|Polish Music Newsletter|
2015 PADEREWSKI FESTIVAL: PREVIEW
Held annually in November, the Paderewski Festival is a four-day musical festival on California’s Central Coast. Celebrating the rich heritage of Paso Robles and its most famous resident, Ignacy Jan Paderewski—virtuoso pianist, composer, international politician, local landowner, grower and winemaker—the Festival hosts concert and master classes by world renowned musicians, exhibits, lectures and film screenings, accompanied by wine tastings and tours of local vineyards. The Festival also organizes a Youth Piano Competition (October 24, 2015) and Youth Cultural Exchange (June-July 2015 in Poland, November 2016 in California) in honor of Paderewski's legacy.
This year’s Festival will be held from November 5-8, 2015 at various venues around Paso Robles. Audiences will hear historical works by Paderewski, Karol Szymanowski and Tadeusz Kosciuszko, as well as contemporary masterpieces by Witold Lutosławski, Wojciech Kilar, Krzysztof Penderecki and Henryk Mikołaj Górecki, reinterpreted. The Festival’s history, as well as its legacy, will be on full display during recitals given by this year’s winners of the Festival Competition and participants in the Cultural Exchange in Poland, and Sunday’s Paderewski Lecture.
Below is the full schedule of the weekend:
Friends of Paderewski VIP passes as well as tickets to individual concerts will be available soon. Please visit www.paderewskifest.com for updates.
PADEREWSKI FESTIVAL YOUTH CULTURAL EXCHANGE
Ignacy Jan Paderewski longed to establish a music school for young people in Paso Robles, California—his beloved American retreat—and the Paderewski Festival Cultural Exchange Program seeks to foster that dream. In November 2008, the Cultural Exchange was initiated by a Sister Cities agreement between Paso Robles and Tarnów, Poland, where Paderewski and his wife honeymooned and lived for several years after their marriage. The Exchange encourages the exploration of cultural, educational and business opportunities between these two communities that share historical ties to Paderewski. It also provides free master classes with visiting artists and special coaching session for all interested young musicians. In June 2013, students and teachers from Khmilnyk in the Ukraine (where Paderewski was born) joined the Exchange Program as well.
The Paderewski Festival Cultural Exchange Program provides annual opportunities for young musicians from California’s Central Coast, Tarnów and Khmilnyk to further their piano studies and perform together, as well as learn about each other’s countries and cultures. In odd years, chosen finalists of the Paderewski Youth Piano Competition in Paso Robles travel to Poland to participate in master classes alongside Polish and Ukrainian students at Paderewski’s former estate in Kąśna Dolna near Tarnów, as well as perform together for audiences at Kąśna Dolna and Jagiellonian University in Kraków. In even years, young Polish and Ukrainian musicians come to Paso Robles, staying with host families in California while studying with internationally renowned pianists and performing during the Paderewski Festival.
At this moment, two young finalists from the Paderewski Competition—Daniel Ha and Kannan Freyaldenhoven (pictured above)—are in Poland for the 2015 Exchange Program, which takes place from June 25 - July 11. They are joined by young Polish musicians Miłosz Marcinkiewicz and Magdalena Kuropatwa and Ukrainian musicians Oleksandr Olehovych Dzvinkovskiy and Yuliya Volodymyrivna Medynska for all workshops and concerts in and around Kąśna Dolna.
Once students from the US complete their workshops and concerts in Kąśna Dolna and Kraków, they will enjoy additional opportunities that have been added to this year’s schedule, including VIP tours of Radziejowice Palace, Żelazowa Wola and the Fryderyk Chopin Museum in Warsaw.
See next month’s Newsletter for a full report!
RYTERBAND COLLECTION CONTINUES TO EXPAND
On May 12, 2015, a box containing correspondence from the family of Roman Ryterband was delivered to the PMC. Carefully maintained by Clarissa and Astrid Ryterband, the composer’s widow and daughter, and meticulously organized and delivered by Diana Eisele, his other daughter, these letters represent exchanges between Ryterband and his family and friends from the late 1930s and the 1940s. Given the political situations of the inter-war and World War II periods, this set of detailed letters is of great historical importance. As the collection continues to be cataloged, an analysis of the contents and context of these letters will certainly bear interesting scholarly fruit.
