|Polish Music Newsletter|
2016 - YEAR IN REVIEW, PT. 2
(June - December)
Capping off the 70th anniversary of the Związek Kompozytorów Polskich [Polish Composers’ Union], the Conference “Seven Currents of Polish Music” was held on September 23-24 at the University of Warsaw Library, and the world premiere of Zygmunt Krauze’s Poem of Apollinaire for speaking pianist and 12 instruments was performed on September 26 by Orkest de ereprijs with the composer at the piano under the baton of Wim Boerman. The work was commissioned by ZKP and was staged during the Concert of Seven Premieres.
On September 30, the Krakow Philharmonic hosted a symphony concert to celebrate the 70th anniversary of The Fryderyk Chopin School of Music and General Education in Krakow. The highlight of the concert was the world premiere of Metamorphoses by Krzysztof Meyer.
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. The work was composed to commemorate the 1050th anniversary of Poland’s baptism.
On November 20, an extraordinary concert organized on the occasion of Feliks Nowowiejski and Henryk Sienkiewicz anniversary celebrations was held in the National Philharmonic Hall. The program included the Quo Vadis oratorio by Nowowiejski inspired by Sienkiewicz’s work. The event was held under the auspices of the President of the Republic of Poland, Andrzej Duda.
In commemoration of the 75th Anniversary of Ignacy Jan Paderewski’s death, champion of Polish Romantic repertoire and former Paderewski Festival Gala pianist Jonathan Plowright returned to Łódź in November, where he gave a performance of the Paderewski Concerto for Piano with the Philharmonic Orchestra of Łódz, conducted by Paweł Przytocki.
“Let’s Play Karłowicz” was a project initiated by PWM Edition in celebration of Mieczysław Karłowicz’s 140th birthday anniversary on December 11. The program included a series of fourteen concerts featuring Karłowicz’s music, which were performed throughout December all around Poland.
The International Classical Music Awards (ICMA) held their Award Ceremony and Gala Concert on April 1 in the Kursaal in Sebastian, Spain, where laureate Łukasz Długosz, a Polish flautist, 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.
The new CD by Poland’s Meccore String Quartet, entitled “Szymanowski & Debussy” (Warner Music Poland), won the Supersonic Award from Pizzicato classical music magazine (Luxembourg), which acknowledged Meccore as one of the best string quartets in Europe.
On June 6, the Sinfonietta Cracovia Orchestra announced the winners of the 2016 International "Sinfonietta per Sinfonietta" Composition Competition. The jury awarded the Grand Prize to Michael Gatonska for Sinfonietta "Światowid”.
On September 3, Polish saxophonist Łukasz Dyczko (left) won the 2016 Eurovision Young Musician Award (€10,000; solo concert with the WDR Symphony Orchestra). Dyczko was chosen by the five-member professional jury as the winner after his performance of Waignein's Rhapsody pour Saxophone alto.
The Annual Awards of the Polish Composers’ Union (ZKP) were announced on September 21 at the Association of Art Historians’ office. ZKP Awards are granted to outstanding composers, performers, musicologists, teachers and organizers of cultural events in honor of their achievements and contributions to polish culture. The 2016 Awardees were: Elżbieta Jasińska-Jędrosz, Paweł Mykietyn, Paulina Celińska , Ewa Bogusz-Moore, Stefan Sutkowski and Anna Dorota Władyczka.
On September 27, 2016, Piotr Gliński, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Culture and National Heritage of the Republic of Poland, awarded the Gold Medal for Merit to Culture – Gloria Artis to several prominent Polish organizations of cultural preservation and leaders of the Polish-American community in the US: Polish Museum of America in Chicago, Jozef Pilsudski Institute of America in New York and Janusz Sporek, conductor and music promotor in New York.
On October 1, 2016, winners of the “Koryfeusz” [Coryphaeus] Polish Music Award were announced at a special gala held at the Witold Lutosławski Concert Studio of Polish Radio in Warsaw. Award winners were: Karol Mossakowski - Debut of the Year, Agata Zubel - Personality of the Year, Opening of the National Forum of Music in Wrocław - Event of the Year, Jan "Ptaszyn" Wróblewski - Honorary Award.
On October 3, 2016, winners of the 4th International Baltic Piano Competition were announced during the gala concert held at the Stanislaw Moniuszko Academy of Music in Gdańsk: 1st Prize– Igor Andreev (Russia), 2nd Prize – Vasyl Kotys (Ukraine), 3rd Prize – Dong-Wan HA (South Korea).
Polish pianist Łukasz Krupiński won the VII International Piano Competition in San Marino, Italy. In addition to the main prize, Łukasz Krupiński won also various special awards: the audience prize, critique prize and prize from the Orchestra.
On October 8-23, the 15th International Henryk Wieniawski Violin Competition awarded the following prizes: 1st Prize: Veriko TCHUMBURIDZE, Georgia/Turkey (30,000 Euro); 2nd Prize ex aequo: Bomsori KIM, South Korea and Seiji OKAMOTO, Japan (20,000 Euro each); 4th Prize: Luke HSU, USA (10,000 Euro); 5th Prize: Richard LIN, Taiwan/USA (10,000 Euro); 6th Prize: Maria WŁOSZCZOWSKA, Poland (5,000 Euro); 7th Prize: Ryosuke SUHO, Japan (5,000 Euro)
The Award Ceremony of the 10th International Paderewski Piano Competition was held at the Pomeranian Philharmonic Hall in Bydgoszcz on November 20, where the 2016 winners were announced: Hyuk Lee (South Korea) – First Prize (30,000 Euros & gala performance at 2017 Paderewski Festival in Paso Robles); Jakub Kuszlik (Poland) – Second Prize; Svetlana Andreeva (Russia) – Third Prize; Elżbieta Bilicka (Poland) & Dina Ivanova (Russia) – Honorable Mention
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 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.
On November 23, PMC Dir. Marek Zebrowski received a prestigious award from Wojewoda Wielkopolski [The Governor of Greater Poland], Zbigniew Hoffmann at Ignacy Jan Paderewski Academy of Music in Poznań. 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.
This 14th edition of PWM’s Tadeusz Ochlewski Composition Competition resulted in two ex aequo special prizes awarded to Marcin Antkowiak for Connexion and to Aleksander Słyz for Glossy.
Marlena Wieczorek, president of MEAKULTURA Foundation and chief editor of meakultura.pl, received a creative scholarship from The Minister of Culture and National Heritage for her work The Lexicon of Polish Emigrant Composers (1918-2000).
The 59th Annual GRAMMY Awards nominees were announced on December 6 and included the following Polish albums/artists: Szymanowski: Król Roger (Opus Arte) for “Best Opera Recording” - Antonio Pappano, conductor; Georgia Jarman, Mariusz Kwiecień & Saimir Pirgu; Jonathan Allen, producer (Orchestra Of The Royal Opera House; Royal Opera Chorus); Penderecki Conducts Penderecki, Volume 1 (Warner Classics) for “Best Choral Performance” - Krzysztof Penderecki, conductor; Henryk Wojnarowski, choir director (Nikolay Didenko, Agnieszka Rehlis & Johanna Rusanen; Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra; Warsaw Philharmonic Choir) ; Fitelberg: Chamber Works (Chandos) for “Best Chamber Performance” - ARC Ensemble
The Department of Musicology at the Jagiellonian University organized an international conference for young musicologists on November 7-9 in Krakow. Titled “Young Musicology Today: tendencies, challenges and perspectives”.
On November 12, the Kosciuszko Foundation (KF) held their annual fundraising gala at the Stateroom of the Mayflower Hotel in Washington DC. The 2016 Gala Dinner recognized artistic director and longtime conductor of the National Philharmonic Orchestra, Maestro Piotr Gajewski, as the 2016 KF Pioneer Award Recipient.
The new blog called Musical Traditions—dedicated to music connected with Polish annual rituals and also all other displays of occurrences of traditional music in culture, art and society—was inaugurated by the Institute of Music and Dance during the conference “TOMORROW BEGINS YESTERDAY. Culture as leverage for rural development” on December 16 in the Oskar Kolberg Museum in Przysucha.
April 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.
Polish soprano Halina Łukomska died on August 30, 2016 at the age of 87. The artist studied voice with Stanisława Zawadzka and Maria Halfterowa at the Higher State Music School in Warsaw. She continued her studies with Giorgio Favaretto in Siena (1958) and Toti Dal Monte in Venice (1959-60). In 1956, she won the 1st prize at the International Vocal Competition in Hertogenbosch. The singer made several recordings for the Philips, Columbia, EMI, Polskie Nagrania, and Harmonia Mundi labels.
Polish composer and sound engineer Eugeniusz Rudnik died on October 24, 2016 at the age of 83. He was a member of the Polish Composers’ Union since 2008. Next to Andrzej Rakowski, Janusz Piechurski and Krzysztof Szlifirski, Rudnik was one of the first producers of electroacoustic music in Poland, and the co-creator of the so-called Polish school of electroacoustic music.
