Polish Music Newsletter

August 2016, Vol. 22, No. 8. ISSN 1098-9188. Published monthly.
Los Angeles: Polish Music Center, University of Southern California

 Anniversaries  |  Awards  Discography | Festivals 
News | Obituary |
Performances | PMC News

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iaml2016.jpgThe 65th Congress of the International Association of Music Libraries, Archives and Documentation Centres (IAML) was held in Rome‘s Auditorium Parco della Musica July 3-8, 2016. This year’s conference was jointly hosted by the Italian branch of IAML and Rome’s venerable Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia. The sprawling, modern and air-conditioned facilities—Santa Cecilia Hall, Teatro Studio, Museum of Musical Instruments, Spazio Risonanze and several smaller studios—provided excellent venues for a great number of presentations by librarians, scholars, and other invited guests.

The Polish Music Center at USC was scheduled to present during the July 7 morning session, dedicated to Archives of Composers and held in the spacious Teatro Studio hall. Chaired by Marie Cornaz (Bibliothèque royale de Belgique in Brussels), the meeting opened with a paper by Angela Carone and Francisco Rocca from the Fondazione Giorgio Cini in Venice, “The Musical Archives of the Giorgio Cini Foundation in Venice: Valorisation and Cataloguing.”  Next, Marie-Gabriel Soret from the Bibliothèque nationale de France, Departement de la musique in Paris, spoke in great detail about the Olivier Messiaen Collection and the methodology of cataloguing and treating the recent bequest of documents made to the Library by the composer’s wife, Yvonne Loriod.

Polish Music Center at USC and Its Unique Manuscript Collection” was the title of presentation made by PMC director, Marek Zebrowski. This well-attended event elicited a great deal of interest in the Polish Music Center and its holdings among the attending music librarians, and Director Zebrowski was invited by the Polish branch of IAML to present his talk in Warsaw later this year. The July 7 session chair, Marie Cornaz, had also asked for a copy of the PMC presentation to be placed on the IAML website (see link above).

All in all, the Polish delegation to the 65th Congress of IAML (pictured below) represented one of the largest groups among this year’s attendees, and the conferences and presentations provided an excellent forum for the exchange of ideas and methodologies of dealing with cataloguing and preserving archives and collections of composers’ manuscripts, correspondence, photographs, recordings, programs and other, related objects.

iaml2016_pol-delegation_hrabia.jpg*All Polish delegates at IAML 2016 in Rome.
Photo courtesy of Dr. Stanisław Hrabia

Networking among the representatives of various institutions attending the IAML 2016 will also bring benefits to the PMC. Thanks to the discovery of the Library of Polish Song and Czesława Zawrotniak from the Academy of Music Library in Kraków, we will be able to collaborate on many research requests regarding folk and religious songs the PMC receives on a weekly basis. Hanna Bias from the Karol Szymanowski Music Academy in Katowice presented an excellent and very entertaining paper of the great Polish singer, Jan Reszke, which dovetails into some of the materials we have in our Paderewski and Stojowski Collections. Also at the same session, Federica Biancheri (Historical Archive of Teatro Regio in Parma), painted a fascinating portrait of pianist Mieczysław Horszowski, based on materials donated to them by the artist’s wife. This too links nicely to the Stojowski Collection at the PMC, because Zygmunt and Luisa Stojowski were close friends of Horszowski, and we have some photos, correspondence and programs of his concerts collected by the Stojowski family. The entire session, held in the Museum of Musical Instruments during the afternoon of July 7, was ably and amiably chaired by Dr. Stanisław Hrabia (Jagiellonian University, Kraków), who took the initiative to graciously extend the invitation to Director Zebrowski to speak at this year’s conference in Rome.



June 29, 2016 marked the 75 anniversary of Ignacy Jan Paderewski’s death and several events were held in Warsaw to commemorate this important milestone. The first was a festive concert, held on June 14 inside the august space of Warsaw’s St. John’s Cathedral, where Paderewski’s remains were finally laid to rest on June 29, 1992 after a long interment at the Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, DC. Organized by the Polish-Ukrainian Paderewski Foundation under the patronage of the President of the Senate of the Republic of Poland, the June 14 concert featured the Lviv Chamber Orchestra led by Volodymyr Syvskhip, with soloists Krzesimir Dębski and Aneta Łukaszewicz. Ms. Łukaszewicz sang several of Paderewski’s songs that were expertly orchestrated for chamber orchestra and piano by Dębski, who was also piano soloist for this occasion. The remainder of the program featured music by Polish and Ukrainian composers, engagingly presented by the visiting Ukrainian musicians.


Deputy Vice-President of the Polish Senate, Maria Koc, headed the official delegation to the concert and, together with Adam Bala, President of the Polish-Ukrainian Paderewski Foundation, laid a commemorative wreath of flowers in the Cathedral’s crypt, where Paderewski is buried. Before the concert a solemn Roman Catholic mass was celebrated at the Cathedral with Cardinal Kazimierz Nycz presiding and delivering an outstanding sermon on Paderewski’s life as a musician, politician, humanitarian and Polish patriot par excellence.


The June 15 session of the Senate of the Republic of Poland featured the unanimous passing of a special resolution commemorating Paderewski’s 75th death anniversary. This initiative was spearhead by Deputy President of the Senate, Maria Koc, and the Senate’s session was chaired by its President, Stanisław Karczewski. Both politicians graciously invited for a private meeting before the session Marek Zebrowski and Terry Tegnazian, the representatives of the Polish Music Center and Aquila Polonica Publishing who were visiting Warsaw at that time.

koc+anders+mz.jpgFollowing the passing of the resolution, the senators and invited guests attended the unveiling of the Paderewski exhibit in the Senate gallery and witnessed the presentation of Paderewski’s portrait by Vasyl Dutka, an artist from Ukraine who was commissioned by the Polish-Ukrainian Paderewski Foundation to produce this artwork for the Senate. Later on, President Maria Koc and Senator Anna Maria Anders (pictured at right) invited their guests to lunch in the Senate’s private dining room.

Also present at the June 15 Senate Session were Longin Komołowski, President of the Wspólnota Polska [Polish Diaspora] Society and Marek Różycki, the Society’s General Secretary (pictured at left). Marek Żebrowski described to these important partners of the Paderewski Festival in Paso Robles the Festival’s recent history and presented Mr. Komołowski with a bottle of Paderewski Zinfandel from Cass Wines in Paso Robles.

Exactly a week later, on June 22 in Łochów, a small community about one hour northeast of Warsaw, the commemoration of Paderewski’s death anniversary continued with a noontime mass at the local parish church, laying of the wreaths at the Paderewski monument and a commemorative program at the Łochów High School, which featured speeches by Senate President Stanisław Karczewski, Vice President Maria Koc, County Supervisor Krzysztof Fedorczyk and the local host, Łochów’s mayor, Robert Gołaszewski. Węgrów County has links to Paderewski through their property in nearby Julin—a large early 20th century villa that served as a school of orphaned girls, one of Madame Paderewska’s charitable initiatives. Events/Julin_IMG_25821.jpgFollowing Marek Zebrowski’s lecture on Paderewski and a short concert at Łochów’s High School, the invited guests drove about 10 miles to Julin for a festive meal prepared by the staff of the former school for girls. This residence still serves as a home for orphaned children and is run by the county. The delicious and totally traditional Polish menu was prepared by the students and their teachers especially for this occasion. The day ended with an open-air concert near the Paderewski monument given by young pianists from local music schools.

On the exact day of Paderewski’s death, Warsaw’s elegant thoroughfare of Krakowskie Przedmieście witnessed a Paderewski Marathon that began at 2:15 p.m. with the screening of Wiesław Dąbrowski’s documentary film on Paderewski’s life and career. At 3 p.m. pianist Maciej Grzybowski performed a 45-minute recital, featuring a number of Paderewski’s early piano works. Grzybowski’s appearance was followed by over a dozen performances by students from various music schools in Warsaw and graduates of the Warsaw Music Academy, taking the rest of the afternoon and early evening hours. By 8:30 p.m. the closing event—a recital by Paweł Kowalski—capped an eventful day filled with a series of musical and visual tributes to Paderewski.

