|Polish Music Newsletter|
PMC DIRECTOR HONORED BY GOV. OF GREATER POLAND
Immediately after completing his work with the Paderewski Festival in Paso Robles and the Paderewski Youth Cultural Exchange, both co-organized by the Polish Music Center, PMC Director Marek Zebrowski left the states for work in Poland in November and December. During this visit, Dir. Zebrowski will perform concerts, give lectures, and meet with critical PMC partners in major Polish cities such as Poznań, Gdańsk, Kraków and Warsaw. Apart from reconnecting with those already familiar with our institution, a main theme of this trip is to introduce the history and special collections of PMC to new audiences, especially at the Academies of Music in Poznań and Gdańsk.
On November 23, after giving a lecture in Poznań at the local Ignacy Jan Paderewski Academy of Music, Dir. Zebrowski received a prestigious award from Wojewoda Wielkopolski [The Governor of Greater Poland], Zbigniew Hoffmann. The purpose of this award is to distinguish people with exceptional merits in regards to Polish culture who are connected with the region of Greater Poland. Although Zebrowski’s efforts to promote Polish culture abroad were the main reason of receiving the prize, Governor Zbigniew Hoffmann also underlined the value of his artistic achievements and didactic work.
Below is the first report back from Dir. Zebrowski while in Poland, with more to follow in the January Newsletter.
The 40th anniversary of the Accordion Department at the Gdańsk Music Academy was celebrated November 25-26 with a scholarly conference and a series of concerts at the Academy’s attractive and acoustically-satisfying concert hall. The Nov. 25 concert opened with Krzysztof Olczak’s Chanson for Accordion and Electronic Sounds, a solo work performed by the composer. Olczak (below), who is also a virtuoso accordionist, has been associated with the Gdańsk Academy for over 37 years and was one of the organizers of the event. His Chanson uses a form of variations to explore a Renaissance French melody and intersperse it with various electronic and ambient sounds.
Next the 69 Duo—guitarist Marcin Kozioł and accordionist Szymon Jabłoński—gave a spirited and stylish reading of the Suite française for guitar and accordion by Piotr Moss. Their performance set the stage for the next chamber ensemble to use accordion—this time with violin and cello and a solo voice in an adaptation of five Schubert lieder. The soprano, Bożena Harasimowicz, displayed a truly fulsome voice that richly resonated throughout the concert hall, but often overwhelmed the German text. Elżbieta Rosińska’s accordion part added a lot of interesting textures, especially in the transcription of Gretchen am Spinnrade and in Heidenröslein. The strings, mostly the violin part, seemed superfluous in the remaining Schubert arrangements penned by someone listed in the program as “B. Cavanna,” perhaps also because of the timid and rather uncertain playing by violinist Małgorzata Skorupa.
The two show-stoppers closed the concert. First came on stage accordionist Cezary Paciorek with double bassist, Piotr Lemańczyk. They performed two of their own jazz compositions—Lifetime by Lemańczyk and You Will Be by Paciorek—with joy, abandon and much virtuosity. The applause of the audience, clearly appreciating the quite radical shift from Schubert, elicited an unnamed encore from the duo, probably also their own composition. One can look forward to their joint CD being released in coming weeks, as announced from the stage by the performers.
A very successful and riveting arrangement of Górecki’s Harpsichord Concerto Op. 40 closed the concert. It was a world premiere of the arrangement made by accordionist and Gdańsk Music Academy faculty, Paweł Zagańczyk. Wisely, he reduced the large string orchestra used by Górecki in his original score to a complement of four violins and one each of viola, cello and bass. Such an approach allowed for a better balance between the solo accordion (taking the original harpsichord part) and the rest of the ensemble. A huge ovation from the audience confirmed the success of this performance.
The second concert, featuring students and alumni of the Gdańsk Music Academy was held on Saturday, Nov. 26, also in the Academy’s auditorium. It was a concert of solo and chamber music for the accordion, and most of it was very new and exciting, and quite demanding technically.
The evening began with the accordion orchestra of about 14 players busily engaged in a three-movement Divertimento by Krzysztof Naklicki. Written especially for the occasion, it was a world premiere of the work. Conducted by the composer, the piece found much favor with the audience who demanded an encore performance of the first movement.
The rest of the evening highlighted many young and very talented accordion students from the Gdańsk Academy. Marek Stawniak shone in a toccata-like Kaprys nr. 2 [Capriccio No. 2] by Mikołaj Majkusiak. Andrzej Tuchowski’s subtle and atmospheric Te lucis ante terminum found a sympathetic and able performer in Maciej Kacprzak. Piotr Skowroński shone in a technically brilliant and very demanding Fantasia 84 by Jurgen Ganzer. Maciej Zimka’s Solar Wind for violin, guitar and accordion was expertly delivered by Urszula Cieślak, Magdalena Hydzik and Wojciech Ulanowski.