Clarissa Ryterband (L) with daughters Astrid Ryterband and Diana Eisele (R)
Then on June 9, another installment of documents, scores and other materials related to the Roman Ryterband Collection was delivered by Diana Eisele, including:
We gratefully acknowledge the above additions as we continue to grow this treasure trove of an archive! For more information about the Roman Ryterband Collection see the May 2015 Newsletter.
MEYER PREMIERE IN NY
On July 23, 2015, the Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts in New York will present “Guitar in the Garden: Łukasz Kuropaczewski.” During this concert, Polish guitarist Łukasz Kuropaczewski will perform the world premiere of the new solo guitar work Triptych by Krzysztof Meyer (pictured at right). This is Kuropaczewski’s second Guitar in the Garden appearance and his program pays homage to his Polish heritage with pieces by three legendary Polish composers—Meyer’s Triptych, Alexandre Tansman’s Prelude et Interlude and Kryzysztof Penderecki’s Aria and Cadenza—as well as favorites of the classical guitar repertoire, including works by Giuliani and Albeniz.
Krzysztof Meyer on Triptych:
July 23, 2015 | 7 PM
Kuropaczewski will also be the soloist at the German premiere of Triptych on August 3, 2015 in Iserlohn, Germany. He will present the work in the Oberste Stadtkirche as part of the 24th International Guitar Symposium, one of the largest classical guitar festivals in Europe. Other Polish musicians will also perform at the Symposium: guitarist Marcin Dylla will give the Opening Concert on Aug. 2, while guitarist Krzystof Pelech and accordionist Piotr Rangno will perform on Aug. 5.
PREMIERE OF MAGIC MOUNTAIN
The opera Czarodziejska Góra [The Magic Mountain] was given its world premiere on June 26, 2015 at the Malta Festival in Poznań, Poland. This opera is a joint work of four creators: composer Paweł Mykietyn, director and actor Andrzej Chyra, playwright Małgorzata Sikorska-Miszczuk and visual artist Mirosław Bałka. The libretto is based on the famous novel by Thomas Mann, describing the intellectual, emotional and spiritual maturation of Hans Castrop in a sanatorium in Davos. In this interpretation, Czarodziejska Góra becomes a cruel story of love, betrayal, revenge and death.
The opera was performed by the following all-star cast of soloists:
Czarodziejska Góra was a co-production of the Malta Festival Poznań, Baltic Opera in Gdańsk, Kraków Festival Office and Polskie Radio Program II.
PREMIERES AT TRIPTYCH – CELEBRATING ZKP 70th ANNIVERSARY
The first concert on June 18 was held in the Royal Castle in Warsaw. It featured the premieres of two new compositions by Krzysztof Knittel: Znaki [Signs] for electronic media (2015) and Reminiscencje [Reminiscences] for violin, clarinet, percussion and piano (2015). They were performed by Kwartludium: Dagna Sadkowska – violin, Michał Górczyński – clarinet, Paweł Nowicki – percussion and Piotr Nowicki – piano. Also on the program were Brass Fanfare Dedications written by various composers from neighboring countries, as well as Krzysztof Penderecki’s String Quartet No. 3 performed by the Meccore String Quartet.