On July 10, the Polish Radio Choir hosted an evening with composer Paweł Mykietyn in Kraków and a performance of his music—Shakespeare Sonnets for voice and piano and for piano and tape, as well as Lutosławski’s Five Songs to the words of Kazimiera Iłłakowiczówna. Soloists for the evening were Anna Zawisza – soprano and Maciej Grzybowski – piano, and Tomasz Cyz.
Taking a break from his position as the Permanent Associate Conductor of London’s Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Polish-born conductor Grzegorz Nowak gave concerts in Poland with several of the country’s top ensembles as part of the Chopin and His Europe Festival. He was 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.
On September 4, the Polish Chamber Choir presented a concert called “Nowowiejski, Pałłasz, Bloch” at the Polish Radio Witold Lutosławski Studio in Warsaw with conductor Jan Łukaszewski. The program included choral works of notable Polish composers: Teka Białowieska by Feliks Nowowiejski, Anenaiki, Exaltabo te, Et by Augustyn Bloch and Two Songs by Edward Pałłasz with lyrics by Osip Mandelsztam.
On October 16, the Sunday’s Live series at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art hosted Multi Trio, consisting of pianist Ewa Pobłocka, soprano Ewa Leszczyńska and cellist Maria Leszczyńska. Multi Trio presented a program of works by Chopin, Paderewski, Górecki, and Bacewicz.
Held in October in Warsaw, “The Music of Spheres by Roman Maciejewski” concert featured students from the host Fryderyk Chopin University and the University of Fine Arts in Berlin (UdK Berlin), supervised by Marcin Zalewski and Frank-Immo Zichner from UdK Berlin. The program included works by Roman Maciejewski – Mazurkas no. 1, 3, 5, 6, 8, 10 for piano (1928-1990), Nocturne for flute, guitar and celesta (1951), Duo concertante for two pianos (1936), Bilitis Songs for soprano and piano (1932), and Spanish Suite for two guitars (1948).
From October 17 to November 23, a cycle of Karkowski/Xenakis events took a place in Warsaw’s New Theatre. Dedicated to Zbigniew KarkowskI, the central theme of this series was an attempt to show the works of the Polish composer in the context of the influence of his master, Iannis Xenakis. The program featured lesser known instrumental and vocal music by Karkowski, performed by his closest colleagues.
The Tokyo New City Orchestra (TNCO) shared the stage with Polish pianist Krystian Zimerman and Polish conductor Grzegorz Nowak on November 1 at the Tokyo Opera City Concert Hall. In commemoration of the five year anniversary of the Great East Japan Earthquake reconstruction, Zimerman also dedicated a performance of Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No.4 in G major, op.58 to the earthquake victims.
On November 6, NOSPR and conductor Szymon Bywalec were joined by pianists Anna Górecka (daughter of H.M. Górecki) and Joanna Galon-Frant for a carefully crafted concert program celebrating composer and pedagogue Bolesław Szabelski (1896-1979). As a student of Szymanowski and a teacher of H.M. Gorecki, Szabelski was an important link in the chain of tradition of Polish music. The program included Karol Szymanowski’s Nocturne and Tarantella, Op. 28 (orch. Grzegorz Fitelberg), Szabelski’s Suite for Orchestra, Op. 10 and Henryk Mikołaj Górecki’s Songs of Joy and Rhythm, Op. 7.
Under the baton of Maestro Jerzy Maksymiuk, Sinfonia Varsovia presented several reconstructed works of Polish music from the Second World War and interwar period on December 2 at the POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews in Warsaw. The concert program commenced with the Symphony No. 5 by Aleksander Tansman (below left), a piece dedicated to his friend and composer, Paweł Klecki (below right). Together with soloist Łukasz Długosz, the orchestra also performed two reconstructed works by Klecki: Sinfonietta, Op. 7 for large string orchestra and Concertino, Op. 34 for flute and orchestra.
On July 2, the Board of the Paderewski Festival in Paso Robles presented a new event in the Festival’s array of cultural offerings on the Central Coast: the PASO POPS Independence Day Concert. The concert featured the San Luis Obispo Symphony, along with Paderewski Competition winner Daniel Ha and Youth Symphony members, led by Tulare County Symphony and Pasadena Symphony conductor Bruce Kiesling in a patriotic program of classical favorites, followed by a fireworks finale.
The PMC was represented in Rome at the International Association of Music Libraries’ prestigious Annual Congress in a July 7 session featuring Dir. Marek Zebrowski and devoted to the PMC’s Manuscript Collection and Composers’ Archives
On July 7, Polish jazz pianist Kuba Stankiewicz and bassist Darek “Oles” Oleszkiewicz visited to research the PMC’s archival collection of rare printings and original manuscripts of music by Henryk Wars, whose jazz tunes will be featured on their next recording for Warner Music Poland. Watch an excerpt of the afternoon’s conversation on the PMC Youtube channel.
For the past few years the PMC has collaborated extensively with the National Archives in Warsaw on projects related to cataloguing and digitizing our unique collections of rare and precious items that have been entrusted to us. In June-July 2016, again the PMC hosted Dr. Robert Górski, a Paderewski specialist who is surveying the Paderewski Archive–Paso Robles Collection, as well as welcoming Anna Czajka, a UN-certified specialist in preservation and restoration of historical and cultural artifacts.
On October 14, Sławomir Idziak (cinematographer of A Short Film About Killing, The Double Life of Veronique, and Blue) visited the Polish Music Center to see our location and visit old friends. Idzak was in Los Angeles for the Los Angeles Polish Film Festival and visiting the USC campus for the 2-day conference “No End: Twenty Years into Krzysztof Kieślowski's Second Life.”
On October 16, the PMC hosted its annual Paderewski Lecture-Recital at USC featuring composer Elżbieta Sikora, who spoke about her artistic process and diverse body of work. Her lecture was followed by a concert performed by: soprano Jamie Chamberlin, pianist Richard Valitutto, bassist Levi Jones and members of the Qian String Quartet. The program of chamber music highlighted “Lamento” from Sikora’s 2011 opera Madame Curie, as well as String Quartet No. 3 ‘In memoriam Ursula’ and solo works for bass and piano.
As a part of its illustrious lineup of galas and film screenings, the 17th Annual Polish Film Festival in Los Angeles collaborated with the PMC to screen the opera documentary Madame Curie by Elżbieta Sikora at Laemmle’s NoHo 7 theatre Laemmle’s Monica Film Center. Additional screenings took place at the Laemmle Music Hall (Beverly Hills), Armer Theatre at Cal State Northridge, and Regency South Coast Village Theatre in Santa Ana, and nearly every screening featured a special guest related to the film.
The 2016 Paderewski Festival in Paso Robles (November 2-6) was another rousing success, drawing fans of Polish music from all over California and beyond to a small Central Coast town that was beloved by Ignacy Jan Paderewski. This year’s lineup included pianist Tadeusz Domanowski as the Gala performer and master class leader, a concert of Festival Cultural Exchange students from Poland, the US and Ukraine (right) performing with the Symphony of the Vines, performances by the Tomines Ensemble and USC Thornton Baroque Sinfonia from Los Angeles, and a recital of Festival Youth Piano Competition Winners, as well as film screenings, wine tastings and special events for “Friends of Paderewski” pass holders.
Throughout December, Dir. Marek Żebrowski gave lectures and concert related to PMC collections throughout Poland, including at the Warsaw University Library conference devoted to the Music Archives and Composers’ Collections held by Polish Libraries, at the Music Academy in Krakow, at the Ignacy Jan Paderewski Academy of Music in Poznań, at the Gdańsk Music Academy, and at the Polish Sejm [Senate] in Warsaw.
On Dec. 4, the Polska Muzyka Odnaleziona Festival held a concert at the Łazienki Royal Palace featuring works from the PMC’s extensive Manuscript Collection, including Zygmunt Stojowski’s Sonata for Cello and Piano (dedicated to Paderewski, and performed by the Cracow Duo), as well as the world premiere of Roman Ryterband’s 24 Variations for Piano (performed by pianist Julia Samojło).
On August 3, Polish clarinetist Barbara Borowicz played 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. The concert was held as a part of ClarinetFest at the University of Kansas in Lawrence, Kansas.
On August 7, Wojtek Blecharz's new work music for invisible places was given its world premiere by the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE) during their Free Micro-Concert: Young Composers Concert 3 in the Hearst Plaza of Lincoln Center in New York City. It was one of the 50 premieres that ICE performed over the course of two weeks, in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Mostly Mozart At Lincoln Center concert series.
Commissioned by the International Youth Lutosławski Orchestra,, the world premiere of Preludia do Bukolików by Zygmunt Krauze was held on September 17 in Szczecin, at which time the composer also held lectures and practical classes for orchestra members.