Rafał Mieczkowski gave a spirited and deeply musical performance of Krzysztof Olczak’s Accotango and this evocative composition was followed by a violin-accordion duo of husband and wife, Krzysztof Lutrzykowski and Malwina Mikołajczak-Lutrzykowska in a deeply experimental Hunting for Violin and Accordion by Leszek Kołodziejski.
To continue the concert, Kamila Olas presented two solo works—Martin Lohse’s rather complex Menuetto and Jasper Koch’s esoteric Jabberwocky. Piotr Komorowski then gave a virtuoso reading of Zolotariow’s Finale from his Sonata No. 3 and the program ended with a duet by Benjamin de Murashkin’s Tango organico, a work of only passing interest that was played with much gusto and expertise by Kacper Trębacz and Marek Stawniak.
The audience for both concerts was as ample as it was enthusiastic and the performers conveyed a strong sense of professionalism and dedication that characterize the accordion studies at the Gdańsk Music Academy.
GIFTS TO PMC
From Janusz Sporek, a well-known choral conductor active in the New York City, we received two books:Rajcza-Rybnik-Poland—20 Years of Artistic and Promotional Work in the USA and G…., czyli grzeczne felietony Skandalisty [S…, or Polite Polemics by the Scandalist]. These items were delivered to the PMC by pianist Tadeusz Domanowski, who performed a Gala Recital at the 2016 Paderewski Festival in Paso Robles in November.
Many thanks, as always, to all of our generous donors and friends! Dziękujemy!
PREMIERES IN NOVEMBER
On November 3 during a concert held in conjunction with the 10th edition of the International Composers’ Forum, Sepia Ensemble performed the world premieres of Agnieszka Zdrojek-Suchodolska’s Refleksje for cello solo (2016) and Katarzyna Taborowska’s Arpeggio for 4G violin and clarinet (2016). The concert was held in the New Hall of the Paderewski Academy of Music in Poznań. Members of the Sepia Ensemble who performed on this concert were Paulina Graś-Łukaszewska – flute, Szymon Józwiak – clarinet, Wojciech Jeliński – trombone, Aleksandra Dzwonkowska – pecussion, Tomasz Sośniak – piano, Olga Winkowska – violin, Anna Szmatoła – cello, and Rafał Zapała – electronics, and they were joined by composer Lidia Zielińska, also performing electronics. Other works by Polish composers on this program were Barbara Kaszuba - Innuendoes for piano solo (2014/2015); Artur Kroschel - Tauen for piano and flute (2012); Monika Kędziora - micro-nano-mos seven miniatures for piano solo (2015); Rafał Zapała - Kwadraty na trójkąty for percussion solo (2015); Zbigniew Kozub - Arthrea III for trombone and piano (2015); Ewa Fabiańska-Jelińska - Medytacja I for clarinet, trombone, piano and cello (2016); and Lidia Zielińska - Rdza for flute, clarinet, violin, cello, piano and CD (2010).
On November 10 during the Silesian Days Of Contemporary Music Festival, Aleksander Lasoń’s TAO. Symphony Concertante No. 5 for Orchestra was premiered by NOSPR with conductor Christopher Lyndon-Gee. This piece was commissioned by the Polish Composers’ Union [Związek Kompozytorów Polskich, ZKP]. The program also featured the world premiere of Daniele Gasparini’s Snowise, snowhere, snoway. Snowsense—1st prize winner in the 2nd Karol Szymanowski International Composers’ Competition—and was held in the NOSPR Concert Hall in Katowice.
On November 18, the new work for choir and ensemble by Krzesimir Dębski, entitled Misterium, received its premiere at the St. Mary’s Basilica in Gdańsk. The work was performed by the Polish Chamber Choir, conducted by Jan Łukaszewski, with guest soloists - Krzesimir Dębski (violin, II conductor), Krzysztof Ścierański (bass guitar), Bogusław Grabowski (organ), Norik Minasyan (duduk), Barbara Merdinger (mandolin) and Michał Górczyński (clarinet). The work was composed to commemorate the 1050th anniversary of Poland’s baptism. In 966, the pagan ruler of the Polans tribe, Mieszko I, was baptized and converted to Christianity. The Christianization restructured the state’s power elite by downgrading traditional tribal elders and pagan priests and upgrading incoming clergy who helped education, culture, and diplomacy to flourish in Poland. Elements of Christianity were injected into early music in the form of Gregorian chants and have survived through the centuries, serving as musical inspiration for such contemporary composers as Krzysztof Penderecki and Henryk Mikolaj Gorecki. Dębski tried to capture the profound impact, duration and penetration of the tradition of early music in Misterium, given the occasion.
On November 27, Concerto lirico for 2 string orchestras by Mikołaj Górecki was given its world premiere by the Polish Radio Chamber Orchestra “Amadeus,” led by Maestra Agnieszka Duczmal. The concert was held in the Concert Hall of the Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań.
