“DuWors and Niekawa are a beautifully balanced duo, with exceptional intonation and a tangible empathy” (Gramophone Magazine). duo526 was founded in 2011 at the Eastman School of Music (Rochester, NY). Their mentors include Charles Castleman, Jean Barr, Henk Guittart, Roger Tapping, Lafayette String Quartet, Hardy Rittner, and Mark Steinberg. duo526 has performed across Canada, the U.S., Japan and has had artist residencies at the Banff Centre, Avaloch Farm Music Institute, Brandon University and Indiana University. In 2016, duo526 launched their “Mozart in Public Spaces” project: video recordings for social media of the complete Mozart sonatas in conjunction with the “Play Me I’m Yours” street pianos installations all over the world. They have recently given performances at the 2019 "Experience Villa-Lobos" Festival at Virginia Commonwealth University, Oklahoma University, and the Regina Chamber Music Festival.
Travels to Berlin, Vienna, Salzburg, Prague, Budapest, Amsterdam, New York City and Iceland have given duo526 insight and inspiration. duo526’s 2014 debut album, Ballade, exemplifies this spirit through sonatas by Janáček, Enescu and Grieg. Their latest album DUO FANTASY featuring works by Villa-Lobos, Bax and Bolcom was released May 2019.
duo526 is dedicated to creative thought and the art of listening through the study and performance of a vast repertoire across an array of styles. Their joy of collaboration results from risk-taking, inspiration and spontaneous reactions. Their name was inspired by Mozart’s last Sonata for Violin and Piano K. 526, the first work presented to them for their equal virtuosic flair and refined musicianship. Dedicated to mentorship and pedagogy, duo526 started their annual summer Sonata Seminar in 2018 at Brandon University.
"Niekawa and DuWors create an art that goes beyond mere interpretation. The personality of the two musicians expands out with a creative attitude towards the world" (Sonograma Magazine).