|Polish Music Newsletter|
February 2018, Vol. 24, No. 2. ISSN 1098-9188. Published monthly.
2016 - YEAR IN REVIEW, PT. 2
(June - December)
The iconic festival of contemporary music, Warszawska Jesień [Warsaw Autumn], celebrated its 60th anniversary this year. Held in various venues around Warsaw from September 15-23, its programs will examined the phenomenon of the avant-garde, featuring works by the composers of the original avant-garde juxtaposed with the composers of the past sixty years. See more below.
The Transatlantyk International Film Festival, held from July 14-21 in Łódź, named the following 2017 awardees: Transatlantyk Young Composer Award – First Prize: Ruslan Perezhilo; Best Polish Composer Award (co-sponsored by ZAIKS & Transatlantyk): Antoni Wojnar; Transatlantyk Instant Composition – First Prize: Jakub Czerski.
On October 1, the International Day of Music, winners of the 2017 ‘Koryfeusz’ Polish Music Awards were announced at the Award Gala – “Róbmy swoje” held in the W. Lutosławski Polish Radio Concert Studio in Warsaw: Debut of the Year: Marianna Żołnacz, flute; Personality of the Year: Szymon Nehring, piano; Musical Event of the Year: Grammy Award for Penderecki conducts Penderecki vol. 1 (Warner Music Poland); Honorary Award: Jerzy Maksymiuk, conductor.
Held in various venues around Los Angeles from Oct. 18-26, the 18th Annual Polish Film Festival in L.A. had many different musical highlights, including: feature film The Art of Loving. Story of Michalina Wislockawith music by Radzimir Debski; The Erlprince [Krolewicz Olch] and Little Jakub [Maly Jakub] with music by Bartek Gliniak (in person); and Have No Fear – dir. by Beata Calinska & Sarah Jacobson, exploring music/dance as a way to counteract police brutality
Polish maestra Monika Wolińska was one of six participants selected for the exclusive 3rd Annual Linda and Mitch Hart Institute for Women Conductors run by the Dallas Opera from Nov. 5-19.
On Dec. 10, the Karol Lipiński Academy of Music in Wrocław and the Wrocław Branch of the Polish Composers' Union organized a Tribute Concert in honor of faculty member and renowned composer, Prof. Grażyna Pstrokońska-Nawratil.
On July 5 at Warsaw’s Nowy Teatr, a concert-monodram entitled “Dźwięk odnaleziony” [Sound Regained] took place. It was the first solo project of Michał Pepol, who is the cellist from the internationally renowned Royal String Quartet, and included the music of modern composers writing for solo cello, in cooperation with visual artist Paweł Bownik.
Works by Agata Zubel were performed by the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and the composer herself at the New Music Festival on July 13 and 15. Labyrinth for voice and four instruments, written to the Nobel Prize-winning poet Wisława Szymborska’s words, Chapter 13 (2015) for a soprano and instrumental ensemble to words by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, and In the Shade of an Unshed Tear for orchestra were on the program.
Conducted by Agnieszka Franków-Żelazny, the Guri Youth Choir of Santa Marcelina performed an all-Polish program in São Paulo, Brazil on July 22-23, including works by: Łukasz Farcinkiewicz, Marcin Tadeusz Łukaszewski, Paweł Łukaszewski, Stanisław Moniuszko, Marek Raczyński, Józef Świder, Romuald Twardowski and Michał Zieliński.
Polish violinist Janusz Wawrowski performed the Violin Concerto of Sir Andrzej Panufnik in Gdańsk during the Solidarity of Arts Festival (Aug. 14-30), which was themed this year for ‘Peace’ through an artistic vision of the harmonic coexistence of differences.
Compositions by Sir Andrzej Panufnik also took a pride of place at the International Festival ‘Sacrum Non Profanum’ held in Poland and Germany (Aug. 17-26) with the composer’s widow, Lady Camilla Jessel-Panufnik, serving as the Festival’s special guest.
On Aug. 20, the proMODERN contemporary vocal ensemble presented “ShakeSpired”—a program of works by Miłosz Bembinow, Krzesimir Dębski, Krzysztof Herdzin, Paweł Łukaszewski, Stanisław Moryto, Tomasz Opałka, Dariusz Przybyski, and Maciej Zieliński that were inspired by Shakespeare and supported by the “Composers’ Commissions” program.
Poland’s September Concert cycle—a worldwide concert series promoting peace and humanitarian activism through music—featured works by Tadeusz Szeligowski (Sept. 2), Karol Szymanowski (Sept. 8) and “A Musical Journey in the Footsteps of Feliks Nowowiejski” (Sept. 20).
This July and August, the Polish Music Center was again honored to host several scholars from the State Archives in Warsaw. For the second time, archivist and Paderewski specialist, Dr. Robert Górski, and UN certified preservation specialist, Anna Czajka came to mark the sixth installment in the ongoing professional exchange between our two institutions, which began in 2012. See a detailed report of their accomplishments here.
On August 26, the Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust, Consulate General of the Republic of Poland in Los Angeles and PMC presented a talk and concert honoring the 40th death anniversary of composer Henry Vars. First there was a Holocaust Survivor Talk with the children of Henry Vars—Diana Mitchell & Robert Vars—moderated by Dana Schwartz, followed by a concert with the Darek Oleszkiewicz Trio—bassist Darek "Oles" Oleszkiewicz, pianist Kuba Stankiewicz and drummer Tina Raymond—featuring hit Polish and American tunes by Vars.
