|Polish Music Newsletter|
2017 PMC *WEBSITE REBOOT* CAMPAIGN
After more than 20 years online, the Polish Music Center website urgently needs a redesign! As pioneering as our website was when it was established by PMC founder Wanda Wilk in the mid-1990s, today the PMC’s online presence is even more crucial to our mission of promoting Polish music worldwide. However, over the next few months we must redesign and streamline our pages to conform to the latest USC web presentation standards, converting all of our existing content into a graphically-appealing, user-friendly format. This work will cost an estimated $10,000, and the new PMC Website will be introduced in Fall 2017.
Thus, we have launched the Polish Music Center “Website Reboot” Campaign! We are asking all of our supporters, monthly Newsletter readers, and international users of the PMC website to pitch in and help us raise the funds needed to bring our vast and unique online offerings into the 21st century.
Learn more and join us at ignite.usc.edu/pmc or text “pmc” to 41444 to give today!
The Polish Music Center’s annual spring concert was devoted this time around to the exploration of Polish avant-garde music from the mid-1950s to the early 2000s. Works by Witold Szalonek (1927-2001), Bogusław Schaeffer (b. 1929), Henryk Mikołaj Górecki (1933-2010), Zygmunt Krauze (b. 1938), Krzysztof Meyer (b. 1943), Tadeusz Wielecki (b. 1954), and Hanna Kulenty (b. 1961) were presented at the Alfred Newman Recital Hall on Saturday afternoon, March 25. The performers for this event—gnarwhallaby—are a premiere contemporary music ensemble based in Los Angeles whose members include Matt Barbier, Derek Stein, Richard Valitutto and Brian Walsh. They specialize in repertoire written for the early 1970s Polish group, Warsztat muzyczny, an instrumental quartet composed of piano, clarinet/sax, trombone/euphonium, and cello.
The concert began with a dramatic stage entrance for Szalonek’s Improvisations sonoristiques (1968), with Brian Walsh first taking his place behind a pulpit whilst blowing, whistle-like, into his clarinet’s mouthpiece. Next came Richard Valitutto, walking briskly to the piano and instantly launching into an orgy of tone clusters that accompanied cellist Derek Stein and trombonist Matt Barbier as they filed in onto the Newman Hall stage and began playing. This “happening” was very much part and parcel of the composer’s intention and, more broadly, of the idea behind the Polish avant-garde music of the 1960s and 1970s, which sought to shake and shock the public. New music and a thriving arts scene, where experiments of the bravest kind were eagerly consumed by eager Polish audiences, provided a stark contrast with grim socialist reality of everyday life.
The chronological spread of the repertoire provided a fine overview of the avant-garde’s rise and fadeout over the second half of the twentieth century. Schaeffer’s delicate, almost impressionistic solo piano pieces from the late 1940s and early 1950s (Dwa Utwory; Kompozycja), gave pianist Richard Valitutto (right) a chance to shine with his refined touch, admirable control and solid musicianship. A similarly peaceful, contemplative atmosphere prevailed in Krauze’s 1968 Polychromie, where the entire quartet indulged the audience in subtle shifts of pitches and soundscapes.
Photo courtesy of Adam Borecki Recording Services
The remaining works on the program delivered lots of punch. Meyer’s 1970 Quattro colori actually received its long delayed world premiere on this occasion. This intense work in five short sections explores a variety of explosive utterances of raw sounds and plays with a number of fascinating textures available to the combination of piano, clarinet, cello and trombone. Wielecki’s 1968 Tango was only slightly calmer and somewhat more traditional, paying a fleeting homage to the tradition of dance with a few sparse but elegant turns of phrase. Kulenty’s 2006 Tell me about it demonstrated the avant-garde’s about turn—in the context of other works on the program, her composition seemed almost tonal and much less rhythmically ragged. The program closed on Górecki’s intense, apocalyptic, atavistic and innocently-titled Muzyczka IV. Following his oft-favored two contrasting movements design, this composition from 1970 reaches the high water mark of Polish avant-garde, its first movement full of sound and fury, the second hypnotically receding into a post-avant-garde world of quiet contemplation.
Throughout the concert, the gnarwhallaby ensemble shone with strength and concentration, displaying fierce discipline and truly admirable ensemble work. Valitutto’s cues to his colleagues from behind a concert grand Steinway kept everything together in a program of staggering complexity, and the widely-employed extended techniques inside the piano added an aura of unexpected sounds and colors from the instrument. Matt Barbier’s big moment came in Górecki’s Muzyczka, a trombone concerto of sorts, while Brian Walsh had a chance to sparkle in all of the registers available to his clarinets, featured especially prominently in the Szalonek, Meyer and Górecki pieces. Derek Stein’s cello lines often soared into harmonics, soaking sound textures with unexpected colors and timbres. It was a truly great moment to hear this rarely performed music of the Polish avant-garde and experience anew the sounds that secured a pride of place in music history of the twentieth century for a large group of brave Polish composers.
