|Polish Music Newsletter|
NEW INTERIM WEB ADDRESS
Many faithful Polish Music Center visitors and Polish Music Newsletter readers may have noticed that our URL has recently changed to pmc.usc.edu. This is due to server upgrade work that is being carried out by the University and will not affect the content of our site. Please also be aware that our old web address will continue to forward to this new URL for the foreseeable future so you do not need to update your links at this time.
However, the larger change that is afoot is a major upgrade to the PMC's website design and content, an upgrade which those same faithful visitors and readers will know is long overdue. We are working diligently with designers and web architects to renew the look and usability of our site, while maintaining the invaluable resource of musicological and cultural information that is housed within. Once this redesign is complete, we will have a new and permanent URL that will be shared with our users.
We thank you for tapping into the vast, 20+ year-old online treasure trove that is the PMC website. If you would like to support our upgrade efforts, please consider a tax-deductible donation of any size at: giveto.usc.edu (please specify “USC Polish Music Center” under “University-wide Giving Opportunities”--> “Centers & Institutes” to ensure that your gift get to the right place).
Thank you! Dziękujemy!
PMC COLLEAGUE SOARING TO NEW HEIGHTS
During his Masters and Doctoral studies at USC’s Thornton School of Music, percussionist Daniel Kaminski served as a Project Assistant at the PMC from 2005-2010, during which time he became an indispensable part of the PMC staff. Highly motivated, organized and self-directed, Daniel’s range of expertise in matters musical, clerical and technical far exceeded what we had ever hoped for in a student employee, and the PMC library, website and Newsletter benefitted greatly from Daniel’s dedication and wide range of skills.
Yet our highest admiration was always reserved for Daniel’s exceptional music-making. As a very talented and accomplished instrumentalist, Daniel contributed in many significant ways to a number of concerts we organized at USC and throughout Southern California. His musicianship elicited the highest praise from such composers as Stanisław Skrowaczewski and Marta Ptaszyńska, whose works he performed in concert. Thus, we were thrilled when, upon returning to Poland, Daniel won a much-deserved position with the National Philharmonic in Warsaw, where he continues to serve and is also a sought-after gig player for the many other high quality ensembles in the region.
In June 2016, in recognition of his undeniable musicianship and integrity, it was announced that Daniel had been invited by Jason Ginter to join the prestigious international roster of JGpercussion. Congratulations on this latest, well-deserved honor!
On June 14, the winners of the 2016 Tadeusz Baird Competition for Young Composers were announced at the Warsaw headquarters of Polish Music Publishers PWM. Formerly called the Youth Competition of Polish Composers’ Union (ZKP), the Baird Competition has been organized annually since 1958. Its aim is to help young Polish composers launch their careers and to encourage their independent activity.
A concert of the winning compositions was performed by proMODERN vocal sextet during the event.
The new CD by Meccore String Quartet, entitled Szymanowski & Debussy (Warner Music Poland), has been conquering Europeman market and has now won the Supersonic Award from Pizzicato classical music magazine (Luxembourg), which acknowledged Meccore as one of the best string quartets in Europe.
Established in 2007, the Meccore String Quartet is considered one of the most distinguished Polish string quartets and has already won many international prizes. This ensemble studied at the Universität der Künste in Berlin, Germany and in a prestigious master ensemble class at the Queen Elisabeth Music Chapel in Brussels, Belgium. These musicians have performed worldwide in renowned concert halls, including the following cities: London, New York, Vienna, Madrid and Berlin. In 2011 the quartet was nominated for the "Paszport Polityki" prize in the classical music category for innovative interpretations and breaking stereotypes.
Exuberant and very emotional interpretations have become Meccore’s trademark. Youthful expression combined with outstanding skills and true virtuosity delights audiences in many countries of the world. The group consists of four young artists (Wojciech Koprowski, Jarosław Nadrzycki, Michał Bryła and Karol Marianowski), whose personalities meet head-on in music, creating a consistent, yet vibrating with emotions, explosive mixture. Known as “bad boys” of the Polish quartet, they prove that music and real talent know no bounds. Asked about what they would never give up in art, they say: “With every note we struggle to break the stereotyped image of a quartet that an average listener associates with a wedding or a museum.” And though Meccore is, above all, an ultra-professional “philharmonic” ensemble, the artists like to surprise us with something completely new.
