The Kennedy Center



ReBorn was formed in December 2015 to showcase music from another era and to search through the past to create music for the present. Reborn’s music reflects the distinctive qualities of medieval instruments whose origins are lost in the shrouds of time. Fortunately, audiences are able to experience what the instruments might have sounded like through the striking renaissance of the instruments played by Reborn.
The leader of the band, Maria Pomianowska, is known for reconstructing the technique of playing three forgotten Polish instruments: the six-string Plock fiddle and the four-string Bilgoray and Mielec sukas which only survived until the end of the 19th century. The basic instrument of Polish folk music is a violin; however the modern violin is a relatively new element in folk music. In response, Reborn decided to revive this distinct pastime tradition and the fingernail technique from the 16th century. The Plock fiddle was excavated in 1985 and the string sukas were reconstructed based on iconographic sources. The models used by Reborn are the first accurate reconstructions to date and would not be possible without Pomianowska’s leadership and expertise.

Over the last 20 years, Pomianowska has composed and performed music with Yo-Yo Ma, Borys Griebienszczikow, Gil Goldstein, Gonzalo Rubalcaba, Branford Marsalis, and more. Pomianowska has released 21 solo albums, many of which have received international and domestic awards. In 2010 she established Poland’s first academic specialization in Ethno at the Krakow Academy of Music where she teachers her experimental techniques of playing traditional Polish folk music.
Cellist Aleksandra Kauf studied at the Krakow Academy of Music from 2009 to 2012. Kauf currently studies and performs the knee-supported fiddle under Maria Pomianowska. Kauf has participated in numerous international projects, including the Baltic Culture Wave, which includes artists from Denmark, Lithuania, Germany, Poland, and Sweden. In 2013, she was a member of the “Poland-China” project which was presented in several cities across Poland. In 2015 and 2016, Kauf co-wrote the Poland-India project, which was presented in both India and Poland.
The third member of the ensemble is Iwona Rapacz. Similar to Pomianowska and Kauf, Rapacz also studies cello. The trio have been performing together for the last 20 years and have played in hundreds of projects throughout Europe and Asia, namely the Polish Radio Orchestra and the Polish Chamber Philharmonic.

Watch Past Performances

Video 8/2/2017: Maria Pomianowska and ReBorn

Polish ensemble Maria Pomianowska and ReBorn perform innovative and beautiful music on suka and frame drum, imagining a historically traditional, breathtaking repertoire on these resurrected medieval instruments.

Presented in partnership with the Polish Cultural Institute New York