On the second day, June 19, a program entitled “Unusual Concert” was held in the Wojciech Krukowski Auditorium of the Centre for Contemporary Art in Ujazdowski Castle in Warsaw. The program consisted of the first reading of Za chwilę premiera: Apologia Krytyczna [Critical Apology] (2015), a collective report written by the following musicologists: Alicja Gronau, Dorota Krawczyk, Rafał Ciesielski, Beata Bolesławska, Katarzyna Dadak-Kozicka, Agnieszka Leszczyńska, Sławomira Żerańska-Kominek, Iwona Lindstedt, Krzysztof Bilica, Rafał Augustyn, Marcin Trzęsiok, Sławomir Zamuszko, Mieczysław Kominek, Dorota Szwarcman and Paweł Gancarczyk. Also featured that evening was the premiere of Ogniwa[Cells] for two pianos and two percussion (2015) – a work composed collectively by Rafał Augustyn, Zbigniew Bagiński, Henryk Jan Botor, Magdalena Buchwald, Artur Cieślak, Magdalena Cynk, Sławomir Czarnecki, Krzesimir Dębski, Mariusz Dubaj, Katarzyna Dziewiątkowska, Jan Fotek, Aleksandra Garbal, Alicja Gronau, Paweł Hendrich, Andrzej Hundziak, Anna Ignatowicz-Glińska, Maciej Jabłoński, Benedykt Konowalski, Marcin Kopczyński, Jerzy Kornowicz, Krzysztof Kostrzewa, Bartosz Kowalski, Katarzyna Kwiecień-Długosz, Carlos Malcolm, Maciej Małecki, Aldona Nawrocka, Anna Pęcherzewska-Hadrych, Ewa Podgórska, Maria Pokrzywińska, Jakub Polaczyk, Aleksandr Porakh, Adam Porębski, Marta Ptaszyńska, Bohdan Riemer, Mateusz Ryczek, Edward Sielicki, Jarosław Siwiński, Stanisław Skrowaczewski, Joanna Stępalska-Spix, Rafał Stradomski and Sławomir Zamuszko. Ogniwa was performed by Kwadrofonik: Emilia Sitarz and Bartłomiej Wąsik – piano, and Magdalena Kordylasińska and Olga Przybył – percussion. Another premiere was of the Katalog Krytyk Druzgocących [Catalog of Devastating Critiques] (2015), a beatbox performance of the texts of newspaper archives, created and performed by Patryk “Tik Tak” Matela. Also on the program was the open rehearsal and premiere of Wielki Kanon do tekstu Statutu Związku Kompozytorów Polskich [The Great Canon of the text of the Statute of the Polish Composers' Union] (2015) by composer Aleksander Kościów and the premiere of Jubilee Club-Music (2015) by Pierre Nick Duo and guests: Tadeusz Sudnik - electroacoustic devices and Zdzisław Piernik - tuba and acoustic devices.
The final installment in the Triptych series was held on June 20 at the Anna and Jarosław Iwaszkiewicz Museum in Stawisko, and featured performances of Polish traditional and folk songs.
Admission to all concerts was free.
PREMIERES AT MUSICA ELECTRONICA NOVA FESTIVAL
The 6th Musica Electronica Nova (MEN) Festival was held on May 15-23, 2015, under the subtitle “Elecktro-Vision,” in Wrocław. This Festival was an exciting chance to hear new works by Polish composers. The following compositions were given their world premiere during the 2015 MEN Festival:
Franciszek Araszkiewicz (b. 1986): Minutki I for cello quartet, electronics and video (2015) – performed on May 18 at the Kino Nowe Horyzonty
Joanna Woźny (b. 1973): un altro ... di vento, di cielo * for mixed choir, soloists and electronics with video projection (commission of MEN 2015) – performed on May 21 at the Lipiński Academy of Music in Wrocław
Lidia Zielińska (b. 1953): Threesome * for string quartet, video, string orchestra and electronic sound diffusion (2015) (commission of MEN 2015) – performed on May 22 at the Wrocław Philharmonic
* Denotes compositions that were part of the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage of Republic of Poland (MKiDN) program “Collections” [Kolekcje] spotlighting “Commissioned Compositions” [Zamówienia kompozytorskie], as implemented by the Institute of Music and Dance (IMiT).
IMiT ESTABLISHES TRADITIONAL MUSIC LABORATORY
The Pracownia muzyki tradycyjnej [Traditional Music Laboratory] of the Institute of Music and Dance in Warsaw was founded on June 17, 2015, during the conference Przekaz międzypokoleniowy w kulturze tradycyjnej i rola państwa w tym zakresie [Transgenerational transmission in traditional culture and the role of the state in this area] at the Ethnographic Museum in Warsaw. The Laboratory's task will be to initiate, implement and coordinate permanent and long-term programs and tasks that support the preservation, transmission, and continuation of traditional musical culture in Poland. The establishment of the Laboratory is a follow-up to previous actions undertaken by the Institute, in particular the projects launched in the Oskar Kolberg Year, when the Institute served as the anniversary celebrations coordinator.
In its operations, the Laboratory will focus in particular on formal and informal education, as well as the transmission of tradition, both among local communities and at the institutional level, and on integrating people and organizations working for the preservation, continuation and popularization of traditional music and dance.
The programs and tasks assigned to the Laboratory follow from the National Strategy for Cultural Development passed by the Polish Ministry of Culture and National Development, the UNESCO Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage, the strategy of the Institute of Music and Dance's operations for 2014–18, as well as the long-standing experience of the participants of the Forum of Traditional Music and other people and organizations working in the field.