In August, we hosted filmmaker and researcher Maja Baczyńska, who came to the PMC to inspect materials on Polish musicians active in California in connection with her doctoral thesis, particularly Bronisław Kaper, Henryk Wars, Henryk Mikołaj Górecki (and his visit at USC), Ignacy Jan Paderewski and Wojciech Kilar. Ms. Baczyńska came to the PMC with an armful of rare recordings to donate to the PMC in exchange (see the September 2017 Newsletter for a detailed listing of gifts).
The music of Dr. Hanna Kulenty was featured during ‘Music @ Rush Hour’ on September 27 at USC in Los Angeles. USC Thornton doctoral candidates Alexander Zhu, piano and Xander Knecht, violin performed, as well as the composer herself.
Polish composer and professor at the Kraków Music Academy, Marcel Chyrzyński, presented the PMC’s annual Paderewski Lecture-Recital on October 15 at USC. A program of his works—including the world premiere of Death in Venice for clarinet, cello and piano—was performed by the Cracow Duo with special guests clarinetist Andrew Leonard and violinist Jiwon Sun (composer and performers pictured above after the concert)
The 2017 Paderewski Festival in Paso Robles was held from Nov. 2 - 5 in various venues around the beautiful wine country location once beloved by Ignacy Jan Paderewski. Since the Festival was re-started in 2006, the PMC has provided artistic direction for this world class, 5-day musical feast. 2017 highlights included: Gala Recital by pianist Magdalena Baczewska, a jazz trio concert with Grammy Award-winning pianist Bill Cunliffe, bassist Darek “Oles” Oleszkiewicz and percussionist Tina Raymond, and first-look presentations one of the Paderewski Cycle musical competition winners. Read a recap here.
A new work by Wojtek Blecharz, an opera installation entitled Body-Opera, explores relations between the human body and sound perception—if sound is frequency, or vibration, it can “touch” not only our senses and emotions but our bodies too. Body-Opera had its world premiere on the main stage of Warsaw’s Nowy Teatr on July 16-17 (see the trailer at www.youtube.com).
The Warszawska Jesień [Warsaw Autumn] Contemporary Music Festival (Sept. 15-23) 60th anniversary edition featured many excellent premieres: Dominik Karski - In Search of Certainty; Tadeusz Wielecki (right) - Dźwięczypsoty[Sound Pranks] ** and Dźwięczę, więc jestem [I Sound Therefore I Am]; Studio CH&K - for Piotr and PHONOS EK MECHANES - Układy względnie odosobnione[Relatively Isolated Systems]; Monika Szpyrka - zero-waste tip 1: don’t waste your music; Izabela Smelczyńska & Mateusz Śmigasiewicz - Euphonia Pseudolarix: SEA ANEMONE; Andrzej Karałow & Jerzy Przeździecki - Blueprint #4; Żaneta Rydzewska - Torrent; Piotr Bednarczyk - FREQ; and Paweł Malinowski - C’mon join to joyride; ERdada. A Tale about Eugeniusz Rudnik*; Michał Moc - A-cordeON; Cezary Duchnowski - cROSSFAdE 2; Dariusz Przybylski - Dawn; Jan Oleszkowicz - Ściany płaczu[Wailing Wall] (KOTEL); Weronika Ratusińska-Zamuszko - Trio for Viola, Cello and Piano; and Edward Sielicki - Mazurkas for Piano Quartet; Jacek Sotomski - Thanks, Leszek; Adam Diesner - Coloriage; Tomasz Szczepanik - io; Ryszard Lubieniecki - Isorhythmic composition no. 2; Andrzej Kwieciński - super [P|PE(s)]; Artur Zagajewski - Modulor**; Jan Duszyński - Green Grass, yeah!**; Szymon Stanisław Strzelec - ˈswiːt ˌspɒt**; Wojciech Błażejczyk - Angels of Peace**; Aleksandra Kaca - Motion blur; Teoniki Rożynek -The most satisfying music; Żaneta Rydzewska - Folla II; Rafał Ryterski - di/am/sy/od;Adam Diesneri – Prayer; and Piotr Tabakiernik - Symphonic Piece **
* WA commission ** WA & ZAiKS commission
Flutists Łukasz Długosz and Agata Kielar-Długosz with pianist Andrzej Jungiewicz presented the world premieres of Matrimonium by Rafał Augustyn and Widnokręgi [Horizons] by Wojciech Widłak at Radziejowice Palace on Oct. 14, as part of the “Composers’ Commissions” [Zamówienia kompozytorskie] program.
On Oct. 15, Sinfonia Iuventus presented the world premiere of Anton Rubinstein’s forgotten sacred opera Moses, Op. 112 at the National Philharmonic Hall in Warsaw. This extraordinary event culminated the research efforts of Maestro Mikhail Yurovsky, the Principal Guest Conductor of the Orchestra, and was awarded prestigious UNESCO patronage for its unique cultural significance.
The Chopin Music University in Warsaw featured several world premieres during a Nov. 5 concert of works by students and recent graduates of the composition department: Paweł Lasota – ვარტეტი for clarinet, violin, viola and cello; Robert Prokopowicz – Wariacje na temat następstwa siedmiudźwięków [Variations on a succession of seven tones] for piano; and Michał Malec – Notturno for harp and percussion.