TANSMAN WORLD PREMIERE
Organized in cooperation of this year’s Tansman Festival, the orchestra, ballet, choir and soloists of the Grand Theater in Łódź will give the world premiere of The Golden Fleece [La Toison d'Or] by Aleksander Tansman, conducted by Łukasz Borowicz, on December 2. The opera is acknowledged by Opera magazine and Radio Poland as one of the most anticipated opera productions of the season after its rediscovery. The painstaking search was led by the Association for the Promotion of Culture – the festival’s organizer – in Paris, Vienna, Milan and London, where the biggest music publishers who closely cooperated with Tansman in the past are seated.
Tansman’s opera buffa in 3 acts was composed in 1938 but lost as a result of political and economic crisis. The libretto, written by the composer’s friend Salvador de Madariaga, is loosely based on the Greek myth about a wonderful ram with a golden fleece, who helps the children of King Adamas during the voyage of the Argonauts. It treats the myth freely, though, running away from rationalism and giving vent to imagination and delusions that create a certain theatre of the absurd.
PREMIERES AND OTHER GEMS AT GENERATIONS XX
On December 4, the GENERATIONS XX concert will be held in the Polish Radio’s Witold Lutosławski Concert Studio. This year’s edition of the GENERATIONS series cultivates the ideas of “Founding-fathers” with a program representing artists from different generations – the difference in age reaches almost 50 years! Among this group there are already well-known, established composers as well as younger people who just started their careers. The concert is the outcome of a good cooperation between Polish Composers Union [ZKP], Authors Association [ZAiKS], Polish Radio and The Ministry of Culture.
While upholding the founders’ ideas of different generations of Polish composers coming together, the 20th edition GENERATIONS presents another addition: a beautiful piece by a Slovenian composer Jana Kmitova, who is celebrating her 40th birthday this year. It is the outcome of a long cooperation and friendship between the Polish Composers’ Union, and more precisely the Polish Music Information Center POLMIC, and Olga Smetanova –the long-standing director of the Slavic Music Information Center and currently the secretary general of ISCM. Cooperating with other countries is not new to GENERATIONS because there has already been Polish-Netherlandic and Polish-German concerts. Today’s GENERATIONS are Polish-Slavic.
The program of the concert will feature the world premieres of Kolonia Karna for symphony orchestra, actor, two female voices to text by Franz Kafka (2011) by Wojciech BŁAŻEJCZYK (1981, above right) and Fjör-ður for symphony orchestra (2016) by Michał MOC (1977, above left). The latter piece by Moc was commissioned by the Polish Composers Union, funded by Ministry of Culture and National Heritage through the “Collections –Composing Commissions” program administered by IMiT. Other works on the program are: Joanna BRUZDOWICZ (1943)—Il Pianto del Phoenix for cello and symphony orchestra (1994), Krzysztof PENDERECKI (1933—Partita for harpsichord, electric guitar, bass guitar, harp and orchestra (1971-1991), and Jana KMITOWA (1976)—Three Psalm Fragments for orchestra (2007).
Performers for the evening are: Joanna Freszel – soprano, Marta Grzywacz – soprano, Bartosz Koziak – cello, Piotr Pieron – actor and baritone, Wojciech Gumiński – bass guitar, Łukasz Owczynnikow – double bass, Anna Sikorzak-Olek – harp, Mateusz Szemraj– electric guitar, Marcin Świątkiewicz – harpsichord, and the Polish Radio Orchestra with Wojciech Michniewski – conductor.
PREMIERES AT 26th ‘COMPOSERS’ PORTRAITS’
On December 6-7 in the Mazowiecki Instytut Kultury in Warsaw, the 26th edition of the “Composers’ Portraits” concert series, organized by the Polish Composers’ Union (ZKP), will take place.
The star of the first concert will be Jakub Sarwas – composer, conductor and instrumentalist. Sarwas is an alum of the Karol Szymanowski Academy of Music in Katowice and did his post graduate music studies in Cologne. He is the winner of numerous awards from international composition competitions. He has also received the President of Gliwice City Award for his artistic achievements. His works have been presented at festivals in Poland and abroad by notable ensembles such as: The Orchestra of New Music, Ensemble Neue Music Aachen and the Radio WDR Orchestra. The composer organizes his own concerts with contemporary music, which feature electronics and multimedia, as well as his own Sarwas Project. At the concert on December 6, audiences will hear the world premiere of his Du-Et-Tronic for clarinet, piano, keyboard and electronics (2009/16) and a new version of QueenTet for violin, cello, flute, percussion, keyboard and electronics (2007/08).
The second day will be dedicated to works by the great composer and pianist Aldona Nawrocka, who is an alumna and adjunct professor of the Fryderyk Chopin Academy of Music in Warsaw. She is the winner of many national and international competitions. Nawrocka has participated in interdisciplinary creative projects in Poland and Switzerland and, for many years, she has been composing music for dance shows. The concert with Nawrocka’s music will be presented with the participation of musicians, dancers and actors. In this show the acoustic space is a reflection of humanity facing transcendence.