Bravo to all performers, sponsors and organizers for bringing Paderewski and his legacy to the public in Poland’s capital and the Mazovian Region!

[Sources: gminalochow.pl, nck.pl]




On July 7, Polish jazz pianist Kuba Stankiewicz and bassist Darek “Oles” Oleszkiewicz paid a visit to the Polish Music Center (pictured above). Although the two are long friends of the PMC, this was not merely a social call—they were eager to dig into the PMC’s archival collection for rare printings and original manuscripts of music by Henryk Wars, whose jazz tunes will be featured on their next recording. While visiting, they sat down with PMC Assistant Director Krysta Close for tea and a chat about their recent projects.

To watch a video excerpt of the discussion, visit www.youtube.com.

This most recent album of Wars music is the third in a series, which also includes surveys of two other Poles (or Polish-Americans) who spent significant periods of their careers writing music for Hollywood: Victor Young and Bronisław Kaper. The PMC holds archives of manuscripts, printed music and photos for both Kaper and Wars, and this resource has been invaluable for Stankiewicz in the deep research he has conducted for these albums. It was here that he discovered, among other gems, the sheet music for “Blue Lovebird”—a tune he had previously only heard in performance and then transcribed by ear. It was also the contents of the Wars archives and PMC Director Zebrowski’s knowledge of the Wars family history that had inspired him to pursue the current Wars recording.

While in Los Angeles to record during the first few days of July, Stankiewicz and Oleszkiewicz not only explored Wars’s hand-written scores at the PMC, but also had the chance to perform his music for living members of the Wars family and even play the composer’s own piano. All of this personal experience and research was poured into the recording process, thus informing fresh and lively interpretations of Wars’s well-known tunes, both those written in Poland and the US—including the theme to the movie Flipper!

Made possible with support from the City of Wrocław, where Stankiewicz and Oleszkiewicz first became friends as children, the Wars album is scheduled for release by the end of 2016. On the recording, Stankiewicz and Oleszkiewicz were joined by another excellent musician—two-time Grammy Award winning drummer Peter Erskine. For years, Erskine and Oleszkiewicz have performed mostly original music together as a part of the POEM Quartet, along with their fellow members of the USC Thornton School of Music faculty Alan Pasqua and Bob Mintzer. Given this history and what Oleszkiewicz called “musical empathy,” when he, Stankiewicz and Erskine came together on their first recording project of music by Victor Young, the results were simply magical. They subsequently brought their musical chemistry to the Kaper album and, now with Wars due out at the end of the year, three is truly a charm. Bravo!



Adam Bala, Magdalena Kuropatwa, Sasha Dzvinkovskiy, Yulia Medynska and Marek Zebrowski
in Pułtusk, Poland

The International Cultural Exchange Program jointly administered by the Paderewski Festival in Paso Robles and its partners in Poland and Ukraine, organized a weekend of piano workshops at the Pułtusk Castle from June 24-26, 2016. Held in the splendid headquarters of Dom Polonii, the daily sessions with the 2016 Exchange participants, including Yulia Medynska and Sasha Dzvinkovskiy from Ukraine and Magdalena Kuropatwa from the Province of Tarnów, took place in one of the Castle’s ornate staterooms. The subject of the intense workshops included preparing arrangements of Polish and Ukrainian folksongs for piano and orchestra, which will be performed by the young pianists when they visit Paso Robles and participate in this year’s Paderewski Festival, held November 3-6.

 The young pianists worked with Paderewski Festival’s Artistic Director, Marek Zebrowski, and were accompanied by chaperones, Galia Terentieva from Khmilnyk, Ukraine and Stanisław Kuropatwa from Ciężkowice, Poland. All local arrangements and logistics—including transportation from Warsaw to Pułtusk, accommodations and gourmet meals served in the Castle’s elegant dining room—were organized by Adam Bala, President of the Paderewski Polish-Ukrainian Foundation, in cooperation with Wspólnota Polska, who runs this magical, one-of-a-kind place. Following the workshops, the Ukrainian visitors had a chance to do some sightseeing in Warsaw on June 27 before boarding a bus for an 18-hr long return trip to their homeland. We look forward to welcoming them in California this Fall!



On June 20, the Mazowiecki Teatr Muzyczny organized the tenth anniversary Kiepura Gala Awards evening at the Warsaw Philharmonic. The evening was emceed by Director of the Mazowiecki Teatr Muzyczny, Alicja Węgorzewska, together with Marcin Cejrowski. PMC Director Marek Zebrowski served as a special guest award presenter for the event.kiepura-awards_2016_3.jpg*

The evening began with a splendid fashion show spotlighting elaborate theatre costumes created by Warsaw Art Academy designers, who also received the Music Theatre Award for best stage costumes. Wiesław Rosocha received an award for the best poster design and Hanna Wójcikowska-Szymczak received an award for the best stage design.

Anna Lasota and Krzysztof Dzwoniarski received awards for best vocalist in a musical and Ms. Lasota was featured in a performance of “Don’t Cry for me, Argentina” from Evita, while Mr. Dzwoniarski was heard in an excerpt from Les Misérables. They were accompanied by the Gorzów Philiharmonic Orchestra under the baton of Monika Wolińska, who also provided backing for other artists, including Joanna Moskowicz (heard in Olympia’s Aria from Offenbach’s The Tales of Hoffman), Paweł Skałuba (who sang Stefan’s Aria from Moniuszko’s The Haunted Manor), and Emil Ławecki (who performed Lenski’s Aria from Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin).

Anna Lasota receiving her award.

In the dance category, the lauded artists included Mai Kageyama and Maxim Wojtiul, while Maciej Prus received the best director award. The best musical direction award went to Jakub Chrenowicz and the best choreography award to Jacek Tyski. The musical Cyrano, composed by Krzysztof Herdzin to a libretto by Jacek Bończyk was awarded the best show and the lifetime achievement award was given to the outstanding tenor, Ryszard Karczykowski. All award recipients were presented with a Kiepura statuette and a diploma.

After the intermission, Maestra Wolińska took to the podium to lead the Gorzów Philharmonic Orchestra in selections from film music by Bronisław Kaper and Jan A. P. Kaczmarek. The repertoire heard at the Warsaw Philharmonic that night can be found on a superb CD recording, Bronisław Kaper/Jan A. P. Kaczmarek—Spotkanie, which was released in 2015 and is distributed by Warner Music Poland.

[Sources: niezalezna.pl, kulturaonline.pl, radiolodz.pl, news.o.pl, dzienniklodzki.pl. Photos courtesy of Danuta Bodzek, Mazowiecki Teatr Muzyczny]



On Sunday, October 16 at 7:00 p.m., the Polish Music Center will host its annual Paderewski Lecture-Recital at USC’s Alfred Newman Recital Hall. Our honored guest for this year’s event is composer Elżbieta Sikora, who will speak about her artistic process and diverse body of work, followed by a concert of her chamber music. In addition to delivering the lecture, while on campus the composer will work with students from the Thornton School of Music, including participants in the weekly Composition Forum and those performing her works for the Lecture-Recital. The program will feature her String Quartet No. 3 ‘In memoriam Ursula’ as well as solo works for violin and bass, among others. Please join us!

Born in Lwów on October 20, 1943, Elżbieta Sikora’s musical studies began in Gdańsk and continued at the Department of Sound Engineering of the Warsaw Music Academy under the legendary Polish recording engineer and pioneer, Antoni Karużas. After obtaining her degree in Warsaw, Sikora pursued electroacoustic music in Paris with Pierre Schaeffer and François Bayle during the years 1968-1970.