Two new works by Polish composers were premiered at the Silesian Philharmonic Hall in Katowice on Dec. 1: Musique pour cordes by Piotr Moss and Concerto no. 2 for Flute and String Orchestra by Mikołaj Górecki, performed by the Silesian Chamber Orchestra with flutist Jadwiga Kotnowska, to whom Górecki’s newest work is dedicated, led by conductor Robert Kabara.
On Dec. 3, Concerto Rosso by Hanna Kulenty (above L) was given its world premiere in the Main Hall of the National Forum of Music in Wrocław by the Atom String Quartet (above R) and the NFM Leopoldinum Orchestra, led by Christian Danowicz.
Trzy kobiety [Three Women] for three women and 10 instruments (2017) by Agnieszka Stulgińska was performed by singers Maniucha Bikont and Marta Grzywacz and the Hashtag Ensemble during the “Composer Portraits” concert series in Warsaw on Dec. 5.
On Dec. 17, the world premiere of Musica Concertante by Krzysztof Meyer took place at the Krzysztof Penderecki European Centre for Music in Lusławice. This virtuosic work for cello, piano, percussion and strings was performed by Sinfonietta Cracovia under the baton of Jurek Dybał, with soloists Jan Kalinowski (cello) and Marek Szlezer (piano).
New works by Polish composers Paweł Mykietyn and Piotr Peszat were premiered by the Beethoven Academy Orchestra (OAB), led by conductor Wiktor Kociuban, on Dec. 17 at the hall of the Mieczysław Karłowicz Orchestra in Szczecin. The pieces were Piotr Peszat - The Artist’s way for recitation (taped) and orchestra and Paweł Mykietyn - Herr Thaddäus for bass (taped) and orchestra (commissioned by: Fundacja Delirium). Special guests for the evening were Łukasz Konieczny - bass, Barbara Sieroslawski – recitation, Grzegorz Mart – video, and Mirosław Bałka – scenography and video.
New recordings of compositions by Krzysztof Meyer were released mid-year by DUX records, including large works for choir and orchestra (DUX 1408) and some of his newest chamber works (DUX 1414). A student of Stanislaw Wiechowicz, Krzysztof Penderecki and Nadia Boulanger, Meyer is a highly lauded composer and pedagogue, with awards including an honorable mention at the UNESCO International Rostrum of Composers in Paris and the Polish Officer Order of Polonia Restituta.
British pianist and champion of Polish romantic piano repertoire Jonathan Plowright has teamed up with Polish conductor Łukasz Borowicz and the Polish Orchestra Sinfonia Iuventus for an excellent recording of works by Paderewski and Stojowski (Warner Classics 9029578756). Read reviews at: www.prestoclassical.co.uk
Polish nominees for the prestigious International Classic Music Awards (ICMA) included: Felix Nowowiejski: Quo vadis (cpo 5550892) feat. the Podlasie Opera and Philharmonic Choir and Poznań Philharmonic with Lukasz Borowicz – cond. and soloists W. Chodowicz, R. Gierlach, W. Gierlach, S. Kaminski [Choral]; Schubert: Piano Sonatas D 959 & D 960 (Deutsche Grammophon 4797588) feat. Krystian Zimerman, piano [Solo Instrument]; Chopin Evocations (Deutsche Grammophon 4797518) feat. Daniel Trifonov with S. Babayan, the Mahler Chamber Orchestra and M.Pletnev – cond. [Assorted Programs]; and Weinberg: Chamber symphonies No. 1-4, Piano Quintet op. 18 (Arr.) (ECM 4814604) feat. Gidon Kremer and Yulianna Avdeeva with Kremerata Baltica, M. Bekavec and M. Grazinyte-Tyla [Assorted Programs]
Maciej Jabłoński (February 13, 1962 - September 13, 2017 in Poznań): musicologist and author.
100 YEARS OF POLISH INDEPENDENCE
IGNACY PADEREWSKI GALA AT CARNEGIE HALL
February 21 brings a special Ignacy Paderewski Gala concert to mark the start of the US celebrations of the 100th Anniversary of Poland regaining its Independence. Pianists Kevin Kenner, Szymon Nehring, Marek Bracha and Łukasz Krupinski are the award‐winning experts who will share this prestigious stage for one night. Their program, entitled “The Best of Chopin & Paderewski,” features the most celebrated works of Chopin and Paderewski. This tribute concert to Paderewski commemorating the anniversary of his last performance at Carnegie Hall is presented by the Consulate General of the Republic of Poland in New York together with the Gazeta Polska Community of America foundation, under the Honorary Patronage of the Ambassador of the Republic of Poland in Washington, DC.
PADEREWSKI EXHIBIT AT NHM
On February 14, 2018, the Paderewski Exhibit at the National Museum in Warsaw (MNM) was officially opened by MNM Director Agnieszka Morawińska. The unveiling included a press conference as well as a special guided tour led by the exhibit’s curator. Part of the celebrations of Poland’s centenary of independence, the Paderewski Exhibit initiative is supported by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage with the honorary patronage by Poland’s Premier, Mateusz Morawiecki.
On display until May 20, the Exhibit presents a profile of Paderewski as famous pianist through his donated art and memorabilia. It is an opportunity to see a great majority of the large museum pieces from Paderewski’s collection, including his grand piano manufactured by Steinway & Sons and the famous portrait by Lawrence Alma-Tadema. Also exhibited are rare gifts given to Paderewski by his friends and admirers: a picture of Queen Victoria with an autograph, a triptych of “Music” by Jacek Malczewski, and a portfolio of engravings by Leon Wyczółkowski with a dedication.
