When The Harp met The Guitar

ACh Duo - guitar & harp

ALEKSANDER PANKOWSKI VEL JANKOWSKI & NOEMI HAŃCZYK GUITAR & HARP

She, The Harp, is Noemi Hańczyk.  

He, The Guitar, is Aleksander Pankowski vel Jankowski.  

Together they are ACh Duo (pronounced /aχ ˈdu·oʊ/). 

Their stage name is derived from Italian. It is a fusion of the words representing their respective instruments, "arpa" and "chitarra".  

The only one of its kind in Poland, this unusual musical pair won 1st place at the International Suoni d'Arpa Competition in Saluzzo, Italy in 2018. Since then, ACh Duo has become a force to reckon with in the world of classical music in Europe.

 

Zespół kameralny ACh Duo - gitara i harfa (Aleksander Pankowski vel Jankowski i Noemi Hańczyk) | ACh Duo chamber ensemble guitar & harp

fot. Mikołaj Dakowicz

The only one of its kind in Poland”

Their repertoire includes original compositions for harp and guitar and their own musical arrangements of classical works, for instance - Claude Debussy's. The debut album, Alla Polacca, was released in 2021. It marked an important event in the history of Polish discography. Never before had there ever been a record with music specially arranged for and performed by a harp-guitar duo.  

The most recent success story, from 2020, is the 3rd place and the audience award at the 2nd International Guitar Competition “Ida Presti” in Sambor, Croatia. That recognition brought the duo a special prize as well, an invitation to perform a recital in Croatia. 

Noemi and Aleksander met whilst studying at the F. Nowowiejski Secondary Music School in Szczecin (Poland). They have more things in common. Both have graduated from acclaimed Music Academies in the country. And both are two-time Mayor of The City of Szczecin Scholarship recipients.

Their stage name is derived from Italian. It is a fusion of the words representing their respective instruments, "arpa" and "chitarra".”

In the near future, ACh Duo are hoping to present their music to new audiences around the world.

The artists’ ultimate ambition is to share the stage with the Berlin Philharmonic one day.  

/bio in English by Saba Kozinska/

Winner of awards:

2nd place Polish National Duo Competition with Harp in Cieszyn (Poland, 2013)

2nd place - 16th International Guitar Festiva in Trzęsacz (Poland, 2013)

3rd place - 5th National Guitar Festival and Competition in Kielce (Poland, 2013)

1st place - International Competition Suoni d'Arpa, Saluzzo (Italy, 2018)

2nd place - Marcel Tournier International Harp Competition, Cosenza (Italy, 2018)

3rd place and audience award - 2nd International Guitar Competition "Ida Presti", Samobor (Croatia 2020)

aleksander Pankowski vel Jankowski - guitarist

Aleksander Pankowski vel Jankowski - gitarzysta w duecie kameralnym ACh Duo gitara i harfa | Guitarist of the ACh Duo chamber ensemble guitar & harp

fot. Grzegorz Mikołajczyk

Aleksander Pankowski vel Jankowski is a graduate of the Academy of Music in Katowice in Poland under the direction of Marek Nosal, PhD, from which he graduated in 2018.  
He started learning to play guitar at the Music Centre in Gryfino in Grażyna Mużyłło's class and continued his education at the F. Nowowiejski Secondary Music School Complex in Szczecin under the supervision of Jakub Kościuszko, PhD. 

Winner of international, nationwide competitions, including: 

  • 2nd place - 2nd International Youth Guitar Competition "Tallinn 2013" (Estonia) 
  • 1st place and GRAND PRIX - Baltic Guitar Festival 2017 (Lithuania)  
  • 2nd place - 2nd International Guitar Competition Vilnius 2018 (Lithuania)  
  • 3rd place - 25th Hermoupolis Guitar Festival 2018 (Greece)  
  • 1st place and GRAND PRIX - Tczew Guitar Competition 2018 (Poland)  
  • 1st place - IMKA Internet Music Competition 

Aleksander is two-time scholarship holder of the Mayor of the City of Szczecin. 
Member of the jury during the guitar competition at the "Baltic Guitar Festival" in Birštonas (Lithuania). He took part in numerous courses and master classes conducted by outstanding guitar teachers and virtuosos, such as Marcin Dylla, Łukasz Kuropaczewski,  
Zoran Dukić, Carlo Marchione, Gabriel Bianco, Susana Prieto, Alexis Muzurakis.

Noemi Hańczyk - harp

Her adventure with the harp began in 2006 when she passed her exams at the T. Szeligowski Primary School of Music in Szczecin (Poland). After graduating in 2010 Noemi Hańczyk continued her studies in the F. Nowowiejski Secondary Music School Complex in Szczecin under the guidance of Mrs. Jolanta Wołkońska. She obtained her diploma in 2014 with a brilliant result. Currently she is continuing master's studies at the Karol Lipiński Academy of Music in Wrocław (Poland) in the class of Malwina Lipiec-Rozmysłowicz, PhD. 

Winner of many solo and duo music competitions, among others: 

  • 3rd place - International Competition in Goritz (Germany, 2010),  
  • 2nd place - Polish National Duo Competition with Harp in Cieszyn (Poland, 2011), 
  • 1st place - International Competition in Goritz (Germany, 2012),  
  • 2nd place - International Duo Competition with Harp in Cieszyn (Poland, 2017),  
  • 1st place - Marcel Tournier International Harp Competition, Cosenza (Italy, 2018),  
  • 2nd place - Polish National Duo Competition with Harp in Cieszyn (Poland, 2019). 

Noemi Hańczyk participated in solo workshops conducted by world-famous harpists: Susan McDonald, Joanna Kozielska, Elżbieta Szmyt, Agnieszka Gralak, Anneleen Lenaerts, Adelheid Blovsky-Miller, Yolanda Kondonassis as well as in orchestral workshops: Polish-German Youth Orchestra Pomerania, International Lutosławski Youth Orchestra, I, Culture Orchestra, playing in such concert halls as Councertgebouw in Amsterdam (Holland), Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg (Germany), Summer Music Academy Orchestra in Hundinsburg (Germany) and European Workshop for Contemporary Music at the Warsaw  
Autumn Festival in 2019. 

She has frequently collaborated with Polish orchestras: the M. Karłowicz Philharmonic  
in Szczecin, Opera Na Zamku in Szczecin, the Lower Silesian Philharmonic in Jelenia Góra,  the Podkarpacka Philharmonic in Rzeszów and the National Forum of Music in Wrocław. She is a two-time scholarship holder of the Mayor of the City of Szczecin.

Noemi Hańczyk - harfistka w duecie kameralnym ACh Duo gitara i harfa | Harpist of the ACh Duo chamber ensemble guitar & harp

fot. Grzegorz Mikołajczyk