January: NEW Year NEW Challenges NEW Resolutions

January 2017!

 “Hello From The Other Side!”—Adele

So far with these blogs I’ve spent a lot of time talking about my adventures and accomplishments. Now I’d like to reflect upon “another side” and reveal what it’s like behind what may seem like a glamourous lifestyle as an international musician.

I’ve often received advice from those who know me well: they say I should slow down and stop working so hard.

After some soul searching, I’ve finally realized and can admit that these people who care about me are, in fact, quite right– I must embrace every moment, as I’ll never get these times back. Although I certainly enjoy performing (especially bringing joy to an audience), I need to stop going overboard into such a frantic whirl of performances, and, more so, all that goes with them (travelling and working on preparations in my office)…which can lead to me ignoring the outside world and missing important things that are happening around me.

Therefore…this year I vow to take some time off work—to do the “normal”/natural things I should be doing—sleeping more, eating better, do (even) more exercise and travel LESS (on business). You may think it’s great to travel – in some ways – it is. But not when you spend almost an entire year abroad, like I did for the past two years on 4 different continents in X number of countries I never thought I would visit in my life—it’s exhausting!—and I don’t always have time to explore these new places, which can be frustrating.

I mean, 2016 was a VERY busy performing year!

  • I traveled 67,000 miles / 107,826.05 kilometers outside of the UK.
  • Additionally, I traveled over 40,000 miles / 64,000 kilometers within the UK on my car to various performances. Despite such high numbers I did NOT have a single accident! (I must be good driver!)
  • I also travelled on foot!—running two marathons – London 2016 & New York 2016, and managed to fundraise 10,785.55 GBP for Cancer Research.

Here are some of the places I visited:

  • INDIA – KOLKATA
  • INDIA – GOA
  • INDONESIA – BALI
  • SINGAPORE
  • THAILAND
  • MYANMAR
  • SRI LANKA
  • POLAND (twice)
  • IRELAND
  • NORTHERN IRELAND
  • NORWAY (twice)
  • DENMARK
  • FINLAND
  • RUSSIA – St. Petersburg
  • LATVIA
  • PORTUGAL
  • SPAIN
  • USA – New York

Blog Collage

These places where I’ve performed are truly stunning and unforgettable. Part of me is always very grateful that my work takes me all over the world.

However, in my job it’s very difficult, for example, to have relationship due to constant travelling or being jet-lagged after travelling. This year I decided to focus on my boyfriend and make the most of living in my beautiful, freshly renovated house and just simply enjoy sunrises and sunsets from my own bed instead of a hotel’s bed or a bed at my cruise cabin.

In 2017 I am still planning on fundraising for Cancer Research UK, running the Barcelona Marathon (on my birthday) and climbing Kilimanjaro in Tanzania in October. I will also be re-releasing my second album in November :-)

I know…sounds busy already…but I also have some more “relaxing” goals—like finishing my garden and enjoying the blooms! Relax, relax, relax—I must remind myself!

Really, the plan is working so far: in January, I already worked less. I did perform at a wedding ceremony at St John the Baptist Church (all the best for Samantha and Robert) and at York Marriott—but that’s all!

Instead of packing in the performances, I actually enjoyed watching other musicians; i.e. I went to Sheffield Ball Room & City Hall to see an Australian fingerstyle guitarist Tommy Emmanuell at his tour ‘It’s Never Too Late’ –a very poignant sentiment, which I’ve taken to heart.

So starting in 2017, say “hello” to the new me. I will adjust my focus—beyond performing and travelling—to “the other side” of life!

Festive December ★

 Party, Party, Party—and parking! 

It’s not hard to guess why December is one of my favourite months…Christmas, of course! Since I was little girl I always adored all the Christmas preparations and spending time with my family.

But first, “Tis the season to be”… performing at corporate Christmas parties!

15590899_1269139336481007_2442844455345030341_oMy initial “jolly do” was for Hiscox Insurance. What a fabulous new modern glass building they are based in! It’s in the centre of York, which is lovely—except if you’re trying to park a car! (Thanks goodness I had my boyfriend with me, who managed to sort out all logistics and get my ‘black arrow’ parked somewhere secure!)

