Highly praised on two continents for his glorious tone, precise technical control and musical imagination, Kornel Wolak is well on his way to a major career as a soloist and chamber musician in both classical and cross-over repertoire. Critics have hailed him for his playing that showed “admirable calm and patience in shaping beautiful sonorities…full of energy,” (Andrzej Chylewski, Glos Wielkopolski); “beautiful [playing] in the lyric selections…a lot of imaginative colors, dynamics, and rubato,” (Jolanta Brozda, Gazeta Wyborcza), and “control and a smooth, elegant expressivity are what make Wolak shine,” (John Terauds, Toronto Star).
As a member of the renowned Quartetto Gelato from 2007 to 2009, Wolak performed on its 2009 recording, Musica Latina. He also appears as soloist on a 2007 CD of Karol Kurpinski’s Clarinet Concerto, released by Channel II of Polish Radio – a CD that was nominated for Poland’s highest recording award, the “Fryderyk”. Wolak is a regular fixture on the airwaves, including CBC Radio 2, Classical 96.3 FM, Public Radio International, and in the US, on National Public Radio.
Mr. Wolak won the Royal Conservatory’s Concerto Competition in 2006, the Glenn Gould School’s 2005 Concerto Competition and the Presser Music Award from the Presser Foundation Earlier, as a student, he won first prize in the Poznan Clarinet Wind Instruments Competition, the Polish All-Wind Instruments Competition, and the Indiana University Clarinet Department Competition. He has honed his craft through studies with clarinet masters at summer music festivals in Prague, Paris and elsewhere. Dedicated to being a fully rounded wind player, Wolak has also studied period instrument performance.