The two evenings of concerts will be performed by outstanding artists, such as Ewa Liebchen (flute), Julia Samojło (piano), Leszek Lorent (percussion), Dominik Płociński (cello), Oliwier Andruszczenko (clarinet), and members of the Dagger String Quartet, Warsaw Dance Theatre and others. The concerts are co-organized by the Mazovia Institute of Culture, co-financed by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage and the City of Warsaw, and supported by the Society of Authors and Composers ZAiKS, “Strefa Otwarta” Association and Warsaw Dance Theatre.
PREMIERES AT ‘ART OF ACCORDION MUSIC’ FESTIVAL IN GDAŃSK
The 9th edition of the Art of Accordion Music Interpretation Festival will be held between December 2-10, 2016 in Gdańsk. The festival program covers both premieres of new accordion works as well as classical chamber and solo accordion repertoire. This year, the organizers invited such artists as Maciej Kacprzak, 69 Duo, Cappella Gedanensis, Rafał Kłoczko, Paweł Zagańczyk, Krzesimir Dębski, Grzegorz Lewandowski and Zagan Acoustic Quartet, who will premiere compositions by Krzysztof Olczak, Edward Sielicki and Adam Diesner.
SOUNDWORK AT TR WARSAWA
Funded by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage, the musical spectacle SOUNDWORK by Wojciech Blecharz (above) will be performed on December 3 and 4 at the TR Warsawa. Originally premiered on October 14, the idea of SOUNDWORK is centralized upon sound traveling through the prism of chosen aspects of 20th and 21st century music. Contemporary music is often dismissed as difficult, as it is not easy to find the basic elements of music, such as harmony or melody. Fortunately, the show will try to define these all while exploring the richness of sound, intensity, roughness, tint and whispers of contemporary music. The music, unlike any other, also gives non-musicians the opportunity to create sound and music—a function practically extinct today.
The performance will be preceded by workshops, conducive to the auditory imagination. Participants will take part in musical laboratory, where they will build their own instruments from everyday items. The music created during workshops will serve as material for improvisatory composition as a means of expression and will be performed during the show. Participation in the workshop is open to all, regardless of musical ability.
SINFONIA VARSOVIA PERFORMS TANSMAN AND KLECKI
Under the baton of Maestro Jerzy Maksymiuk, Sinfonia Varsovia will present several reconstructed works of Polish music during the Second World War and the interwar period on December 2, at the POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews in Warsaw. The concert program will commence with Aleksander Tansman’s Symphony No. 5, a piece dedicated to his friend and composer, Paweł Klecki. Together with soloist Łukasz Długosz, the orchestra will also perform Sinfonietta, Op. 7 for large string orchestra and Concertino, Op. 34 for flute and orchestra by Klecki.
The premiere of Klecki’s two works was held in Łódź on November 29, just a few days before the concert at the Museum of POLIN. The manuscripts of these works, destroyed by the Nazi regime in the 1930s, were found after the war and reconstructed by the Tansman Festival in cooperation with musicologists from around the world. The concert will be one of the first opportunities to hear compositions that were absent in the latter half of the twentieth century.
69TH MUSICA MODERNA
The 69th session of Musica Moderna, organized by the Grażyna and Kiejstut Academy of Music in Łódź, will be held between December 3 and 8, 2016. The program consists of a series of concerts given by Kwartludium, Wojciech Błażejczyk and several young musicians and Łódź-based students of the Academy of Music, featuring compositions by Grażyna Bacewicz, Tadeusz Wielecki, Sławomir Kaczorowski, Artur Zagajewski, Krzysztof Grzeszczak, Eugène Ysaÿe, Olga Hans and many others. Participants will also be able to attend lectures and workshops with Marek Chołoniewski and meet the employees of the Institute of Music and Dance as part of the presentation of the "Composing Commissions" program on December 6 and 7. The full concert program can be found below:
SIWIŃSKI TO DIRECT WARSAW MUSIC ENCOUNTERS
Composer and pianist Jarosław Siwiński has been named the new director of the Warsaw Music Encounters Festival. Władysław Słowiński, who founded of the festival and served as the previous director, has agreed to continue his involvement as the honorary director of the event.
Warsaw Music Encounters is an annual festival organized by the Warsaw department of the Polish Composers’ Union [ZKP] since 1986. It is one of the foremost festivals presenting both contemporary and early music. The program includes important early and new music compositions and promotes the most recent works by contemporary composers, attributing to the festival’s unique character. The event hosts many excellent performers with an interesting choice of repertoire and, with each edition, attracts a larger and more varied audience.
LET’S PLAY KARŁOWICZ!