The 59th International ‘Warsaw Autumn’ Festival of Contemporary Music [Warszawska Jesień] was held in various venues throughout Warsaw from September 18-26, 2016. The program included the following world premieres: Meme Opera by Marta Śniady, I Don’t Knowby Sławomir Kupczak, Silent Fishby Jarosław Siwiński, Music of the Spheres by panGenerator, Aaron S by Aaron S Collective/Sławomir Wojciechowski and The Message by Piotr Peszat.
On October 2 as a part of Sacrum-Profanum Festival in Kraków, Marcin Stańczyk’s new work some drops…for trumpet and ensemble had its world premiere, performed by Marco Blaauw on trumpet with Ensemble Musikfabrik under the baton of Diego Masson.
On October 13 at the “Krakowska Jesień” Festival, the world premiere of Marta Ptaszyńska's Pink Magic (Songs of Sappho) for flute and string trio was performed by flutist Iwona Glinka with Oriana Masternak – violin, Maria Dutka – viola, and Beata Urbanek-Kalinowska – cello.
On October 13, the Witold Lutosławski Concert Studio of Polish Radio hosted a concert entitled “Rezonant Czerwieni” by the In:te:gro trio. The ensemble presented the premiere of new compositions by Zofia Dowgiałło, Wojciech Błażejczyk and Adam Porębski during the concert. The program also included classical and contemporary works by Paweł Kletzki and Ignacy Zalewski.
The world premiere of Orpheus and Euridice by Mikołaj Górecki (above right) was presented during Tansman Festival on October 16 in Polish Radio’s Witold Lutosławski Concert Studio in Warsaw. The 20 minute composition was performed by the Sinfonia Varsovia Orchestra under the baton of Jerzy Maksymiuk. The long awaited world premiere of Two Tristan Postludes and Chorale op. 82, composed by his father Henryk Mikołaj Górecki (above left) and orchestrated by Mikołaj Górecki, was also featured in the same concert.
On October 23, the Polish Association of Contemporary Music (PTMW) presented Audio Stage 2016, an evening of preludes and audio-stage monodramas at the Zbigniew Raszewski Theatre Institute in Warsaw. Audio Stage is dedicated to the performing arts, with the idea of integrating music with stage arts. At the concert, premieres of four audio-stage monodramas composed by Aldona Nawrocka, Piotr Roemer, Adam Porębski and Andrzej Kopeć were presented. The works were performed by: Bartosz M. Martyna, Ewa Wojtkiewicz, Krzysztof Boczkowski and Aleksandra Dziurosz.
On October 21, the premiere of the three act long opera Goplana by Władysław Żeleński was held in the Grand Theatre of the National Opera (Teatr Wielki Opery Narodowej). Based on Balladyna by Juliusz Słowacki, the libretto was created by Ludomiła German. The opera was directed by Janusz Wiśniewski and conducted by Grzegorz Nowak.
Commissioned by Seattle Symphony, the newest composition by Agata Zubel, entitled In the Shade of an Unshed Tear for orchestra, was performed on October 27 at the Benaroya Hall in Seattle, WA. The world premiere was conducted by Ludovic Morlot, and received an encore performance on October 29.
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.
On November 4, Comedie Nation hosted a unique concert entitled “Pandora” featuring musical selections by Alexandro Markeas, Luis Naon, and Michèle Reverdy, as well as a world premiere by Polish composer living in France, Joanna Bruzdowicz-Tittel (right). The program was performed by mezzo-soprano Mareike Schellenberger with the Trio Polycordes.
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. 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.
At the 2016 edition of the Tansman Festival, the musicians of the Grand Theater in Łódź gave the world premiere of The Golden Fleece [La Toison d'Or] by Aleksander Tansman, conducted by Łukasz Borowicz, on December 2. Tansman’s opera buffa in 3 acts was composed to the libretto of Salvador de Madariaga in 1938 but lost as a result of political and economic crisis. The painstaking search was led by the Association for the Promotion of Culture in Paris, Vienna, Milan and London, where the biggest music publishers who closely cooperated with Tansman in the past are seated.
On December 4, the GENERATIONS XX concert was in the Polish Radio’s Witold Lutosławski Concert Studio. The program of the concert featured the world premieres of Kolonia Karna for symphony orchestra, actor, two female voices to text by Franz Kafka (2011) by Wojciech BŁAŻEJCZYK and Fjör-ður for symphony orchestra (2016) by Michał MOC. The latter pieces of the program included works by such composers as K. Penderecki, J. Bruzdowicz and J. Kmitowa.
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), took place. The program included the world premiere of Du-Et-Tronic by Jakub Sarwas and works by Aldona Nawrocka,
The 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 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.
The multi-award winning Silesian Quartet’s new recording of the complete string quartets by Grażyna Bacewicz (CHAN10904) has been widely well received since its release in July. The album set not only reached number three on British classical charts, but was also named “Disc of the Month” in August 2016 by Gramophone Magazine.
Presented by new music champion violinist Anna Kwiatkowska and pianist Joanna Opalińska, the new album EIDOS published by Sarton Records 020-2 is an opportunity to reflect on the richness and complexity of female expression in contemporary music. The album features music by female composers such as: Kaija Saariaho, Agata Zubel, Barbara Buczek and Olga Neuwirth.
New CDs of music by Mieczysław Weinberg were released in 2016. First, CPO Records (CPO 777 887-2) presented the Amadeus Chamber Orchestra, under the batons of Agnieszka Duczmal and Anna-Duczmal-Mróz, performing the Concertino for Violin and String Orchestra, Op. 42, Rhapsody on Moldavian Themes, Op. 47/3 (arr. Ewelina Nowicka) and Symphony No. 10 for String Orchestra, Op. 98. Naxos Records(Naxos 8.573565)released another featuring his Symphony No. 17 and Suite for Orchestra, recorded by the Siberian State Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Vladimir Lande.
The acclaimed "Music in Exile" series published by CHANDOS explores the works of composers forced to flee Europe during the tumultuous decade of the 1930's and has been presented in Tel Aviv, New York, London, Budapest, and Toronto. Music in Exile, Vol. 2 (CHAN 10877) features premiere recordings by ARC Ensemble of the chamber music of Jerzy Fltelberg.
CDAccord published a new record of music by Bartłomiej Pękiel (ACD222). In cooperation with conductor Andrzej Kosendiak, vocal ensemble members recorded pieces of sacred music by Pękiel ,who was one of the most important representatives of Polish baroque music.
In 2016 Naxos released an album with Polish Violin Concertos of Grażyna Bacewicz, Alexandre Tansman, Michał Spisak and Andrzej Panufnik (Naxos 8.573496). All of them are performed by Piotr Plawner with Berlin Chamber Symphony under the baton of Jürgen Bruns.
An album entitled Musica in forma di rosa (DUX 1293) featuring NOSPR performing works by Dariusz Przybylski (right) was released, as the result of a project called “Young Composers’ Homage to Chopin,” coordinated by the Penderecki European Music Cultural Centre in Lusławice. Soloists included violinist Patrycja Piekutowska, cellist Magdalena Bojanowicz and accordionist Maciej Frąckiewicz. DUX also released a new album of songs and piano works by Przybylski, performed by Iwona Sobutka, Łukasz Hajduczenia and Daniel Brylewski (DUX 1167).
Warner Music Poland released a new album with music by Krzysztof Penderecki. Penderecki conducts Penderecki/Warsaw Philharmonic – VOL. I contains a selection of Poland’s greatest living composer’s vocal-instrumental works on religious subjects, performed by the Warsaw National Philharmonic and conducted by maestro Penderecki himself. (2016 Grammy nominee)
Internationally award-winning Polish guitarist and composer Marek Pasieczny has released two new albums in 2016. The first, an EP entitled “Neo Variations (Tribute to John Towner Williams),” includes Pasieczny’s works for solo guitar, and the second is focused on his works for piano Music (SLE London Records).
On September 16, the new album by violinist Agata Szymczewska called “Modern Soul” (ACD 223) was released. The album contains music by four Polish composers of the young generation—Mikołaj Majkusiak, Marcin Markowicz, Aleksander Nowak, and Ignacy Zalewski—all composed specially for this occasion.
The Katowice City Singers’ Ensemble “Camerata Silesia” recorded a new CD with the music of Paweł Szymański using the acoustics of the NOSPR Concert Hall in Katowice. The “Camerata Silesia Sings Szymański” album was published in August (DUX 1223).
At the beginning of the 2016/2017concert season, Germany’s South West Radio launched their own digital recording label called SWR Klassik. In September, they released a collection of choir music of the most notable Polish composers entitled “Choral Music - Szymanowski, K. / Penderecki, K. / Górecki, H. / Lutosławski, W.” (SWR Klassik 19017).
