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Zygmunt Krauze in 2001. PMC Collection

The first Annual Paderewski Lecture, featuring composer-pianist Zygmunt Krauze, with the participation of the Polish Folk Dance Ensemble Krakusy, took place on 3 May 2002, 8 p.m., at the Alfred Newman Recital Hall, USC Campus, Los Angeles. Zygmunt KRAUZE (b. 1939) was recently described by the Los Angeles Times as a "major composer" of our times. Krauze has been active as a pianist and composer since the late 1950s. His original style of "unistic" compositions was inspired by constructivist Polish paintings by Strzeminski. His music later borrowed material from folk songs of central Europe and Poland. With a keen ear for sonority, Krauze created an original sound world of subtle arabesques and fluid textures. His connection to Polish traditions of piano music may be seen in his interpretations of, and improvisations based on, works by Chopin, Szymanowski, and Paderewski. His lecture-recital presented a unique approach to Polish national style and its place in the international music world.

Krauze presented the following program (the planned repeat of Paderewski's Nocturne was not performed).

  • Fryderyk Chopin (1810-1849): Mazurka in A minor Op. 67 No. 4 With improvisations by Zygmunt Krauze

  • Fryderyk Chopin: Polonaise in E-flat minor Op. 26 No. 2 With improvisations by Zygmunt Krauze

  • Discussion of Polish folk dances (kujawiak, oberek, polonaise, krakowiak) with a live demonstration by the Polish Folk Dance Ensemble Krakusy, in folk costumes from the areas of Kraków and Mazovia, and in the costumes of the Polish nobility

  • Karol Szymanowski (1881-1937): Krakowiak in F-major from Folk Dances of the World (1926) Choreographed by Maciej Pasternak. Polish Folk Dance Ensemble Krakusy

  • Witold Lutoslawski (1913-1994): Folk Melodies (1945), a selection of three melodies With improvisations by Zygmunt Krauze

  • Zygmunt Krauze (b. 1938): Five Folk Melodies (1958)

  • Ignacy Jan Paderewski (1860-1941): Nocturne in B-flat major Op. 16 No. 4 (1890-92)


  • Ignacy Jan Paderewski: Nocturne in B-flat major Op. 16 No. 4 (1890-92)

  • Tomasz Sikorski (1939-1988): Zerstreutes Hinausschauen (1971)

  • Kazimierz Serocki (1922-1981): A piacere (1963)

  • Boguslaw Schaeffer (b. 1929): Non-Stop (1964)

  • Zygmunt Krauze: Stone Music (1972) for amplified piano

  • Zygmunt Krauze: Nightmare Tango (1987) for piano

  • The Newman Hall was filled to capacity and the attendees greatly enjoyed the evening that exposed them to "national" and "avant-garde" types of Polish music. The evening began with remarks by the Consul General of the Republic of Poland, Mr. Krzysztof Kasprzyk, and by Founder and Honorar Director of the PMC, Wanda Wilk. Polish-Americans constituted the majority of attendees, with two large groups predominating, those afilliated with the Krakusy Ensemble and the Helena Modjeska Club for Polish Culture. The review by Mark Swed, published in the Los Angeles Times on 6 May 2002, praised the Center's past scholarly activities and had only kind words for the lecturer.

    The Annual Paderewski Lectures are sponsored by the Polish Music Center at the University of Southern California, the Kosciuszko Foundation of New York, and the Consulate of the Republic of Poland in Los Angeles. The event was made possible by a large grant from Dr. Zbigniew Petrovich, M.D., and a group of sponsors, including: Philip R. Brewster (First Union Securities), POLAM - Polish American Credit Union, Polish American Cultural Network, Helena Modjeska Art and Culture Club of Los Angeles, Children's Medical Care Foundation, Friends of Polish Music, Jerzy and Lena Wagner, Elzbieta and Ginter Trybus, Dorota Dabrowska, Helena and Stanley Kolodziey, Dorota Rzymska, Edward Koterba, and Waldemar Chmielewski. The event was made possible by the efforts of a group of volunteers, some of whom were known beforehand and mentioned in the program book. The coordination of Volunteer Committee was by Helena Kolodziey, with the participatio of Beata Balon, Henryk Chrostek, Barbara Zakrzewska, and Krysta Close. USC students who contributed their efforts to making sure this event was a success included: Adrianna Lis, Krszystof Szmanda, Michal Sobus, Karolina Naziemiec, and Robert Zych. An unexpected and dedicated volunteer was the mother of Krysta Close, who was visiting her daughter and spent half of a day working on our events. Many thanks to all who helped out!

    In addition to giving the Paderewski Lecture, Zygmunt Krauze also lectured at the California State University, Long Beach (thanks to Prof. Martin Herman), and at the University of California, Irvine (thanks to Dr. Michael Ferriell Zbyszynski). Both lectures elicited enthusiastic response of composition students and faculty.

    The 2002 Paderewski Lecture was supposed to have been preceded by the opening of a Paderewski Exhibition, featuring scores, manuscripts, and documents from the collection of the Polish Music Center, including Paderewski's piano rolls, photographs, letters, as well as concert programs of his tours in the 1920s, and numerous publications of his music (recordings and early editions), donated by Wanda Wilk, Annette Strakacz-Appleton, and Maja Trochimczyk. The Exhibition, curated by Maja Trochimczyk and designed by Ljiljana Grubisic has been postponed until the fall semester. The opening took place on 17 September 2002.


    The first Annual Paderewski Lecture received a fair amount of attention in the press. In addition to Mark Swed's review in the Los Angeles Times (6 May 2002, review entitled "Tour of a Nation's Musical Past, Present"), the Lecture was reported in Nowy Dziennik (Przegląd Polski, review by Barbara Zakrzewska), News of Polonia (review by Zbigniew Petryka), and in USC Chronicle (announcements of the event).

    In the report published in the Californian monthly, Dr. Zbigniew Petryka wrote not only about the "academic" part of the lecture (commenting on the informative and educational content of Krauze's introduction to Polish avant-garde, shocking for many Californian Poles), but also about the "social" aspect - the quality of our reception prepared by Polka Restaurant of Eagle Rock, and the entertainment provided by children of the Polish Folk Dance Ensemble Krakusy, who sang Polish folk songs during the event. The report was illustrated with photographs by Jacek Nowaczyński, some of which are reproduced below. The report in News of Polonia appeared both in Polish and in English, so that no segment of Polish American population would be left without knowing what a significant cultural event it was.

    by Jacek Nowaczyński

    Krakusy with M. Pasternak, consul K. Kasprzyk, M. Trochimczyk and Z. Krauze.
    See a larger image.

    Zygmunt Krauze with Wanda Wilk. See a larger image.

    Krakusy with choreographer, Maciej Pasternak.
    See a larger image.

    Krakusy dancing the polonaise. See a larger image.

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    This page was updated on 20 February 2004.