“Let’s Play Karłowicz” is a project initiated by PWM Edition in celebration of Mieczysław Karłowicz’s 140th birthday anniversary on December 11. The program includes a series of fourteen concerts featuring Karłowicz’s music, which will be performed throughout December all around Poland. Various orchestras—such as the Szczecin Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra, Lublin Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Opole Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra—have been invited to perform in honor of the late Polish composer and conductor. The full program is listed below:
"SUPERSAM PLUS 1" CONCERT
Held since September 2016, the "SUPERSAM PLUS 1”cycle is a series of concerts combining solo and duo performances by musicians of varying genres with performance art and multimedia presentations. The remaining events will be presented on consecutive Thursdays during the months of November and December in Warsaw. Featured in the program will be numerous collaborations of respected Warsaw based artists and foreign artists, including: Sylvie Courvoisier / Jan Emil Młynarski (November 17), Barry Guy / Marcin Masecki (November 24), Steve Buchanan / Qba Janicki (December 1), Toshinori Kondō / Marek Chołoniewski (December 8), Kazuhisa Uchihashi / Jerzy Rogiewicz (December 15).
The program is based on the meaning of the title, in which "SUPER” refers to renowned artist/masters, and "SAM” (translated as "alone” or "by himself/herself" in Polish) refers to the solo performances as well as creative loneliness. "PLUS 1” reflects the structure of each evening, which contain two separate solo performances and a duo performance of both artists at the end. All invited artists will premiere works that have never been performed before, and meet local artists and audience members during workshops.
UPCOMING SĄDEJ PERFORMANCES
Polish-Canadian Mezzo-soprano Katarzyna Sądej was born in Wrocław, Poland and recently relocated to San Diego, CA. She has sung internationally in concert, opera, chamber music, oratorio and recital. Sądej has performed numerous world premieres and has had over a dozen new works composed especially for her. She is a featured solo performer on the Metier Records 2013 CD and world premiere recording release of Rising at Dawn: Chamber Music with Brass by Carson Cooman, about which her performance was hailed by James Altena of Fanfare Magazine in the above quote. Sądej specializes in recital performance, and has performed numerous recitals in Canada, USA, England, France, Ukraine, Romania, Croatia, Serbia, and Montenegro.
In February 2017, Sądej will make her debut with the L.A. Opera as the Page of Herodias in Strauss’ Salome, under the baton of maestro James Conlon. Until then, you can hear her in several other Southern California performances. First, on December 3 she will serve as the alto soloist in the beautiful Magnificat of J.S. Bach performed by the Joanna Medawar Nachef Singers at the Palos Verdes Performing Arts Norris Theater.
Then on December 14, Sądej will perform for the “Opera Wednesdays” series, when the La Jolla Community Center presents Southern California’s top opera singers in a monthly concert. The artists showcased in this series consist of past and present Metropolitan Opera Competition Winners, active San Diego Opera performers and guest artists that have sung all over the world.
[Source: press release]
ETONNE-MOI AWARD FOR PENDERECKI
On November 22, at the “Diaghliev P.S.” International Festival of Arts in St. Petersburg, Polish composer Krzysztof Penderecki received the ETONNE-MOI Award. In addition to Penderecki, the award also went to Boris Eifman. On that day of the festival, the White Dance Theatre performed three spectacles directed by Izadora Weiss: Fedra to the music of Gustav Mahler, Death and the Maiden by Franz Schubert, and Tristan and Isolde to music by Krzysztof Penderecki, which included short piece by Jonny Greenwood inspired by Penderecki’s Polymorphia. Not only the audience but also the critics were very enthusiastic about the piece. In previous years, award winners have included: the excellent choreographer John Neumeier and the director of The State Heritage Museum in Saint Petersburg, Russia, Mikhail Piotrovsky.
KWADROFONIK FESTIVAL 2016
The 2nd edition of the Kwadrofonik Festival will take place on December 2-3, 2016 in Warsaw. A series of concerts sited in the exciting new space of Nowy Teatr will feature diverse works inspired by and composed for film. Members of the Kwadrofonik Ensemble—Emilia Sitarz, Magdalena Kordylasińska-Pękala, Miłosz Pękala and Bartek Wąsik—are numbered among those artists who boldly leave their musical comfort zone. They move freely among various music genres, such as classical, electronic, contemporary and minimal ones, proving to be not only highly talented, but also curious and imaginative. For the second edition of their Festival, Kwadrofonik “extends the area of struggle” even further by testing the cinema as a medium they could incorporate into their artistic world. This year they have, symbolically, asked David Lynch for cooperation (thus paying birthday tribute to him, as Lynch is turning 70 this year), Alfred Hitchcock and Stanley Kubrick.
The opening concert, however, launches in a slightly different direction, featuring experimental electronic compositions by German composer Felix Kubin themed upon the process of work, technocracy, time and synchronicity. Kubin is an artist inspired by the works by Karlheinz Stockhausen and the aesthetics of Kraftwerk and DAF ensembles. Along with Warsaw musicians (percussionist Magdalena Kordylasińska-Pękala and Miłosz Pękala, and Hubert Zemler), “Hafenrhythmus” and “The Birth of the Ship” from their joint project “Takt der Arbeit” will illustrate a regular day of working at a shipyard in an educational and poetic way. A Chinese propaganda picture “Martial Arts” and an American didactic film from the 70’s called “Drugs, The Nervous System” will also be presented and impress upon the audience a deep moral message.