Following the success of their previous chamber CD, Jonathan Plowright teamed up with the Polish/Ukrainian Szymanowski Quartet to record two more forgotten gems of the Romantic Polish repertoire for Hyperion Records. The album (Hyperion CDA68124) features works by Ludomir Rózycki and Ignacy Friedman.
Polish violinist Janusz Wawrowski’s second Warner Classics album, Sequenza, was released in October, taking 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 and two world premiere recordings: Tomasz Opałka’s Fil d’araignée and Dariusz Przybylsk’s Up.
“Musica Sacra Of The Wawel Cathedral” (DUX 1334) features the Capella Regia Rorantistarum) performing works by Marcin Paligon, Jan z Lublina, Krzysztof Borek, Bartłomiej Pękiel, Grzegorz Gerwazy Gorczycki and Winenty z Kielczy, as well as the words of John Paul II.
On December 2, a new recording by Roman Palester was released at the PWM Edition office in Warsaw during the promotional meeting and concert by Warner Music Poland. The album called ROMAN PALESTER. PIANO & CHAMBER MUSIC features: Jakub Tchorzewski – piano, Duo Viennese (Paweł Zalejski – violin, Monika Hager-Zalejski – violin).
On December 12, Warner Music Poland released 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.
Malgorzata Sarbak, the versatile harpsichord player recorded a new CD (DUX 1332) with the music of Paweł Szymański . The album contains pieces such as: Dissociative Counterpoint Disorder, Through the Looking Glass… III, Les Poiriers en Pologne ou une Suite De Pieces Sentimentales de Clavecin faite par Mr Szymański and Partita III by Szymanski.
Chandon has released a new album called Vivaldi/Panufnik: A Violin For All Seasons (CHAN 5175) with music of Antonio Vivaldi and a British composer Roxanna Panufnik – the daughter of Sir Andrzej Panufnik, who dedicated her Four World Seasons to her father. The music was performed by BBC Symphony Orchestra conducted by Tasmin Little.
In November, the first studio recording of Seong-Jin Cho, First Prize winner of the 2015 International Chopin Competition, was released on the prestigious Deutsche Grammophon label (DG 0289 479 5941 0). On the album entitled “CHOPIN: Piano Concerto No 1. Ballades,” Cho is joined by the London Symphony Orchestra and their newly appointed Principal Guest Conductor, Gianandrea Noseda.
To open its series of portraits of the most interesting characters from the 2015 edition of the Chopin Competition, the Chopin Institute in Warsaw (NIFC) presents a double album by Charles Richard-Hamelin—the winner of the 2015 Second Prize, as well as the 2015 Krystian Zimerman Prize for the best sonata performance (NIFCCD617)
Known primarily as a brilliant jazz pianist, Krzysztof Herdzin explores the neo-classical aspects of traditional Polish dances in his latest release, “Suita na tematy polskie / Suite on Polish Themes” (Decca/Universal Music 481 188 4), which was recorded in collaboration with the renowned British chamber orchestra Academy of St. Martin in the Fields at Abbey Road studios.
ZEBROWSKI & HOEFS AT LA MUSICAL SALON
The L.A. Musical Salon will celebrate their 10th season with their signature Westside dinner-concert series at The Bel-Air in Los Angeles. The first concert “An Evening of Chopin” will take place on February 11, featuring concert pianist, composer and PMC Director Marek Zebrowski with cellist Lars Hoefs, who was a member of the Music Salon’s original Artists in Residence group, the Blue Rose Trio. The scintillating concert by this duo will contain repertoire by Chopin, beginning with “Polonaise Op. 3” and ending with “Sonata Op. 65.” The L.A. Musical Salon Series creates an unprecedented opportunity for audiences and rising young performing artists to develop a personal relationship in a relaxed, gracious setting. Reservations are required for all whom attend.
[Source: press release]
EXPLORING THE AVANT-GARDE
On March 25 at 4 p.m., the Polish Music Center presents the gnarwhallaby ensemble in the 2017 Polish Music Spring concert: “Exploring the Avant-Garde.” This concert will uncover various facets of avant-garde expression that have existed throughout contemporary music history in Poland, from the 1950s until today, with a program of such visionary composers as Tadeusz Baird, Henryk Mikolaj Górecki, Hanna Kulenty, Krzysztof Meyer, Bogusław Schaeffer and Witold Szalonek.
An adventurous and unique L.A.-based ensemble, gnarwhallaby is built around the instrument combination of the 1960s ‘Warsztat Muzyczny’: clarinet (Brian Walsh), trombone (Matt Barbier), cello (Derek Stein), and piano (Richard Valitutto).
HAMON HONORED IN PASO ROBLES
Long-time Paderewski Festival Board member and current Board President Marjorie Hamon has been named as the 2017 “Sweet Art” of the Year by Studios on the Park in Paso Robles, CA. The dual objective of the “Sweet Art” designation is to celebrate a Champion of the Arts and to raise funds for Studios on the Park transformational arts education programs. Hamon will be honored at the annual Sweet Art Fundraising Luncheon on February 14 at noon.
As a resident for over 50 years, Hamon has been a business leader, an arts philanthropist and a community advocate in Paso Robles. She has volunteered her time to groups and events ranging from the local Boy Scouts to the AYSO youth soccer league to the Pioneer Day Parade. In addition to serving the Paderewski Festival in important roles as Treasurer and President, she and her husband John Hamon have also opened their home to young pianists from Poland and the Ukraine visiting on the Cultural Exchange, as well as other Festival guests.
Studios on the Park is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit open studios art center founded by Sasha Irving, who is also a dedicated partner of the Paderewski Festival in Paso Robles.
[Sources: press release, studiosonthepark.org]
GIFTS TO PMC
Krzysztof Kur, organizer of the “Muzyka Odnaleziona” Festival and the Narodowe Centrum Kultury, just sent us the recording of the December 4, 2016 concert of Polish premieres at the Royal Łazienki Palace in Warsaw. Spotlighting the archival holdings of the PMC, this concert featured selections of American songs and short piano pieces written in Los Angeles by Henryk Wars; Zygmunt Stojowski’s Sonata for Cello and Piano, Op. 18; and the 24 Piano Variations on a Folk Song written by Roman Ryterband in Switzerland in 1942. Although this is only a reference recording and cannot be published, it can be listened to in our library and it will be made to all interested students and researchers.
Katarzyna Renes presented us with a fascinating and graphically well-designed book on improvisational theatre for schoolchildren and adults, Duży pies nie szczeka [A large dog doesn’t bark] published by Stowarzyszenie Willa Decjusza, Kraków, 2016. This volume—the outcome of Renes’s important project on how to deal with aggression of all kinds—presents a great deal of interesting ideas for students and teachers and shares a lot of important experiences drawn from actual workshops conducted all over Poland. Perhaps it would be useful to consider publishing an English language version of this title as well, for a much wider readership. For now, however, we are very pleased to add it to the reference section of our library.
The Cracow Duo (Marek Szlezer, piano and Jan Kalinowski, cello) gifted us their latest release entitled “Memories” (DUX 1018). With over 75 minutes of music, this album features a rich selection of very attractive works for cello and piano, including Chopin’s Polonaise, Op. 3, and some great encores—including The Swan by Saint-Saëns and Rachmaninov’s celebrated Vocalise—as well as works by Tansman, Piazzola, Shostakovich, and others.
Maria Peryt Opalka from Warner Music Poland sent us the album “Emerge” featuring symphonic works by Tomasz Jakub Opalka. This world premiere recordings presents four compositions for large instrumental ensembles—Collisions of the Matter, Emerge, D.N.A. and Quadra—each telling its own unique story and each representing a milestone in Opałka’s own creative development. The album was recorded by the Polish Sinfonia Iuventus Orchestra, the Warsaw Philharmonic Artists ‘Chamber Orchestra of the Chain X Festival’ and the Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra,
Iwona Sowińska recently sent us a copy of Autumn 2016 issue of Kwartalnik Filmowy [Film Quarterly] which features her excellent article about Henryk Wars [Henry Vars] and his difficult early World War II years in Soviet Union. Carefully researched and based on information received directly from the composer’s children—Diana and Robert—Sowińska ties together several little-known facts about Wars’s activities as film composer in Soviet Russia, filling many gaps in the biography of this fascinating musician.
From pianist Kuba Stankiewicz and bassist Darek Oleszkiewicz we just received their latest collaborative recording of music by Henryk Wars. This is their third CD in a series featuring compositions by Polish film composers from Hollywood’s golden era, with previous albums showcasing Victor Young and Bronisław Kaper. On all three albums Stankiewicz andOleszkiewicz were joined by the drummer Peter Erskine, a two-time Grammy Award winner and fellow Thornton School of Music faculty member with Oleszkiewicz. The nine tracks on this recording present some of Vars’s greatest hits from the 1930s, including Miłość Ci wszystko wybaczy [Love Forgives All], Ach, jak przyjemnie [Ah! It’s so Pleasant] or Na pierwszy znak [At the First Sign] as well as his tunes written after he settled in Los Angeles in 1947—I Remember, Over and Over and Over, Good Love, and Sleep my Child. Since Wars is mainly remembered today for his title tune to the film Flipper, a classy rendition of this charming tune is also to be found on this fine album, recorded for KSQMusic and distributed by Warner Music Poland.