Released last September, their latest record presents works of two composers – Karol Szymanowski and Claude Debussy—who also did not fit into standard framework, and whose choices (both artistic and in live) raise many controversies even today. Their music is pervaded with intensive shades of sensuality. Their quartets are sometimes mysterious and impulsive, spasmodic and soothing, leaving numerous possible interpretations to the listener.
This CD was recorded thanks to the Irene-Steels-Wilsing Stifung Foundation at the Oskar Kolberg Philharmonic in Kielce, Poland and the quality of recording was supervised by excellent sound directors Thomas Bössl and Leon Wagner. The album is the first classical record to enrich the Polskie Nagrania (Polish Records ‘Muse’) catalogue after its acquisition by Warner Music Group.
Learn more about this album and watch a beautiful dance interpretation of Meccore’s performance of movement III: Lento from Szymanowski’s String Quartet No. 2 at www.warnermusic.pl.
[Sources: press release, warnermusic.pl]
DUX WINS 3 GOLDEN ORPHEUS AWARDS
On June 2, 2016 at the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris, the Academie du Disque Lyrique announced the winners of its prestigious annual “Golden Orpheus” Awards. Three of this year’s laureates are from the catalog of DUX—one of Poland’s premiere recording labels:
WINNERS & PREMIERES IN 'SINFONIETTA PER SINFONIETTA'
On June 6, the Sinfonietta Cracovia Orchestra announced the winners of the 2016 International "Sinfonietta per Sinfonietta" Composition Competition. The purpose of the Competition was to encourage the composition of works for the Sinfonietta Cracovia Orchestra. The winners were premiered on July 5, 2016 at the final concert of the 2nd International Sinfonietta Festival in Krakow.
The jury awarded the following prizes:
[Sources: press release, sinfonietta.pl]
PREMIERES AT KILAR FESTIVAL
From May 12-26, 2016, the Gorzów Philharmonic Orchestra hosted the Kilar Contemporary Music Festival. This Festival has become one of the most important musical events in the region. The idea is to promote the music of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries—the composers and their achievements, as well as the artists specializing in its interpretation.
During this year’s edition, works were performed by such composers as: Miłosz Bembinow, Andrzej Borzym Jr., Krzesimir Dębski, Krzysztof Herdzin, Anna Ignatowicz, Aleksander Kościów, Paweł Łukaszewski, Stanisław Moryto, and Tomasz Opałka as well as the World Premieres listed below:
* commissioned under the IMiT “Composer-in-Residence” program
ROEMER, STRZELEC & ZUBEL PREMIERES AT MEN FESTIVAL
The 7th edition of the Tauron Musica Electronica Nova Festival (MEN) was held from May 19-22, 2016, for the first time in its new home at the National Forum of Music (NFM) in Wrocław. This year’s theme was “Growing,” which corresponded to the motto of Wrocław European Capital of Culture 2016: “Spaces for Beauty.” According to Festival Artistic Director Elżbieta Sikora:
Below are the details of the two premieres which happened during the Festival:
* Commissioned by the National Forum of Music
** Commissioned by Ensemble Intercontemporain
POLISH RADIO CHOIR SALON SERIES – MYKIETYN
On July 10, the Polish Radio Choir will host an evening with composer Paweł Mykietyn 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 will be Anna Zawisza – soprano and Maciej Grzybowski – piano, and Tomasz Cyz.
Born in 1971, Pawel Mykietyn's dazzling career began when he was very young and he has enjoyed numerous successes both in Poland and abroad throughout. He studied composition under Włodzimierz Kotoński at the Academy of Music in Warsaw and, by the time he was 25, he had won second prize in the Andrzej Krzanowski Composing Competition, his La Strada premiered at the prestigious Warsaw Autumn Festival, and his 3 for 13 (commissioned by Polish Radio) won him first prize in the young composers' category during the 1995 UNESCO International Rostrum of Composers in Paris.