Photo: Łukasz Rajchert

Returning to Poland, Sikora studied composition with Tadeusz Baird and Zbigniew Rudziński at the Warsaw Music Academy. Together with Krzysztof Knittel and Wojciech Michniewski she formed in 1971 the KEW Group that presented Poland’s first multimedia work at the 1974 Warszawska Jesień Festival. Subsequently, the KEW performed in Poland, Sweden, Austria and Germany. Soon, Sikora was recognized with scholarships from the City of Mannheim, Germany, and from the Kosciuszko Foundation in New York, which allowed her to study with John Chowning at the Center for Computer Research for Music and Acoustics of Stanford University. In 1981 Sikora joined the Institut de Recherche et Coordination Acoustique/Musique (IRCAM) as a French government scholarship recipient and decided to permanently settle in France.

Between 1985 and 2008 Elżbieta Sikora taught electroacoustic music composition at conservatories and universities in France and the University of Chicago. She also gave composition courses in Gdańsk, Munich, Hamburg and Ulm, and served as the Artistic Director of the Musica Electronica Nova Festival in Wrocław. A member of the Polish Composers’ Union since 1978, Sikora received the degree of Doctor of Music from the Wrocław Music Academy in 1999 and is a Visiting Professor at the Chopin Music University in Warsaw.

Besides electronic music, Sikora’s catalogue includes a number of chamber, orchestral and vocal works, and operas. Sikora’s latest, Madame Curie, celebrated the International Year of Chemistry and the centenary of awarding Polish scientist, Maria Skłodowska-Curie the Nobel Prize in Chemistry. It was world premiered on November 15, 2011 at the UNESCO Hall in Paris. A subsequent DVD recording of the opera was honored with the Académie du Disque Lyrique Award in France.  

Elżbieta Sikora’s work received the 1978 Carl Maria von Weber Composers’ Competition in Dresden, the 1980 Competition of Electroacoustic Music in Bourges, the 1982 Women Composers’ Competition in Mannheim, two SACEM awards in 1994, and the 1996 French Association of Dramatic Authors and Composers Award. The recipient of the 2000 Heidelberger Künstlerinnernpreis, in 2002 Sikora received the Special Distinction of the Paris Jury de l'Académie du Disque Lyrique for Le Chant de Salomon and Eine Rose als Stütze, which were released on the Chant du Monde/Harmonia Mundi CD. In 2008 Elżbieta Sikora won the Sztorm Roku Award organized by the Gazeta Wyborcza daily and her Oliwa Concerto for organ and orchestra won in the classical music category. Together with Anna Mikołajczyk, Sikora received the 2012 Sztorm Roku Award for Madame Curie, which also brought the composer the 2012 Splendor Gedaniensis Award, and the 2013 Polish Music Composers’ Union Award. The Government of Poland decorated Elżbieta Sikora with the Commander's Cross of the Order of Merit of the Republic in 1997; in 2004 she received the Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres from the French Minister of Culture.

Sikora’s music has resonated across the world at such festivals as Warszawska Jesień, the Poznań Musical Spring, the Avignon Festival, Festival Estival in Paris, Syntèse in Bourges, Festival ICMC in Bucharest, Brighton L'Espace du Son, Festival Acousmatique de Bruxelles, Fylkingen in Stockholm, Dresden Music Festspiele, the Braunschweig Festival, Berlin Festspiele, the Alexandria Festival of the Arts, the Bath–Newcastle Festival, the Heidelberg New Music Festival, Antidogma Musica in Turin, Festival International de Musica Electroacustica in Havana, the Seoul International Computer Music Festival in South Korea, the EMF Festival in New York and the International Festival of Today's Music in New York.

Among performers of Sikora’s works are such prestigious ensembles and soloists as the Annabella Gonzales Dance Theater, Ballet of Monte Carlo, Baltic Philharmonic Orchestra, Centre Pompidou, Nouvel Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Polish National Philharmonic, Polish National Radio Symphony, Poznań Philharmonic, Orchestre Poitou-Charentes, Orchestre Stadt Ulm, the Camerata Varsovia, the Warsaw National Opera, Danel Quartet, Ensemble Aventure, Ensemble Itinéraire, Ensemble 2E2M, Wilanów Quintet, and the Heidelberg Festival Ensemble. Over the past few decades Sikora collaborated with conductors Gabriel Chmura, James-Alain Gaehres, Jacek Kaspszyk, Wojciech Michniewski, Michel Tabachnik, Jean Thorel Pascal Verrot, Antoni Wit, and Tadeusz Wojciechowski among others, and numerous performances of her works have been recorded by the Polish Radio, WRD and Radio France.



Chlopecki_music_inspires.jpgFrom our friends at PWMDirector Adam Radzikowski and Editor-in-Chief, Daniel Cichy—we received an excellent recent publication, Muzyka wzwodzi—diagnozy i portrety [Music Inspires—Diagnoses and Portraits], a collection of over 40 superb and well-argued essays by Andrzej Chłopecki (1950-2012). Published by PWM with an introduction by Jan Topolski, this fascinating book is a valuable addition to our library.

And, talking of valuable and useful additions, our PWM friends also presented us with a series of short brochures on composers representing the “Generation ’70,” including Marcel Chyrzyński, Mikołaj Górecki, Eugeniusz Knapik, Andrzej Krzanowski, Paweł Mykietyn, Aleksander Lasoń, Wojciech Widłak, Maciej Zieliński and Agata Zubel. Each pamphlet features a quick listing of works for sale and/or for hire from PWM, with the details on instrumentation and duration.

Sieradz_Kwartalnik Muzyczny.jpgThe Music History Department at the Art Institute branch of the Polish Academy of Science [Zakład Historii Muzyki, Instytut Sztuki Polskiej Akademii Nauk] has been supplying the Polish Music Center with its quarterly, Muzyka, for many years now. Always grateful to receive this valuable publication for the reference section of our library, this time around we also received Dr. Małgorzata Sieradz’s book, Kwartalnik Muzyczny (1928-1950) a początki muzykologii polskiej[Kwartalnik Muzyczny (1928-1950) and the origins of musicology in Poland]. In her book, Dr. Sieradz, who is the Editor and Secretary of the Muzyka quarterly, sheds much light on the legendary Polish musicologist, Adolf Chybiński (1880-1952) and his numerous disciples. The book also describes the growth of various musical societies that directly influenced the development of musical criticism in Poland during the first half of the twentieth century.

Dr. Marek Szlezer, a brilliant pianist and part of the Cracow Duo ensemble with cellist Jan Kalinowski, spent several weeks at the Polish Music Center last year, researching the Zygmunt and Luisa Stojowski Collection held in our library. Besides manuscripts, first editions, correspondence, photos, and many other items, the Stojowski Collection also has numerous writings on music, history and politics penned by Stojowski himself. Szlezer’s Zygmunt Stojowski—Pisma wybrane [Zygmunt Stojowski—Selected Writings] represents the first Polish translation of Stojowski’s lectures and essays on such topics as practicing, Chopin and Polish Music, Chopin’s 95th Death Anniversary, analysis of Chopin’s Nocturne Op. 48 no. 1, and a long text, Chopin najdoskonalszy [Chopin most excellent], culled from a number of lectures on Chopin given by Stojowski at the Juilliard School of Music in 1944. Published by the Kraków Music Academy, where Dr. Szlezer holds the professorship of piano, this volume should prove to be an excellent resource for young pianists in Poland as well as a cherished addition for the PMC library.

Kaper_Oleszkiewicz_Erskine.jpgNoted Polish jazz pianist, Kuba Stankiewicz, devoted the last few years to discovering two great Polish composers of lighter music, Victor Young and Bronisław Kaper, recording their best-known tunes with two of his superb partners, bassist Darek Oleszkiewicz and drummer Peter Erskine. The first CD with music by Victor Young was already given to PMC last year and now, Mr. Stankiewicz presented us with a freshly-minted Kaper CD, featuring such great standards as Ninon, On Green Dolphin Street, Invitation, Blue Lovebird and Hi Lili-Hi Lo, among several others. This attractively-produced album also has a short introduction by Stankiewicz and a captivating essay entitled “Bronnie,” written by Polish documentary filmmaker, Anna Ferens, who has been interested for many years in Kaper’s fascinating life story. Stankiewicz was in Los Angeles recently to record another album of standards by Henryk Wars [or Henry Vars, as he was known in the U.S.] and we look forward to its release later this year!