The second concert on December 2 will feature three cycles of Etudes by Nicole Lizée, performed by pianists Eve Egoyan, Emilia Sitarz and Bartek Wąsik, each dedicated to three different film directors: Alfred Hitchcock, Stanley Kubrick and David Lynch. These Etudes are three separate compositions, written for famous movie scenes, which are humorously reflected in music by Lizée. The combination of classical instruments, electronic layers and a compilation of iconic scenes by the above mentioned directors provides a new, very often different meaning of the scenes.
On December 3, the European premiere of the “Measures & Frames” program, featuring a collaboration between Lynch and PMC director Marek Zebrowski that was first premiered in 2015 at USC in Los Angeles, will be performed by the Royal String Quartet. The program includes excerpts of Joanna Bruzdowicz’s String Quartet ‘La Vita’ performed live to excerpts from Varda’s iconic feature, Vagabond (1985), Lynch’s 2015 animated short Pożar [Fire] set to a live performance of the score composed by Zebrowski, and a performance of Wojtek Blecharz’s intriguing Liminal studies. A new DVD featuring Liminal studies will also be premiered at the concert.
During the festival, they will premiere avant-garde filmmaker David Lynch’s Industrial Symphony No. 1, an experimental portrayal of 1990’s sounds. Industrial Symphony No.1 is a work created by David Lynch and composer Angelo Badalamenti. It is an experimental movie in which the music is as important as the visual side, and it is noticeably similar in style to two of Lynch’s other films, Twin Peaks and Wild at Heart. The expressive industrial scenes are accompanied by songs sung by Julee Cruise. At the festival, Kwadrofonik ensemble will be joined by rock guitarist and vocalist Artur Rojek to interpret these songs using their rich instrumentation.
Admission to all concerts is free and open to the public. To view the full program, click here.
SILESIAN QTET INT’L CHAMBER MUSIC FESTIVAL
The 24th edition of the International Chamber Music Festival "Silesian Quartet and Guests” will be held between November 20 and December 3 at the Chamber Hall of the Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra and the Karol Szymanowski Academy of Music in Katowice. The theme of this year’s program is the elements (fire, air, earth, water, and dancing) and will consist of five concerts featuring various works from the classical era. The program will also highlight the works of the composer group “Generation ’51,’” in which the Silesian Quartet will perform Aleksander Lasoń’s String Quartet No. 5 on November 26. Throughout the festival, the Silesian Quartet will give performances alongside other excellent performers from around the world, including guitarist Marianna Kowal, violinist Aleksandra Kuls, bassist Jan Kotula, flutist Janos Balint, harpist Zuzanna Elster, cellist Peter Janosik, pianist Eduardo Hubert, and many more.
2016 GORCZYCKI FESTIVAL
The eleventh edition of the Gorczycki Festival will include seventeen concerts in eleven cities, featuring excellent artists from Poland and abroad. The festival starts on November 18, 2016 and will serve a big dose of Polish music as well as masterpieces by Mozart to celebrate his 260th birthday. The festival will start in Chorzów and will last until December 4, when the final concert will be held in Bytom.
Performers include: Gabrieli Players, Le Parlement de Musique, Paul McCreesh, Marcin Wyrostek, Renata Pokupić, Janusz Wawrowski and more familiar for the local audience – Capella Craviensis, Sinfonietta Cracovia, Aukso, Camerata Silesia and the National Symphony Orchestra of Polish Radio (NOSPR).
What is characteristic of the festival is the presence of guests from abroad (Paul Esswood, Le Parlement Musique and Martin Gester) who will perform Polish music, among it the works by Grzegorz Gerwacy Gorczycki, whose works unchangeably are the main pillar of the repertoire. However, audiences will also hear the greatest works of international music literature. The festival will be accompanied by a series of charitable concerts called “Śladami Gorczyckiego,” which will be held in the Hospital located at Bytomska Street 62 in Piekary Śląskie.
The detailed program of the festival is available on the website www.gorczycki.pl.
The 4th edition of the AŻ Festival takes place from November 19 - December 3, 2016 at the Academy of Music in Łódź. Along with prominent musicians from Poland and abroad, such as Adam Makowicz, Andrea Tofanelli and Stefan Plewniak, audiences will have a chance to listen to young local artists who study at the Academy of Music in Łódź. Almost 300 local students will present their music on the stage of the festival; the Łódź Symphony Orchestra will perform twice; and there will be three choirs, the PRIMUZ String Orchestra, a Baroque Orchestra and a Big Band.