On April 8, the Palms-Rancho Park Branch Library will host a panel discussion entitled “Whither Europe?” that will be free and open to the public. The conversation will range over various facets of the current political situation throughout the EU, including Brexit and the rise of extremist populism. Among the speakers for the event are: writer and lecturer Dr. Angela Thompson; historian and dean of the international school Le Lycée Français de Los Angeles Edwin Gerard; and PMC Director, pianist, composer and author Marek Zebrowski.
[Source: press release]
WINTERMEZZO CODA: THE CHOPIN PROJECT
A co-presentation of the Paderewski Festival in Paso Robles and the Festival Mozaic in San Luis Obispo, a concert entitled “WinterMezzo Coda: The Chopin Project” will be presented on April 29 at the Paso Robles Inn Ballroom. The recital will feature pianist Jocelyn Swigger (right), who set out on a journey to learn all 27 Chopin etudes in 2010.
In this multimedia program, Swigger will discuss how her life and her musicianship transformed as she learned this notoriously difficult music. Swigger will also explore the connection to Paderewski, who published critical editions of Chopin's works and who has deep roots in Paso Robles. The evening will conclude with a wine reception with the artist following the concert.
[Sources: press release]
On behalf of the Witold Lutosławski Society (Towarzystwo im. Witolda Lutosławskiego) in Warsaw, Sz. Pani Elżbieta Markowska donated the two-volume edition of Okupacyjne losy muzyków—Warszawa 1939-1945. This publication contains rarely seen material on major Polish musicians who endured unspeakable conditions and ravages of war and still managed to make music; a significant part of the book is unpublished texts and documents from the collection of the Warsaw Music Society.
From Agata Wolska,we recieved the book Wystawa Powszechna w Paryżu—Autografy Kompozytorów Polskich edited by Irena Poniatowska and published by the Mickiewicz Institute. The album is a very important musical documentary for Polish musical culture as it contains unique and previously unknown manuscripts and autographs of 27 Polish composers of the late nineteenth century. With texts in French, Polish and English, this publication was produced by the Adam Mickiewicz Institute (IAM) and the Fryderyk Chopin Institute (NIFC).
Many thanks, as always, to all of our generous donors and friends!
PREMIERES AT “POZNAN MUSIC SPRING”
The 46th edition of the International Festival of Contemporary Music "Poznań Music Spring" was held between March 27 and April 4, 2017. The Festival is organized by the Poznań branch of the Polish Composers’ Union (ZKP). The opening concert of 2017 edition, held at the Aula Nova of the Academy of Music in Poznań, was performed by Alina Mleczko (saxophone) and the Symphony Orchestra of the Academy of Music in Poznań under Jakub Chrenowicz.
The program of the Festival combines some of the greatest pieces by 20th-century Polish composers with premiere performances of works by Poznań-based composers. This year’s premieres include: Ewa Fabiańska-Jelińska (Poemat SymFoniczny [Symphonic Poem] for orchestra) , Zbigniew Kozub (Concerto for Saxophone and Orchestra), Monika Kędziora (Mulceo for flute, clarinet, violin, cello and piano), Witalij Kyjanytsia (Dark Quartetfor bass clarinet, cello, double tube and piano), Jaromir Gajewski (Trio for violin, cello and piano), Katarzyna Kwiecień-Długosz (Fulcrum for viola and piano), Janusz Stalmierski (Wędrujący obłok for viola and piano), Anna Zawadzka-Gołosz (Sussurando campane for piano), and Rafał Zapała (Concentus Appparatus for violin, clarinet, piano, trombone and electronics).
On April 2, the premiere of Crux, Christi salva nos by Szymon Godziemba-Trytek will take a place at the Polish Radio's Lutosławski Concert Studio in Warsaw. The piece will be performed by countertenor Jan Jakub Monowid and baritone Piotr Kwinta, with the accompaniment of an unusual ensemble comprised 6 French horns (Tomasz Bińkowski, Paul Piętka Monika Całus, Krzysztof Danielak, Joanna Wydmuch, Oleksji Prune), 3 double basses (Sebastian Wypych, Radoslaw Nur, Paweł Pańta, Anna Bator), drums (Leszek Lorent, Tamara Kurkiewicz ) and the Polish Radio Choir, under the baton of Szymon Wykrzykowski . The project was commissioned by the Institute of Music and Dance [IMiT] as a part of the “Composer-In-Residence” program.
