Arel Ensemble is a string quartet based in Belgium and Luxembourg. Its musicians, Bartłomiej Ciastoń (1st violin), Andrii Chugai (2nd violin), Bartosz Korus (viola), and Maria Kulowska (cello), are members of the finest orchestras in the Benelux region and devoted chamber music players. With their spirit and passion they transform a conventional concert into a story with fascinating twists and turns.
Arel Ensemble performed in Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany, and the USA as a quartet in residence at the annual Southampton Strings Festival in New York.
Bartlomiej Ciaston, Violin
Bartlomiej Ciaston, a permanent member of the first violin section
Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg.
Bartlomiej Ciaston made his debut at twelve years old, with the Legnica Symphonic Orchestra. In the following years, he became a laureate of several competitions for talented young musicians in Stalowa Wola, Wroclaw, Legnica, and Poznan. Especially important was the prize he won at the IV International Violin Competition in Schoss Zell an der Pram, Austria. Winning this prize led to many concert invitations, and collaborations with Igor Ozim, Rudolf Koelman, Ida Haendel, and Bartlomiej Niziol. In 2009 Bartlomiej was awarded 2nd prize at the 2nd International Wilhelm Ernst and Karol Szymanowski Competition. In the past years he has performed as a soloist with orchestras such as Ensemble Orchestral de Bruxelles, Wroclaw Philharmonic Orchestra, Euro Iuvenis Sinfonica, and The Open Musical Safety Pin Philharmonic (J&S Pro Bono Foundation). As an orchestra musician he has performed in prestigious venues such as the Bozar Bruxelles, Berlin Philharmonie, Münchner Philharmonie, Dresden Philharmonie, Tonhalle Zurich, Musikverein Vienna, and Paris Philharmonie. He has played in many countries all over the Europe and China, Mexico, USA, Argentina, Brasil . Working with Orchestre de l’Opéra National de Belgique, Brussels Philharmonic, Orchestre Royal de Chambre de Wallonie, Chamber Orchestra Leopoldinum ,Wroclaw Philharmonic Orchestra and Orchestra Wratislavia.
Significant was the year 2014 graduation Magna cum laude, with a Master’s degree in Violin Performance from the studio of Professor Zygmund Marek Kowalski at the Royal Conservatory of Brussels. (Belgium)
Andrii Chugai 2nd violin
Originates from Kiev, Ukraine. He graduated from the National Music Academy of P. Tchaikovsky in Kiev. Since 2013 he has been studying in the Netherlands with professor Boris Belkin at the Maastricht Conservatorium.
Andrii Chugai is a permanent member of the first violin section of
Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg.
Andrii has performed in the major concerts halls of Ukraine with the National chamber orchestra “Kiev Soloists”, both as a member and as a soloist. Andrii has participated in many orchestral, chamber and solo music performances and festivals all around the world including Switzerland, Italy, Netherlands, Belgium, China, USA, Germany, Austria, Spain, Ukraine, and Russia.
He took a part in many master courses including Accademia Musicale Chigiana in Siena with Boris Belkin, Schaffhauser Meisterkurse He is a winner of international competitions including Kotsiana (Czech Republic), and first place wins in “Silver Bells” (Ukraine), International music competition “Citta di Crotone” (Italy) and “XXI Century Art” (Ukraine).
Bartosz Korus, Viola
Was born in Brzesko, and started playing the violin at the age of 6 in Tarnow (Poland) under supervision of Anna Nahman, Magdalena Szuster, Jan Kołodziejczyk. In 2005 he continued musical studies at the Royal Conservatory of Brussel in the violin class of Prof. Adam Korniszewski, Prof. Katalin Sebastyen, Prof. Marek Zygmunt Kowalski and viola class of Prof. Paul de Clerck. In June 2013 he obtained with success a master degree in performing arts at the Royal Conservatory of Brussels. Since the beginning of his studies he is a successful orchestra, chamber, and solo performer, guest musician at La Monnaie and National Belgium Orchestra, second concertmaster in Zomeropera orchestra, concertmaster in Vert Theater, vice director and teacher of Nox Music School Brussels.
Maria Kulowska, Cello
Maria Kulowska graduated with distinction from F. Chopin University of Music in Warsaw and Musikhochschule Luebeck. She performed in masterclasses with Mischa Maisky, Wolfgang Boettcher, Miklos Perenyi and Walter Levin. She was recipient of many scholarships and prizes from DAAD, Schleswig-Holstein Festival, Hindemith Foundation, Lucerne Festival and international cello competitions. As an orchestral musician Maria worked with various orchestras: Luebecker Philharmoniker, Hamburger Symphoniker, Warsaw Radio Orchestra, Sinfonia Varsovia and was the principal cellist of Klassische Philharmonie Bonn. Currently she is a member of
Orchestre de Chambre du Luxembourg.
Apart from classical music Maria works with electric cello and loops, both as a player and composer, creating scores for various dance shows in Germany and Luxembourg. In 2015 she composed music for a stage play ordered by Staatstheater in Trier.