Izabela Spiewak, 60, of Raleigh, died suddenly on February 6 from complications of leukemia. She was born in Poland and began her international musical career at a very young age. At age 8, she moved away from her home and family to attend a music school for gifted young artists. At 17, she won the International Young Violinists Competition in Lublin, Poland. She then performed numerous recitals and concerts as guest soloist throughout Poland. At 18, she entered the Warsaw Conservatory of Music where she studied with some of the best violin teachers in Eastern Europe. While still a student, she joined the Polish Radio and Television Orchestra and recorded classical and popular music for the Polish radio and TV. She graduated with honors from the Warsaw Conservatory of Music.
Under the auspices of the Polish Performing Artists Management, Izabela then relocated to Mexico. She joined the Mexico City Philharmonic with which she toured all over the world, playing under many celebrated conductors. She then took a position as concertmaster of the Dominican Republic National Symphony Orchestra.
In the mid-1980s, Izabela was offered a full scholarship to the Los Angeles Philharmonic Institute, studying and performing with such distinguished artists as Menahem Pressler, Yehudi Menuhin, Heiicheiro Ohyama, Leonard Bernstein, and Michael Tilson Thomas.
She was a long time member of the Florida Philharmonic Orchestra, the orchestra of the Miami Grand Opera, and the Miami Chamber Symphony.
In 2004 she joined the Raleigh Symphony Orchestra and began a very prominent violin teaching studio.
She was one of the founding members of the Arcangelo Piano Quartet and Duo Appassionato.
She is survived by Dominik Bozek, her son, two brothers who live in Poland, dear friend Jenny Zhou, and beloved companion Xi Yang.
Classical Voice of North Carolina revered her playing stating "... Izabela impressed (audiences) with her beautiful tone and lyricism, always secure. The violin playing was magnificent throughout.... Her fusion of technical skills and interpretation drew in and consistently engaged the listeners...."
She will be remembered for her larger-than-life personality, her glamour, her flamboyant style, and her love of people. She was a spirited teacher and performer with a passion for life that is treasured by all who had the joy of knowing her.
A memorial service will take place on February 23 at 4:00 p.m. at the Raleigh Moravian Church. In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting that non-deductible donations to help cover final arrangements be made to Irene Burke CPA designated to the Izabela fund c/o Irene Burke, 305 S Main Street, Wake Forest, NC 27587.