Many thanks, as always, to all of our generous donors and friends! Dziękujemy!
PREMIERES & CONTEMPORARY CHORAL MUSIC
On February 18, a concert of contemporary music performed by Polish Chamber Choir will take a place in the Evangelical Church in Sopot. The event will open with three pieces awarded at the 2016 MUSICA SACRA NOVA International Composers Competition, which seeks to promote sacred choir music of young composers. The competition held its 13th edition with a jury made up of notable experts of choir music, including: Marian Borkowski, Stephen Layton, Jan Łukaszewski, Andrea Angelini, Vaclovas Augustinas, Vincenzo de Gregorio and Jaakko Mäntyjärvi. From the 30 compositions that took a part in the competition, the jury decided to award three to be performed by Polish Chamber Choir.
The highlight of the concert will be the world premieres of 5 new pieces by Paweł Łukaszewski, an excellent composer, conductor and teacher who is the current leader of the Polish sacred choral scene. Four of these works will be included in his newest album, recorded in the Savior Church in Sopot by Polish Chamber Choir under the baton of Jan Łukaszewski. The rest of the repertoire for the concert features works such as: Parce Mihi by Agata Krawczyk and two Scandinavian compositions: O magnum misterium by Jaakko Mäntyjärvi – a composer from Finland and Villarosa sarialdi by Thomas Jannefelt from Sweden, who is also the author of the lyrics in a special Latin-like language created by the composer.
Saturday, February 18, 2017 | 6:00 p.m.
Concert of Contemporary Music
Parkowa 5, 81-701 Sopot, Poland
Admission: 20 PLN
Tickets & Info: polskichorkameralny.pl or (58) 552-41-73
NOWOWIEJSKI 140TH BIRTH ANNIVERSARY
Polish composer, conductor, organist and teacher Feliks Nowowiejski was born 140 years ago on February 7, 1877. To celebrate the anniversary of his birth, the Feliks Nowowiejski Society from Poznań organized a series of events.
The celebration was started already on December 18, 2016, with a concert in Aula UAM in Poznań. The repertoire was varied including solo songs, ensembles, small orchestral pieces and choir music. The performers of the evening were: Choir of K. Marcinkowski Medical University, Piotr Kostrzewski’s ensemble, CoOperate orchestra under the baton of Adam Domurat, Katarzyna Hołysz, Paweł Łuczak, Aleksander Machalica, Jakub Koterba and Elżbieta Karolak.
On February 5, the Warmia and Mazury Philharmonic in Olsztyn will host the first concert this year celebrating the anniversary. The concert will be performed by tenor Szymon Rona, pianist Agnieszka Panasiuk, actress Irena Telesz, and the Cantores Varmienses Choir, under the baton of Benedykt Błoński. On February 7, an exhibition and concert will be held in Barczewo, where the composer was born. In Skarbiec Kultury Europejskiej (Grunwaldzka Street 15), at 5 p.m. doctor Jan Chłosta from the Center of Scientific Research in Olsztyn [Ośrodek Badań Naukowych) will give a lecture titled the Connections of Feliks Nowowiejski with Warmia Region. In addition, the conference will promote and release a post-event publication Warmia in the Times of Feliks Nowowiejski [Warmia w czasach Feliksa Nowowiejskiego. The concert will feature a Military Orchestra from Giżycko and a duo Maria-Isabella Jung/Sefuri Sumi. The organizers chose Maria-Isabella Jung not only for her skills as a soprano but also because she is a great-granddaughter of Leon Nowowiejski – the brother of the composer. After the performance of songs by Nowowiejski and Wagner by the duo, an exhibition titled The Genealogy of Nowowiejski’s House will take a place in Salon Muzyczny im. Feliska Nowowiejskiego (located at Mickiewicza 13). On February 8, Jung and Sumi will give another performance at the Salon muzyczny Feliksa Nowowiejskiego, Willa wśród róż
Nowowiejski spent WWI in Berlin serving as a member of a military orchestra. At the end of the war, he settled in Poznań where he actively participated in reviving the cultural life of the city by organizing symphonic, choral and organ concerts, and by working as a teacher. At that time, he composed several patriotic songs, arrangements of folk music (such as 25 Polish Folk Songs from Warmia), opera The Legend of the Baltic, choral compositions (Missa pro Pace, Missa Stella Maris) and cantatas.
Sunday, February 5, 2017 | 6:00 p.m.
Concert on the 140th Anniversary of Feliks Nowowiejski’s Birth
Warmia and Mazury Philharmonic
Bartosza Głowackiego 1, 10-447 Olsztyn, Poland
Tickets & Info: bilety.filharmonia.olsztyn.pl
Tuesday, February 7, 2017 | 5:00 p.m.
Lecture by Jan Chłosta, concert of Jung/Sumi duo, The Genealogy of Nowowiejski House exhibition
Skarbiec Kultury Europejskiej
Grunwaldzka 15, 11-010 Barczewo, Poland
Wednesday, February 8, 2017 | 6:00 p.m.
Concert on the 140th Anniversary of Feliks Nowowiejski’s Birth in Willa wsród róż
Willa wsród róż
Aleja Wielkopolska 11, 60-603 Poznań, Poland
Tickets & Info: nowowiejski.pl
CELEBRATION OF POLISH COMPOSERS
Under the baton of Agnieszka Kreiner, mezzosoprano Anna Lubańska and Gorzów Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra performed at the Gorzów Philharmonic on February 10. The evening was devoted to music by three great Polish composers living at the turn of the 19th and 20th century: Zygmunt Noskowski, Karol Szymanowski and Ignacy Jan Paderewski. The program opened with Grzegorz Fitelberg’s arrangement of Szymanowski’s Etude in B-flat minor, Op. 4 No. 3, which is considered to be an excellent example of late Romantic music. The focal point of the concert, however, was Paderewski’s 12 Songs to words by Catulle Mendès, Op. 22, inspired by French traditions and music. The concert ended with Noskowski’s Symphony No. 1 in A major.
Friday, February 10, 2017 | 7:00 p.m.
Celebration of Polish Composers: Szymanowski, Paderewski, Noskowski
Dziewięciu Muz 10, 66-400 Gorzów Wielkopolski, Poland
Admission: General 32-30 zl; Reduced 25-22 zł
Tickets & Info: filharmoniagorzowska.pl
UNITED STATES OF [POLISH] OPERA
Stany Zjednoczone Opery [The United States of Opera] is a new series of meetings dedicated to Polish Opera. Before each opera premiere in Poznań, artists, journalists and researchers will have discussions open to the public, about the subjects connected with opera and classical music in modern world. The initiator and curator of the series is Krystyna Lada.
On Feb. 18, a meeting titled “Kobiety Tworzą Operę” [Women Create Opera] will be led by Monika Pasichnyk and Krystian Lada as a part of the series. Among the guests, there are two composers: Elżbieta Sikora and Katarzyna Głowicka. On the stage, the participants will also see a recital by excellent performer and contemporary music interpreter Joanna Freszel.
Saturday, February 18, 2017 | 4:00 p.m.
The United States of Opera
Aleksandra Fredry Street 9, 61-701 Poznan, Poland
Admission is FREE.
[Sources: press release]
SOVIET FUTURISM AT THE WARSAW PHILHARMONIC
On February 28, the Warsaw Philharmonic Chamber Ensemble will perform a program of chamber works with guest pianist Maciej Grzybowski (above) and mezzo-soprano Urszula Kryger, under the baton of Paweł Kapuła. The concert highlights constructivism and futurism in Soviet art, represented by works of genuine interest and artistic merit. These artistic trends were soon replaced by the regime with the doctrine of social-realism, where artists were reduced to the role of “a worker of culture.” The program will include: Alexander Mosolov’s Four Newspaper Advertisements and Three Scenes from Childhood, and Nikolai Roslavets’s Three Pieces for Piano Solo and Five Preludes as well as works by Vladimir Scherbachov, Aleksey Zhivotov, and Sergei Prokofiev.
Tuesday, February 28, 2017 | 7:00 p.m.