This concert is the third in the Polish Radio Choir’s Musical Salon series at the Willa Decjusza in Kraków. Previous concerts featured Aleksander Kościów (May 19) and Agata Zubel (June 12). Read a review of their last concert in the Salon Series here: www.ruchmuzyczny.art.pl (in Polish)
For a full listing of concerts, visit www.fmp.org.pl.
The Festival of Polish Music has been organized since 2005 by the Polish Music Association, founded by a group of musicologists, culture managers and music lovers. The essence of the Festival is not only to present valuable works by Polish composers, written from the Middle Ages to the present day, but also to contrast them with the world's music and display them in various contexts. The Organizers aim to mobilize the creation of compositional art by commissioning and premiering works of contemporary music.
OGRODY MUZYCZNE 2016
During the month of July, the 16th annual Ogrody Muzyczne [Musical Gardens] Festival will be held in the Courtyard of the Warsaw Castle. This year’s honored guest at the Festival is Slovakia, and thus this year’s theme is “…on both sides of the mountain….” Festival events include art, Polish culture and dance, opera and ballet. This year’s performers include VENI ensemble, Kandráčovci folk ensemble, Paweł Kowalski – piano, Nora a Miki Škutovci – piano duet, Agata Zubel – vocalist, Andrzej Bauer – cello, Bartek Wąsik – piano, Cezary Duchnowski – electronic instruments, and Krzesimir Dębski – composer and violinist. Polish composers featured on the concert programs this year include Chopin, Krzysztof Komeda, Tomasz Sikorski and Zygmunt Konieczny.
Also referred to as the Warsaw Summer Music Salon, the Musical Gardens Festival has been organized in Warsaw since 2001. It features 30 artistic events each year, including concerts, film screenings and opera and ballet performances. The festival takes place at the Royal Castle in Warsaw in a huge tent with capacity to accommodate 1000 people. The program includes a special educational project for children entitled Children’s Music Gardens.
NOVA MUSIC & ARCHITECTURE IN TORUŃ
For the twentieth edition of the Nova Music and Architecture Festival in Toruń, organizers have prepared an extraordinary repertoire to celebrate this jubilee and invited a host of eminent musicians from all over the world to perform during the months of June-September. The Festival opened on June 24 with “A Blues Evening” featuring singer Marzena Ugorna, who was joined by the Toruń Symphony Orchestra to present her symphonic arrangements of some of the best blues hits. Another highlight of the Festival was a concert of young artists from Toruń and its sister city of Lutsk in the Ukraine, performing violin works by Henryk Wieniawski, Antonio Vivaldi, and several Ukrainian composers on July 2.
For the first time in the festival’s tradition, apart from the Toruń Symphony Orchestra, audiences will hear brilliant performances by other orchestras from Ukraine, Korea and Płock. Poland’s most distinguished ensemble specializing in early music—Arte dei Suonatori—will perform their unique project of mixing the most famous pieces by Johann Sebastian Bach with Latino music played on conventional instruments. Also performing are: artists from Finland and young participants of the Paderewski Piano Academy, as well as the Black International Gospel Singers, singer Natalia Kukulska, the Atom String Quartet, and drummer Michał Dąbrówka. Other festival events include free film screenings and thematic guided tours aimed to present the musical aspects of the monuments of Toruń.
YOUNG ARTS FESTIVAL
The new Young Arts Festival will be held from June 30 – July 10, 2016 in Krosno, Poland. Festival guests included such esteemed artists as Szymon Krzeszowiec, violin; Łukasz Błaszczyk, violin; Bartłomiej Tełewiak, violin; Piero Massa, viola; Roberto Trainini, cello; Michał Sadzikowski, piano; and Krzesimir Dębski, conductor and composer—these musicians serve as both performers and pedagogues in the Young Arts Masterclass series. Highlights of this new Festival include a “Concert of Polish Music” on July 7 and a “Final Concert” featuring film music performed by vocalist Anna Jurksztowicz, the Teachers of Young Arts Masterclass and the Young Arts Orchestra, all led by Maestro Krzesimir Dębski, on July 10.
