Karen and Kasia Szczech formed a Chicago based duet called Magical Keys to bring people together and enjoy the simple pleasures of what music can give during any occasion, and bring together people who are interested in learning music at their Magical Keys Studio where they teach. Magical Keys is featured of professional violinist Karolina Szczech and Harpist, pianist and vocalist Kasia Szczech. Two these talented young ladies work hard at producing and composing works for this duet.
This duet brings a great variety to their audience from Canon in D on harp and violin brining the bride down the aisle at wedding ceremonies to Lady Gaga and electric violin techno solos during dinner at wedding, communions, anniversary and birthday receptions. They also bring a variety of jazz and classical music for a more relaxing dinner time experience.
This duet hopes to become more and more acquainted with the Chicago family and bring their talent to the seats of wonderful people.
Karen Szczech is currently a freshman at Southern Illinois University in Edwardsville where she studies violin performance with Dr. Lenora Anop while also pursuing a minor in psychology. Prior to her university studies, she attended the Chicago Academy for the Arts high school in Chicago, Illinois studying with Ms. Rachel Brown. Her love for music has opened multiple doors for her, whether it be composing a piece for her own pleasure, or having a random chamber get-together with other string players and sight-reading pieces for fun. Not only a performer, but also a composer, Karen’s pieces have been debuted by the Grammy Award winning ensemble, Eighth Black Bird in May of 2016 at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, representing Kerry James Marshall exhibit. She is also in a youth ensemble called the Chicago Arts Initiative (CAI) directed by Jesse Langen, who collaborated with Studio Musik Fabric in Chicago and Darmstadt, Germany in the International New Music Festival years 2015 and summer of 2016. She has also performed in the Ear Taxi New Music Festival, made possible by Augusta Read Thomas held in Chicago in October 2016, and in the Under the Radar Festival in Omaha, Nebraska in the summer of 2017. Furthermore, as of today she has written three contemporary operas. Karen plays all categories of music, ranging from classical, contemporary classical new music, to old folk tunes her grandparents used to play in Poland, to electronic sound gear.
“Ultimately, my destiny in life is to change the world for the better. I have gotten responses from audience members after giving a performance that I have made it possible for them to escape their personal worries and just fly into another world where it feels safe. I am truly honored to be able to help others through something that I love to do. I know the hard work will pay off in the end because knowing that I have the ability to make an impact in someone’s life no matter how big or small, gives me one more reason to wake up with a smile on my face”.
Kasia Szczech is a Chicago based composer, pianist, harpist, organist, and vocalist who is working to take music to a whole other level. She has graduated Depaul University in June 2017 and is continuing her studies at St. Xavier University to complete her Masters Degree in Music Education and Choral Conducting. Her experience has brought her many ideas to a complete and only motivates her. Her interest in contemporary classical new music and education had sparked at the Chicago Academy for the Arts where she attended for high school. She is working full time, teaching her students and conducting her choirs, while being an organist at two churches, St. Albert the Great and St. Mary Queen of the Apostles.
Jesse Langen, the guitarist for world-wide known new music ensemble Dal Niente has been her mentor and second-father figure since the day she stepped foot at CAA. Kasia has been interested in the experimental scene since she had first started working on new music projects at CAA and continued her new music studies as a Composition major at Depaul.
She has experience with electronic, production, and a wide variety of new techniques for instruments. Her voice as a composer features taking the problems of todays society, mainly featuring the war on humans and technology but keeps her voice by always incorporating old folk tunes from her home land Poland.
Kasia Szczech has won and been commissioned by Ensembles all around the world as a composer and had world wide Premieres by DissonArt Ensemble in Greece and Ensemble Dal Niente. Kasia Szczech is also part of a Youth Ensemble called Chicago Arts initiative, directed by Jesse Langen, who recently collaborated with Studio Musik Fabric in Chicago and Darmstadt, Germany in the International New Music Festival years 2015 and summer of 2016. Kasia also done piano festivals and student exchange programs all over the world in Singapore, Italy, Montreal, and Germany. She has years of teaching experience all over Chicago and years of performance experience. She plans to take this to another level by making her ultimate vision come true.
Kasia dreams of opening up a studio, where children from everywhere are able to learn the art of music on any instrument, learn music theory to help influence their understanding of what music is made of, composition to spark their creativity in creating the music they find interesting, have them play in ensembles to learn to share music with others and be able to speak the music language and lastly, learn the art of performance. Kasia has been working hard to maintain Magical Keys not only as a wedding duet, but also as a place where children can learn music, and a place that can create shows such as A Magical Keys Christmas Show, where all students and choirs Kasia teaches get a chance to perform in front of many audiences. After Graduating, Kasia is working hard to make sure this dream comes true.