In the World of the Soviet Futurism
Warsaw Philharmonic, Chamber Music Hall
Sala Kameralna Moniuszki 5, Warszaw, Poland
Admission: 30 PLN
Tickets & info: filharmonianarodowa.bilety24.pl
OPEN CALL FOR CLASSICAL:NEXT 2017
The Adam Mickiewicz Institute has announced an open call to apply for financial support related to participation in the Classical: NEXT 2017 expositions held on May 17-20, 2017 in Rotterdam. The competition is designed for music managers, promoters, editors and artistic directors of Polish festivals to present their works in conferences, showcase concerts, network meetings, and much more. The key topics at this year’s conference will be diversity and the arts in times of populism. The jury for this year’s showcase will include: COLLECTIF9 (Canada), Jerez Le Cam Quartet (Argentina/France/Belgium), Park Jiha (South Korea), Sven Helbig (Germany), Trip Trip Trip (Colombia), and Zwerm (Belgium).
Classical: NEXT intends to bring the diverse scenes of classical music together and offer them a forum to exchange and develop new ways for classical and contemporary music. Since the first edition in 2012, about 3,000 classical music professionals from more than 1,000 companies and from over 45 countries have engaged with Classical: NEXT and made it into the world's most important classical music meeting. Last year’s cycle in Rotterdam featured 1,200 delegates representing 700 companies from 46 countries.
The deadline for submitting applications is February 24, 2017. Participants must complete the application form available on the iam.pl and send them to: email@example.com. More information can be obtained by phone: (22) 160 44 76.
INTERNATIONAL PIANO FORUM
The 12th International Piano Forum "Bieszczady Without Borders", organized by the Podkarpacka Foundation for the Development of Culture, will be held between February 5 – 10 in the Carpathian region. The main theme of this year’s edition is “From Bach to Penderecki.”
The event aims at presenting and discussing the full range of topics that are important for young musicians: music theory, practice techniques, health and rehabilitation, promotional activities, and knowledge of the business world. Around 200 selected participants from Poland, Slovakia, the Ukraine and Russia will take part in masterclasses, lectures, seminars, concerts and a competition. The list of invited guest artists includes past laureates of the International Fryderyk Chopin Piano Competition, including Eugen Indjic (1970) and Akiko Ebi (1980), as well as Krzysztof Kobyliński, the Kayah and Royal String Quartets, the Accademia dell’Arco Chamber Orchestra and the Lviv National Chamber Orchestra "Akademia.” Tickets will be available at the office of the Carpathian Foundation for the Development of Culture in Sanok.
The Podkarpacka Foundation was established in 2009. The main objective of its projects is to support education and development of young Polish pianists, maintain national tradition, and to cultivate and develop a national and cultural consciousness, as well as to promote international cooperation and integration with particular attention to the Carpathian region and music culture of Poland, Slovakia and Ukraine.
February 5 – 10, 2017
12th International Piano Forum "Bieszczady Without Borders"
LIRA AT THE CONSULATE
With the season of love afoot, the Lira Ensemble will present an evening of Polish and American love songs on February 15 at the Consulate General of the Republic of Poland in Chicago. The Lira Ensemble is unique in that the company performs all kinds of Polish music and dance, including popular and folk songs and dances, traditional court dances, as well as serious music – Polish opera, ancient Polish music, sacred music, music of various historic periods, new music of Poland, works by Polish-American composers, and Polish compositions rarely heard in the United States. The concert will be preceded by a cocktail and canape reception at 5:30 p.m. and followed by a Polish buffet supper at 7:15 p.m.
Wednesday, February 15, 2017 | 5:30 p.m. reception, 6:30 p.m. concert, 7:15 p.m. buffet
LOVE.. By Lira!
Consulate General of Poland
1530 N Lake Shore Drive, Chicago
Tickets & Info: (773) 508-7040
[Sources: press release, liraensemble.org]
KF IN NEW YORK
In collaboration with The Isadora Duncan International Institute, Inc. (IDII), the Kosciuszko Foundation will present an evening of music and dance on the transformative power of love on February 11. The production, “The Theater of Love,” will consist of masterpieces from the treasury of Isadora Duncan's original dances and new works to Old Masters, accompanied by romantic compositions by Chopin. The program will include solo, duet, and small group performances by Jeanne Bresciani and dancers of The Isadora Duncan International Institute alongside pianist Daniel Schreiner. Seating is limited, first come, first served.
Saturday, February 11, 2017 | 5:00 p.m.
The Theater of Love, feat. music of Chopin and dances of Isadora Duncan
The Kosciuszko Foundation, Inc.
15 East 65th Street, New York, NY 10065
Admission: General $30; KF Members, Seniors & Students $20
Tickets & Info: eventbrite.com
“ANDERS’ ARMY” EXHIBIT IN LA
L.A.’s Polish church Our Lady of the Bright Mount is hosting a unique exhibition entitled “Anders’ Army,” devoted to the Polish Army General Władysław Anders as a fulfillment of a promise to his daughter, Senator Anna Maria Anders. From January 22 until February 12, the exhibition will be open to the public every Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. in the Parish Hall. Organizers hope to attract young Poles to learn more about the dramatic history of the homeland of their parents and grandparents, presented in Polish and English.
This cultural display illustrates the fate of Polish prisoners of war held in Soviet camps during the Second World War and the movements of the Second Polish Corps, under Gen. Anders, as part of the Polish Armed Forces in the West serving on the Italian front. Anders’ army band, "The Polish Parade," was led by Henryk Wars, who after the war became a resident of Los Angeles and wrote hit songs for such Hollywood films as Flipper. Wars’ archive of popular tunes as well as lesser known classical compositions can be further explored at the Polish Music Center, just down the street from Our Lady of the Bright Mount at USC.
Sundays, January 22 – February 12, 2017 | 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Exhibition: “Anders’ Army”
Our Lady of the Bright Mount Parish Hall
3424 West Adams Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90018
PENDERECKI/WARSAW PHIL RECEIVE GRAMMY
During the 59th edition of the Grammy Awards, which took place on February 12, Maestro Krzysztof Penderecki and the Choir and Orchestra of the Warsaw Philharmonic (Henryk Wojnarowski – choir director) won the "Choral Music" category for the album "Penderecki Conducts Penderecki, Vol. 1.” The first of a planned series, this album is the composer’s first studio recording with the Philharmonic, and includes the premiere of Dies Illa, written on the occasion of the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War and featuring soloists Johanna Rusanen – soprano, Agnieszka Rehlis – mezzo-soprano, and Nikolay Didenko – bass.
This album highlights Poland’s greatest living composer’s vocal-instrumental works on religious subjects. According to Penderecki, “My art, with its deep Christian roots, aims to restore the human metaphysical space, shattered by 20th-century cataclysms. Restoring the sacred dimension of reality is the only way in which man can be saved.” The works selected also provide proof of the special importance that the composer attaches to what he considers as “the most difficult of instruments”—namely, the human voice.
According to Penderecki, "I set the bar for myself higher and higher and I do not always manage to clear it, so sometimes I pass under it. I have in store works that I would like to finish and to do this I need at least 20 years.”
OPERA CREATION FINALISTS
On January 5, 2017, the first public performances of excerpts from the opera Człowiek z Manufaktury took place in the Łódź Grand Theatre. 40 composers from Poland, Spain, Iran, USA and Italy had registered to participate in the international composing competition held to create the opera. Among them, four finalists (Rafał Janiak, Katarzyna Brochocka, Aleksander Nowak and Kamil Cieślik – pictured above) were chosen as a result of a tie. Their 10-15 minute submissions written for soloists, mixed choir and symphony orchestra were performed by the Łódź Grand Theatre Orchestra under the baton of Wojciech Rodek and guest artist Małgorzata Walewska, one of the leading opera mezzo-sopranos in the world.
The staged performances were recorded and presented online at the ManuFaktura website, where audience participation played a key role in deciding which composers continued on to the next round. One was decided by online votes and the other was chosen by jury members (Krzysztof Penderecki, Elżbieta Penderecka, Joanna Wnuk-Nazarowa, Dr. Urszula Kryger, Dr. Maciej Tworek, and Dr. Wojciech Rodek). The official verdict was announced on January 30 at noon: Katarzyna Brochocka was chosen by the audience and Rafał Janiak by the jury.
The two selected finalists are new required to compose a full act from the opera by May 10, prior to the public performance at Łódź Grand Theatre in mid-June. From these, the jury will select a Grand Prix winner who will receive a cash prize in addition to those already awarded, as well as the opportunity to compose the full score of Człowiek z Manufaktury. The premiere of the full work is scheduled for November 2018 on the occasion of the 185th birth anniversary Izrael Poznański.
PLOWRIGHT/BOROWICZ AWARD & RECORDING PLANS
Recently, British pianist Jonathan Plowright and Polish conductor Łukasz Borowicz were nominated for a prestigious International Classical Music Award (2017 ICMA) for their recording of concertos by Ludomir Różycki (Hyperion CDA68066). Performed with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, the album explores Różycki’s irrepressible spirit and response to the horrors of two world wars expressed in the Ballade in G major, Op. 18, Piano Concerto No. 1 in G minor, Op. 43, and Piano Concerto No. 2.