The next event in the Exhibit series is an English-language lecture given by John Radzilowski of the University of Alaska SE on February 17. His lecture explores how US President Woodrow Wilson, under the influence of Paderewski, became interested in the political situation of Poland and its importance for the stabilization of international relations in Europe.
For a full schedule of events related to the Paderewski Exhibit, visit: www.mnw.art.pl.
[Sources: press release, mnw.art.pl]
LA CONCERTS IN FEB & MARCH
In February and March, the PMC is delighted to host three talented musical guests from Poland. Maria Sławek - violin, Grzegorz Mania - piano and Piotr Różański – piano are members of the Stowarzyszenie Polskich Muzyków Kameralistów (SPMK), or Polish Society of Chamber Musicians from Kraków)—an active group of excellent young musicians who perform and educate around the world. They will share their artistry with Los Angeles audiences in three FREE concerts at several venues around town.
Their February concerts will be focused on music by Polish-Jewish composers, and their March concert highlights composers of the ‘Młoda Polska’ [Young Poland] generation of composers as part of the Centenary of Independence being celebrated throughout 2018. Details are below.
KOSCIUSZKO FDN & PMC HONOR PADEREWSKI
On February 8 the elegant headquarters of the Kosciuszko Foundation in New York City hosted a special event celebrating the centenary of Poland’s regained independence with a lecture entitled “Paderewski and World Politics,” given by PMC Director Marek Zebrowski. Zebrowski’s lecture was illustrated with dozens of rare photographs from the Polish Music Center’s Paderewski Archive: the Paso Robles Collection.
Stating at the outset that, “Paderewski’s contributions to Poland’s independence have largely been forgotten,” Zebrowski suggested that this year’s independence celebrations provide an ideal occasion for restoring Paderewski’s historical role as one of the founders of modern Poland. The lecture traced Paderewski’s political career from the unveiling of the Grunwald Monument in Kraków in 1910 through his role in President Wilson’s peace plan for Europe after World War I, to the Front Morges in the 1930s and Paderewski’s effort in aiding Poland during the early years of World War II.
“Józef Piłsudski, Roman Dmowski and Ignacy Jan Paderewski are widely recognized as fathers of Poland’s independence,” Zebrowski said. “Unfortunately, Paderewski’s role is better-known in America than in Poland. Dmowski has a large traffic circle named after him in Warsaw, and Piłsudski has a number of monuments all across Poland, while Warsaw still does not have a street named after this great pianist, humanitarian, and Polish patriot.”
For more information, please see the online article in Nowy Dziennik—Polish Daily News (in Polish).
Marek Zebrowski will also be featured in a talk about Paderewski at a fundraising dinner and lecture at the University of Washington in Seattle on March 17. More information about this event hosted by the UW Polish Studies Endowment Committee can be found at: www.polishstudiesuw.org.
[Photo source: thekf.org]
GIFTS TO PMC
From Frank Harders, our dear friend at Boosey & Hawkes in Berlin, we received a brand new CD featuring several major works by Józef Koffler. Born in 1896 in Stryj (a city in the Lviv Region of Ukraine today), Koffler studied music in Vienna and was drafted into the Austrian Army in 1916. After World War I, Koffler studied in Vienna with Guido Adler and Egon Wellesz and established himself as an avant-garde composer whose music was often performed at the festivals of the International Society of Contemporary Music. A close friend of Alban Berg, Koffler also corresponded extensively with Schoenberg and, once he became the first professor of dodecaphonic compositional techniques in Lwów (now Lviv), he was recognized as the primary exponent of serial music in Poland.
This world premiere EDA Recordings CD features two major large-scale works by Koffler—his Piano Concerto, Op. 13 (1932) and Symphony No. 2, Op. 17 (1933)—that display the composer’s imaginative melding of neoclassicism and dodecaphony. The CD also features several of Koffler’s works for voice and piano: Zwei Lieder, Op. 1 (1917) to texts by Richard Dehmel and Reiner Maria Rilke and Quatre poèmes, Op. 22 (1935) to texts by Alfred de Musset, Paul Verlain, and Antoine-Vincent Arnault. Rounding off the repertoire on this recording is Koffler’s late Ukrainian Sketches for string quartet, Op. 27, written sometime before 1941. Extensive and informative program booklet in English and German penned by Maciej Gołąb accompanies this exceptional and much needed release.
The details and the exact circumstances of Koffler tragic death in 1944 with his wife and son at the hands of the Nazi soldiers are still shrouded in mystery and, after the war, his music slipped into obscurity. Maciej Gołąb’s thoroughly researched biography of Koffler (published in English in 2004 by the Polish Music Center as Polish Music History Series vol. 8) is the most complete and authoritative source on Koffler’s music, much of which was lost. Many of the remaining works are still in manuscript and, so far, only a small part of Koffler’s catalogue has been published and performed. The EDA Recording Series “En Hommage” seeks to fill this gap and resurrect music by victims of the Nazi terror by producing CDs of works by Polish-Jewish composers, such as Szymon Laks, Joachim Mendelson and, most recently, Józef Koffler.