Dr. Ewa Muchnick, a long-time friend of the PMC who donated a number of items related to Henry Vars and Bronisław Kaper, recently sent us two concert programs from the mid-1960s, once featuring film music of Elmer Bernstein, Bronisław Kaper, Bernardo Segall and Leonard Rosenman, and the other from the Los Angeles Breakfast Club 7 May 1965 revue program of Polish music and songs, featuring Renata Bogdańska, Kazimierz Pawłowski, Halina Łucyk and Kazimierz Turewicz.

Violetta Rotter-Kozera, a longtime PMC friend and director of several excellent documentaries on musical subjects, including Please Find—Henryk Mikołaj Górecki (2012), has donated to the Polish Music Center a DVD with her documentary, Wojciech Kilar. Credo (2012). We are also privileged to receive a DVD of Ms. Rotter-Kozera’s latest film, Idea, która przerasta codzienność—Polskie Wydawnictwo Muzyczne (2016), a presentation of the rich and fascinating history of the Polish Music Publishers [PWM], produced to commemorate the seventieth anniversary of PWM’s existence. The Warsaw premiere of Ms. Rotter-Kozera’s latest film took place on June 20 at the National Audiovisual Institute. Present for the occasion were PWM’s Director, Adam Radzikowski, PWM’s Editor-in-Chief, Daniel Cichy, and Andrzej Kosowski, who for many years helmed PWM and is currently serving as Director of Institute of Music and Dance.

Kurpinski_Bitwa_pod_Mozajskiem.jpgWojciech Marchwica, Director of the National Chopin Institute in Warsaw presented the Polish Music Center with 2 CD albums. The first features Frans Brüggen and his Orchestra of the Eighteenth Century in Karol Kurpiński’s Bitwa pod Możajskiem [The Battle of Możajsk], an epic and largely-forgotten 7-movement work depicting Napoleon’s victorious battle against Tsar’s army in September of 1812. On this recording Kurpiński is paired with a recording of Beethoven’s Eroica Symphony (NIFCCD 039).  The other album donated by Dir. Marchwica is a 2 CD set of Kate Liu’s performances recorded live during the last Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw (NIFCCD 619-620). The repertoire features Andante spianato and Grand Polonaise, Op. 22, Ballade in F minor, Op. 52, Sonata in B minor, Op. 58, and Polonaise-Fantaisie, Op. 61 as well as several smaller-scale works.  

Stanisław Suchora, CEO of Sonora Music donated to the PMC a CD of music by Mieczysław Weinberg performed by violinist Linus Roth (Challenge Records). The repertoire on this disc includes Weinberg’s Three Sonatas for Solo Violin as well as his Three Fantastic Dances for Violin and Piano with pianist José Gallardo.

Tadeusz Owczuk, always a most gracious host in Żelazowa Wola, presented the Polish Music Center with an excellent publication, Chopin’s Birthplace, depicting items on permanent display at the small manor house where Chopin was born in 1810. This second, corrected edition came out last year and it contains many illustrations and descriptions of the house, interior furnishings, the surrounding parkland and other topics related to this hallowed place in history of Polish music.

Barbasiewicz_Radziejowickie_Theatrum.jpgAnother great publication, Radziejowickie Theatrum - Dzieje rezydencji [The Scene at Radziejowice - History of the Residence] authored by Maria Barbasiewicz was given to us by Bogumił Mrówczyński, a longtime director of the artistic retreat at the Radziejowice Palace south of Warsaw. For the past twenty years, Director Mrówczyński has warmly welcomed artists of all kinds and provided a terrific creative opportunity for anyone looking for inspiration and blissful repose within the elegant space of the palace and the surrounding grounds. Lavishly illustrated and meticulously researched, Barbasiewicz’s book gives a tour de force of the palace’s history, its different owners and many artists who visited the palace over the past fifty years.

Many thanks, as always, to all of our generous donors and friends! Dziękujemy!





Chyrzyński, Fabiańska-Jelińska and Borowicz

On August 3, Polish clarinetist Barbara Borowicz will play a concert in the US dedicated exclusively to works by Polish composers, including world premieres of two new works commissioned by the performer: The Soul of Seul for clarinet and vibraphone by Ewa Fabiańska-Jelińska and Haiku No. 2 for clarinet and piano by Marcel Chyrzyński. Also on the program are Fragment H for clarinet and piano by Zbigniew A. Lampart and Three Miniatures for clarinet and piano by Krzysztof Penderecki. Borowicz will be joined on stage by pianist Ellen Sommer and percussionist Bartosz Sałdana for the concert, which will be held as a part of ClarinetFest at the historic University of Kansas in Lawrence, Kansas.

ClarinetFest is the world's largest clarinet event, held annually in a different place. In 2016, the festival is organized in collaboration with the University of Kansas and participants representing over 20 countries from 6 continents will be present. This year’s ClarinetFest theme is “Inspirations,” focusing on five great clarinetists who inspired the creation of our greatest repertoire. These clarinetists are 18th-century Anton Stadler; 19th-century Heinrich Baermann, Johann Hermstedt and Richard Mūhlfeld; and 20th-century Benny Goodman. Performances and clinics will highlight the lives, careers and legacies of these clarinetists throughout the festival.

August 3-7, 2016

Lawrence, Kansas
Info: http://clarinet.org/index.php/clarinetfest/clarinetfest-2016/

[Sources: polmic.pl, facebook.com, clarinet.org]



zawadzki-sebastian.jpgOn July 24 during the 9th Nowe Miasto Summer Festival, the Warsaw Camerata Orchestra led by  Paweł Kos-Nowicki gave the world premiere of Concerto for Bassoon by Sebastian Zawadzki. Also on the program were Concerto for Oboe by Sebastian Krajewski and Antes y después by Jerzy Wołochowicz. Soloists for the concert were Marek Roszkowski – oboe and Leszek Wachnik – bassoon. The concert was held at the Church of St Francis in Warsaw.

[Sources: polmic.pl, sebastian-zawadzki.com]



nfm-logo-menu.jpgThe National Forum of Music presents two concerts of early Polish music around Wrocław in August. First, on August 20, Ars Cantus led by their artistic director Tomasz Dobrzański will perform “Cracovia civitas – music from the 15th-century Kraków manuscripts” in the Town Hall. On August 26, the Goldberg Baroque Ensemble from Gdańsk and their artistic director Andrzej Szadejko will perform “The Gems of Gdańsk Baroque Music,” including madrigals and motets by Andrzej Hakenberger (1574–1627) from the Neue Deutsche Gesänge (1610)  and Pelplin Tablature (ca. 1620-1680), in the Oratorium Marianum.

Saturday, August 20, 2016 | 8:00 PM
Cracovia civitas – music from the 15th-century Kraków manuscripts
Principal Room of the Town Hall
Rynek 1, 50-996 Wrocław
Info: www.nfm.wroclaw.pl

Friday, August 26, 2016 | 8:00 PM
Gems of Gdańsk Baroque Music
Oratorium Marianum
plac Uniwersytecki 1, Wrocław
Info: www.nfm.wroclaw.pl

[Source: nfm.wroclaw.pl]




It has been announced that the founder, artistic director and longtime conductor of the National Philharmonic Orchestra in Washington, DC, Piotr Gajewski will be feted at the Annual Gala Dinner by the Kosciuszko Foundation on Saturday, November 12, 2016.