Godziemba-Trytek gives the following insight on the work:
GRAŻYNA PSTROKOŃSKA-NAWRATIL PREMIERE AT NFM
The premiere of Grażyna Pstrokońska-Nawratil’s latest work will take place on April 7 at the National Forum of Music. The concerto Assisi for cello, children’s choir and orchestra will be performed by the NFM Wroclaw Philharmonic under the baton of Marek Moś, with the NFM Boys’ Choir, Con Brio Choir of the Grażyna Bacewicz School of Music in Wrocław, cellist Andrzej Bauer and electroacoustician Cezary Duchnowski. As a part of this exceptional evening, the audience will also have a chance to listen to Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue, performed by one of the most notable Polish jazz pianists, Leszek Możdżer.
Grażyna Pstrokońska-Nawratil is one of the most respected composers in Wrocław today; she has been associated with Wrocław for many years – initially as a student, and now as a professor of composition at the Karol Lipiński Academy of Music in Wrocław (1993). Her talent flourished abroad through studying with renowned figures, such as Pierre Boulez and Olivier Messiaen. Pstrokońska-Nawratil has been awarded many prizes at numerous national and international composition competitions, including Ikar, winning the third prize at the UNESCO competition in Paris (1987). Four years ago, she was awarded the Silver Medal “Gloria Artis” for her merits in the field of culture. Additionally, she has been participating in the works of the Repertoire Commission of the prestigious ‘Warsaw Autumn’ Contemporary Music Festival and in the organization of the ‘Musica Polonica Nova’ Festival.
WORLD PREMIERES BY NEW MUSIC ORCHESTRA
Co-organized and co-funded by the Institute of Music and Dance, the New Music Orchestra (OMN) will present a concert at the headquarters of the National Symphony Orchestra of Polish Radio (NOSPR), featuring world premieres of works by two young Polish composers, Wojciech Ziemowit Zych and Krzysztof Wołek, and Georg Friedrich Haas from Austria.
Cello Concerto by Krzysztof Wołek (b. 1976) was inspired by the idea that all art requires collision and conflict. This relationship is present not only among actors and directors but also between composers and performers: it is represented perfectly in the form of concerto, where a conflict between a soloist and the orchestra takes shape. Wołek’s Cello Concerto was written for its first performer, Jakob Kullberg.
The other piece to be world-premiered was written by Wojciech Ziemowit Zych (b. 1976), a teacher from the Academy of Music in Krakow, who focuses mainly on instrumental music. In his double concerto Drogi powietrza, Splątane Echa [Roads of the Air, Tangled Echoes] for contrabass flute in C, contrabass clarinet in B-flat, spatial amplification and chamber orchestra acoustically spaced out, the composer uses an atypical choice of solo instruments that bring to the fore a specific sound color in the work.
KADŁUBEK AND ROBAK WORLD PREMIERE
On April 9, the Choir of Silesian Philharmonic will perform a concert titled “Crucifixus – Crucified,” under the baton of Jarosław Wolanin in Katowice. The concert repertoire will be comprised of choral music on the theme of Easter. Audiences will be able to enjoy works by Antonio Lotti, György Deák-Bárdos, and Anton Bruckner in addition to the world premieres of St. Mark Passion for mixed choir by Adrian Robak and Inter vestibulum by Przemysław Kadłubek – a current student of the Academy of Music in Katowice.
SIKORA WORLD PREMIERE IN BRUSSELS
In her new piece Trois tunnels et un arrêt, Elżbieta Sikora—a Polish composer living in France—presents the work she produced in the "Métamorphoses d'Orphée" studio from recordings of the urban landscape of Brussels. Trois tunnels et un arrêt will be given its first performance at the L’Espace Senghor in Brussels on April 26, during a colloquium entitled “Multiphonie/Stéréophonie: Penser, Construire Et Partager L'espace” presented by Musiques & Recherches—a Belgian association dedicated to the development of electroacoustic music and more precisely acousmatic music.
The April 26 program will present a diverse array of other compositions as well: Annette Vande Gorne’s Haiku: Printemps, Hiver1; Flo Menezes’s Fond d'erreurs ; Daniel Schachter’s cifra oscura; Julien Guillamat’s résonances 10.0; Jean-François Minjard’s D'un point, l'autre (also a World Premiere); Jean-Marc Duchenne’s Etudes pour membrane: Grande étude en forme de patchwork; and Christine Groult’s Etincelles.
