ABOUT THE PAGANINI DUO
Gustaw Szelski - violin
Georg Mertens - guitar
The PAGANINI DUO was formed by chance in 1989 when Georg visited the Blue Mountains and filled in for an accompanier of Gustaw.
The fusion worked extremely well; Georg then joined Gustaw's Winbourne String Quartet, replacing the cellist being overseas and formed upon his return the Tarantella Trio, which played for more than a thousand functions and weddings in NSW.
Soon Gustaw and Georg started to play also as a Duo with a focus on Gypsy Music with a shift from entertainment to concert performances.
The Paganini Duo did several interstate tours and a South East Asia tour in 1999.
Their monthly concerts at Jenolan Caves commenced in January 2003.
In 1996 they recorded their first CD "BLUE MOUNTAINS GYPSIES".
In 1997 Gustaw and Georg formed the Blue Mountains Trio together with pianist Gavin Tipping. CD "MUSIC for GRAND DINING" (see left) .
From 2004 - 2007 they recorded many of their concerts in the Cathedral Chamber. The most exciting of these Live recordings have been released on CD in 2007 on their album "An Hour in Heaven".
As a Duo or Trio they performed - to mention a few - at the Sydney Opera House, The Gulgong Opera House, The Stockman's Hall of Fame (Longreach), The Seymore Centre, Intercontinetal Hotel, Ritz Carlton Double Bay, Hilton, Ibis, Mercure, Fairmont, Hydro Majestic, Holiday Inn, played for Ford, Holden, Mazda, Hyundai, Jaguar, wine releases, medical conferences etc.
Broadcasts include 'The Great Outdoors', 'Sydney Weekender', 'Beyond 2000', 'Good Morning Australia', FRESH and many radio stations including the ABC.
Violinist GUSTAW JOSEPH SZELSKI is of Polish/Hungarian background and was brought up on a diet of Gypsy music.
His early music education however was strictly that of a Classical musician. He studied at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music (DSCM performance) and subsequently became leader of the Lyric Quartet and the Sydney University String Quartet.
He then freelanced including backing artists like Shirley Bassey, Rita Hunter, John Denver and Frank Sinatra.
He later formed the Winbourne string quartett and was active in the 31 Note music movement working closely together with the founder Bill Coates.
GEORG MERTENS studied guitar with Prof. Anton Stingl in Freiburg / Germany. He gave more than a 100 concerts in Europe. In 1983 he recorded a LP with Classical guitar solos (Luneburg).
In Australia he recorded the “Blue Cassette” (1990) and in 2001 the CD “Classical guitar – re issued”