Axoum Duo

Biography

Axoum Duo

Elwira Slazak & Gabriel Collet are Polish-French percussionists - classically educated musicians - specializing in Marimba duets. Their musical path began with contemporary music. Very early on they started to collaborate with emerging composers, creating new repertoire.

Their first CD recording with new music "Axoum New Music for Two Marimbas" was released in 2007 with, among others, three first recordings of original pieces written for marimba duet and receiving enthusiastic reviews in France, Belgium, Japan and USA.

Axoum's performances and recordings have been broadcast on different radios in Europe including: Musiques 3, Radio Bartok and Polskie Radio. The duo also makes appearances on different TV programmes in Poland.

Regularly performing in Belgium, China, France, Germany, Poland, South Korea, Spain and Sweden, in past seasons the duo appeared during festivals such as "65 International Chopin Piano Festival", "Braunshweig Festival Classix”, "International Seoul Drum Festival", "Les Journées de la Francophonie", "Karuzela Cooltury" and "X Franz Schubert Music Festival” and at the European Parliament, Auditorio de Tenerife, Shanghai Concert Hall, Rachid Behboudov Theatre in Bakou among others.

They regularly give masterclasses and lectures in Europe and Asia and since 2011, the duo has organised the annual "Axoum International Marimba Masterclasses" in Radziejowice, Poland, inviting renowned players such as Ludwig Albert and David Friedman to give lectures. In July 2011, the artists appeared as jury members in "4th Universal Marimba Competition" in Belgium.

Formed in Paris in 2000 by Elwira Slazak and Gabriel Collet, they both hold degrees with the highest distinctions from the Conservatory of Paris and the Royal Conservatory of Music in Brussels. They graduated with diplomas with the highest honour from the Royal Conservatory of Music in Antwerp having completed the Postgraduate Concert Soloist (marimba) course and, are recipients of prestigious European "Prix Luffin" and "The Sir Georges Solti Foundation" grants.

The duo has won many prizes at International competitions including

- International Music Competition in Belgium, 2000

- VII International Krzysztof Penderecki Contemporary Chamber Music Competition, Cracow - II prize

- II International Marimba Duo Competition in Belgium - II prize

- VIII International Contemporary Chamber Music Competition in Cracow (Poland) - I prize (Axoum Duo was the first marimba duo in the history of the competition to win the First Prize)