[Sources: press release, musiques-recherches.be]
III INT’L SEMINAR OF CONTEMPORARY MUSIC
The 3rd International Seminar of Contemporary Music will take place from March 31 – April 2, 2017 in Bydgoszcz to promote contemporary music, popularize its culture and share didactic knowledge. The theme of this year’s edition, “Piano & Electronics,” aims to present contemporary compositions using electronic means, broad multimedia and the latest technologies that are emerging as a fundamental element of modernity. The event is to be a bridge between enthusiasts of electronic music, regular attendees of classical concerts and avant-garde and underground music lovers.
This year’s edition will feature 5 lectures/presentations, 2 piano recitals and a final concert in Filharmonia Pomorska [Pomeranian Philharmonic]. On March 31, the audience members had an opportunity to lecture and recital by pianist-composer Jarosław Kapuściński. On April 1, composer Elżbieta Sikora presented a lecture titled “Utwory solowe z elektroniką: konfrontacja brzmień [Solo Pieces with Electronics: The Confrontation of Sounds].” French composer and multimedia artist Pierre Jodlowski also led a lecture about the influence of cinematic and visual dimension on piano, preceding a concert of featuring Jodlowski and his works for the piano and stereo soundtrack.
On April 2, pianist-composer Cezary Duchnowski gave a lecture on the use of computer in music and the compositional techniques associated with it. Under the baton of Szymon Bywalec, the chamber orchestra Capella Bydgostiensis performed works by Elżbieta Sikora, Cezary Duchnowski, Ray Bradbury, Mischa Zupko and Pierre Jodlowski. The soloists for the evening were Winston Choi, Kamil Kęska, Jakub Kazieczko, Dorota Demidowicz and Piotr Stramowski. The final concert will be followed by a meeting, closing ceremony and discussion in Bydgoskie Centrum Kultury.
WAWROWSKI IN POLAND & LITHUANIA
Polish violinist Janusz Wawrowski performed Karol Szymanowski's Violin Concerto No.1 with Kraków Philharmonic Orchestra on March 24-25 on the 80th anniversary of the composer’s death. On March 28, the pianist paid further homage to Szymanowski with his rendition of Myths for violin & piano and Dance from the ballet Harnasie, Op. 55, alongside pianist Greg Skrobiński, at the Presidential Palace in Warsaw.
On April 29-30, the Lithuanian National Philharmonic Society will present a program entitled “Czech and Polish Masterpieces” in Kaunas and Vilnius, featuring a violin solo by Wawrowski. Together with the Lithuanian National Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Juozas Domarkas Wawrowski will perform Mieczysław Karłowicz's Concerto for violin and orchestra. Symphonic works by Dvořák and Smetana displaying nostalgic pastoral scenes and fiery Slavonic dances will also be part of the concert program.
Janusz Wawrowski graduated from the Chopin University of Music in Warsaw where he studied with M. Ławrynowicz. Later the violinist honed his skills under Yair Kless and Salvatore Accardo. The young virtuoso has already appeared in such prestigious concert halls as Berlin Philharmonic, Tchaikovsky Conservatory, Victoria and Albert Museum in London, Mozarteum in Salzburg, De Doelen Concertgebouw in Rotterdam, Tel Aviv Music Center, Teatro Teresa Carreño in Caracas and others. Wawrowski has collaborated with leading Polish symphony orchestras as well as foreign ensembles. In 2007, he recorded his first CD, Niccolò Paganini 24 Caprices Op.1, which require the highest musical prowess. These virtuoso miniatures brought Wawrowski international recognition and, in 2013, he signed the contract with the prestigious Warner Classic record label.
SILESIAN QUARTET PERFORMS GÓRECKI
A chamber concert entitled “Kwartet Śląski / To co najlepsze. Polska i świat” [Silesian Quartet / All the best. Poland and the World] will be given by the Silesian Quartet on April 8 at the National Symphony Orchestra of Polish Radio (NOSPR). The program will include Beethoven’s famous Grand Fugue in B-flat major, op. 133 and H. M. Gorecki's String Quartet No. 3.
The String Quartet No. 3 was composed during the last period of Górecki’s life (1933-2010), in which he mostly composed chamber music. The peak of this period is represented by three string quartets, commissioned by the famous Kronos Quartet. The String Quartet No. 3, subtitled “…Songs are sung…,” was locked in Górecki’s drawer until 2005, when the composer decided to show it to the public. The piece is dominated by slow tempos, except the middle section which brings a contrast with a quote from the String Quartet No. 2 of Karol Szymanowski. The title was taken from a poem by Velimir Khlebnikov, which is present in the score as a motto.
MUSICA CAELESTIS NAT’L COMPOSERS COMPETITION
The Musica Sacra Institute is now accepting submissions for the Musica Caelestis National Composers’ Competition 2017, organized in the celebration of the 25th anniversary of the Warszawa-Praga Diocese under the patronage of Archbishop Henryk Hoser. The competition is open to Polish composers of any age. Works must be 5-7 minutes in duration, composed for female choir (up to 4 parts), with lyrics in Latin for the purpose of being performed during liturgy in a capella or with organ accompaniment.