To read details about the responsibilities of this new Laboratory, visit imit.org.pl.
LATEST ISSUE OF GLISSANDO: SOUNDSCAPE
Glissando magazine explores the creative, cultural and political space surrounding contemporary, alternative, and avant-garde music. Now in its tenth year, Glissando seeks to create an international network of contemporary music theorists, journalists, performers and composers from Eastern Europe to expand its contemporary music forum.
The latest issue of Glissando explores soundscape—the acoustic environment, the world as a vibrant composition, every sound as a component of the infinitely complex and intricate wholeness. Glissando #26 delves into how we listen, perceive, assign different meanings, imitate, play with, and shape our sonic habitat. This 184-page issue is a collection of 35 texts (of which the whole New Music in Eastern Europe section in English), putting the theory of culture, sound, and music within a broader framework, which is no longer restricted to an isolated and exclusively defined musical work, but encompasses the sonic environment in all its complexity.
Shaferian revolution in the study of sound culture; the ecological approach of sound artists; auditory perception and different listening techniques; creativity in the urban context (as exemplified by the city of Łódź); the results of sound recording practices developed over the last century, and also providing the seemingly mute artifacts like print and film stock with a sound - these topics for many years appeared and were repeatedly discussed in thematic issues of various papers and magazines, and now in the pages of Glissando.
With this issue of Glissando, the creators sought not only to expand and systematize general knowledge of the soundscape, but also be more accessible and reader-friendly. The soundscape, whether analyzed as a musical work or experienced as part of everyday life, is important for every listener. Glissando #26 studies the contemporary global composition, which forms a background for our activities, affects us in a more or less conscious way, and shapes our behavior. Exploring the sonic environment is important not only from the artistic or scientific viewpoint. It also allows the readers to enjoy their everyday listening experience more deeply and carefully.
Other recent issues of Glissando that were published either partially or fully in English are:
Glissando #25 (2014, EN/PL) explores the subject of Manifesto, the emblematic form of statements of modern culture, which is connected with sound and music in number of ways. This 160-pages long issue of Glissando contains a collection of texts investigating those relations from various perspectives. Devoted primarily to the history of the connections between manifestos and the audial in Central and Eastern Europe, the issue has been divided into four sections, tied together by the introductory essay by Antoni Michnik.
Glissando #24 (2014, EN/PL) is a resume of a curatorial and editorial research for experimental music before the 20th century – part of the Avant Avant Garde project organized by Foundation 4.99 and ZAM e.V. The publication brings together dozens of anecdotes, scores, sketches and other takes on experimental practices with sound and music foreshadowing the avant gardes and sound art of the last 100 years. With figures such as La Monte Young, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Burkhard Beins or Lugi Russolo in the back of your heads, get into Celts and Hussars, Václav Prokop Diviš and Ernst Chladni, Leonardo da Vinci and Athanasius Kircher – and many, many more.
Glissando #23 (2014, EN/PL) explores the history of the cassette tape. Mobile cassette recorders were often used as a part of non-institutional practics in everyday life as the tactics of resistance to regimes of power and symbolic violence (as a cultural memory, tactical medium or dissident activity). In Poland and Eastern Europe during the communist era a cassette tape was a part of “second circulation”, mixing art, the political speeches, the political satires and underground music in one circulation without censorship. Today cassette tape still produces the cultural dreams, phantasms and memories: recording process as a metaphor; cleaning the tapes, erasing the memories, deleting the history; tape hiss and “the uncanny”. MC is the new, old thing. All texts in this focus are in English and an extra is an anthology cassette of The Sounds of Deep Poland, produced by Noisen Records especially for Glissando. Other topics include: New Music in Eastern Europe and Middle Generation, presenting young Polish composers, as well as the most fascinating phenomena in neighbouring countries. This issue represents Glissando’s new opening into the East and English, to be continued!
NEW POLISH MUSIC ON YOUTUBE
Contemporary works by several young Polish composers have been posted to Youtube. These links feature recordings plus musical scores, to facilitate learning and performance of these excellent pieces.
