Atom String Quartet – is one of the most original chamber ensembles in the world. It combines the tremendous skills of a classical string quartet with broadly understood improvisation, inspired by Polish folklore, world music, as well as contemporary and classical music. In its repertoire the group constantly blazes new paths, looking for their own sound and formal solutions that escape any classification.
The Atom String Quartet was founded in 2010 in Warsaw by: violinists Dawid Lubowicz and Mateusz Smoczyński, violist Michał Zaborski and cellist Krzysztof Lenczowski. All musicians received a thorough classical education – they are graduates of the Warsaw Chopin University of Music. They all compose and successfully lead their own solo projects.
Since winning the Grand Prix of 13th BielskaZadymkaJazzowa Competition in 2011, ASQ has been a regular guest of the largest Polish and world music stages.
The quartet has recorded five original albums: “Fade In” (2011) which received the Fryderyk award of the Polish phonographic industry as Jazz Phonographic Debut of the Year category, “Places” (2012) for which ASQ received the Fryderyk in the category “Album of the Year – Jazz Music” and “AtomSPHERE”(2015), which was nominated for Fryderyk 2016 in the category “Jazz Music Album of the Year”. All albums were released by the Kayax label and contain mainly original compositions by the quartet’s musicians.
In 2017, the fourth album of the band- “Seifert” was released, on which the quartet performed their own interpretations of compositions by the outstanding Polish jazz violinist – Zbigniew Seifert. The album was nominated for the Fryderyk 2017 award in the category Jazz Music Album of the Year, and was published by the Zbigniew Seifert Foundation.
The year 2019 brought the album “Penderecki”, which included Krzysztof Penderecki’s compositions arranged by the musicians of the ASQ for an improvising string quartet.
In 2021 the album “Karłowicz Recomposed” was released in Szczecin at the initiative of DorotaSerwa – Director of the Mieczysław Karłowicz Philharmonic. ASQ performs on the album together with the Szczecin Philharmonic Wind Quartet – a group of soloists of this institution. The program included Karłowicz’s songs arranged for an improvising string quartet and a woodwind quartet. All arrangements are made by ASQ members, and the publisher of the album is the Mieczysław Karłowicz Philharmonic in Szczecin.
The cooperation of ASQ with the NFM Leopoldinum Chamber Orchestra grew closer, resulting in two albums: “Made in Poland”, which, apart from compositions by Karol Szymanowski, Grażyna Bacewicz and Henryk Mikołaj Górecki, included works by Krzysztof Lenczowski (“Iława” and “Namysłowiak”) and DawidLubowicz (“Ballad about the death of Janosik”) and the”Supernova” album- containing premiere compositions written especially for the occasion by the musicians of the ASQ, and the special piece “Concerto Rosso for string quartet and string orchestra” by Hanna Kulenty-Majoor, dedicated to both ensembles. Both albums were honored with the Fryderyk award: “Made in Poland’ (2017) in the category Symphonic and Concert Music Album of the Year, and “Supernova”(2018) in the category Album of the Year – Contemporary Music.
An important place in the band’s discography are concert albums with special projects, such as: LeszekMożdżer and Friends “Live in Berlin Philharmonic III”, Grzech Piotrowski World Orchestra “Live in Gdańsk”, String Big Band “Live in Trójka”, and Dorota Miśkiewicz” Piano.pl “. The musicians of the ASQ are regularly invited to participate in recording sessions of other artists. You can hear them on the albums: Zakopower (“Drugie pół”), Kayah (“Transoriental Orchestra” and “Gdy pada śnieg”), Natalia Kukulska (“Ósmy plan” ), CezariuszGadzina (“The Fifth Element”), Rafał Grząska (“Atom Accordion Quintet”), Grażyna Auguścik (“Inspired by Lutosławski”), Tomasz Wendt (“Behind The Strings”).
Atom String Quartet has won many awards, including: “Grand Prix of the Jazz Society Melomani” in the “Melomani-Hope” (2010) and “Band of the Year” categories (2016), “Złote Gęśle” at the 15th Polish Radio New Tradition Folk Festival (2012) and “Mateusz Trójki” Polish Radio Award (2015) in the category “Jazz Music” . From the beginning of their activity, the musicians of the ASQ have been ranked high in the Jazz Top poll of the “Jazz Forum” magazine, including multiple first places in the Acoustic Ensemble category.
The musicians of the Atom String Quartet are regularly invited to participate in recording sessions of other musicians;they cooperate with leading Polish and foreign artists and orchestras. Their musical partners include artists and bands such as Branford Marsalis, Bobby McFerrin, Gil Goldstein, NDR Bigband, Vladislav “Adzik” Sendecki, Mino Cinelu, Paolo Fresu, Leszek Możdżer, Lars Danielsson, Zohar Fresco, Jerzy Maksymiuk, André Ochodlo, Urszula Dudziak, Anna Maria Jopek, Marek Moś, Natalia Kukulska, Kayah, Aga Zaryan, Adam Sztaba, Grzech Piotrowski, Krzysztof Herdzin, Andrzej Smolik , AUKSO Orchestra, NFM Philharmonic Orchestra, Szczecin Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra, NFM Leopoldinum Chamber Orchestra, Sinfonia Varsovia, Sinfonietta Cracovia, Sinfonia Iuventus.
In the 2017/2018 season, the Atom String Quartet was an artist-in-residence of the Mieczysław Karłowicz Philharmonic in Szczecin.
In March 2021, the Atom String Quartet together with pianist Hania Rani performed Max Richter’s “Testament”. The composition commissioned by the Adam Mickiewicz Institute was written and dedicated to performers as a tribute to Krzysztof Penderecki, who died in 2020. The premiere of the piece was recorded by Polish Television’s Kultura Channel.