Polish Music Reference Center

at the University of Southern California


October 1-5, 1997
University of Southern California

A week of celebration of the music of Henryk Mikolaj Gorecki, the first living classical music composer whose music topped the Billboard charts; his Symphony No. 3 has sold over 1, 200,000 copies of recordings. The Polish composer was present to conduct the USC orchestra in the unique performance of the Symphony. The festival highlighted the strengths of the USC School of Music, with its outstanding Performance, Composition, and Music History Departments, and the Polish Music Reference Center. Participants included the Provostís Distinguished Visitor, Prof. Adrian Thomas, Chair of Music at the Cardiff University of Wales, Great Britain.

On December 21, 1997, The Los Angeles Times announced that Gorecki Autumn was the event of the year in Los Angeles. Mark Swed wrote about the performance of Gorecki's Third Symphony, conducted by the composer: "A lot of grandchildren will be hearing about this some day." He described Gorecki the conductor as being able to "getting the student players to give what had to be the most committed, probing, intense performance of their young lives." Here, you find the program of the Gorecki Autumn with links to photographs from this event. Photographs of October 4 by Vladek Juszkiewicz, the remaining photos by Maria Anna Harley or James Harley.

Wednesday/October 1: C0NCERT I.

Dr. James Harley--artistic director.

Emily Lin (flute),
Linda Wang (violin),
Woyciech Kocyan (piano),
Robert Thies (piano).

8:00 p.m. Hancock Auditorium

Solo and Chamber Music of Gorecki: including Sonata no. 1 op. 6 for solo piano (1956-1990); Intermezzo (1990) and Four Preludes (1955) for solo piano; For You, Anne-Lill op. 58, for flute and piano (1986); Variations for violin and piano, op. 4 (1956); Valentine Piece op. 70 for flute solo and little bell (1996) and a surprise pre-premiere performance of Kleine Phantasie for violin and piano (1997).

  • After the concert with Robert Thies, James Harley, Linda Wang, Emily Lin, and Wojciech Kocyan.
  • With Robert Thies, whose performances of the Piano Sonata and Intermezzo he admired greatly.
  • In conversation with Alice and Eleanor Schoenfeld, USC distinguished professors of violin and cello.

Thursday/October 2: LECTURE AND FILM

Adrian Thomas, Prof. of Music, Cardiff University of Wales, Great Britain (the author of a recent monograph on Goreckiís music, published by Oxford University Press, 1996)

7: 00 p.m. Arnold Schoenberg Institute.

Public Lecture: "Introduction to the Music of Gorecki" followed by the screening of a Dutch documentary about the composer, entitled "Master Composers: Henryk Gorecki."

The composer spent the afternoon on the USC campus, walking around, and participating in rehearsals.

  • Gorecki at the Faculty Club, in conversation with Jane Kedron (PIASA, New York), Andrzej Bachleda, and Maria Anna Harley.
  • With Jane and Henry Kedron, and Andrzej Bachleda on USC campus.
  • Resting by the fountain with Maria Anna Harley.
  • Participating in the rehearsal of the Contemporary Music Ensemble, Donald Crodkett, cond.
  • Listening to the Ensemble's performance of Kleines Requiem fur eine Polka .

Friday/October 3: COMPOSERíS FORUM
(for USC music students only)


Henryk Mikolaj Gorecki,
Adrian Thomas,
Maria Anna Harley

Composition and Performance Forum: Conversation about Music with Henryk Mikolaj Gorecki followed by a question period for the USC students of composition and performance.

11:00 a.m. Music Building 106

  • Gorecki with translators, M.A. Harley and Joanna Nizynska.

Friday/October 3: CONCERT II:

Henryk Mikolaj Gorecki, conductor Elizabeth Hynes, soprano USC Symphony Orchestra

8:00 p.m. Bovard Auditorium

Performance of H.M. Goreckiís Symphony no. 3 op. 36 The Symphony of Sorrowful Songs (1976). Announcement of the creation of the Endowed Position in Polish Music, funded by Stefan and Wanda Wilk, the founders of the Polish Music Reference Center.

The concert was followed by a ceremony during which Larry Livingston, the Dean of the School of Music, announced the creation of the endowed position in Polish music (the PMRC Director) and thank Stefan and Wanda Wilk for their contribution that made it possible.

  • Larry Livingston announces the endowed position "Stefan and Wanda Wilk Director."
  • Wanda Wilk and Maria Anna Harley receive flowers for their work on Gorecki Autumn
  • The composer receives a gift from Larry Livingston, a set of tuned chimes (with Peggy Schmid and M.A. Harley in the background).
  • Gorecki thanks his hosts for the warm welcome.

Saturday/October 4: OFF CAMPUS EVENTS

Benefit concert for Ars Musica Poloniae Foundation, the residence of Stefan and Wanda Wilk.

Recital of Songs by Henryk Mikolaj Gorecki and Polish composers

Andrzej Bachleda, baritone
Henryk Mikolaj Gorecki, piano

  • Henryk Mikolaj Gorecki
  • Andrzej Bachleda
  • Henryk Gorecki and Adrian Thomas

Photo by Vladek Juszkiewicz Andrzej Bachleda, Photo by Vladek Juszkiewicz Henryk Gorecki and Andrian Thomas at the piano.


Maria Anna Harley, moderator


Prof. Adrian Thomas (Cardiff, Wales, UK),
Asst. Prof. Maria Anna Harley, USC
Dr. James Harley, Los Angeles
David Kopplin, Los Angeles
Asst. Prof. Luke Howard, Minnesota
Mark Swed (LA Times, Los Angeles).

11:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. Arnold Schoenberg Institute

Scholarly papers about the music of H.M.Gorecki, with a closing discussion about the phenomenon of the Third Symphony, and questions from the audience. The composer will be present to participate in the discussion.

Sunday / October 5: CONCERT III:

Participants: Donald Crockett, conductor,
USC Contemporary Music Ensemble
8:00 p.m. Hancock Auditorium

Contemporary Polish music for larger chamber ensemble: Witold Lutoslawski: Chain 1 for chamber ensemble (1981)
Henryk Mikolaj Gorecki: Good Night op. 63, for soprano, alto flute and piano (1990)
Henryk Mikolaj Gorecki: Kleines Requiem fur eine Polka for chamber ensemble (1995)

Monday/October 6: OFF-CAMPUS EVENTS.

Gorecki on a tour of Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena.

  • Gorecki with Henry Kedron (retired aerospace engineer)
  • Gorecki and friends examining the model of "Pathfinder"

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Copyright 1997 by the Polish Music Reference Center
Send your comments and inquiries to:polmusic@usc.edu
This page updated on 20 December 1997 by M. A. Harley and Marcin Depinski.