I also performed at the Christmas party  Aspire Leeds , for an accounting firm. Another central location—this time in the middle of Leeds, but I’m more used to this one, since I’ve performed there quite regularly throughout the years for various corporate and private clients. It’s also an unforgettable venue (for a variety of reasons–I had my first car’s back door 15823312_1277568778971396_8211070669553364389_nsmashed due to my –at the time- poor car parking skills). But we all learn from mistakes…with so much practice in tricky places, my parking skills have become almost as strong as my violining (well, almost)!
This month also saw me rounding off the year with more wedding performances. One was really momentous – a military outdoor (yes, in December!) wedding ceremony, followed by indoor (which I was originally relieved to hear) wedding drinks reception at The Inn on the Lake in Cumbria. I’ve never performed at a Military wedding 16105612_1292450824149858_450513062860970582_nbefore, so this was actually a novelty for me. The military uniforms of the ushers were very distinguished, along with the groom’s friends, escorting the bride ensembled in
traditional dapper British suits. It was fittingly a very picturesque setting, overlooking lake and the mountains. And the weather was actually amazing too (we weren’t pining for cover inside!) No snow or rain – instead 17’C and sunshine – not bad for England, eh?

Of course, I’m always grateful to spend some time at “ho-ho-home” at Christmas. Although it wasn’t white (no snow this year), there was certainly all sorts of nice, traditional food; plenty of colourful decorations and a big tree gleaming with lights (none of which I have a hand in as, like always, I arrived home at the last minute!) And as usual, my mum ornaments everything in her patented “baroque” style—my brother and I always try to keep a straight face when complimenting her efforts—look at each other, and crack up like crazy! ???

But the important and amazing thing is that whole family was in attendance—and together we celebrated and laughed (a lot!). Although, they did insist that we watch the documentary about me, “Success does not know/have boundaries” (shot in Novemebr 2015 in Leeds by Polish TV crew from Discovery Channel). It was quite embarrassing watching myself on screen, surrounded by family and friends!

Even my cousin came to join us—he is a very talented composer and marimba player (check out http://www.lucid-duo.com to explore his exciting c6cc3ca19adb3e92555b9636711977de_1200x800musical duo with Bulgarian percussion player, Irena Malonova). It was fascinating to find out about their recent tour of Japan—a place I’ve always wanted to see.
What made our holiday celebration even more special was my Grandma’s birthday on Christmas Eve—she’s now 80! What a fabulous age! She’s doing so well and we are all very proud of her.

After all this joy at Christmas, I had two interesting interviews at a local Radio Koszalin, where presenters asked to reflect upon my career and music. The interview went well and will be translated and streamed on YouTube soon—so stay tuned!15672663_1274765525918388_2292666367073498801_n

 

15874714_1285966868131587_4397117401762129146_oAlways sad to bid farewell to Poland, but it was eventful returning to
the UK, for a performance at a New Year’s Eve wedding ceremony and drinks reception at the majestic Hazelwood Castle to welcome a new couple and say goodbye to 2016 (another amazing year!)

 

 

Still, working on New Year’s Eve? Well, yes – but I still had time tenjoy myself and greet 2017 in style. I spent New Year’s night
in BiBis Italianisimo – on Elvis night,2017
even – it was nice to be a
guest for a change—wi
th the all-time King of Rock!

 

 



November: Time For Changes

In the very beginning of the month I was still visiting Poland, Wroclaw where my brother and his wife live. I decided to visit unknown to me hairdresser … and after very time consuming visit I ended up with A FRINGE and half-length darker hair. I could not recognize myself in the mirror! That was a beginning of surprises this month brought!

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After returning to the UK I had just less than 12 hours to ‘pack myself’ and set to New York To run TCS New York Marathon 2016! In NY I managed to have also some photos and video footage done for an upcoming video. Cutting a long US story short – I completed the marathon in 4h 44 minutes, Raised for Cancer Research UK £5185,52, Donald Trump won the president election (I witnessed this historical moment in New York…) and I came back bringing a boyfriend with me. It can only happen in America!

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After returning I have performed a series of gigs. I played at famous Fenwick in Newcastle twice at their Christmas Shopping Event. I performed at weddings at Wentbridge House and Clumber Park. I have also performed at a Winter Wonderland – Round Table Charity Ball in Sussex.