At the opening of the Festival, the Piano Concerto in a-minor of Edvard Grieg was performed by a prize-winner of many prestigious competitions, Krzysztof Książek, accompanied by The Symphony Orchestra of The Academy of Music in Łodz. The following events of AŻ Festival were: the premiere of the second version of musical-opera Łódź Story by Włodimierz Korcz (11/22); a concert of soloists, choir and the Baroque Orchestra of the Academy of Music in Łódź featuring Venetian music from XVI and XVII century (11/25); Italian trumpet virtuoso Andrea Tofanelli’s first concert in Poland, performed with the academy’s Big Band (11/30); and a closing program of XX and XXI century symphonic music, featuring the pieces by Anders Hillborg, Krzysztof Grzeszczak, Sławomir Kaczorowski and the patron of Łodz Music Academy—Grażyna Bacewicz.
The Festival also includes master classes directed to young musicians and lectures about performing music of baroque and classicism period, as well workshops with Adam Makowicz and Andrea Tofanelli.
More information at www.amuz.lodz.pl
NEW NIFC RECORDING REVIEWED IN GRAMOPHONE
Goerner plays Nowakowski & Krogulski
Presented on a new recording produced by the National Fryderyk Chopin Institute in Warsaw, Józef Nowakowski's Piano Quintet and Józef Krogulski's Piano Octet are two pieces, today little-known, by composers contemporary to Chopin. Written at the beginning of the 1830s, they are a testimony to the rich cultural life of Poland, which at that time was absent from maps of Europe. This extraordinary recording is an evocation of an œuvre important in the history of Polish music. Interpreted by superb artists enjoying widespread recognition, this CD can be considered a pearl of Polish phonographic art. The recording features Nelson Goerner, an artist devoted to popularizing Polish music around the world who has yet again been honored with the prestigious Diapason d'Or award, this time for his previous album released by the Fryderyk Chopin Institute: “Concerti by Ignacy Jan Paderewski and Giuseppe Martucci.” (NIFCCD 044).
This fascinating new recording was very favorably reviewed by Jeremy Nicholas in the December issue of Gramophone Magazine:
NEW FROM WARNER MUSIC POLAND
On December 12, Warner Classics will release Tomasz J. Opałka’s first monographic CD at the headquarters of Warner Music Poland in Warsaw. Entitled “Emerge,” the album contains four rich symphonic works for orchestra: Collisions of the Matter, Emerge, DNA and Quadra. Each piece featured in the album has its own unique history and are accounted for as a sort of breakthrough in thinking about both harmony, structure, and about the conduct of the musical narrative.
Opałka is considered to be one of the most distinctive composers of his generation for being able to capture the emotionality and energy of his works, keeping the listener's attention from the first to the last note. His music is distinguished by dynamism, sensitivity to sound, sophisticated orchestration and innovative research in the area of harmony. Opałka’s bold experimentation goes beyond the theoretical trends, where he combines various influences and inspirations, distancing themselves from both conceptualism and postmodernism. The basis is creative intuition combined with conscious compositional workshop, attention to structure, form and narrative course of the composition.
Polish violinist Janusz Wawrowski’s second Warner Classics album, Sequenza, was released in October. Following the success of his previous albums Aurora and the Paganini Caprices, this new release takes its title from the infamous ‘unplayable’ Sequenza by Italian composer Luciano Berio. The repertoire on this album contains 20th and 21st century violin music from composers, such as Penderecki and Bacewicz, as well as pieces written specifically for Wawrowski. It features two world premiere recordings: Tomasz Opałka’s Fil d’araignée and Dariusz Przybylsk’s Up.
The album marks a bold departure for Wawrowski, with little-known and often pioneering repertoire for solo violin, enabling him to explore the broadest possible scope for original interpretation with the full spectrum of technical craftsmanship and the challenges of the violin – the intimate act of playing solo, armed only with exceptional technique and deep insight into the music in some of the most demanding repertoire ever written for the instrument.
ROMAN PALESTER. PIANO & CHAMBER MUSIC
On December 2, a new recording by Roman Palester will be released at the PWM Edition office in Warsaw during the promotional meeting and concert. The composer’s music is largely absent from Polish musical life today, though he was one of the greatest composers of his generation. In 1950, Palester emigrated from Poland to France, resulting in the censorship office banning his name. He was erased from the member list of the Polish Composers’ Union, performing his music was prohibited and the mention of him disappeared from encyclopedias, dictionaries, publishers’ catalogues and all kinds of publications.
SARBAK PERFORMS SZYMAŃSKI
Dissociative Counterpoint Disorder
Malgorzata Sarbak, the versatile harpsichord player to whom Paweł Szymański dedicated the eponymous composition of the album, presents works of the composer in a new light. Seasoned listeners of Szymański will expect to hear something like the composer’s preferred instrument, the human voice, in all its dynamic range and infinite usage throughout music history and genre. The harpsichord, on the other hand, is obviously associated with a certain period of time, and has limited dynamics and very coherent tone. Yet Szymański’s counterpoint effectively combines, with a subtle sense of humor, the sound of a baroque instrument and the language of contemporary music, thereby deconstructing the eponymous dissociation.
