Born in 1978 into a musical family, Rafał Kwiatkowski began his cello studies at the age of seven. From 1993 to 1994 he studied cello and chamber music in Baltimore under Cecylia Barczyk, followed by a period of study with Andrzej Orkim in Warsaw, where in 2002 he graduated from the Fryderyk Chopin Academy of Music, receiving the medal magna cum laude.
The winner of many competitions for young musicians, both in Poland and the United States, including those in Baltimore in 1993 and in Cincinnati in 1994, he has appeared in North and South America, Africa and Asia, in addition to his acclaimed concert performances throughout Europe. Festival appearances include performances at Schleswig-Holstein, the Europäischer Musik Sommer, Usedomor Festival (Gemany), Kuhtio Chamber Music Festival (Finland), World Cello Congress in St Petersburg (Russia), Pablo Casals Festival (Puerto Rico), Semanas Musicales de Frutillar (Chile), International Chopin Festivals in Duszniki and Antonin (Poland).
In 2000 his acclaimed début with the Warsaw Philharmonic under Stanisław Skrowaczewski led to participation in the orchestra’s international tours and a recording of Witold Lutosławski’s Cello Concerto, which won two Fryderyks, the award of the Polish recording industry. He performed Penderecki’s Viola Concerto under the composer’s baton (Berlin, 2001) and a few months later took part in the Polish première of Penderecki’s Concerto Grosso. Since then he has been regularly invited by Penderecki to perform his works in Poland and abroad, as well to record them. Rafał Kwiatkowski was the soloist at the symphony concerts in Copenhagen, Helsinki and Basle that promoted Polish culture on the occasion of Poland’s entry into the EU. He has held several grants from the Polish Minister of Culture. In 1999 he received the prestigious Paszport award from Polityka weekly for his outstanding musical achievements. He is on the faculty of the Music Academy in Warsaw.