Jarek Augustyniak was born in Poland in 1965. He started his musical education on the piano at the age of 9. However, he began his journey with the bassoon at age 12 in the H. Wieniawski Secondary Music School in Łódź under Professor Stefan Szczech. In 1988 he graduated with distinction from the Academy of Music in Łódź, Poland with a master’s degree in Bassoon and Chamber Music under Professor Stanisław Sojka. A year later he was a laureate in the XXI Competition of Young Instrumentalists in Włoszakowice while simultaneously winning the special award from the Wielkopolska Symphony Orchestra. Jarek furthered his studies under the guidance of Vincenzo Menghini – RAI Turin.
Jarek was appointed as Principal Bassoon of the BBC National Orchestra of Wales in December 2004. He joined BBC National Orchestra of Wales after a thirteen–year post as Principal Bassoon with the Basque National Orchestra, Spain. In his career Jarek has played Principal Bassoon with the Nova Filarmonia Portuguesa, Łódź Opera Symphony Orchestra and in the Warsaw National Philharmonic.
His professional life leads him to move from Poland, through Portugal, Spain and Denmark to the United Kingdom. He has been given the opportunity to play in almost all European countries and as far afield as the USA, Argentina, Chile and China - in countless venues including Wien Konzerthaus, Madrid Auditorio Nacional, London Royal Albert Hall, Berlin Konzerthaus, Amsterdam Concertgebouw, Buenos Aires Teatro Colon, Seoul Sangmyung Hall and Beijing National Centre for the Performing Arts. He has played under the baton of such great conductors as Rudolf Barshai, Semyon Bychkov, Christoph von Dohnányi, Sir Mark Elder, Charles Dutoit, Richard Hickox, Vladimir Jurowski, Witold Lutosławski, Yehudi Menuhin, Tadaaki Otaka, Krzysztof Penderecki, Vassily Sinaisky, and Walter Weller.
In addition, Jarek has fostered an active solo career, with the Łomża Chamber Orchestra (1987 – Mozart), tour with Nova Filarmonia Portuguesa (1992 – Mozart), Basque National Orchestra, San Sebastián (1996 – Weber, 1997 and 1998 – Escudero, 2001 – Françaix) and with Sinfonietta Académica Navarra (2000 – Vivaldi), BBC NOW (2005 – Weber, 2006 – Knotts and 2007 – R. Strauss, 2010 – F. Martin and E. Elgar, 2011 – A. Jolivet), Sinfonia Cymru (2016 -Vivaldi), BBC NOW (2016 – J. Pickard, BIS CD recording), Surrey Mozart Players (2017 – Elgar, Weber). BBC NOW – (2017– Wolf-Ferrari, 2018 Wolf-Ferrari, Haydn – Sinfonia Concertante). In 2021 – Weber and Wolf-Ferrari with Fort Wayne Philharmonic in USA and Spisak, Panufnik with BBC NOW.
He recorded soundtrack solo bassoon for the Anri Sala film “1395 Days Without Red” – followed by a solo appearance in Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris.
During his career Jarek has been a member of the European Jeunesses Musicales, Festival Orchestra “Sinfonia Helvetica” and played as a guest principal with the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra, Dortmunder Philharmoniker, “Arthur Rubinstein” Philharmonic Orchestra, Bilbao Symphony Orchestra, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, Royal Scottish National Orchestra. Established in the British music scene he is regularly invited to major ensembles as a guest principal including – Aurora Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Welsh National Opera, BBC Philharmonic, Philharmonia Orchestra, Hallé Orchestra, Orchestra of the Royal Opera House Covent Garden and London Symphony Orchestra.
His interest in chamber music has driven him to be a founding member of the ensemble “Quinteto Barroco” and the wind quintet “Alizé”. In the United Kingdom he was a member of BBC NOW Soloists and “Quintillion Ensemble”. In 2006 he recorded a CD with this group. His solo compact disc recording with the Basque National Orchestra includes a – “Sinfonia Sacra” of Francisco Escudero.
He has participated in major European music festivals including “Warsaw Autumn”, “Prague Spring”, “Schleswig-Holstein”, and the BBC PROM Festival. Also, as a soloist in the recital for the acclaimed world’s oldest music festival – Three Choirs Festival.
His teaching experience commenced in 1989 working with the woodwind group in the H. Wieniawski Secondary Music School in Łódź. Subsequently Jarek has given numerous master classes in Poland, Portugal and Spain. As a member of British Double Reed Society, he has given master classes and recitals all over the United Kingdom. He has given educational concerts as a soloist with BBC NOW (D. Knotts – A mini-concerto for bassoon and Strimpellata by Wolf-Ferrari)) and with chamber groups in various European countries. He was teaching at the University of Bristol; collaborating regularly with the Guildhall School of Music & Drama in London and Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music in London. Since 2020 he is a professor at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama. In 2017 Jarek was invited as a special guest to participate in the inaugural bassoon workshop in Poznan – the major event of this kind in Poland, with consecutive several visits with masters. In June 2017 gave master classes at the Senzoku Gakuen College of Music in Tokyo. In May 2018 was teaching in National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain. Between 2008-2016 Jarek was a founder and organizer of “Ventus Optimus” – a yearly summer courses for woodwinds in Poland which was attended by over 400 students. Since March 2020 Ventus Optimus became a series of virtual educational meetings which soon will have its centenary edition.
In his spare time Jarek takes a keen interest in sports, especially football. He loves mountaineering and frequently commutes to work by bike. He is a proud father of two sons Damian, Kosma and a daughter Jasmin. He is married to journalist Aya Nomura. They live in Cardiff, United Kingdom.