Michał Balas

Michał Balas

Born in 2001 in Cracow, Poland. Currently studying his Masters of Arts Degree at Musik Akademie Basel in the class of Prof. Danjulo Ishizaka. Michał Balas is an active soloist and a chamber musician with a label signing by Berlin Classics (first release in 2024 with Haydn Cello Concertos).  Despite his young age, he had the chance to perform in many renowned concert halls, including Vienna Musikverein (Golden Hall) Berlin Philharmonic, Herkulessaal in Munich, Concert Hall of the Ferenc Liszt Academy in Budapest, Big Hall of Mozarteum University in Salzburg, Stadtcasino Basel, Warsaw National Philharmonic, Bedrich Smetana Hall in Prague, among others. He is a winner of many international competitions.

His biggest success is winning the First Prize and a Special Prize for the best performance of a piece composed by a Maltese composer during the “Classic Strings Competition” in Dubai (2022). This competition provides a tour consisting of 10 solo performances in major European concert halls. In 2018 he was awarded with First Prize and a Special Prize for the best performance of a contemporary work during the “Johansen International Competition for Young String Players” in Washington D.C. He also became the first Grand Prix Winner at the “Dominik Połoński Hommage Competition”in Łódź, Poland (2021).

In 2023 he was named “Classic FM 30 under 30 Rising Star” – a prestigious British plebiscite, that recognises successful young musicians, that already proved themself on international arenas. In 2022 he became a nominee during the “Corypheus of Polish Music Award” in the “Discovery of the Year” category. In 2021 he received a title “Polish Cello Personality 2021”. He had the chance to meet and work with renowned musicians and professors, such as: Prof. Robert Levin, Steven Isserlis, Prof. Claudio Martinez-Mehner, Prof. Arto Noras, Prof. Wolfgang Emanuel Schmidt, Prof. Laurence Lesser, just to name a few. He also had the opportunity to meet and learn from world-class composers, for example György Kurtág and Krzysztof Penderecki. In 2020 he created a chamber ensemble with a pianist Mikołaj Woźniak, with whom he had the chance to perform on classical music festivals in Denmark, Spain, Switzerland and Poland. They regularly record chamber music pieces as well. Piano Trios and String Quartets are also among Michał’s interests. He was the 1st cellist of Penderecki Youth Orchestra. He is a scholar of LYRA Stiftung, Swiss Foundation for Young Musicians and Musik Akademie Basel. He performs on an instrument from 1718, made by Carlo Antonio Testore.

“Polish cellist Michał Balas studies at the Basel Academy of Music in Switzerland, and in 2022 he took home the first prize in the cello category of the Classic Strings International Competition. Fresh off the back of his winning performance come a series of concert appearances in Europe’s greatest concert halls in 2023, including Vienna’s Musikverein and the Mozarteum in Salzburg.”

Classic FM’s Rising Stars: 30 sensational musicians performing in 2023 (classicfm.com)