And of course the icing on a cake – It was the final closing event of Bruce Grant’s  PONT Charity GROUP where I was invited to perform and attend the dinner. Earlier this year Bruce organised a charity concert for Cancer Research UK to raise funds towards my London Marathon target. Bruce turned 90 (!!!) on Boxing Day – 26th December – and just now decided to retire :

4What a fabulous and charismatic character he is!

And Finally. Something spectacular I have witnessed. Not only a great musicianship and concert. It was a spectacular show. I had a chance to attend L. Einaudi’s concert at Birmingham Symphony Hall during his tour ‘Elements’.

The whole experience was speechless; ‘Night’ is my new favorite piece of this modern classical fusion composer and artist! Such art’s simplicity with unbeatable charm and courtesy. Thank you for so amazing soul and mid experience. The concert gave me a lot to think also about my personal musical development and changes … that will be implemented into my style in 2017!

October: Majestic Ocean Views and Monumental Projects

My apologies for not posting anything earlier! I have to admit sometimes my personal life gets in the way of my work life and I have to cut corners—in this case, my blog! I promise in 2017 I will keep it up to date (relatively!) :-)

In the beginning of October I went on cruise to Canary Islands on a beautiful Saga Pearl II ship. It was my début on the ship and I am hoping to sale with them again soon. I do like the Canaries—mostly because of the fact I was very fortunate so far to have fantastic weather! My favourite is actually a little island called El Hierro, the smallest and farthest south and west of the Canaries. I did my marathon training there, 20km run. I’d certainly recommend early morning running (before it gets too hot!) whilst overlooking the Atlantic Ocean; it was one of my best experiences ever. The Atlantic has very deep blue/navy colour that captivates me. So much that after the workout I could not resist jumping into the ocean for a swim! :-)

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Of course it wasn’t just about training and swimming in the Atlantic; I also performed two of my shows. The usual classical performance, right? Not quite, because this one was on Halloween. The band and I gave a dark, spooky performance, all decked out in black!

When I came back to England I had a rollercoaster at the building site (in case you don’t know, I’m project managing the building and renovation of my house – I’ve actually taken on this monumental task entirely on myself, nobody’s really assisted me apart from my closest family—who are living far away…). Although the project has been ultra-stressful, I am quite proud of achieving something different than pleasing people by playing the violin. (I hope to ultimately find some happiness myself, if this house ever gets finished!) I have to admit projects like this are a very good love therapy for singles :-) You have absolutely NO time to find a second half!

Apart from cruises and my house saga, I performed in one of my favourite places, Scotland, both in Stirling and also in Kirkcaldy, where I had a chance to train alongside the beach overlooking sunrises. I don’t have words to explain how much I love looking at big waters – one of the main benefits to performing on cruises!

Back on dry land I also performed at beautiful weddings at Allerton Castle, Nostell Priory, Hazelwood Castle, Owston Hall.

Finally…I visited my homeland – Poland! My brother, is now happily married to Agnes who is a barrister – I could not feel any safer having two lawyers in my family 😉 And they are expecting a first baby – a boy. It has been officially announced that he will be named after my dad – that absolutely crushed my mums heart when she heard it J The baby is a first descendant of our family’s crest J My brother decided to record his debut album when waiting for the arrival of the baby. Can you guess who joined him in the recording studio? Fingers crossed our first sibling record will be released before April 2017!

Sunny, Spectacular September

What fabulous weather we’ve enjoyed this month—is it still summer?

Once again, I’ve relished performing for lovely people at many beautiful wedding venues. I felt like royalty at Carlton Towers, which is a “Grade I listed Victorian gothic country house in Carlton, North Yorkshire, England” and the family home of Lord and Lady Gerald Fitzalan Howard. It was so exciting to perform at such an exquisite ceremony!

What was also a brilliant, but more unusual experience for me, was performing at a Bollywood wedding. I don’t often entertain at Bollywood weddings, as they usually require a specific nature of performance. But this time the bride wanted something different—she asked for classical and popular pieces selection. I did play a Bollywood piece when the bride entered the reception venue; it was one of my very favourite Bollywood pieces, “Kal Ho Naa How” (the piece is going to be recorded and filmed in not too distant future). It all reminded me of my enthralling time in Mumbai last December. Unfortunately, I was so busy that I ran out of time to visit the famous Bollywood Studio. I’ll put it on my bucket list of things to do in the future!