In February, Plowright will also finally record the Paderewski Piano Concerto, one of his favorite concertos, alongside the Rhapsodie Symphonique for Piano and Orchestra by Zygmunt Stojowski. He will team up once again with Borowicz, with whom he has previously recorded similar Romantic Polish repertoire so successfully.
Plowright (R) pictured with the sons of Zygmunt Stojowski, Henry (center) and Alfred (left),
[Sources: press release, icma-info.com]
MIRO KĘPIŃSKI WINS AWARD
Young Polish film composer Miro Kępiński was recently recognized by the Los Angeles Independent Film Festival Award for his soundtrack to a documentary The Wounds We Cannot See, directed by Alexander Freeman. Kępiński was also given two honorable mentions for his music to this film by the Hollywood International Independent Documentary Awards and by the Hollywood International Moving Pictures Film Festival. The film itself was given the Best Feature Documentary Award at the Long Beach Indie International Film Festival in September 2016. The trailer for his award-winning work can be viewed here.
A film composer and music producer, Kępiński is a native of Mława, Poland, where he first studied guitar at the Mława Music School. He later attended the Katowice Music Academy, where he majored in jazz. In his film soundtracks, Mr. Kępiński uses elements of classical, electronic and rock music.
MOCARTY 2016 NOMINATIONS
The winners of the MocArt RMF Classic award will be selected through online voting, which is available at rmfclassic.pl. The results will be announced on March 13, 2017 in Warsaw. The nominees include the following Polish musicians and musical events:
LUTOSŁAWSKI ‘ŁAŃCUCH’ FESTIVAL 2017
The 14th edition of the Witold Lutosławski "Łańcuch” [Chain] Festival is being held from January 28 to February 12, 2017 at Polish Radio’s Lutosławski Concert Studio in Warsaw. The program of the 2017 edition of the "Chain" Festival places side by side two of the greatest musical personalities of 20th century Polish culture: Lutosławski and Szymanowski. The idea is to highlight their similarities and differences, and to harmonize them, in terms of both musical genres and expressive features.
In addition to Lutosławski and Szymanowski, the2017 Festival program includes compositions by Maurice Ravel, Igor Stravinsky, Anton Webern, Gabriel Fauré and Alexander Zemlinsky, interpreted by the National Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra joined by the Krakow Philharmonic Choir, Iwona Sobotka and Andrzej Lampert conducted by Alexander Liebreich; the AUKSO Chamber Orchestra with Giedrė Šiaulytė (harp) and Maksymilian Lipień (oboe) under Mare Moś; the Silesian Quartet; the Chain Ensemble directed by Andrzej Bauer; the Sinfonia Varsovia Orchestra with Olga Pasiecznik under Renato Rivolta; as well as many other excellent ensembles and soloists.
One of the highlights of this year’s Festival is the third concert, presenting chamber music by Lutosławski and Szymanowski on February 5. The repertoire selected for this concert is presented in a dualistic fashion, in which each piece by Lutosławski corresponds to a work by Szymanowski: two lullabies for violin and piano, two song cycles to poems by Kazimiera Iłłakowiczówna, two arrangements of Niccolò Paganini’s caprices, and two masterpieces of the violin literature which also were joined by composer-performer duos— Lutosławski’s Partita as a work inspired and performed by violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter and Szymanowski’s Myths. Three Poems, Op. 30, which were created as a result of close relationship with violinist Paweł Kochański. The program will end with Variations on a Theme of Paganini (1941), which were frequently played by the piano duo of Witold Lutosławski and Andrzej Panufnik in the cafes of Nazi-occupied Warsaw. The score of these Variations was the only one of their over 200 transcriptions to survive WWII intact (see www.lutoslawski.org.pl for more details on the history of the Lutosławski-Panufnik duo and the Variations).
Performers for the evening will be Joanna Freszel (soprano), Mariusz Rutkowski (piano), Katarzyna Krzyżanowska (mezzosoprano), Łukasz Chrzęszczyk (piano), Tanja Becker-Bender (violin), Péter Nagy (piano), and the Ravel Piano Duo (Agnieszka Kozło, Katarzyna Ewa Sokołowska).
Read the full program at www.lutoslawski.org.pl.
4TH INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL OF THE WIENIAWSKI BROTHERS
Co-financed by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage, this year’s edition of the International Festival of the Wieniawski Brothers will be held February 10 – March 10 at the Lublin Philharmonic. The event is a tribute to Henryk and Józef Wieniawski, whose Semiramis Op. 52 for choir and orchestra will be premiered in the opening concert, along with Sergei Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No. 3 in C major, Op. 26 by and Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 2"Resurrection" in C minor, performed by soprano Dorota Wójcik, mezzosoprano Urszula Kryger, pianist Lukas Geniušas, Chamber Choir "Gloria" (Lviv), and the Choir and Symphony Orchestra of the Lublin Philharmonic under the baton of Wojciech Rodek. Works by Fryderyk Chopin, Ignacy Jan Paderewski, Antoni Stolpe, Juliusz Zarębski, Stanisław Moniuszko, Anton Bruckner, Pyotr Tchaikovsky, Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy and Krzysztof Penderecki will be featured throughout the festival as well.
SZYMANOWSKI ON NAXOS
SZYMANOWSKI, K.: Concert Overture / LUTOSŁAWSKI, W.: Cello Concerto / Symphony No. 4
Under the direction of its Chief Conductor Alexander Liebreich, the National Symphony Orchestra of Polish Radio (NOSPR) releases the final recording of a three part cycle of works by influential composers, featuring compositions by Karol Szymanowski and Witold Lutoslawski. Next to the ecstatic Concert Overture in E major, Op. 12, an early work by Szymanowski, the NOSPR performs Lutosławski’s contemplative and yet excessive Symphony No. 4, a work that the composer finished shortly before his death in 1994. Gautier Capuçon, one of the leading cellists of his generation, is the impressive soloist in the Concerto for Cello and Orchestra (probably the most famous work of Lutosławski). His “powerful and concentrated” performance alongside NOSPR is praised by classical journalist Remy Franck of Pizzicato, who deems the album as “one of the best concerto recordings [he had] ever heard.” Franck’s full review can be found here.
SZYMANOWSKI, K.: Concert Overture / Symphony No. 4 / Nocturne and Tarantella / Slopiewnie (Rheinland-Pfalz State Philharmonic, Steffens)
Karol Szymanowski ranks as one of the few composers thoroughly familiar to pundits, but whose works were all too often ousted from the concert repertoire by more popular contempories. A clear ‘progression’ can be discerned in Szymanowski’s musical development, where he was influenced by late Romantcism in his earliest works and Impressionism after the middle of the First World War (i.e. the time of his return home). From the works of this period on, he still remained committed to tonality, but goes to its very limits. Moreover, the orchestral works are usually accompanied by a lush and beguiling ecstasy of colours paralled most likely in the music by Alexander Scriabin.
SIMON PLAYS LUTOSŁAWSKI
Lutosławski: Complete Piano Works
Witold Lutosławski, one of the most important composers of the 20th century, was an excellent pianist. He and his colleague Andrzej Panufnik earned their living as a piano duo by presenting their own compositions in Warsaw cafes during the Second World War. Unfortunately, many of these works have been lost in the turmoil of the war. Among all the solo piano works Lutosławski composed during that time, only the Sonata (1934) and the Two Etudes (1940/41) exist today. After the war, he turned to new compositional techniques (twelfth music, serial music, aleatory music) for larger occupations.
In her new recording, Berlin pianist Corinna Simon interprets the composer’s strong, powerful music through sensitive yet colorful instrumentation. Simon has been extremely successful performing and recording piano rarities by contemporary composers like Jean Francaix, Hans Werner Henze, Bernd Alois Zimmermann and Friedrich Goldmann. As a child she was accepted at the Julius Stern Institute, the renowned conservatory in Berlin at the age of twelve. In 1984, she launched her career as a pianist in solo works and chamber music with the Berlin Philharmonic. Simon currently teaches advanced classes for young pianists in Berlin.
NEW ON DUX
Krzysztof Penderecki Chamber Music Vol. II Violoncello Totale
In many of Krzysztof Penderecki’s works, the cello occupies special place in numerous orchestral and chamber compositions as evidenced by this new recording. The album, continuing a series of publishing chamber pieces by Krzysztof Penderecki, is entirely devoted to the cello, which appears both as a solo instrument and as part of the larger orchestral work. The featured works perfectly illustrate the richness of the artist's work, which in the long-term process of finding and perfecting his musical language reached both measures avant-garde as well as from former eras. The full aesthetic articulation of the cello is especially expressed in “Capriccio per Siegfried Palm,” which refers to Baroque and Romantic traditions, and virtuosic and lyrical “Agnus Dei” performed young German cellist Jakob Spahn, accompanied by outstanding Polish virtuosos of the instrument.