PADEREWSKI DEATH MASK ON DISPLAY AT PMA IN CHICAGO
On the 74th anniversary of his passing, the Polish Museum of America (PMA) is proud to announce the public display of the Death Mask of Ignacy Jan Paderewski. The sculpture was created by Malvina Hoffman in 1941 and donated by Martin Skoble and Gabrielle Howard in January 2014. After having undergone conservation sponsored by Ludwika Rozwadowska, the death mask will remain on permanent exhibit in the IJ Paderewski Room of the PMA.
IJ Paderewski, who began as a pianist and composer, turned to politics, supporting Poland’s independence as its Prime Minister in 1919. As a diplomat, he used his music to raise relief funds for a war ravaged Poland, touring across America, speaking to, and performing for, audiences sympathetic to this cause. After an illustrious career, Paderewski passed away on June 29, 1941, at the Buckingham Hotel in New York. After serious research of the IJ Paderewski Collection in the Archives and other sources, among the many glowing articles on the man and his life, the Times Herald (NY) reported on July 1, 1941: “Malvina Hoffman, who had done a life-sized bust of the pianist, made a death mask of him” on June 30.
At that time, Hoffman was already a well-known New York based sculptor. She had been commissioned by the Field Museum of Natural History, Chicago, to create more than one hundred bronze sculptures for a permanent exhibit, The Hall of the Races of Man. These sculptures were also featured at the 1933 Chicago World’s Fair. As a friend of Paderewski’s, she had already created four earlier sculptures of him: Paderewski the Statesman, Paderewski the Artist, Paderewski the Man (all 1922 in bronze); and Paderewski the Friend (1923 in plaster). Additionally, Hoffman created a bronze of Paderewski’s hand; the PMA has a copy on display at his Steinway piano in the Paderewski Room.
The plaster cast death mask was the basis for Hoffman’s final Paderewski sculpture, also in bronze: Paderewski – The Last Phase (1941). Unfortunately, the bust had a tragic ending. It was aboard the MV Paderewski, a Polish motor vessel of the Gdynia America Line, when it was sunk by a German U-boat on December 30, 1942, in the Caribbean Sea.
In 1956, Joel Murray Altshuler, also an artist and sculptor, and a friend of Hoffman’s, received the original death mask from her. After his passing in 1992, it came to the possession of his twin sister, Ella, who passed away in 2012. As the cousins of his father, Martin Skoble was very close to both Joel and Ella. She had given the mask to Mr. Skoble, who in turn contacted the PMA.
In a brief email in April 2013, Mr. Skoble inquired if the PMA would be interested in accepting a gift – “the death mask of Paderewski cast by his friend, the sculptor Malvina Hoffman.” With the PMA’s beautifully renovated Paderewski Room, and its extensive archives chronicling the life of the Polish statesman, pianist, and humanitarian, the death mask of Ignacy Jan Paderewski was a fitting addition to the PMA collections.
The mask arrived at the PMA on January 23, 2014, delivered by a special carrier. Although Mr. Skoble included photos in his emails, the PMA had to wait to open the package. For preservation purposes, the artifact needed to be acclimated to the temperature and environment of the Museum. At an internal preview on February 6th, the mask’s condition was observed. Although in generally good condition, some staining and cracking was noted. The PMA was quickly in touch with Inez Litas of the Litas Liparini Restoration Studio, who recommended proper action for its care. In response to an earlier article on the donation, Ludwika Rozwadowska graciously sponsored the needed conservation. Now properly restored, the death mask is on current and permanent exhibit in the Paderewski Room at the PMA.
The Polish Museum of America is located at 984 N. Milwaukee Avenue, Chicago, IL 60642. All visitors are welcome. For more information: www.PolishMuseumOfAmerica.org.
[Source: press release]
HOW MUCH DO YOU KNOW ABOUT CHOPIN?
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BRUZDOWICZ IN BAVARIA
Located just south of the Ammersee and Starnbergersee, the picturesque German town of Weilheim in Upper Bavaria hosts a series of monthly concerts at the Apostelkirche Weilheim. On Sunday, July 19 at 7:30 p.m. a chamber concert titled "Von alten Weisen und jungen Wilden" [From Hallowed Sages to Young Iconoclasts] brings violinist Dagmar Becker, flutist Franziska Dahme-Kohler, and harpsichordist Ingrid Sonn-Knee together in a program of musical trios spanning four centuries. Among the featured works will be Trio per Trio by Joanna Bruzdowicz.