This month I also attended a bridal event at Bar Soba Leeds hosted by Bridal Emporium (http://www.the-bridal-emporium.com). These are girls who specialise in beautiful custom bridal dresses design. It was a fabulous evening, featuring a fashion show with a catwalk and many exhibitors. I performed on my electric violin during the drinks reception and after the show. I hope I looked glamourous enough to fit in with all the fantastic fashionJ!

And finally, perhaps the most amazing of the amazing…The Scandinavian Cruise! I performed my shows again on beautiful MS Black Watch, Fred Olsen Cruise Lines. I visited Copenhagen, Helsinki, St Petersburg, Riga and Oslo. One of the perks of performing on a cruise is certainly the experience of seeing so many new places, meeting interesting people, and learning unexpected information. I was also able to find out more about my ancestry and heritage—do I seem like Viking violinist?!

What’s more, I maintained my fitness discipline and did a lot of training for quickly approaching TCS New York Marathon. Actually, running is a great way of sightseeing – seriously! When I train and run 15-20 kilometres I am able to see a good chunk of the cities I visit (although sometimes in a blur when I speed up!.So keeping fit and exploring new territory= a win/win situation! Maybe all this training will also lead me to winning the marathon. Seriously though, all I really care about is doing my best and contributing to fighting cancer with Cancer Research UK.

The bonus this month was that I discovered great news from my Alma Mater, the University of Leeds. The University was selected by The Times and the Sunday Times as…

***the University of Year, 2017***

What a remarkable distinction!!! And I think they fully deserve it. I’m very proud to be a graduate from Leeds Uni!

Goodness, so many fun and fantastic things happening—can October top this?! I can’t wait to see!:)

 

An Amazing August

What a month! Of course I’m always busy, but August was just a whole new level of new challenges, experiences and adventures—both professionally and personally.

I’ll start on a more personal note. You probably know about my commitment to the cause of Cancer Research. This past spring I was thrilled to have eclipsed my target in raising over £5,600 for Cancer Research UK when I completed the London Marathon (phew—it wasn’t easy!). Now I’m pushing myself further for the same cause…but this time running across the pond at the TCS New York City Marathon. Once again I have been passionate about raising funds to reach my target and spreading awareness by giving charity performances around the UK. This endeavour has taken me to interesting cities as far south as Salisbury and all the way up north to Dundee! It was thrilling to get some publicity for my charity work when I was interviewed by BBC Radio Gloucester. I have to admit that performing on air, was easier than speaking! THANK YOU so much to everyone who has donated! (and if you haven’t yet donated, there’s still time before November!:)

The threat of Cancer again struck my family this past January (I lost my dad to the dreadful disease) as my mum had an operation in St. James Hospital in Leeds. I was so worried. But the cause to eradicate Cancer seems to be paying off, as tests now show my mum to be Cancer Free! Yeah! So of course, I am going to keep on fundraising for this wonderful charity as I seriously believe in research.  Thank you so much to the surgeon Mr Naggib who completed the operation, all the nurses at Bexley Wing (including haematology) and David Beaver Unit for the care my mum has received. It has been a very difficult dealing with the shocking diagnosis and waiting long months for the treatment results—but we are so lucky to have such positive news!

As for my professional work…I have performed at so many beautiful weddings over the month of August. I played beautiful wedding near Lake Windermere, in Carlton Towers and even … at a Scottish Wedding! I LOVE Scotland and Scottish people are some of the nicest I have ever worked with :-)

I’m always pleased to receive positive feedback from my clients. I love to make audiences happy through my music. Here are some of the nice things that people have posted on FreeIndex page following my performances.