The deadline for submissions is May 15, 2017 (based on postmark). Scores should be sent to the following address:
Members of the jury include Paweł Łukaszewski, Miłosz Bembinow, Bartosz Kowalewski and Łukasz Farcinkiewicz. The results will be announced by mid-June 2017. The winners' concert and awards ceremony will take place on November 12, 2017 in Warsaw-Praga Cathedrals of St. Florian and St. Michael the Archangel.
PLOWRIGHT/BOROWICZ: ‘TO SAVE FROM OBLIVION’
Under the baton of Łukasz Borowicz (above left), the Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra will present the “Ocalić od zapomnienia” [To Save From Oblivion] concert on April 27, featuring pianist Jonathan Plowright (above right). During the first half of the program, Paul Kletzki’s Variations for Orchestra op. 20 and Aleksandre Tansman’s Piano Concerto no. 2 will be performed. Orchestral music from the Roman Palester’s ballet The Song of the Earth (1937) will be performed in the latter half of the concert, in celebration of Palester’s 110th birth anniversary year.
Polish composer Roman Palester is one of the most prominent composers of his generation. In 1950, Palester emigrated from Poland to France, resulting in the censorship office banning his name for 20 years. The composer himself did not want to lose contact with Poland and found a singular way of maintaining it: in 1952, Palester and his wife began to work for Radio Free Europe, where he headed the Polish culture department. Though the ban was lifted in 1977, his varied and extremely interesting oeuvre never became well known on the Polish music scene. His music for the ballet The Song of the Earth is one of the few compositions by this artist that stylizes Polish folklore.
[Sources: press release, filharmonia.pl]
ORLIŃSKI AT KF
On April 8, the Kosciuszko Foundation will present a recital by Polish countertenor Jakub Józef Orliński (above left) and Polish pianist Michał Biel (above right). The concert will feature operatic works by Polish composers K. Szymanowski, T. Baird, and P. Łukaszewski, as well as F. Schubert, R. Hahn and G. F. Handel, followed by a reception with light refreshments. All proceeds from the event will go toward the KF Cultural Events Fund to support 2018 Marcella Sembrich International Vocal Competition.
Orliński was a previous winner of the KF Marcella Sembrich International Vocal Competition (2015) and is also the winner of 2016 Grand Finals of Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, Oratorio Society of New York Solo Competition, and International Moniuszko Vocal Competition in Warsaw. Orliński has been a member of the Opera Academy of the Polish National Opera in Warsaw since 2012, and is currently studying at The Juilliard School. He has performed leading roles at opera houses in Poland and Germany and as a soloist at the Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall, Houston Symphony Orchestra and many other prestigious venues both in USA and Europe.
Michał Biel graduated from the Karol Szymanowski Academy of Music, where he studied piano under Andrzej Jasiński. He is currently a Jerome L. Greene Fellow pursuing his master's degree in Collaborative Piano at The Juilliard School. He has been awarded Best Young Accompanist at Le Grand Prix de l'Opera in Bucharest, Outstanding Accompaniment at the 10th L. Różycki Vocal Competition in Gliwice, and First Prize at the Academic Competition of Art Song in Wrocław, among other prizes. He has also participated in The Song Continues residency at Carnegie Hall and The Mozart Residency at the Académie du Festival d'Aix.
[Sources: press release, thekf.org]
STO LAT, GENERAL ROWNY!
April 3 marks the 100th birthday of General Edward Rowny, a retired Ambassador and U.S. Army General. Rowny was a commanding officer in WWII, Korea and Vietnam, a military advisor to five U.S. Presidents and a chief negotiator in arms reduction talks with the Soviet Union. General Rowny received many awards for valor in combat and, in 1989, was presented with the Citizens Medal from President Reagan for being one of the chief architects for “Peace Through Strength” policy. A graduate of John Hopkins University, West Point Academy, Yale University, and National War College, General Rowny was also one of the very first Kosciuszko Foundation grantees who studied at the Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Poland.
In the early 1990s, Gen. Rowny was an initiator and mastermind behind returning the remains of musician, politician and patriot Ignacy Jan Paderewski to Warsaw, which he considers one of his biggest accomplishments. Read an article by Gen. Rowny on “Why a Polish pianist is a model for today's youth” here: thehill.com
At 100 years old, Gen. Rowny hasn’t lost his drive to serve. He is the President of the American Polish Advisory Council and has been involved in many philanthropic activities, like running the Paderewski Scholarship Fund, which provides scholarships to Polish students to study at Georgetown and George Mason Universities. General Rowny is this year’s Kosciuszko Foundation Medal of Recognition recipient. The Award will be presented during the KF Annual Ball on April 29 at the Plaza Hotel in New York City. Congratulations!