[Sources: press release, apostelkirche.de]
BAIRD YOUNG COMPOSERS’ COMPETITION
On June 15, 2015, the winners of the 56th edition of the Tadeusz Baird Competition for Young Composers were announced. The jury was composed of Jerzy Bauer - chairman, Zbigniew Baginski - secretary, Krzysztof Baculewski and Sławomir Czarnecki. Named for composer and pedagogue Tadeusz Baird, the competition is organized by the Polish Composers’ Union [ZKP] under the patronage of the composer’s widow, Alina Baird.
After hearing those pieces that qualified for the second stage of the competition, the jury awarded the Tadeusz Baird 1st Prize in the amount of $2,500 to composer Aleksandra Kaca for Smugi cienia for harp, piano and cello. In addition, the jury recognized Monika Dalach for Tick! - Time (Time is ticking) In memoriam H.M.G. for cello, harp and harpsichord.
The awards ceremony will take place during the festival "Warsaw Autumn" in September 2015.
FESTIVAL OF POLISH MUSIC
The 11th edition of the Polish Music Festival will be held from July 8-18, 2015 in Kraków. Audiences will hear both early music and works by the great such as Chopin and Moniuszko, as well as outstanding contemporary composers such as Wojciech Kilar and Krzysztof Penderecki, all performed by outstanding soloists and ensembles from Poland and abroad.
The festival will be inaugurated with Stanislaw Moniuszko's Halka on July 8 at the Julius Slovak Theater, where the first post-war performance of Halka in its Vilnius version was held. This new production keeps the original idea of the opera. The cast is comprised of renowned soloists, both Polish and foreign, and Capella Cracoviensis will provide the orchestral accompaniment under the baton of Jan Tomasz Adamus using historical instruments, which will give the event a special authenticity.
During several other concerts, festival goers will be transported to even earlier periods of Polish music. On July 9, the musicians of Ensemble Peregrina, led by singer and musicologist Agnieszka Budzińska-Bennett, will perform hymns and songs derived from source materials and treaties during the times of Bolesław I the Brave (967-1025) and St. Wojciech (956-997), interspersed with instrumental works. On July 16 the renowned international ensemble specializing in baroque music performance—Il Giardino d'Amore, under the artistic direction of violinist Stefan Plewniak—will present Polish court music from 1500-1750, when musical culture flourished under such composers as Diomedes Cato, Wojciech Długoraj, Grzegorz Gerwazy Gorczycki, Jan z Lublin, Marcin Mielczewski, Bartłomiej Pękiel and Mikołaj Zieleński.
Other concerts will feature some of the best known of Poland’s composers. On July 11, Italian pianist Alberto Nosè will perform a recital of Chopin in the Jagiellonian University’s Collegium Novum Auditorium. On July 17, violinist Agata Szymczewska and pianist Grzegorz Skrobiński will present a recital of works by Karol Szymanowski, Ignacy Jan Paderewski, Marcin Markowicz and Henryk Wieniawski, followed by a concert of Dobrzyński and Chopin performed by the Krakow Philharmonic String Quartet with guest pianist Ivo Kahánek. On July 18, pianist Ludmil Angelov presents a recital of Chopin, Zarębski, Michałowski and Moszkowski.
The Polish Music Festival features not only those compositions that are already a permanent part of the canon of musical literature, but also current trends and directions in the art of sound. The July 10 concert led by Sinfonietta Cracovia will feature some of the leading soloists promoting contemporary music artists today—cellist Magdalena Bojanowicz and accordionist Maciej Frąckiewicz—who will perform compositions by Marcel Chyrzyński (ukiyo-e), Nicholas Majkusiak (Rhythm Games), Dariusz Przybylski (Red, Yellow, Red. Hommage à Mark Rothko) and Wojciech Kilar (Orawa) under the baton of outstanding conductor Bassem Akiki.
The 11th edition of the Festival will conclude on July 18 with compositions of the two leading figures of Polish contemporary music—Wojciech Kilar and Krzysztof Penderecki. The concert will juxtapose two studies of the hymn of praise, Te Deum. Two versions - two musical ideas - two different worlds. What unites the two compositions is the tendency to benefit from the past (the musical language of both abounds in references to the tradition of the great masters of the Renaissance and Baroque), embedding them in the present while looking ahead with innovative musical ideas for the future . The concert will feature acclaimed soloists from major European opera houses, alongside the Kraków Philharmonic Choir and one of the most respected orchestras in Poland, Sinfonia Varsovia, led by Maestro Maciej Tworek.