Born in Poland, Maestro Gajewski began to study piano there and continued at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston once his family emigrated to the United States in 1969. gajewski-piotr.jpgHe also studied at Carleton College and at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, earning his Bachelors’ and Masters’ Degrees in Orchestral Conducting. Awarded a Leonard Bernstein Conducting Fellowship at the prestigious Tanglewood Festival in Massachusetts,Piotr Gajewski spent the summer of 1983 refining his conducting skills under the tutelage of such masters as Leonard Bernstein, Seiji Ozawa, Andre Previn, Gunther Schuller, and Maurice Abravanel. Winner of several prizes and awards, including the Leopold Stokowski Conducting Competition in New York, Gajewski began his professional career as a conductor of the National Chamber Orchestra he founded in Rockville, MD in the late 1980s. Since then, Maestro Gajewski has conducted leading world orchestras and recorded several works from the contemporary repertoire for Koch International. He was recognized in 2006 with the Montgomery County’s Comcast Excellence in the Arts and Humanities Achievement Award and, in 2013, with the Knight’s Cross of the Order of Merit by the President of Poland. A polymath with a great sense of humor and piercing intelligence, Maestro Gajewski also holds a degree in law and has engaged in very successful law practice in Maryland, and served for one term on the Rockville City Council.

The Gala Dinner for Maestro Piotr Gajewski will be held at the Stateroom of the Mayflower Hotel in Washington DC on Saturday, Nov. 12. It is quite apt for the Kosciuszko Foundation to recognize this great musician who continues to inspire his colleagues and audiences in equal measure with the 2016 Pioneer Award. Congratulations, Piotr!

[Source: thekf.org]



paderewski_pianocompetitionDirector Henryk Martenka and Prof. Piotr Paleczny, the Artistic Director of the International Paderewski Piano Competition in Bydgoszcz, Poland have just announced the final selection of contestants for this year’s auditions. Out of a total of 164 applications, 56 pianists from 19 countries were selected to participate in the 2016 Paderewski Competition. Poland will be represented by Tymoteusz Bies, Elżbieta Bilicka, Jakub Kuszlik, Aleksandra Świgut, and Andrzej Wierciński.

The triennial Paderewski International Piano Competition will be held November 6-20 in Bydgoszcz, Poland. It is organized by the Paderewski Music Association in cooperation with the Nowowiejski Music Academy, the Paderewski Philharmonic, Ministry of Culture and National Heritage, the Marshall’s Office of the Kuyavia-Pomerania Province and of the City of Bydgoszcz. All auditions are open to the public and will be taking place at various venues, including the Music Academy and the Philharmonic Hall in Bydgoszcz. Previous winners of the International Paderewski Piano Competition included Zheeyoung Moon (2013), Edouard Kunz (2010) and Nikita Mndoyants (2007).

[Sources: konkurspaderewskiego.pl, facebook.com, twitter.com]



Transatlantyk.jpgIn his July 4 article for Dziennik Łódzki, Łukasz Kaczyński provided a highly critical review of the 2016 Transatlantyk Festival, which recently moved to Łódź together with its founder, Jan A.P. Kaczmarek.  Entitled “Wielka łódź na jałowym biegu” [The great boat on a course to nowhere], the article discusses how the Festival was lavishly supported by the City of Łódź to the tune of 4.5 million PLN (over 1 million dollars) as well as by such corporate giants as Polish Oil and Gas Company (PGNiG) and Skoda/VW car manufacturer. In spite of very ample financing, Transatlantyk 2016 had little to show for it—uninspiring film screenings, a few special guests (the only celebrity being the French actress, Irene Jacob), the so-called “reclining” and “culinary” film screenings, and stuntmen displays, all in front of invariably small audiences, rarely exceeding fifty. According to Mr. Kaczyński, “… Fifteen minutes before the Closing Gala, the presenter had to rub her eyes in disbelief: the theatre was practically empty and a feverish action to bring down the audience from the balcony was launched whilst ushers downstairs were sending people seated at the mezzanine to the front, as the image of empty rows of seats right in front of the stage is a proof of disastrous management. The disappointment of the President of Łódź could not be completely concealed, even if on stage she tried to show contentment and enthusiasm.”

Continuing his review, Mr. Kaczyński states that, “It remains a mystery who thought a short concert, split into two parts and featuring a pop-rock starlet, Julie Marcell, was worthy of a closing gala for an event that the city government thought could replace such festivals as CAMERIMAGE. The vocalist could be a headliner for a show in [provincial towns] like Cieszyn or Tomaszów, but not in Łódź, where she constantly appears in one of the clubs… And not at a festival which, besides a huge donation from the city budget had also such sponsors as PGNiG and Skoda. […]

In closing, the reviewer asked pointedly, “Would city government that, maybe rashly, had signed an agreement with a rather ill-formed festival for a few years, consider backing out or introducing corrective changes? Nobody wants to admit to a mistake, even if such a move would prove a degree of maturity and bring long-term gain. We certainly should ask the organizers to provide accounting and make it public for the inhabitants of Łódź, who financed the event.”

[Source: dzienniklodzki.pl]



sutkowski-edition.jpgThe final three volumes of “The History of Music in Poland” have been published in collaboration with Sutkowski Edition and the Institute of Music and Dance, completing the monumental 15-volume series. The final volumes include “Between Romanticism and New Music” (by Zofia Helman), “Romanticism: part 1” (by Zofia Chechlińska) and “The Baroque: part 2” (by Alina Mądry), translated by John Comber. The books are available from music bookshops and online from www.sutkowskiedition.com . The Polish versions of the series were published earlier and are also available.

[Source: imit.org.pl]



Glinkaiwona.jpgPolish flautist and new music champion Iwona Glinka will perform a recital during the National Flute Association convention in San Diego, CA on August 12. Her program of international works was chosen for this prestigious honor from more than 500 proposals submitted by musicians from around the world.

While in California, she will also perform in Los Angeles as a part of the Maksim Velichkin presents Music@Mimoda series at MiMoDa Studio on August 10. Her program will focus on music from Greece, where she has lived since 1995, including: Christos Sp. Anastassiou – Makron for solo flute; Panagiotis Theodosiou – Litany for alto flute solo; Michalis Archontidis – Exotic for solo flute; Michail Travlos – The Castle of Kwidzyn for alto flute solo and Forestbirds Arias: Cuckoos Play for flute solo; Aaron Alter – Variations on Vanilla, Chocolate and Strawberry for solo flute & alto flute (premiere); and George N. Gianopoulos – Birds of Paradise for flute solo. 

Born in Kwidzyn, Poland, Iwona Glinka is a soloist and leading performer of new and experimental music. She founded the Phasma-Music Ensemble in 2016, where she currently serves as the artistic director in addition to playing many concerts a year as an ensemble member. She has given dozens of solo recitals with classical and contemporary repertoire and has appeared as Principal Flautist with orchestras and chamber ensembles throughout the Americas, Europe and Asia. She has developed a great interest in New Music, which since 1994 has resulted in over one hundred world premières of works by Australian, Belgian, Brazilian, British, Canadian, Greek, German, Polish and US composers, more than one hundred of them commissioned by and written especially for her.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016 | 8 PM - 9:30 PM
Iwona Glinka performs at Music@Mimoda
MiMoDa Studio (enter through Paper or Plastik Cafe)
5772 West Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90019
Info: www.facebook.com or mimodastudio.com

Friday August 12, 2016 | 11:15 a.m.–12:45 p.m.
Iwona Glinka performs at the National Flute Association 2016 Convention
Town and Country Resort & Convention Center
500 Hotel Circle North, San Diego, California 92108 USA
Info: www.nfaonline.org

[Sources: press release, nfaonline.org, facebook.com]



Kinga Augustyn performing at the 2012 Paderewski Festival in Paso Robles

On July 30, 2016 at the Sembrich Museum in Bolton Landing, NY, Polish violinist Kinga Augustyn performed a recital of Polish music with pianist Matthieu Cogne.  On the program:  Henryk Wieniawski (1835-1880): Legende, Op. 8; Frederic Chopin: (1810- 1849): Nocturne in C Sharp Minor (arr. Antoni Cofalik) and Mazurka in A Major (transcription from D Major, arr. Fritz Kreisler), Op. 33 No. 3; Aleksander Zarżycki (1834-1895): Romance, Op. 16 and Mazurka in G Major, Op. 26; Henryk Mikołaj Górecki (1933-2012): Sonatina in One Movement, Op. 8 (1956) and Little Fantasia, Op. 73; Krzysztof Penderecki (b. 1933): Capriccio for solo violin (2008); Witold Lutosławski (1913-1994): Recitativo e Arioso (1951); Zygmunt Noskowski (1846-1909): Chanson ancienne; Ignacy Jan Paderewski (1860-1941): Chanson, Op. post. and Mélodie, Op. 16 no. 2 (arr. Stanisław Barcewicz); Piotr Drożdżewski (b.1948): Two Caprices for solo violin; and Henryk Wieniawski (1835-1880): Polonaise de concert in D Major, Op. 4.