[Source: press release]
CHOPIN FOR WIND QUINTET IN D.C.
The wind quintet District5 will present an evening of romantic transcriptions by composer-pianist David Plylar at the Kosciuszko Foundation’s Washington DC Center on April 15. The program is comprised of transcriptions of the complete Chopin Preludes (24 Préludes, Op. 28, Prélude in C-sharp minor, op. 45, Prélude in A-flat major, op. posthumous). Audiences will get a chance to hear these beloved pieces with fresh ears in a new medium, as Chopin’s music is so idiomatically suited to the piano.
Specializing in original transcriptions and new music, District5 has developed a unique repertoire that showcases the technique, colors, and endless possibilities of the wind quintet. The ensemble is comprised of flutist Laura Kaufman Mowry, oboist Alison Lowell, clarinetist Zack Gauvain, hornist Laura Crook Brisson, and bassoonist Eddie Rumzis. Disctrict5 frequently collaborates with Plylar to present new transcriptions of virtuosic piano and chamber music, and they have plans to create a commercial recording of the complete Chopin Preludes. In addition, the quintet enjoys sharing their passion for chamber music with young musicians through several outreach programs.
[Sources: press release, thekf.org]
70TH MUSICA MODERNA
The 70th session of Musica Moderna, organized by the Grażyna and Kiejstut Academy of Music in Łódź, was held from March 27 - April 5, 2017. The program consists of a series of concerts given by several Łódź-based students and alumni of the Academy of Music (such as Sławomir Kaczorowski, Jacek Partyka, Artur Zagajewski and Marty Śniady), featuring compositions by Bronisław Kazimierz Przybylski—founder of the event— as well as Alicja Gronau, Olga Hans, Monika Kędziora, Aleksandra Garbal and many others. Winners of the IV Youth Composer's Competition “Moja (Mi)Nuta” will also be announced on March 27. The full concert program can be found below:
[Source: polmic.pl ]
21ST LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN EASTER FESTIVAL
The 21st edition of the Ludwig van Beethoven Easter Festival “Beethoven and Fine Arts” will be held from April 2-14 at various venues in Warsaw, Gdańsk, Katowice, Krakow, Lublin, Radom, Szczecin and Zabrze. The Polish premiere of String Quartet No. 4 by Krzysztof Penderecki will be performed by the Belcea Quartet, for whom it was written, on April 2 at the Warsaw Philharmonic. On April 7, there will also be a recital by Veriko Tchumburidze, winner of the recent International Henryk Wieniawski Violin Competition.
During the Festival, over 15 concerts will be given by the Choir and Orchestra of the Warsaw Philharmonic, Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra in Katowice, Sinfonia Varsovia Orchestra, Warmia and Mazury Philharmonic Orchestra and foreign artists, such as Deutsche Radio Philharmonie Saarbrücken and State Youth Orchestra of Armenia. Apart from repertoire by Beethoven, audiences will be able to enjoy music by Shostakovich, Rachmaninov, Brahms, Mahler, Igor Stravinsky, Jules Massenet, Georgres Bizet and many Polish composers, including Karol Szymanowski, Mieczysław Karłowicz, Feliks Nowowiejski, and Andrzej Panufnik.
In keeping with tradition, the main concert program is complemented by regular accompanying events: the Exhibition of Musical Manuscripts at the Jagiellonian Library, an International Symposium addressing the 21st Festival’s theme, and Prof. Arie Vardi’s piano master classes. A presentation on Marta Ptaszyńska’s music entitled “Concerto for Marimba and Orchestra of 1985: an ekphrastic triptych and others” will also be given by Siglind Bruhn from the University of Michigan, as well as lectures by Gabriella Ravenni from the University of Piza and Virgilia Barnardoni from the University of Bergamo. The full festival program can be found at beethoven.org.pl.
II FESTIVAL DE MÚSICA POLONESA
The Institute of Arts (IA) and the Center of Integration, Documentation and Cultural Diffusion (CIDDIC) of São Paulo State University in Campinas, Brazil (UNICAMP) will present the II Festival of Polish Music from April 3-6 at the Casa do Lado and Teatro Castro Mendes. The program of this year’s Festival consists of performances of works by eminent Polish composers, such as Chopin, Opałka, Tansman, Mykietyn, Moss, Penderecki, Majerski, Róžycki, Nowowiejski, and Ryterband. Performers from Poland and Brazil include: cellists Jan Kalinowski, Lars Hoefs, Ana Clara Alves, Bruno Belluco, Ana Luiza Coelho Soffiati, Giovanna Colussi; pianists Marek Szlezer, Mauricy Martin, Alexandre Zamith, Angela Seiler, Leticia Nunes, Leticia Fais, Laura Umbelino, Gloria Raimondi Marianne Dahmen Nunes; flutist Rafaela Marins; and the Unicamp Cello Ensemble and Unicamp Symphony Orchestra (OSU).