SEVEN GATES FESTIVAL – POLISH MUSIC CELEBRATED IN THE UK
The UK premiere of Krzysztof Penderecki’s Seven Gates of Jerusalem was the inspiration for a four-day festival of Polish culture held at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester. Filled with programs of works by Polish composers from Szymanowski to Zubel and accompanied by film screenings and works inspired by Polish music, the Seven Gates: a Journey of Discovery festival was held from June 23-26, 2015.
POLISH MUSIC HIGHLIGHTED IN SAARBRUKEN
The Musikfestspiele Saar is one of Europe’s leading music festivals, held every 2 years in Saarbrucken, Germany. The 2015 edition of this Festival, which has been taking place since February and ends on July 22, is dedicated to the “rarities and stars” of Polish music.
On June 27 and 29, Krzysztof Penderecki’s opera Ubu Rex was presented. According to the composer himself, this production by Baltic Opera Gdańsk “is the craziest and most successful staging of my opera!" and it was experienced for the first time in Germany. On July 4, Penderecki conducted a performance of his own oratorio, the Seven Gates of Jerusalem, by the National Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra (NOSPR) from Katowice and the Kraków Radio Choir.
The Festival has also programmed the "Polish Ravel"—Karol Szymanowski—including his Symphonies 2, 3 and 4, the Violin Concerto, the Concert Overture and the Stabat mater, as well as the"Polish Bartók"—Witold Lutoslawski— including his Concerto for Orchestra (conducted by Stanisław Skrowaczewski), and such signature works as his Symphonic Variations, Mała Suita and Lacrimosa.
The Festival program also features works by such master composers as Henryk Mikołaj Górecki, Henryk Wieniawski, Krzysztof Komeda, Stanisław Moniuszko and Mieczysław Weinberg, as well as performers including Leszek Możdżer, Ewa Kupiec, Rafał Blechacz, Krystian Zimerman, Władysław Sendecki, Adam Bałdych
The ‘Ogrody Muzyczne’ [Musical Gardens] Festival has been organized annually since year 2001 during the month of July. Each edition’s program consists of over 30 artistic events: concerts, film and opera screenings, and ballet performances. Since the beginning, a large tent located at the Courtyard of the Royal Castle in Warsaw, suitable for gathering 1000 listeners, has served as the festival’s venue. Each year the festival’s events are visited by approximately 40-50,000 people.
Each year the festival focuses on a different theme: for the past couple of years the audiences' attention was drawn to art and culture of countries holding the Presidency of the Council of the European Union. For that reason the last editions accentuated art of Belgium, France, Cyprus, Lithuania, Italy and, this year, Grand Duchy of Luxembourg.
The primary intention of the festival’s creators was presenting original, unknown ideas and artistic phenomena. The festival presents the most interesting artistic events, which are divided into subcategories: Concerts; Opera, ballet and musical performances presented on screen; Films; “Children’s Music Gardens;” and (new this year) a Symposium.
CONCERTS: This year, festival musical director Zygmunt Krauze surprises festival audiences once again. During the inauguration of the festival, musicians from the Fryderyk Chopin University of Music will perform, among others, the Ebony Concerto by Igor Stravinsky. That evening, Polish contemporary jazz will also be represented by excellent Polish saxophonist Zbigniew Namysłowski. A special event on July 9 will celebrate Luxembourg taking up the EU Council presidency. For this concert, Luxembourg-based contemporary music ensemble Lucilin (est. 1999) will join forces with the Polish contemporary arts cooperative #Ensemble (est. 2013), with Wojciech Błażejczyk at the helm. Also performing this year are: Motion Trio, Sinfonia Viva Orchestra and vocalists Anna Mikołajczyk, Raquel Camarinha, Iwona Sobotka and Cristina Zavalloni.
OPERAS ON SCREEN: The recent involvement of Polish musicians and creators—including Mariusz Kwiecień, Piotr Beczała and Mariusz Treliński—with the Metropolitan Opera in New York inspired festival director Barbara Pietkiewicz-Kraśko to broadcast Met Operas on the Festival’s big screen. This year, Mariusz Treliński will also be on hand for discussion.