Pianist Daniel Wnukowski shines as the soloist in Koffler’s fascinating Piano Concerto, while Krzysztof Słowiński ably accompanies mezzo-soprano Fredrika Brillembourg in Zwei Lieder and Quatre poèmes. Maestro Słowiński also leads the Sinfonia Iuventus Orchestra in Symphony No. 2 and skillfully collaborates with Mr. Wnukowski in the Piano Concerto. The Polish String Quartet of Deutsche Oper Berlin (Tomasz Tomaszewski, Piotr Przysiażnik, Sebastian Sokół and Maryjka Pstrokońska-Mödig) are featured in a convincing performance of the Ukrainian Sketches. This pioneering recording, released earlier in Europe, has already garnered excellent reviews. The February 2018 issue of the Fono Forum Magazine called Koffler “Much more than a twelve-tone individualist” and concluded that “We must perform his works and hear more of them…” while Discothèque Klassik carried a review headlined, “From the Mist—‘En Hommage’ Józef Koffler: A Master to Discover.” The New Listener in the December 2017 issue amply praised the stellar group of performers on this CD that was officially introduced in North America on February 9.
From President and the Executive Director of the Kosciuszko Foundation in New York City, Marek Skulimowski, we received several interesting publications, including the Winter 2018 issue of the Foundation’s Bulletin, a bilingual brochure about the history of the Kosciuszko Foundation, and a hardcover album entitled Polish Masters—From the Kosciuszko Foundation. This excellent publication featured biographies and reproductions of paintings in the Foundation’s collection, including such stellar names as Teodor Axentowicz, Władysław Benda, Olga Boznańska, Józef Brandt, Józef Chełmoński, Julian Fałat, members of the Kossak family (Juliusz, Wojciech and Jerzy), Jacek Malczewski, Jan Matejko, Aleksander Orłowski, Jan and Tadeusz Styka, Włodzimierz Przerwa-Tetmajer and Leon Wyczółkowski, among others.
From Eve Krzyżanowski we received a DVD of a film she produced, Kosciuszko: A Man Before His Time, a true story of the American Revolutionary War hero who was an early champion of human rights. Written and directed by Alex Storożyński, this film portrays Kosciuszko as an able military leader who distinguished himself in the Battle of Saratoga as a fighter for liberty, alongside the Founding Fathers of the United States.
From PMC supporter Dr. Monika Moniuszko we received several LP recordings, including Krzysztof Penderecki’s Dies Irae, Polymorphia and De Natura Sonoris (Muza SXl 0413), and Jutrznia/Utrenja (Muza SX 889-890); Karol Szymanowski’s Songs (Muza SX 1063) and selected Piano Works (Muza SX 0463); Artur Rubinstein’s recordings of Chopin’s Waltzes (RCA Victor LM/LSC-2726) as well as his performance of Beethoven’s Emperor Concerto (RCA Red Seal ARL1-1420); a Candide LP (CE 31035) with several orchestral works by Witold Lutosławski; a Muza presentation of Music from the Warsaw Castle (SX 1381); Henryk Szeryng’s recordings of Mozart’s Violin Concertos No. 3 & 5 on Phillips Festivo Series (6570 024); as well as LPs with popular music, including Czerwone Gitary (SX 1364), Na Szkle Malowane (SXL 0666), and Piotr Figiel Music (Pronit SX 1320).
Marek Żydowicz, Director of the CAMERIMAGE Film Festival, added to our Paderewski Collection a late 19th century postcard with Paderewski’s photo dating from his 1891 North American debut.
As always we thank all our donors—dziękujemy!
PREMIERES BY ZALEWSKI & PRZYBYLSKI
On February 18, the Fryderyk Chopin University of Music in Warsaw will hold a concert of Premieres of New Music. At the event, II Koncert kameralny. Pamięci zniknionego by Ignacy Zalewski will be performed for the first time. Written in 2017 for the Hashtag Ensemble, Zalewski’s composition consists of three movements meant to be played without any breaks in between and was inspired by a folk culture of Galicia.
Dariusz Przybylski’s Chamber Concerto was commissioned by the International Ensemble Modern Academy in 2013 and was already premiered during Gaudeamus Music Week in Utrecht. However, in 2017 the composer created a special arrangement of the piece for the Hashtag Ensemble, with which the composer has cooperated for a long time. According to Przybylski, that cooperation allowed him to extract a broad spectrum of sounds and articulation techniques from each instrument, and this arrangement will be premiered on February 18.
Also on the program are other works created by Polish composers in 2015, including Mikołaj Majkusiak’s Sonata for violin and accordion (premiered at the VII International Festival of Chamber Music “Muzyka na szczytach” in Zakopane) and Katarzyna Szwed’s Ja, rzeka [I, the river], whose lyrics refer to the poetry of Persian mystic from the XIII century, Rumi.
All works will be performed by the Hashtag Ensemble. Established in 2013, the ensemble is led by flutist Ania Karpowicz. Joining Hastag on stage will be guest artists Joanna Freszel – soprano and the Brzezina-Kotz Duo (Celina Kotz – violin and Łukasz Brzezina – accordion).
The concert is co-financed by the Instytut Muzyki i Tańca [IMIT] as a part of the 2017-2018 “Composer-in-Residence” program.