Watch a video of Augustyn’s performance of Paderewski’s Mélodie at youtube.com.

Augustyn’s next performance will be on August 5, 2016, at Bargemusic in Brooklyn, NY. Her program for solo violin will include Piotr Drożdżewski’s Two Caprices (1990) and Krzysztof Penderecki’s Capriccio (2008).

August 5, 2016 | 8 PM
Kinga Augustyn: Solo Violin Recital
Bargemusic in Brooklyn, NY
Tickets: $35 ($30 for seniors, $15 for students)
Info: www.bargemusic.org

[Sources: press release, kingaaugustyn.com]




Taking a break from his position as the Permanent Associate Conductor of London’s Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Polish-born conductor Grzegorz Nowak will spend most of August in Poland, giving concerts with several of the country’s top ensembles as part of the Chopin and His Europe Festival. He will be joined by incredible soloists, including cellist Andrzej Bauer and pianists Seong-Jin Cho, Charles Richard-Hamelin and Kate Liu—the first, second and third prize winners at the 2015 Chopin Competition. See details of the concerts below.

August 19, 2016 | 6pm
Warsaw Philharmonic Concert Hall
Chopin: Fantasy on Polish Airs; Beethoven: Choral Fantasy; Dobrzynski: Symphony #2
Soloist: Jan Lisiecki, piano, with Podlasie Opera & Philharmonic Choir
Info: festiwal.nifc.pl

August 24, 2016 | 8pm
Warsaw Philharmonic Concert Hall
Noskowski: The Steppes; Schumann: Cello Concerto; Chopin: Piano Concerto #2
Soloists: Andrzej Bauer – cello, Charles Richard-Hamelin – piano
Info: festiwal.nifc.pl

August 28, 2016 | 8pm
Warsaw Philharmonic Concert Hall
Chopin/Françaix: Preludes;  Tchaikosvky: Piano Concerto #1
Soloist: Seong-Jin Cho – piano
Info: festiwal.nifc.pl

August 29, 2016
Warsaw Philharmonic Concert Hall
Mozart: La clemenza di Tito (overture); Chopin: Piano Concerto #1; Mozart: Clarinet Concerto; Chopin: Piano Concerto #2
Soloists: Kate Liu, Eric Lu and Szymon Nehring – piano and Eric Hoeprich – clarinet
Info: festiwal.nifc.pl

[Sources: press release, parkerartists.com]





sacrum_non_profanumThe 12th International Sacrum non Profanum Festival is taking place from July 31 until August 13 in various venues in Germany and Poland, including Berlin, Szczecin and the Pomeranian seaside resort of Trzęsacz. Over the years, this Festival has become one of the most important summer music events in Poland. Besides featuring music by Witold Lutosławski, the artistic output of a number of Polish artists will be presented in concerts by over four hundred performers from all across the world who, besides music, represent visual and cinematic arts as well. The Amadeus and Academia Orchestras are scheduled to appear along the Diverso and Meccore String Quartets. Other participants include French clarinetist Jean-Marc Fessard, the Austrian Threex Ensemble, German vocalists Anna Hofmann, Katharina Thomas, Christoph Schröter, and Tobias Oliver Hagge, as well Dorota Miśkiewicz with the Kwadrofonik Ensemble, and Mieczysław Szczęśniak with the Krzysztof Herdzin Trio. Concerts will take place in the Herz Jesu Kirche in Berlin, St. Jakub’s Cathedral, Pomeranian Philharmonic and Pomeranian Royal Castle halls in Szczecin, and in a Mercy Church at Trzęsacz, among others.

July 31 - August 13, 2016
International Sacrum non Profanum Festival

Poland and Germany
Info: sacrumnonprofanum.eu

[Source: polmic.pl]



nowemiasto_summerfestivalThe 9th Nowe Miasto Summer Festival is taking place in Warsaw July 22—August 7, featuring music exclusively by Polish composers and free admission. There will be a total of nine concerts, including three Friday Chamber Music Concerts as well as Saturday Youth Concerts for preschoolers. Sunday concerts in various churches will feature orchestral repertoire.  The Festival opened on July 22 with the proMODERN vocal sextet in a program of Shakespeare’s Sonnets set to music by such composers as Miłosz Bembinow, Andrzej Borzyma, Krzesimir Dębski, Krzysztof Herdzin, Anna Ignatowicz-Glińska, Paweł Łukaszewski, and Tomasz Opałka. This was followed by the world premieres of works by Sebastian Zawadzki, Sebastian Krajewski and Jerzy Wołochowicz performed by the Warsaw Camerata Orchestra under Paweł Kos-Nowicki on July 24.

Other Festival attractions include Henryk Mikołaj Górecki’s Third String Quartet performed by the Royal String Quartet, and Offertoria et communiones by Mikołaj Zieleński performed by the La Tempesta Ensemble. The closing concert on August 7 will present the Amadeus Chamber Orchestra with Anna Duczmal-Mróz in a program of works by Adam Haczewski, Henryk Wieniawski, Romuald Twardowski, Karol Szymanowski, and Mikołaj Górecki. The organizers of this Festival include the Nowa Orkiestra Kameralna Foundation and Warsaw Camerata Orchestra. The Festival’s main sponsors include the Office of Cultural Affairs of the City of Warsaw and the STOART Society of Performing Artists.

July 22 - August 7, 2016
9th Nowe Miasto Summer Festival

Warsaw, Poland
Info: http://www.lfnm.pl/

[Sources: polmic.pl]



Energa Sopot Classic 2016

The sixth edition of the Energa Sopot Classic Festival (August 3-8) is an important event defined by exceptionally rich programs, the highest quality of artistic performance and above all, beautiful music.

The Forest Opera will launch the festival with a cycle of four concerts representing varied music genres. The Grand Opera Gala will take place on Wednesday, August 3 at 8 p.m., with Aleksandra Kurzak set to be the brightest star of the Opening Concert, accompanied by the Polish Chamber Philharmonic Orchestra Sopot led by Maestro Wojciech Rajski.

On Friday, August 5 the “Film Music Concert” will take place at 8 p.m. under the picturesque canvas of the Terrace at Sopot Aquapark. There will be a special guest appearance by Jan A.P. Kaczmarek, outstanding Oscar-winning Polish composer known for his score to Finding Neverland. Then the magnificent musicians of La Stagione Frankfurt will immerse the audience into the fascinating world of the seventeenth century in their “Music of the Baroque Concert” on Saturday, August 6 at 8 p.m. at St. George’s Church. The Festival will conclude with an exceptional free open-air concert, “Vivaldi contra Piazzolla,” which will take place on Monday, August 8 at 8:30 p.m. on the beach near Sopot’s Theatre.

Polish Chamber Philharmonic Orchestra Sopot is part of BART: the Baltic Artistic Agency and the festival was organized thanks to the financial aid of the City of Sopot and ENERGA.