Wojtek Blecharz Liminal Studies
Saxophone Varie vol. 2
Recent years have seen heightened interest in the Polish saxophone as a full-fledged concert instrument, resulting in the creation of many new and interesting works for saxophone. Saxophonists have played a significant part in inspiring composers to explore the technical and creative capabilities of the instrument. During the jubilee year of the saxophone, marking the 200th anniversary of the creator of the instrument, Adolphe Sax, the previous volume of “Saxophone Varie” (DUX 0992) was awarded the Fryderyk Music Award in 2014. This album is a continuation of Paul Gusnar’s project to promote a new saxophone literature composers environment related to the Fryderyk Chopin University of Music (UMFC), in which six of the pieces have its phonographic premiere.
Anton Arensky Piano Trios
The Wilkomirski Trio presents their debut album, featuring compositions by Anton Aresnky. The trio’s name is a tribute to the extraordinary story of the Wilkomirski family and their musical careers. The original classical ensemble was comprised of Kazimierz, Michał and Maria Wilkormirski, three Polish siblings who were born in Moscow in the early 20th century. The three are intertwined with the tumultuous history of the two world wars, the Russian Revolution and the Polish interwar period, and later developed each developed careers as lecturers in Chicago, Houston and various cities in Poland. The album aims to commemorate their epic repertoire as Arensky was popular during the time that the Wilkormirski siblings began their joint performances.
Krzysztof Baculewski Christmas Carols
This special holiday album authored by Krzysztof Baculewski, containing arrangements of Christmas carols, is dedicated to the most prestigious Polish chamber choirs. His compositions successfully weave familiar and popular melodies with more advanced elements of harmony and polyphony, above all. Liturgical elements and Baroque patterns reflect the composer’s interest in climate, texture and classical music forms, that the listener can internalize from start to finish.
Karol Szymanowski. We Mgłach.
TheWe Mgłach recording contains all the songs from the first four opuses (2, 5, 7, 11), formed in the early period the composer's work during the Post-romanticism period. These compositions have all been influenced by great composers of the nineteenth century, yet are dominated by a distinctive individual character created by the composer, that can be distinguished through the original emotionality of the lyrical passages. Apart from a few, quite popular songs, such as “Three Fragments from Poems,” the majority of the tracks listed on the album are very interesting and challenging; thus, they are rarely performed on concert stages.
GÓRECKI MEETS METAL
At the beginning of 2016, the iconic multi-instrumentalist Colin Stetson caught the attention of both classical and contemporary audiences with the release of his album “Sorrow,” a remarkable new interpretation of Henryk Mikołaj Górecki’s famous 3rd Symphony created using three types of saxophone, a bass clarinet and a synthesizer. In an interview with Filip Lech from Culture.pl Magazine, Stetson revealed that the metal and drone elements that were added to the composition were a result of his heightened understanding of the loss and sorrow expressed in Gorecki’s work. He continues to say: “My approach to Symphony No. 3 was to broaden in a way how I imagined certain sounds and parts which were absent in the original, which for myself, were some sort of an extension of the emotional core of that piece. I’ve changed instrumentation … changed some things drastically in arrangement, dynamics, some timing, and some space issues. I encroached on some phrases; from time to time, I'd find some detail that I wanted to tweak. So, there are certain things that are unique and move around. But I didn't ever change the music, I didn't add anything.”
SOBCZAK ON SZYMANOWSKI
On January 31, pianist Radosław Sobczak performed a recital commemorating Karol Szymanowski’s 80th Death Anniversary in the Chamber Hall of the Warsaw Philharmonic, as a part of their Piano Masters Series. The program included Johann Sebastian Bach - Largo from Organ Sonata no. 5 in C major BWV 529 (version by S. Feinberg); Franz Schubert - Wanderer Fantasy in C major Op. 15; Alberto Ginastera - Argentine Dances, op. 2; Karol Szymanowski - 9 Preludes op. 1; and Karol Szymanowski - Piano Sonata no. 2 in A major op. 21.
The following is how Szymanowski described conductor Grzegorz Fitelberg and pianist Artur Rubinstein’s reactions to his new sonata; the latter premiered it in Berlin in 1911. “Before Artur’s arrival I had just completed my second Piano Sonata. At first I did not think much of it, but when Artur carefully studied and played it, he brought out all its “hidden virtues.” Consequently, ‘Ficio’ and Artur enthused over this sonata, almost claiming it superior to the Symphony.” The sonata has some formal elements in common with the Symphony No. 2 mentioned in the letter. Both works mark an important stylistic caesura in the composer’s output, ending the post-Romantic phase which had begun with his earliest surviving music—the Preludes, written by an 18-year-old Szymanowski at the frontier manor in Tymoszówka (now Timoshivka in the Ukraine). Still distinctly influenced by Chopin and Scriabin, they already foreshadow his later musical explorations and bear testimony to the young artist’s highly original talent. Also this cycle attracted the admiration of his friend Artur Rubinstein, and Szymanowski decided to have them printed. Consequently, they now open the catalogue of his works as his Opus 1.
KURCZAK & ALAGNA SHINE IN PARIS
Polish soprano Aleksandra Kurzak and French-Italian tenor Roberto Alagna gave a recital on January 9, 2017 in the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées in Paris. The duo, who are not only acclaimed international soloists but also married to each other, brought their dynamic presence to the stage, performing some of the most beautiful French and Italian opera arias and duets about love with the Orchestre de Picardie and Giorgio Croci, conductor.
Michel Slama wote a review of the recital for anaclase.com, saying: "A musical feast at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, Kurzak seduces an ecstatic audience by her charm and her bewitching tone of voice, musicality... Beauty of the soaring voices, ovations perfectly deserved" (translated from the original French on facebook.com)
A few seasons ago, the pair made their debut together in Donizetti's shining The Elixir of Love at Covent Garden in London. Kurczak’s career has skyrocketed with her successes at Covent Garden and the Met in New York. While Alagna has for many years enjoyed great popularity with French audiences, his Polish partner won their hearts after causing a sensation in the moving title role in Maria Stuarda at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, and again at her Paris Opera House debut as Adina in The Elixir of Love opposite Alagna.
NOSPR ON LIVE STREAM
On January 8, the Polish Radio National Symphony Orchestra in Katowice (NOSPR) broke barriers and welcomed new audiences when they broadcasted their traditional New Year’s Concert online via YouTube. Audiences had the opportunity to hear well known and widely loved pieces by Viennese masters by simply navigating to the orchestra’s website or Polish Radio Channel 2. The concert program included overtures, arias and duets from operettas by eminent Hungarian-born composers Franz Lehár and Imre Kálmán, and featured special guests Karina Skrzeszewska (soprano), Adam Sobierajski (tenor) and Stanisław Kuflyuk (baritone). The concert was conducted by the popular José Maria Florêncio. The NOSPR is the latest of the Polish music institutions—along with the National Philharmonic and the Teatr Wielki National Opera—to broadcast their events online.
On Jan. 21, Silesian String Quartet gave a concert at the NOSPR Chamber Hall. The program celebrated Zbigniew Bargielski’s 80th birthday and featured two of his chamber compositions: String Quartet No. 4 "Płonacy czas" [Burning Time] and Po drugiej stronie lustra [The Other side of the Mirror] for clarinet and string quartet. Known for his predilection for chamber music, Bargielski uses interesting formal construction, whereby modular elements of the piece require repetition only as variations. Bargielski’s clarinet quintet was likened by well-known Polish critic, Andrzej Chłopecki, to a mini-clarinet concerto with string accompaniment. The other work featured at that concert was Mendelssohn’s celebrated Octet, Op. 20. Guest artists included Roman Widaszek on clarinet, and Meccore String Quartet.
Polish composer, pianist and music teacher Andrzej Nikodemowicz died at the age of 92 on January 28, 2017.
Born in January 2, 1925 in Lviv, Nikodemowicz studied chemistry and composition at prestigious institutions in his hometown. He later went on to teach composition, music theory and piano at the Lviv Conservatory. In 1973, he was persecuted and removed from the university for religious beliefs. Three years later, Nikodemowicz moved to Lublin, where he began teaching at the Maria Skłodowska-Curie University and the Catholic University of Lublin. From 1982-92 he was a choirmaster at the Higher Catholic Seminary and was granted the title of professor in 1995. As a pianist, Nikodemowicz played his own compositions and classical repertoire until his career was brought to an end by a hand illness. In spite of this, he has been awarded numerous achievements, including the Blessed Friar Albert Award (1981), the President of the City of Lublin Award (1999), the Polish Composers’ Union Award (2000), and the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage Award (2000). He was an honorary member of the Polish Composers’ Union and the president of its Lublin branch in 1989-2017.
The memorial service and funeral was held on February 1, 2017 at 1:00 p.m. at the Lublin Archcathedral.
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