February 18, 2018 | 5:00 pm
Premieres of New Music feat. Hashtag Ensemble
Fryderyk Chopin University of Music
ul. Okólnik 2, 00-368 Warsaw, Poland
FREE admission cards will be available on Feb. 5
SEVEN GATES OF JERUSALEM – LUBLIN
Over 200 artists gathered on the stage situated in the Centre for the Meeting of Cultures [Spotkania Kultur] in Lublin to perform Seven Gates of Jerusalem — the monumental work based on the Old Testament texts composed by Krzysztof Penderecki. Relatively rarely performed due to its gigantic performance and logistical requirements, the piece was conducted by the Maestro Penderecki himself, in honor of the 700th anniversary of the City of Lublin and the 100th anniversary of the Catholic University of Lublin.
The Seven Gates of Jerusalem” is written for an ensemble of 120 instrumentalists, 90 choir singers, 5 soloists and reciter, and its performances are a unique musical spectacle. The piece was performed on February 9 by the Sinfonietta Cracovia and the Krakow Philharmonic Choir alongside a number of excellent soloists: Iwona Hossa – soprano, Karolina Sikora – soprano, Anna Lubańska – mezzosoprano, Adam Zdunikowski – tenor, and Piotr Nowacki – bass. The musicians were joined by an outstanding Polish actor Sławomir Holland, who will perform as a reciter.
February 9, 2018 | 7:00 PM
700th anniversary of the City of Lublin: Seven Gates of Jerusalem, Krzysztof Penderecki – cond.
Centre for the Meeting of Cultures in Lublin
Plac Teatralny 1, 20-029 Lublin
‘DONNA’ CELEBRATES MARCELLA SEMBRICH-KOCHAŃSKA
On February 24 the Kosciuszko Foundation presents “Donna,” a concert featuring Metropolitan Opera singers Edyta Kulczak, mezzo-soprano and Dísella Làrusdóttir, soprano, accompanied by Tadeusz Domanowski, piano. The concert is dedicated to a legendary Polish opera singer Marcella Sembrich-Kochańska on her 160 Birthday Anniversary. A wine reception will follow the concert.
Marcella Sembrich (1858-1935) was born into a poor family in a small village in partitioned Poland, and died in NYC as a star, a millionaire and a great philanthropist. She was a good friend of Caruso, Rachmaninoff, Brahms, Schubert, Bismarck, Twain, Modrzejewska, Paderewski, and Sienkiewicz. Her talent was discovered by Franz Liszt who told her: “sing, sing for the world ‘cause you have a voice of an angel.” Over the course of her life, Sembrich conquered the world’s biggest stages, and crowned heads of Russia, England, Greece, Spain, Portugal, Austria, and other European countries admired her voice. She was a leading artist during the first season of the newly founded Metropolitan Opera and remained its star for 25 years. Marcella Sembrich was a great Polish patriot involved in the fight for the Polish cause during WW I and was one of the first supporters of the Kosciuszko Foundation.
Saturday, February 24, 2018 | 7:00 p.m.
Donna Concert feat. Edyta Kulczak, mezzo & Dísella Làrusdóttir, soprano
The Kosciuszko Foundation
15 E 65th Street, NYC
Info & Tickets: www.thekf.org
[Sources: press release, thekf.org]
‘WARSAW AUTUMN’ IN MUSICOLOGY TODAY
The latest issue of Musicology Today—Volume 14, Issue 1 (Dec 2017)—is now available online at degruyter.com. This issue features many interesting articles about the long-running and influential ‘Warsaw Autumn’ International Festival of Contemporary Music. Some of the distinguished authors included in this issue are Warsaw Autumn Director and former ZKP President Jerzy Kornowicz, music critic and theorist Małgorzata Gąsiorowska, and musicologist and PMC collaborator Cindy Bylander.
Musicology Today is an English-language, double blind peer reviewed journal published by the Institute of Musicology at the University of Warsaw and the Union of Polish Composers (ZKP). Published since 2004, the main objective of Musicology Today is to provide an intellectual platform for the international scholars and to promote interdisciplinary studies in musicology and become the leading musicological journal in Central and Eastern Europe, with articles and book reviews in the fields of historical musicology, ethnomusicology, music theory, and the philosophy of music. Musicology Today is a forum for research in all areas of music scholarship, seeking to reflect the breadth and diversity of approaches and topics. Special issues devoted to important topics in Central and Eastern musicology are occasionally published.
NEW MUSIC INCUBATOR: KONSTANCIN
On 19 February 2018, the New Music Incubator (NMI) will conclude its Konstancin project with a public concert in Molenbeek, Brussels. NMI projects bring together professional new music practitioners (musicians, composers, improvisers, electronic music artist, sound artists, etc.) from the EU countries for a period of collaborative creative research. The participants are professional artists who collectively employ a range of approaches to music and sound production including improvisation, composition and sound art, as well as classical and non-classical performers and composers. Through these meetings, NMI hopes to promote mutual professional development, skill sharing and the development of strong networks for future projects.
Sponsored by Swedish composer Martin Q Larsson (NMI) and Alicja Swierczek (ECSA), NMI Konstancin was organized in 2 phases. During Phase I (September 18-23, 2017), 20 selected new music practitioners from various EU countries met in Konstancin, Poland. For three days, the participants created music together, in new groups every day. On September 22, the groups performed a public concert as a Fringe event during the Warsaw Autumn Festival. During Phase II (February 17 – 28, 2018), participants will meet again in Brussels to re-develop, rehearse and perform some of the works for a public concert on February 19 La Venerie in central Brussels. This phase may result in live recordings/streaming of the works and will complete a creative cycle for the participants.
