in this country, but I hope to teach piano, or perhaps become a concert pianist in this country.

"Perhaps playing in the West End Festival can help me achieve this."


Edited by RonaldSteinway (01/04/10 07:04 PM)

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#1340967 - 01/04/10 09:09 PM Re: Aleksander Kudajczyk [Re: RonaldSteinway]
DameMyra Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/21/04
Posts: 1940
Loc: South Jersey
Looks like he's performing this Saturday in Adelaide as part of a Chopin Festival. Good for him!
_________________________
Private Piano Teacher
MTNA/NJMTA/SJMTA

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#1340972 - 01/04/10 09:13 PM Re: Aleksander Kudajczyk [Re: DameMyra]
pianoloverus Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19228
Loc: New York City
I couldn't find any Youtube videos of him playing?

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#1341138 - 01/05/10 02:39 AM Re: Aleksander Kudajczyk [Re: RonaldSteinway]
ChopinAddict Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/29/09
Posts: 6096
Loc: Land of the never-ending music
It sounds like a fairy tale with a happy ending, or a dream come true...
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Music is my best friend.


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