A graduate of the Warsaw Academy of Music. Winner of 1st prizes at the competitions in New York, Baltimore, Leipzig, Ljubljana, Vina del Mar (Chile), Kuhmo (Finland), and the 2nd Prize at the Paulo Cello Competition in Helsinki. In 1999, he was honoured with the Polityka Passport Prize and in 2009 ‘Male Berlo’ Prize. He gave concerts in Europe and the Americas, in Africa, Asia, and during his Japanese tour, he also gave a recital in Tokio’s Suntory Hall.
Following his debut in the New York’s Y Hall, and chamber music concert in Carnegie Hall (1999), he went on a number of tours in the USA. He also performed with international orchestras in Bogota, Santiago, Los Angeles, Moscow, Helsinki, Budapest, Palermo, Astan, and with The Munich Philharmonics. He gives regular concerts and makes recordings in Poland with such ensembles as Sinfonia Varsovia, Sinfonietta Cracovia, NOSPR (Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra in Katowice), Polish Radio Orchestra, and the Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by S. Skrowaczewski, with whom he had a successful debut. The success resulted in invitations to concert tours abroad with this orchestra, and a CD recording of W. Lutosławski’s Concert, directed by Antoni Wit, later honoured with two Fryderyk Prizes.
Rafał Kwiatkowski was a soloist during symphonic performances during Polish acces to the European Union which took place in Copenhagen (Tivoli Hall), Helsinki and Basel. In 2001, he performed Krzysztof Penderecki’s Viola Concerto in Berlin, and participated in the first public performance of Concerto Grosso. Since then, Krzysztof Penderecki has regularly been inviting the young cellist to participate in performances of his Concertos, both at home and abroad, and to record the music (with NOSPR and the Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra).
Kwiatkowski has performed at a number of renowned festivals, including the ones in Puerto Rico, Chile, Russia, Germany, Finland, Czech Republic, as well as at major festivals in Poland.
Apart from being a soloist, Rafał Kwiatkowski is a devoted chamber musician. Since 1998, he has been a permanent feature at the Bravo Maestro Chamber Music Festival in Kąśna Dolna, where he met and started collaborating with the most eminent Polish artists. On a number of occasions, he performed in a trio with Vadim Brodski and Waldemar Malicki (i.e., in Vienna and Copenhagen) and, together with Konstanty Kulka, Krzysztof Bąkowski, and Krzysztof Jabłoński, became a member of the Warsaw Quintet, reactivated after twenty years by Stefan Kamasa (the ensemble used to be well known in Europe, when led by Władysław Szpilman). In February 2009, the cellist played a series of concerts with Krystian Zimerman, reaching for G. Bacewicz’s piano quintets. The project was crowned by a recording for Deutsche Grammophon.
Rafał Kwiatkowski teaches at the Warsaw University of Music.