Including the Konstancin project, NMI has completed eight courses so far, altogether incorporating 152 composers, musicians and sound artists from 26 countries. NMI is based in Sweden, but works internationally. For the period of 2015-2019, NMI will have a collaboration with ECSA – the umbrella organization for European composers – that are curating the project as part of their Creative Europe EU funding. Other collaborators include the Warsaw Autumn Festival, Nordic Council of Ministers, ZAiKS and Creative Europe.
NEW POLISH FLUTE MUSIC
Distinguished flute virtuosos Łukasz Długosz and Agata Kielar-Długosz will be the soloists for the Warmia-Mazury Philharmonic Orchestra’s February 16 concert in Olsztyn. The evening will begin with Paweł Łukaszewski’s Wing Concerto for two flutes and chamber orchestra, a work commissioned by the Institute of Music and Dance and world premiered in 2017. The program will continue with Sinfonia concertante for two flutes by François Devienne (1759-1803). Tchaikovsky’s Third Symphony Op. 29 led by maestro Piotr Sułkowski will close the evening.
More information about the concert at: filharmonia.olsztyn.pl
February 16, 2018 | 6:00 pm
Orchestra concert feat. Łukasz Długosz & Agata Kielar-Długosz
Warmia-Mazury Philharmonic Concert Hall
ul. B.Głowackiego 1, 10-447 Olsztyn
Tickets & Info: filharmonia.olsztyn.pl
LESSER-KNOWN POLISH MUSIC
On February 15 and 16, the NOSPR in Katowice will present two concerts entitled “Muzyka Polska za mało znana” [Lesser-known Polish Music], featuring rarely performed music by Polish composers. The first day will feature Aleksander Tansman’s Suite pour trio d'anches, Antoni Szałowski’s Trio (1936), and Witold Lutosławski’s Trio (1945), performed by the Krakowice Trio d'anches (Damian Lipień – bassoon, Maksymilian Lipień – oboe, and Piotr Lato – clarinet).
The second day programming will include performances by the Polish Radio Choir led by conductor Maria Piotrowska-Bogalecka in repertoire by Edward Domański, Andrzej Dziadek, Andrzej Koszewski, Roman Maciejewski, Piotr Ślęczek, and Bolesław Wallek-Wallewski.
Leszek Możdżer & EOK
On February 27, the State Music School in the coastal city of Elbląg will host pianist Leszek Możdżer and maestro Marek Moś, who will lead the Elbląg Chamber Orchestra in a program of compositions by Możdżer and Henryk Mikołaj Górecki. The concert will feature Górecki’s celebrated Concerto for Harpsichord (or Piano), Op. 40 and Możdżer’s Seven Miniatures for Improvising Piano and Strings.
For Możdżer, a world-famous virtuoso pianist who is very fond of improvising, the Miniatures represent one of his first ‘real’ compositions, where the composer still relies on pliable use of musical material for the semi-improvised piano part as well as for the orchestra. According to Możdżer’s website, “… all the musicians will have lots of fun, since it’s really difficult to foresee where the interpretation [of the work] will go, since Możdżer is a performer who likes to experiment.”
February 27, 2018 | 7: 00 pm
Leszek Możdżer & Marek Moś with the Elbląg Chamber Orchestra
Elbląg State Music School, Concert Hall
Traugutta 91, 82-300 Elbląg, Poland
Tickets & Info: www.eok.elblag.eu
LUTOSŁAWSKI CELLO COMPETITION LAUREATES
The International Lutosławski Cello Competition in Warsaw is the first and still the only competition in Poland where the complete portfolio of cello works by Lutosławski are included in the repertoire. Running since 1997, the 11th edition of the Competition takes place January 29 - February 10 at the National Philharmonic Hall. Rounds 1 and 2 will be open to the public, followed by a Final Round to be performed with orchestra. A total amount of no less than €25,000 will be distributed by the jury among prize winners, who were during the Concert of Laureates on February 10, 2018.
1ST PENDERECKI COMPETITION LAUREATES
The results of the 1st Krzysztof Penderecki International Competition for Young Composers are in! The jury—presided over by Marcel Chyrzyński, head of the Polish Composers’ Union, Kraków Branch that organized the Competition—also included Zbigniew Bargielski, Ivan Buffa, and Wojciech Widłak. The jurors met in Kraków on February 15 to evaluate twenty scores submitted for the Competition from all over the world, including Australia, China, Greece, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, United Kingdom and Ukraine. Three entries were disqualified for not meeting the Competition’s regulations. From among the remaining seventeen eligible submissions, the following awards were granted:
The world premiere of Papaioannu’s Quintet in Five Scenes will be given by the Quasars Ensemble from Slovakia on April 18, 2018 at the Florianka Hall in Kraków during the Thirtieth Festival of Kraków Composers.
[Source: press release]
2018 CHOPIN IN THE CITY
The Chopin IN the City Festival celebrates the birthday of Fryderyk Chopin from February 22-March 1, 2018 in Chicago, IL. “We are celebrating Chopin’s birthday and presenting his music in different styles from classical and jazz, to global and avant-garde for people of all ages” said Grazyna Auguscik, an international jazz recording artist and founder of the Chopin IN the City festival.
The Festival revolves not just around original Chopin compositions, but takes his classical music work to another level by showcasing music of various genres, such as jazz and folk, that have been inspired by the Polish born composer. This year, festival organizers have also invited young visual artists who will produce paintings inspired by the live music performances.