FILM: The cinematic portion of this year’s Festival will focus on dance, and present some of the greatest dancers to ever grace the silver screen.
CHILDREN’S MUSICAL GARDENS: Thanks to the upcoming XVII International Chopin Competition, this year’s events for kids will focus on the life and work of Fryderyk Chopin, including his relationship to hip-hop music.
SCIENTIFIC SYMPOSIUM: Because of the jubilee 15th anniversary of the festival, the creators have planned a unique event, wherein guests will be invited to discuss the outcome of a survey conducted during the previous 14th edition of the Festival by Matthew Migut, a psychologist and sociologist of music. This symposium, entitled “The Role of Music and High Culture in the Modern World,” will help shape the future of the festival, and maybe the classical music world in general.
ZUBEL PERFORMS LUTOSŁAWSKI & CZAJKOWSKI
'Dream Lake' (CDAccord ACD216) is a recording project by Polish soprano Agata Zubel and Finnish pianist Joonas Ahonen. The disc includes Andrzej Czajkowski’s Seven Shakespeare Sonnets and Witold Lutosławski’s Chantefleurs et Chantefables. The release concert took place in Warsaw at the Polin Museum on May 6, 2015 and another concert featuring the duo performing the program of their CD inagurated the Corso Polonia Festival in Rome on June 9. Watch a video trailer for the album on www.youtube.com.
INGRID FLITER: A PASSION FOR CHOPIN
The 2006 recipient of the prestigious Gilmore Artist Award, Argentinian pianist Ingrid Fliter has focused intensely on the music of Fryderyk Chopin during her prodigious career. She has produced several excellent and highly praised recordings that showcase different aspects of his oeuvre. The most recent is her recording of his 24 Preludes for Linn Records— you can hear her delve into this exquisite music at www.youtube.com.
The disc was named Gramophone Magazine’s ‘Recording of the Month’ in November 2014 with these words of praise: “Ingrid Fliter seems to be able to achieve individuality seemingly effortlessly, with cherishable and memorable results. She is a virtuoso of the first order but she holds this in reserve, so when she does unleash her full technical armoury, it’s extraordinarily potent. A gem of a disc.” This disc also made Gramophone’s List of Top 10 Chopin recordings, or what they consider the ten best ways to expand your Chopin collection, in April 2015.
Below are Fliter’s recordings dedicated solely to Chopin:
Chopin: Piano Concertos
Ingrid Fliter Plays Chopin
GRZYBOWSKI IN S. KOREA
Polish pianist Maciej Grzybowski performed in the main Concert Hall of the National Museum of Korea on June 24, 2015. The concert is one of the highlights of the series of events accompanying the exhibition "Polish Art: An Enduring Spirit". Other events planned by the museum include two more recitals of young Korean pianists, lectures about Polish design and Polish cinematography as well as screenings of Polish movies.
Maciej Grzybowski, who performs as a soloist and chamber musician, has made numerous phonographic, radio and television recordings. He was nominated four times for the prestigious "Polityka Passports" award. Two of his records – Bach, Berg, Mykietyn, Schönberg and Szymański (Universal Music Polska, 2004), and Paweł Szymański – Works for Piano (EMI Classics, 2006)—were nominated for the "Fryderyk" Award of the Polish Recording Industry.
STANKIEWICZ PERFORMS KILAR
On June 6, the Dolnośląski Festiwal Muzyczny [Lower Silesian Festival of Music] hosted a concert of the music of Wojciech Kilar performed by Kuba Stankiewicz, an outstanding Polish jazz pianist. Stankiewicz imbues every note he plays with such meticulous thoughtfulness and sensitivity, based not only on his keyboard skills and musicality but also on his dedication as a consummate scholar of the music he plays. For his Kilar project, Stankiewicz has translated Kilar's film music through the poetry of jazz improvisation, but always with great respect and love towards the original.
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Newsletter Editor: Krysta Close
Layout Assistance: Chuck Bragg
Translation Assistance: Marek Żebrowski
Joanna Bruzdowicz, Kuba Stankiewicz, Krzysztof Wołek, Marek Żebrowski
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,Ruch Muzyczny, Gazeta Wyborcza
Formatting by Krysta Close, July 10, 2015
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