R. PANUFNIK ON CHANDOS
Vivaldi/Panufnik: A Violin For All Seasons
Encapsulating the voluptuous sound of the BBC SO’s strings, Tasmin Little is both the soloist and conductor in this unique coupling: Vivaldi’s ever-popular Four Seasons meets Roxanna Panufnik’s Four World Seasons, the premiere recording of a set of highly inspirational pieces. As a complete cycle, ‘The Four Seasons’ offers a set of vivid tableaux, imaginative, enticing, and wonderfully contrasted, with ample chance for the violin soloist to display technique, sensitivity, and colour. In a podcast interview with Editor Martin Cullingford of Gramophone Magazine, Little postulates that the popularity of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons is due to the highly imaginative concept of the four seasons, encapsulated through the incredible, catchy melody and the descriptive elements found in each season. To listen to the full podcast, click here.
British composer Roxanna Panufnik also employs the same qualities described in her own Seasons tribute, Four World Seasons, written for Little. While three of the pieces are dedicated to the violinist, the fourth, ‘Autumn in Albania’, is dedicated to the memory of Panufnik’s father, the Polish composer Sir Andrzej Panufnik, who, his daughter says, "was born, loved, and died in autumn."
ALINA TRANCE FUSION AT LUTOSLAWSKI STUDIO
On November 5, Alina Trance Fusion held a concert at the Lutoslawski Studio as part of the “In Good Companionship” concert series. Alina Trance Fusion is a duo comprised of the unique combination of saxophonist Alina Mleczko and Gambian kora player Buba Badjie Kuyateh. Alina Trance Fusion was accompanied onstage by Wojciech Gumiński (double bass), Kuba Pogorzelski (African drums), and Albert Karch (percussion). Agnieszka Wilczyńska, jazz vocalist, awarded with Fryderyk 2016 award in the category of the Debut of The Year-Music for the album “Here I Live [Tutaj mieszkam],” made a special guest appearance at the concert as well.
Though the individual artists are from extremely different musical worlds and instruments, the unconventional harmony formed musical dialogue between the two cultures. The fusion of African and Polish tradition is also a fusion of artistic experiences and music genres. The experience of European music, classical and contemporary familiar to Alina Mleczko in combination with the energy of African music close to Buba Badije Kuyateh’s heart creates a new, unusual value. The songs from Gambia and chosen traditional Polish themes serve only as a pretext to create their own music and improvisation.
EUROPEAN STUDENT SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA ON TOUR
On November 19-21, the European Student Symphony Orchestra gave three concerts in Poland as part of their autumn tour. The project, organized by the Karol Lipiński Academy of Music in Wrocław as an event of the European Capital of Culture Wrocław 2016, was addressed to young musicians from selected European universities. It created an opportunity to integrate the artistic academic community, including partner cities of Wrocław such as Lviv, Prague and Dresden.
The concerts took place in Katowice on November 19 (NOSPR Concert Hall), in Wrocław on November 20 (National Forum of Music) and finally, in Dresden on November 21 (Hochschule für Musik Carl Maria von Weber). Under the direction of Marek Pijarowski, the young musicians presented Academic Festival Overture, Op. 80 by Johannes Brahms, Violin Concerto in A major, Op. 8 by Mieczysław Karłowicz, Don Juan, Op. 20 by Richard Strauss and Suite No. 2 "Daphnis et Chloe" by Maurice Ravel, in collaboration with violinist Jacek Ropski and the Feichtinum Choir of the Academy of Music in Wrocław.
MŁODA POLSKA ORCHESTRA - 10TH CONCERT TOUR
The Young Polish Philharmonic Orchestra, under the baton of Adam Klocek, gave concerts in Puławy, Łódź, Wrocław, Warsaw and Katowice between November 18 and 23, 2016. During its 10th concert tour, the Orchestra presented Trumpet Concerto in E-flat major by Johann Nepomuk Hummel (featuring Israeli trumpeter Yigal Meltzer), Sinfonia Concertante for Four Winds in E-flat major, K. 297b by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Symphony No. 3 in E-flat major "Eroica" by Ludwig van Beethoven.
The Orchestra consists of 43 students, ages 16-21, selected from nationwide auditions from music schools and universities, and is the only Polish youth orchestra subsidized from private funds. The young musicians receive annual financial scholarships from the Zwierciadło Foundation, which organizes 2 concert tours a year. Each tour is preceded by artistic workshops, taught by teachers from local Academies of Music, musicians of the National Philharmonic Orchestra, Sinfonia Varsovia Orchestra and foreign artists - soloists and members of well-known orchestras.
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Newsletter Editor: Krysta Close
Translation Assistance: Tomasz Fechner
Layout Assistance: Charles Bragg, Thuy Le
Katarzyna Renes, Katarzyna Sądej, 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
Formatting by Thuy Le, December 7, 2016.
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