The Festival will feature a dozen performances at various venues around the city featuring artists such as Polish internationally renowned suka player Maria Pomianowska , visual artist, sculptor Andrzej Renes from Poland, classical pianist Alexander Kraft van Ermel from Curacao, Igor Lipinski from Oklahoma, and New York city’s jazz pianist Dianne Witkowski.
Also participating in this year’s festival are many well-known Chicago-based artists such as: vocalists Dee Alexander and Grazyna Auguscik (left), jazz pianists Ben Lewis and Miguel DeLaCerna, classical pianists Pawel Checinski, Haysun Kang, Alexander Djordjevic , Marta Pasek, and other instrumentalist such as saxophonist Jim Gailloreto , guitarist John Kregor , Chris Graham on vibraphone, Krzysztof Pabian on double bass, Dave Rempis on sax, Tim Daisy on drums, cellist Lilianna Wosko , cornetist Ben LaMar Gay and choreographer and dancer David Maurice and students of the Paderewski Symphony Orchestra -PASO.
The festival’s concerts and performances will take place at various venues around the Chicago area including the Old Town School of Folk Music, Copernicus Center, Piano Forte, ProMusica Audio, Polish Museum of America, Loyola University, the Harold Washington Library, and High School Concert Hall in Palatine.
Below are a few of the Festival highlights:
February 22-March 1, 2018
Leszek Kułakowski – Love Songs
From a review by Adam Baruch at Polish-Jazz.Blogspot.com:
AX IN L.A. & O.C.
In January, Polish-born pianist Emanuel Ax was featured in several solo and chamber recitals around Los Angeles and Orange County. This beloved elder statesman of the piano performed at two educational institutions: Soka University Performing Arts Center in Aliso Viejo (Jan. 16) and Colburn School of Music in downtown Los Angeles (Jan. 18).
His demanding program for these two concerts included: Mozart - Sonata No. 15 in F Major, K. 533/494; Liszt - Tre Sonetti di Petrarca; Bach - Partita No. 5 in G Major, BWV 829; Beethoven - Andante Favori in F Major, WoO 57; Beethoven - Piano Sonata No. 21 in C Major, Op. 53; Mozart - Quintet in E-flat Major for Piano and Winds; and Dvořák - Piano Quintet No. 2 in A Major.
Born in Lwów, Poland, EMANUEL AX moved to Winnipeg, Canada, with his family when he was a young boy. His studies at the Juilliard School were supported by the sponsorship of the Epstein Scholarship Program of the Boys Clubs of America, and he subsequently won the Young Concert Artists Award. Additionally, he attended Columbia University where he majored in French. Mr. Ax captured public attention in 1974 when he won the first Arthur Rubinstein International Piano Competition in Tel Aviv. In 1975 he won the Michaels Award of Young Concert Artists followed four years later by the coveted Avery Fisher Prize. Since that time, he has become a seven-time Grammy winning artist and one of the most acclaimed pianists in the world.
Wojciech Maciejewski, the younger brother of composer, pianist and choral conductor, Roman Maciejewski (1910-1998), died in Warsaw on February 11. He was 94 years old. A kind and gentle yet firm individual, Wojciech was a tireless champion of his brother’s musical opus.
Born in Leszno in 1923, he spent the World War II years in Częstochowa and completed his university studies in Poznań in 1950. He began working for the Polish Radio Poznań in 1945, and in 1947 became its artistic director. His passion was directing broadcasts of literary and music programs and, since 1952, he worked as director of the Polish Radio Theatre in Warsaw. Wojciech Maciejewski was also a veteran contributing reporter to the daily Poznań newspaper, Głos Wielkopolski.
Since the 1990s, Maciejewski dedicated himself to bringing his older brother’s music to concert stages in Poland. He was instrumental in depositing about a hundred manuscripts of Roman Maciejewski’s compositions at the National Library in Warsaw, organizing performances and publishing of books about Roman, who since the mid-1930s had lived abroad, including several decades spent in the Los Angeles area.
An avid yachtsman, Wojciech Maciejewski often sailed with composer Witold Lutosławski and the legendary Polish captain, Karol Borhardt. Lutosławski’s boat was given by the composer to Maciejewski who, in turn, upon retiring from sailing, gave it to the Polish Yacht Club with a request to use it as a training vessel for aspiring young mariners.
Wojciech Maciejewski’s numerous contributions to professional, artistic and civic causes were recognized with a number of prestigious awards, including the Honorary Citizenship of the City of Leszno (where, in 2014, he unveiled a monument commemorating his brother), the Commander’s Cross of Poland, the Golden Cross of Merit, and Golden Badge of Merit for Service to the City of Warsaw.
Thanks to Wojciech Maciejewski’s generosity, the Polish Music Center has received a number of Roman Maciejewski’s published scores and books related to his musical activities. He also shared with us several historical photos of his brother and concert programs from various events in the U.S. and Europe. Wojciech’s boundless energy never subsided with age, and his mild disposition, good sense of humor and unfailing kindness in everything he said and did won him many friends and admirers all across the globe. His long and successful life was a testimony to the concept of brotherly love based on motives as pure as his heart.
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Newsletter Editor: Krysta Close
Layout Assistance: Charles Bragg
Translation Assistance: Tomasz Fechner & Marek Zebrowski
Cindy Bylander, Marcel Chyrzyński, Tadeusz Domanowski,
Robert Górski, Marek Szlezer, 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 Krysta Close - February 20, 2018.
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