Acclaimed Musicians to Perform Works by Polish Composer Joanna Bruzdowicz and American Composer Fred Katz

Holocaust Museum LA, in conjunction with the USC Polish Music Center, presents the Czarakcziew/Kowal Duo in concert Sunday, Jan. 8, at 4:30 p.m. at the museum.

Pianist Piotr Kowal and cellist Paweł Czarakcziew will weave together jazz and contemporary classical music through the works of Polish composer Joanna Bruzdowicz and American Jewish composer Frederick Katz. Their program will feature several premieres as well as special guests.

Paweł Czarakcziew is a cellist and chamber musician. He graduated with honors from the Cracow Music Academy, is the laureate of many national and international competitions, and is currently at USC with a Fulbright Junior Research Award for 2022-23. Czarakcziew has given concerts in Austria, China, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Hungary, Norway, Slovakia, Spain, the United Kingdom and the U.S., in addition to his native Poland.

Pianist Piotr Kowal graduated with distinction from the Academy of Music in Krakow.  He has performed at international festivals with various orchestras and in chamber ensembles. Kowal is a laureate and finalist of international piano competitions, including first prize at the Tadeusz Żmudziński (2012); second prize at the International Tel-Hai Master Courses in Israel (2016) and a finalist a both the International Competition Hansa Buelow in Meiningen, Germany (2012); and the International Piano Competition “Performance without Limit” in Łódź, Poland (2013). 

Joanna Bruzdowicz (1943-2021) was born in Warsaw and composed opera, symphonic and chamber music, works for children, and music for film and television. She wrote four concerti and numerous chamber pieces. Bruzdowicz had a longstanding creative partnership with legendary film director Agnes Varda and composed music for the soundtracks to her films including “Sans Toit, ni Loi” (known in English as “Vagabond” (1985), which was awarded a Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival; “Jacquot de Nantes” (1991), selected for recognition by the Cannes Festival; and “The Gleaners and I,” a documentary and first-person video essay by Varda (2001), the winner of the Best Nonfiction Film Awards from the New York, Los Angeles and Boston film critics associations, the U.S. National Society of Film Critics (and over 40 international film awards).

Fred Katz (1919-2013) was an American cellist and composer who studied under Pablo Casals. He was a music director for Lena Horne, Vic Damone and Frankie Laine, among others, and a cellist and composer for The Chico Hamilton Quintet, one of the premier jazz groups of the 1950s. Katz also recorded several albums as a band leader, arranged for singer Carmen McRae, and wrote the scores for seven Roger Corman films including, “A Bucket of Blood” and “Little Shop of Horrors.”

For more information and to register, visit