August 3-9, 2016
Energa Sopot Classic Festival

Sopot, Poland
Info: http://sopotclassic.pl/en/energa-sopot-classic-2016-2/

[Sources: sopotclassic.pl]



Solidarity of the Arts, 2016, logoFort the 8th year in a row, the cultural institutions of the Pomorskie province, together with the City of Gdańsk, the Polish Film Institute, the European Solidarity Centre, the Polish Baltic Philharmonic and the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage have put together an exciting program of events for the Solidarity of Arts Festival (August 13-27, 2016). The first concert on August 13 is entitled JIMEK+, to be held in the open-air area of the Polish Baltic Philharmonic featuring Radzimir Dębski, the Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra (NOSPR) , and guests: the Kenny Garrett Quintet; Miuosh; Naturally 7; Kaliber 44; Łona, Webber & The Pimps; Alune Wade Quintet and Kapela Maliszów. On August 14 in the same location, KILAR+ (a tribute to the great Polish composer Wojciech Kilar) will feature performances of pianists Beata Bilińska and Kuba Stankiewicz, the Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra (NOSPR) (NOSPR) conducted by Jerzy Maksymiuk, the Symphonic Orchestra of the Polish Baltic Philharmonic conducted by Mirosław Jacek Błaszczyk and thePolish Chamber Philharmonic Orchestra Sopot conducted by Wojciech Rajski.

Other 2016 Solidarity of Arts events include: August 17 and 18: "The double life of Krzysztof Kieślowski" screening/lecture series at the European Solidarity Centre; August 21: "Solidarity of cultures – the culture of Solidarity" at the Polish Baltic Philharmonic, a concert featuring Lena Chamayan, David Ezra Okonsar, Solar Wind / Alevtina Polyakova, The Teofilović Twins, Anahit Mktrchyan, Olga Pasiecznik, Jarosław Bręk and the Symphonic Orchestra of the Polish Baltic Philharmonic; and August 27: “Kronos Quartet at the European Solidarity Centre.”

August 13-27, 2016
Solidarity of Arts Festival

Gdańsk, Poland
Info: solidarityofarts.pl

[Sources: solidarityofarts.pl]                                                                         



Chopin I Jego Europa 2016

This year’s Chopin and His Europe Festival will take place in Warsaw from August 15-30, 2016, under the theme of “From Italy to Poland – From Mozart to Bellini.” Aside from Chopin’s œuvre, the program of the Festival’s 12th edition also offers us music by the composers closest to his heart: Bach, Mozart, Haydn, Bellini, Jírovec. This year’s program represents a wide variety of musical genres: opera, art song, concerto, chamber and symphonic music, but also arrangements, paraphrases and variations on themes from the best-known works of the era – genres which were popular in the 19th century. All of this will be performed in masterful renditions on both contemporary and historical instruments (Erard, Pleyel and Broadwood).

As is now standard, Festival guests will include great stars of the piano world, among them Katia and Marielle Labèque, Nelson Goerner, Till Fellner, Jan Lisiecki, Jonathan Plowright and Yulianna Avdeeva, as well as prizewinners from the most recent Chopin Competition – including the top three: Seong-Jin Cho, Charles Richard-Hamelin and Kate Liu. Also performing are Belcea Quartet and Apollon Musagète.

August 15-30, 2016
Chopin and His Europe Festival

Warsaw, Poland
Tickets: tickets.nifc.pl
Info: festiwal.nifc.pl

[Sources: festiwal.nifc.pl]






The PGNiG Transatlantyk Festival was held in Łódź from June 23-20, 2016. The winner of this year’s Transatlantyk Film Music Competition was Jeffrey van Rossum, who received a diploma and a check for the amount of 20,000 PLN. The second prize winner was Oli Jan (10,000 PLN) and the third prize winner was Marcin Kuczewski (5,000 PLN). Honorable Mentions were given to He Li and Ahmed Soroko. The Jury of this competition comprised of: Jan Kanty Pawluśkiewicz (Head of the Jury), Roque Banos, Daniel Pemberton and Paweł Sztompke.

The winner of the Transatlantyk Instant Composition Contest was Sebastian Zawadzki, who received a diploma and a check for the amount of 15,000 PLN. The second prize winner was Tomasz Wielechowski (7,500 PLN) and the third prize winner was Anna Rocławska-Musiałczyk (5,000 PLN). Honorable Mentions were given to Hanna Raniszewska and Vitaliy Kiyantsii. The Jury of this competition comprised of: Jan A.P. Kaczmarek (Head of the Jury), Ray Costa, Matthias Hornschuh and Rafał Paczkowski.

The awards ceremony took place on Thursday June 30 at the Łódź Grand Theater during the 2016 Closing Gala event. The gala was hosted by Grażyna Torbicka and Tomasz Raczek.

[Source: transatlantyk.org]



Dlugosz LukaszThe International Classical Music Awards (ICMA) held their Award Ceremony and Gala Concert on April 1 in the Kursaal in Sebastian, Spain, where an audience of 1500 applauded the winners. The event was hosted by the Basque National Orchestra and San Sebastian Cultural Capital of Europe 2016. The Award Ceremony was presented by ICMA’s President Remy Franck, and awards were given to such artists as Dame Felicity Lott, Jordi Savall, Christian Lindberg, Pablo Ferrández, Nikolai Song, Marc Lewon, Michala Petri & Mahan Esfahani, Łukasz Długosz, Berliner Philharmoniker, Gewandhaus Orchestra Leipzig, Gürzenich Orchestra Cologne, Harmonia Mundi, BIS CEO Robert von Bahr, Palazzetto Bru Zane, the label Genuin for the Dinorah Varsi Edition and Christopher Nupen.

During the ceremony, Polish flautist Łukasz Długosz beautifully played excerpts of Krzysztof Penderecki’s Flute Concerto. Długosz’s recording of this piece for DUX Records (DUX 1186) was the ICMA winner in the Contemporary Music category.

[Sources: dux.pl, icma-info.com]




Eidos, Kwiatkowska, OpalinskaEIDOS
Kaija Saariaho – Tocar, Calices, Nocturne; Agata Zubel – Cadenza; Barbara Buczek – Studium, Eidos I; Olga Neuwirth - Quasare/Pulsare
Anna Kwiatkowska – violin; Joanna Opalińska – piano
Sarton Records 020-2  

Presented by new music champions violinist Anna Kwiatkowska and pianist Joanna Opalińska, their new album EIDOS is an opportunity to reflect on the richness and complexity of female expression in contemporary music. The starting point, as well as a reference point for the diversity of feminine sensitivity, is the music of Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho (b.1952). Also included are two Polish powerhouses—one of the most prominent composers of the younger generation, Agata Zubel (b. 1978), and the lesser known Barbara Buczek (1940-1993). The final composer on the album is Olga Neuwirth (b. 1968), who became known as the enfant terrible of the Austrian contemporary music.

Writing in the CD liner notes, Monika Pasiecznik notes that, “Even though the position and the role of women in Western culture allows them to affirm their gender identity, women composers often distance themselves from it by using technical terminology and neutral aesthetic categories in order to describe their music. The reluctance to admit to the specific nature of music by women (regardless of the qualities we ascribe to it) still results from a deeply-rooted cultural belief about the neutrally-specific nature of music written by men. By observing the paths of female experiences and placing them in a public context, feminist musicology questions the uncritical acceptance of the universality of the male experience. That’s why it pays to tune one’s ears from time to time to other forms of listening and notice a woman composer.”

[Sources: facebook.com, sarton.pl]



Bartlomiej Pekiel, Missa secundaBartłomiej Pękiel
Bartłomiej Pękiel: Missa secunda- Kyrie, Gloria, Credo, Sanctus, and Agnus Dei; Ave Maria; Sub tuum praesidium; Assumpta est Maria; Missa pulcherrima ad instar Praenestini- Kyrie, Gloria, Credo, Sanctus, and Agnus Dei; Magnum nomen Domini; Resonet in laudibus
Aldona Bartnik, soprano; Maciej Gocman, tenor; Tomáš Král, bass; Jaromír Nosek, bass; Matthew Venner, countertenor; Andrzej Kosendiak, conductor
CDAccord ACD222

Bartlomiej Pękiel has two main characteristics of his compositional style, the first being his masterly exploitation of polyphonic techniques and the second, his fluency in exploiting the Baroque language's musical rhetorical figures serving to underline the essence of spoken texts. The works on this release showcase Pękiel's unique style and prove that within a style associated with tradition, it is possible to create similar yet distinct works like the lesser known Missa Secunda and the famous Missa Pulcherrima.