By organizing artistic events and master classes at the highest level, the Foundation ‘Young Arts’ not only reaches the audience but also develops the talents of young people, in a modern and multi-faceted way. The approach to music is characterized by a focus on quality, openness to new aspects of music and concert presentation, and a practical approach to teaching and artistic development that combines the traditional improvement of solo repertoire with the joy of cooperation in the chamber orchestra setting.
THE COLORS OF POLAND
The 17th ‘Kolori Polski’ [The Colors of Poland] Festival is organized by the Łódź Philharmonic and takes place from June to September 2016, and celebrates appreciation for classical music and for historical Łódź architecture.
Nearly all of the twenty concerts will be performed in a different places, including old churches and monasteries; mysterious castles and museums; valuable exhibits, and parks and forest glades. Listening to music in such places differs from the traditional concert experience offered by the philharmonic during fall/spring season. Projects inspired by folk culture, old art and unconventional arrangements of classical and popular music—many created newly for the Festival—dominate in the program. Audiences will have a chance to hear not only well established artists but also musicians just starting their careers. Some features offered to those who are not afraid to experience something new include: rare instruments, folk artists sharing the stage with professionals, and courageous improvisations.
Admission to all concerts is free, with the exception of the final performance. Tickets for the final performance (September 2, 2016 at 7pm, in the Łódź Philharmonic Hall) will be sold online at www.filharmonia.lodz.pl and in the building of Łódź Philharmonic from June 30th until August 16that: www.filharmonia.lodz.pl.
WEINBERG IN REVIEW
Mieczysław WEINBERG (1919-1996)
From a review by Michael Cookson on www.musicweb-international.com:
[Sources: Muzyka21, musicweb-international.com]
Chamber Works by Jerzy Fitelberg
The Grammy-nominated ARC Ensemble consists entirely of senior faculty members of the Glenn Gould School at Canada's Royal Conservatory of music and have, over the last ten years, acted as Canada's pre-eminent cultural ambassadors, raising international awareness of the excellent and rich musical life of the Royal Conseervatory. The ARC Ensemble has collaborated with a range of artists and is, through their meticulously researched performances and recordings, playing a leading role in unearthing repertoire that has been ignored due of political changes and shifts in musical fashion. The acclaimed "Music in Exile" series 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 features premiere recordings of the chamber music of Jerzy Fltelberg, a Jewish composer forced to flee Europe in the 1930's who enjoyed a good deal of success in his lifetime in the United States but deserves to be made known to a wider audience across Europe.
Joanna Bruzdowicz (1943)
NEW ON DUX
Przybylski: Songs and Piano Works
PADEREWSKI MUSICAL MARATHON
On the occasion of Ignacy Jan Paderewski’s 75th death anniversary, the National Center of Culture in Warsaw organized a Musical Marathon to commemorate the great composer. It was held on June 29, 2016 at Krakowskie Przedmieście 15/17.
Well known virutosi as well as many rising young talents, including music students from Warsaw’s music high schools and students of the Fryderyk Chopin Music University in Warsaw, performed in the courtyard of the Center’s Kordegard library. The program included compositions by Paderewski as well as pieces from his extensive piano repertoire. The marathon commenced at 3 PM with a recital by Maciej Grzybowski and ended at 8:30 PM with a performance by Paweł Kowalski. Before the performances, Wiesław Dąbrowski’s short film “Paderewski: Man of Action, Success and Fame” was screened.
RARE ZIMERMAN APPEARANCE IN LONDON
On June 30, 2016, Sir Simon Rattle and the London Symphony Orchestra closed out the 2015/2016 Barbican season in London with Polish pianist Krystian Zimerman performing Brahms’s Piano Concerto No 1 in D minor.
Excerpt from a concert review by Andrew Clements for The Guardian:
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Send your comments and inquiries to: email@example.com
Newsletter Editor: Krysta Close
Layout Assistance: Ashley Ramsey, Charles Bragg
Translation Assistance: Tomasz Fechner, Elena Pilch
Tomasz Fechner, Michael Gatonska, Jan A. Jarnicki, Maria Peryt
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 Ashley Ramsey, Charles Bragg & Krysta Close, July 8, 2016
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