The festival began with a lecture discussing Chopin's influence on Villa-Lobos, given by the director of the festival and UNICAMP professor, cellist Lars Hoefs (right)—a USC alum and a longtime collaborator on dozens of PMC projects in the U.S., Poland, France, Italy, and Ukraine. Professor Raphael Delekta from the Academy of Music in Kraków also gave a lecture on traditional Polish works (April 5) as well as a lecture on the Academy itself, preceding the festival (March 29), and the Cracow Duo of cellist Jan Kalinowski and pianist Marek Szlezer—also from the Academy of Music in Kraków—gave a lecture-recital on composer Feliks Nowowiejski (April 5). Other features of the Festival include back-to-back piano and cello extravaganzas entitled “The Piano of Chopin” and “Just Cello” (April 4).
Two symphonic concerts were also presented during the Festival—on April 5 at Teatro Castro Mendez and on April 6 at Casa do Lago—featuring the Symphony Orchestra of UNICAMP with soloists Jan Kalinowski and Marek Szlezer, presenting works by Einert, Chopin, Stolpe and Opałka. Maestro Raphael Delekta will lead from the podium.
YOUNG VIRTUOSOS COMMEMORATE PADEREWSKI
The Polish-Ukrainian Paderewski Foundation has just issued a recording of the December 19, 2016 concert held at the Belweder Presidential Palace in Warsaw. Entitled W hołdzie Paderewskiemu [Tribute to Paderewski], the program featured works by Chopin and Paderewski performed by young pianists from Poland, Ukraine and Lithuania, including Magdalena Kuropatwa, Piotr Lara, Erik Podolski, Agne Staniulite and Bogdan Terlecki. Under the auspices of Akademia Młodych Wirtuozów [Young Virtuosos’ Academy], throughout 2016 these talented young musicians performed in concerts and participated in several different master classes held by internationally-renowned artists in Vilnius, Lithuania; Lviv, Ukraine; Pułtusk and Kąśna Dolna, Poland; as well as Paso Robles, California.
The Belweder program also featured soprano Aneta Łukaszewicz performing selections of songs by Chopin and Paderewski with pianist Marianna Humetska, who was also heard with Lilia Hratyla and Oksana Lytvynenko in the Finale of Chopin’s Piano Trio in G minor, Op. 8. The program closed with Marianna Humetska and pianist Marek Zebrowski performing one the dances from Paderewski’s Tatra Album Op. 12 for piano four-hands. Selected soundtracks from the concert and the beautifully-produced booklet with texts in Polish, Ukrainian, Lithuanian and English that accompanies the CD can be found at: www.wirtuozi.eu.
[Sources: press release, wirtuozi.eu]
ANNIVERSARY CONCERT FOR BARGIELSKI & MICHNIEWSKI
A special concert, organized on the occasion of Zbigniew Bargielski's 80th birthday and Wojciech Michniewski's 70th birthday was held on Mach 26, 2017 at the Pomeranian Philharmonic in Bydgoszcz. The program of the concert—Te Deum by Anton Bruckner, Symphony No. 7 by Ludwig van Beethoven and Concerto for piano, percussion and orchestra by Zbigniew Bargielski—was performed by Magdalena Mórawska (soprano), Justyna Gęsicka (alto), Krzysztof Zimny (tenor), Łukasz Jakubczak (bass), Krzysztof Książek (piano), Agata Kruszewska (percussion) and the Choir and Symphony Orchestra of the Academy of Music in Bydgoszcz under the baton of Wojciech Michniewski.
Composer Zbigniew Bargielski studied composition with Tadeusz Szeligowski at the State Higher School of Music in Warsaw and Bolesław Szabelski at the State Higher School of Music in Katowice. Having graduated, he continues his studies with Nadia Boulanger in Paris and at Hochschule Hochschule für Musik in Graz. His works have been performed in many European countries as well as the USA, Australia and South America. Besides composing, he is a writer and music teacher. He has been teaching composition at the Academy of Music in Bydgoszcz (since 2002) and the Academy of Music in Kraków (since 2003).