[Sources: naxos.com]



Polish Violin Concertos, Bacewicz, NaxosPolish Violin Concertos
Grażyna Bacewicz- Violin Concerto No. 1; Alexandre Tansman- 5 Pieces; Michał Spisak- Andante et allegro; Andrzej Panufnik- Violin Concerto
Piotr Plawner; Berlin Chamber Symphony; Jürgen Bruns, Conductor
Naxos 8.573496

The works on this recording were written by four roughly contemporary Polish composers who settled and pursued their careers in different parts of the world. Grażyna Bacewicz’s First Violin Concerto displays her own glittering virtuosity as a performer, while Alexandre Tansman wrote his Baroque-infused Five Pieces for the great Josef Szigeti. Michał Spisak considered his neo-classical Andante and Allegro to be ‘a little story for violin and orchestra’, while Andrzej Panufnik’s wide-ranging Violin Concerto was a ‘pilgrimage into my past’ and is richly suffused with Polish atmosphere.

[Sources: naxos.com]



Discography/aug16/panufnik_lso.jpg & plowright_bis2127.jpg plowright_bis2127.jpg

The Gramophone Awards are among the most prestigious in the world of classical music. The magazine has now revealed its shortlist of 72 recordings from which the 2016 winners will be chosen. Winners will be revealed in the September issue, which goes on sale on August 12.

Two Polish, or at least Polish-adjacent, musicians have been included in the shortlist:

  • Maxwell Davies. Panufnik Symphonies Nos 10 London Symphony Orch /Sir Antonio Pappano, cond. (LSO Live LSO0767) – the Tenth Symphonies of Polish composer Sir Andrzej Panufnik (written in 1988) and Sir Peter Maxwell Davies (written in 2013-14) are compared on this excellent recording.
  • Brahms Solo Piano, Vol 3 Jonathan Plowright (BIS 2127) – champion of Polish romantic piano repertoire and previous Paderewski Festival Gala performer Jonathan Plowright continues his intelligent and powerful review of Brahms’s repertoire for solo piano.

[Source: gramophone.co.uk]



fest-mozart2016During the 26th edition of the Mozart Festival, the ‘MOZART OFF’ project presented a number of young and talented artists associated with Warsaw Chamber Opera in free concerts scattered all over Warsaw. The Festival is one of the most popular and well-attended summer concert series in Poland’s capital city. Concerts on July 16 at the Culture Park in Powsin, July 17 near the Ursynów District Office, July 30 at the Praga District Museum and July 31 at the Warsaw University Library included soloists Grzegorz Hardej, Paweł Czekała, Wanda Franek, Adrianna Ferfecka, Olga Siemieńczuk, Damian Suchożebrski, and Łukasz Hajduczenia, while the orchestra was composed of the following musicians: Monika Boroni, Karolina Boroni, Ewa Żołyniak-Adamska, Michał Piotrowski, Agnieszka Obst-Chwała, Katarzyna Kalinowska, Marcin Sochan, Anna Wieczorek, Wojciech Witek, Katarzyna Cichoń, Jakub Kościukiewicz, Łukasz Madej, Paweł Książkiewicz, Rafael Gabriel Przybyła, Agnieszka Szwajgier, Dominika Stencel, Robert Michalski, Lubomir Jarosz,and Krzysztof Niezgoda.

This project was created in collaboration with the Il Giardino d'Amore Orchestra and Warsaw Chamber Opera.  A variety of singers, ballet dancers, mimes, choir and the orchestra was used to illustrate Mozart’s life through his music, including the best-known arias from several operas, as well as all kinds of orchestral works.

[Sources: press release, operakameralna.pl, facebook.com, kulturadostepna.pl]



elzbieta_dziebowska_AUGobitApril 4, 2016 marked the passing of Dr. Elżbieta Dziębowska, a noted musicologist and specialist in music of the nineteenth and twentieth century. For many years Dr. Dziębowska was associated with the Jagiellonian University in Kraków, serving as a Head of Music History and Theory Department from 1974-1978. She was also one of the founders and leaders in the Paderewski Life and Work Centre between 1973 and 1989) and worked as Editor-in-Chief of the monumental PWM Music Encyclopedia.

Born in Warsaw in 1929, as a Girl Scout in her youth, Dziębowska was active in the Armia Krajowa’s Szare Szeregi [Grey Ranks] Polish Underground during World War II. Under a nom de guerre Dewajtis, together with her friends in the “Parasol Battalion,” Dziębowska participated in the February 1944 assassination of Franz Kutschera, the Head of SS in Warsaw. Wounded in action, for her bravery during the Warsaw Uprising she was honored with the Virtuti Militari Order as well as the Commanders’ Cross of the Polonia Restituta Order. The funeral ceremonies were held in Wrocław on April 9.

[Source: paderewski.muzykologia.uj.edu.pl]


  • August 4, 1879 - Józef REISS, musicologist, Polish music expert (d. 1956)
  • August 7, 1935 - Monika (Izabela) GORCZYCKA, musicologist (d. 1962)
  • August 8, 1946 - Mieczyslaw MAZUREK, composer, teacher, choral conductor
  • August 8, 1897 - Stefan SLEDZINSKI, conductor, musicologist
  • August 10, 1914 - Witold MALCUZYNSKI, pianist, student of Lefeld
  • August 11, 1943 - Krzysztof MEYER, composer, musicologist
  • August 17, 1907 - Zygmunt MYCIELSKI, composer, writer
  • August 18, 1718 - Jacek SZCZUROWSKI, composer, Jesuit, priest (d. after 1773)
  • August 20, 1889 - Witold FRIEMAN, composer, pianist
  • August 21, 1933 - Zbigniew BUJARSKI, composer
  • August 22, 1924 - Andrzej MARKOWSKI, composer and conductor
  • August 23, 1925 - Wlodzimierz KOTONSKI, composer
  • August 28, 1951 - Rafal AUGUSTYN, composer, music critic
  • August 29, 1891 - Stefan STOINSKI, music etnographer, organizer, conductor (d. 1945)


  • August 3, 2014 - Jan JARCZYK, pianist, composer, arranger (b.1947)
  • August 15, 1898 - Cezar TROMBINI, singer, director of Warsaw Opera (b. 1835)
  • August 15, 1936 - Stanislaw NIEWIADOMSKI, composer, music critic
  • August 15, 2014 - Jan EKIER, pianist, composer, pedagogue
  • August 17, 1871 - Karol TAUSIG, pianist and composer, student of Liszt (b. 1841)
  • August 21 1925 - Karol NAMYSLOWSKI, folk musician, founder of folk ensemble
  • August 22, 1966 - Apolinary SZELUTO, composer and pianist
  • August 23, 1942 - Waclaw WODICZKO, conductor (b. 1858), grandfather of Bohdan, conductor
  • August 27, 1865 - Józef NOWAKOWSKI, pianist, composer, student of Elsner, friend of Chopin
  • August 29, 1886 - Emil SMIETANSKI, pianist, composer (b. 1845)

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Copyright 2016 by the Polish Music Center

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Newsletter Editor: Krysta Close
Layout Assistance: Charles Bragg, Thuy Le, Ashley Ramsey
Translation Assistance: Marek Zebrowski

Contributions from:
Kinga Augustyn, Adam Bala, Iwona Glinka, Henryk Martenka, Grzegorz Nowak, Marek Zebrowski

Sources of information: Polish Cultural Institute (NY & UK), Adam Mickiewicz Institute, PWM,
Nowy Dziennik
, Polish Music Information Centre - Warsaw, Polish American Journal,
Poland.pl, PAP, ZKP, infochopin.pl, Ruch Muzyczny, Gazeta Wyborcza

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