“Kate was very punctual, professional and most importantly fantastic! She entertained the guests at our wedding breakfast, knowing all of the music of by heart! everyone at the wedding commented on how well she played and I would definitely recommend her to anyone having an event!”Natalie Ellam, Wakefield

“Less than 2 weeks to our wedding we amazingly found Kate playing in the high street of Perth raising funds to participate in the NYC marathon for Cancer Research. Her music was so beautiful it moved me to tears and we both commented how great it would be if she could play at our wedding. I approached Kate who we found to be really friendly and she confirmed she was able to play for us. She kept in regular contact with us up until our wedding providing suggestions and song choices helping us to choose the music for our ceremony, drinks reception and wedding breakfast. On the day of the wedding itself, Kate astounded everyone, mesmerising them with her performances. Kate is such a professional and so well organised liasing with venues to discuss timing for set ups and sound checks. She also dresses immaculately to perform. Kate added such class to our day and our guests are still talking about Kate’s performance and talent. Our guests are looking forward to the release of Kate’s new album. Kate, thank you so much for your amazing performance and for making our day absolutely perfect. You really are so wonderfully talented and your music touches everyone who hears it. We sincerely wish you a long and happy career and you and your family all the very best for the future.” -Kelly Williams, Dunfermline

Thank you so much, Natalie and Kelly—I’m so please that you were pleased!:)

Not only did I perform at numerous lovely weddings, it was also exhilarating to play at the Shindig Festival near Scarborough and at Orient Express with my fantastic Electrify Violin Duo partner, Mrs Sharleen Jones.

What’s more, my violin took me to Norway where I performed my Electric Violin Show on board of beautiful MS Black Watch – Fred Olsen Cruise Lines.

You see, I TOLD you it’s been a busy month! But I’ve really enjoyed itJ

What’s next? I’m really looking forward to my upcoming trips – I’ve managed to get another visa stamped in my beautiful New Passport – RUSSIA here I come (with love!).

Welcome to Kate’s Blog

Hello Everyone,

My new website has been live for almost a year now (I hope you like it!) and I’ve been planning on writing a monthly blog to keep you up to date with the latest news. The challenge is that it’s hard to keep up to date with all the “happenings” since there is so much happening! But I promise, from now on I will try. Here it goes…

 Let’s start with July:

It’s been another whirlwind series of weeks! At the corporate event for Alfred Angelo UK at Oulton Hall last Monday I honoured a special request to perform in a bridesmaids dress. What a lovely frock to top off an unbelievable day! I only just made it on time but was very close to having to cancel. After visiting U.S. Embassy London, my return train journey was cancelled since Kings Cross, London was evacuated due to a fire! To make matters worse, the next train I was able to take was also delayed!

I also performed as part of a beautiful wedding ceremonies at amazing locations: at Grosvenor Hotel Chester, followed by the drinks reception at Chester Cathedral grounds; and at the Thorpe Park Hotel & Spa, Leeds. Congratulations to the happy, new couples—and to a couple who are “as good as new”, after many years together: I played at their Golden Wedding Anniversary party at their extraordinary estate in North Leeds.

June

It’s always a pleasure to play with Eduardo Niebla. This time the soothing sounds of his Spanish guitar were with me in Goole (I love the name of the place—no, it’s not scary at all!).

I’ve also been sailing around, headlining another Fred Olsen cruise. Although I’ve had the pleasure of performing on numerous cruises now, it’s always so exciting to entertain each new group of passengers (so relaxed and happy to be on holiday!)—and see the sights of the different places along the way. You can see the video of “Ain’t No Stopping Us Now” on youtube to get a hint of some of the fun I had swaying my hips (whoo hoo!) while playing my heart out with the always fantastic orchestra.

One thing I love about being a professional musician is the variety of functions—I still love that special spark of weddings—everyone is always so excited for the couple—you can feel the love, so it’s really inspiring to play. For this one in Bridlington, I donned a yellow dress, at the couple’s request. What a lovely setting and an amazing day!

I also adored performing at several other wedding ceremonies, blessings and drinks receptions at breathtakingly magnificent venues: Oulton Hall and Hazelwood Castle Hotel; and I played a retirement party at the stunningly beautiful Burton Mount Country House.

*BRAND NEW WEBSITE*

My *BRAND NEW WEBSITE* is finally completed and running online. I am so happy I will be able to write and share info on my performances :-)

I am now back from USA cruise on MS Balmoral – Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines where I gave 2 headline shows (Bermuda & Azores).  It took a while to cross the Atlantic Ocean and I have to admit the sea was very rough and stormy.

Slightly jet lagged, yesterday I performed on my electric violin at the launch of New BMW 7 Series at BMW Doncaster. This car looks and feels absolutely fabulous :-)

BMW Series 7
BMW Series 7
BMW Series 7
BMW Series 7
BMW Series 7
BMW Series 7