Wojciech Michniewski—composer, conductor and professor of the Academy of Music in Bydgoszcz—was closely associated with the Warsaw Philharmonic from 1973-78, then held the positions of artistic director of the Grand Theatre in Łódź from 1979-81 and music director of the modern scene at the Warsaw Chamber Opera (1979-83), then became the managing and artistic director of the Poznań Philharmonic from 1987-91. He has conducted both symphonic concerts and opera performances in almost all European countries, Asia and both Americas. Apart from the vast classical repertory, he is particularly valued for his interpretations of contemporary music.
AVANT-GARDE BY EAR
On March 23, outstanding tubist Zdzisław Piernik performed together with Tadeusz Sudnik and HATI duo at the National Audiovisual Institute. The event was organized as part of the cycle of concerts entitled “Awangarda na ucho [Avant-Garde By Ear],” celebrating the centenary of the avant-garde in Poland. During the first part of the concert, Piernik performed with his longtime friend and sound artist Tadeusz Sudnik, who was formerly associated with the Experimental Studio of Polish Radio. Subsequently, the audience heard performances by HATI from Toruń. The musical duo bases their sound on ethnic and acoustic instruments and recycled items. In an improvisatory finale, Piernik performed together with the HAITI Duo for the first time, showing off the broad spectrum of sound that can be achieved using only acoustic instruments.
Zdzisław Piernik’s repertoire features works by masters of baroque as well as great classical and contemporary composers. Eighty years old, Piernik belongs to a group of the oldest Polish avant-garde musicians (after Bogusław Schaeffer). Despite his age, his music is full of life and experimentation with courageous and radical performing practices, making him a highly sought after for collaborative projects amongst the greatest musicians, such as Jerzy Mazzoll, Michał Górczyński and Piotr Zabrodzki.
MOTION TRIO AT POMERANIAN PHIL
On Mach 30, the Paderewski Pomeranian Philharmonic in Bydgoszcz hosted the Motion Trio— Janusz Wojtarowicz, Paweł Baranek and Marcin Gałażyn—for an exciting collaborative concert. Most of the works on this program were newly orchestrated to pair the talents of this virtuoso accordion trio with that of the members of the Pomeranian Philharmonic, conductor Radosław Labahua, and composer and orchestrator Krzesimir Dębski.
The eclectic program of the evening included: Krzesimir Dębski – Here Comes Motion Trio for orchestra; Paweł Baranek – First Day of Spring, orch. by K. Dębski; Motion Trio – DJ Chicken, orch. by K. Dębski; Janusz Wojtarowicz – Silence, orch. by Marcel Chyrzyński (for quintet); Janusz Wojtarowicz – Heart, orch. by K. Dębski; Dmitri Shostakovich – Piano Concerto No. 2 in F major, Op. 102 (version for accordion trio, arr. by J. Wojtarowicz); Fryderyk Chopin – Prelude in e minor, Op. 28 No. 4 (arr. by J. Wojtarowicz, orch. by Leszek Możdżer (for quintet)); Motion Trio – Libertin Tango, orch. by K. Dębski; Janusz Wojtarowicz – Balkan Dance (Motion Trio solo); Janusz Wojtarowicz – Little Story, orch. by K. Dębski; Janusz Wojtarowicz – Karuzela, orch. by Lew Ławrow; and Janusz Wojtarowicz – Proms, orch. by K. Dębski.
Roderyk Lange passed away on March 16. He was a devoted Polish researcher of dance, a founder of the Polskie Forum Choreologiczne, and a long-time editor of Studia Choreologica.
Roderyk Lange had lived in the Great Britain since 1967. In 1975 he earned a doctorate degree in ethnography. From 1979-1992 he worked as a professor in the PUNO Polish University Abroad where he taught ethnography. He was also giving lectures at the Laban Art of Movement Center in Addlestone, Center for Dance Studies in Jersey, Queen’s University in Belfast, University of Edinburgh and Goldsmiths’ College at the University of London. He cooperated with the Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań and, during the years 2009-2014, served as president of the Polskie Forum Choreologiczne. Throughout his life he wrote many books and articles, edited several magazines, published sources and research papers about dance.
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Newsletter Editor: Krysta Close
Layout Assistance: Thuy Le, Charles Bragg
Translation Assistance: Tomasz Fechner, Marek Żebrowski
Adam Bala, Lars Hoefs, Jonathan Plowright, Marta Ptaszyńska,
Elżbieta Sikora, Sonora Music, Marek Żebrowski
Sources of information: Polish Cultural Institute (NY & UK), Adam Mickiewicz Institute, PWM,
Nowy Dziennik, Polish Music Information Centre - Warsaw, Kosciuszko Foundation,
Poland.pl, PAP, ZKP, infochopin.pl, Ruch Muzyczny, Gazeta Wyborcza
Published by Krysta Close, April 8, 2017
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