Polish Music Newsletter

July 2017, Vol. 23, No. 7. ISSN 1098-9188. Published monthly.
Los Angeles: Polish Music Center, University of Southern California

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OBITUARY
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THE SOUND MAN

Polish violinist Jerzy Milewski died in Curitiba, Brazil, on 23 June 2017. He was 70 years old. Born in Warsaw on 17 September 1946, Milewski succumbed to cancer after a very difficult, year-long fight. He is survived by his wife, Aleida, and two children, Christopher and Pamina.

jerzy milewski pmc

It was the tone—his tone—deep and sweet, brilliant and beguiling, that swayed audiences all across the world. There was his technique too—after all Jerzy Milewski was a pupil of the legendary Irena Dubiska—and his playing, charmingly old school with elegant bowing to match, was clearly on par with the best virtuosos of the day. Then there was the family tradition. His paternal grandfather played cello in Warsaw Philharmonic. His father, Wiktor, played in cinema orchestras and with the Stefan Rachoń Orchestra in Warsaw, starting in the 1930s and continuing after the war. A few years after Jerzy was born, he joined his twin brother Roman as student in Warsaw’s Grammar Music School on Miodowa Street. Jerzy loved the sound of the violin, but his twin brother preferred to study piano. One of Jerzy’s first public concerts was a performance of the Vivaldi Violin Concerto with the Stefan Rachoń Orchestra as well as appearances and broadcasts with pianist Maciej Małecki, composer and pianist Jerzy Derfel, and a celebrated poet, film director and journalist, Agnieszka Osiecka.

After his father’s death in 1963, Jerzy became the sole breadwinner for the family, earning money by playing concerts as well as lending his musical talents for private parties and funerals. He also toured Europe and Asia with the famed Karol Teutsch Chamber Orchestra. During his studies at the Warsaw Conservatory, Jerzy met Aleida Schweitzer. Born in southern Brazil, Aleida came to study piano for one year with Jan Ekier in Poland. “She seemed to be always near my practice studio,” Jerzy recalled with a twinkle in his eye, “and I kept bumping into her every time I opened the door.” Her studies in Warsaw ended and she had to return to Brazil but Jerzy had one more year to get his diploma. Eager to join Aleida in Brazil, Jerzy applied for a passport, but the communist authorities refused his requests several times. He was also prevented from further touring with the Teutsch Orchestra and “failed” to qualify for the violin section opening at the Warsaw Philharmonic.

jerzy+aleida.jpgAfter three years of waiting, in June of 1971 Jerzy was finally able to leave Poland for Brazil. He married Aleida and, with the help of his father-in-law, an influential conservative politician from Santa Catarina State, got settled in his new homeland. He and Aleida eventually moved to Rio de Janeiro and continued to perform in a violin and piano duet. Some concerts were a challenge, since pianos in Brazil are rarely world-class. But Milewski was unperturbed—humidity and less-than-ideal venues never dimmed his unmatched sound and old world glamour. Warmed by his playing and gregarious personality, the invariably enthusiastic audiences gave Jerzy and Aleida a great reception everywhere they appeared.

In Rio de Janeiro Jerzy Milewski met several giants of Brazilian popular music: Chico Buarque, Vinicius De Moraes, Luiz Eça, and Antonio Carlos Jobim, among others. Thus began another of Jerzy’s adventures in music, “my doctorate, the continuation of my studies” as he once put it. He played with them and their ensembles. There was much touring of South America, lots of parties and drinking. “They loved to eat and perform, just like me,” Jerzy said, adding, “They also cured me of stage fright before concerts.” Eventually he would make over two dozen recordings with his South American friends, his circle expanding to include Djavan, Milton Nascimento, Paulinho da Viola, as well as more concerts, including appearances with the legendary Astor Piazzolla. After one such event, the after party at Rio’s exclusive Yacht Club ended with tablecloths and cutlery tossed into the Guanabara Bay. The huge bill that reached Milewski in Rio well after Piazzolla left town was, like many other hilarious stories, part of the great repository of tales Jerzy savored for sharing with his friends. Hospitable and unfailingly courteous, the doors to his spacious apartment in Rio’s quietly elegant Leme district were always open to musicians from across the globe. Jerzy presided happily over his large dining room table, laden with Polish and Brazilian specialties expertly prepared and displayed by Aleida. At the end of the evening, the beach-facing windows would be opened wide to the tropical night, filled with sensuous scents and sounds of the pounding surf coming from the beach right across Avenida Atlântica. The sun, when it finally began to climb across the sea after a night of celebrating, always reminded Jerzy of faraway Poland, continents away across the equator and under a different constellations of stars.

Another facet of Jerzy’s musical life was his outreach to young audiences. With Aleida he traveled far and wide, visiting many schools in poor and very poor neighborhoods, including some of the truly infamous Rio favelas. These concerts were as important to him as those in the biggest halls or festivals, like the “Música no Museu” series, where he and Aleida were often guest artists. His last visit to the U.S. came in April of 2011, when the Milewski Duo performed at several California venues, including a Paderewski Festival fundraiser in Paso Robles followed by a visit to the Polish Music Center in Los Angeles.

Milewski.jpg

Ever a meticulous professional, Jerzy was always ready to open his violin case, pull out his instrument, give it a brief and loving look, tune it carefully, and place his hand on the strings. Like a magic wand, his bow, tracing graceful strokes across the strings, evoked the soundhis sound—and with it a faint smile from the performer. Throughout his life Jerzy knew exactly where he could find that tone—always and under any condition. Once the music began his scores, extensively marked with fingering and bowing, were simply left behind. The music and the spirit soared.

 [mz]

 

 

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PMC NEWS
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STATE ARCHIVES SCHOLARS RETURN TO PMC

Robert Górski and Anna Czajka
Archive specialists Robert Górski and Anna Czajka at the Polish Music Center, July 2016

This July and August, the Polish Music Center is again honored to host several scholars from the State Archives in Warsaw. For the second time, we will be visited by archivist and Paderewski specialist, Dr. Robert Górski, and UN certified preservation specialist, Anna Czajka. This visit marks the sixth installment in the ongoing professional exchange between our two institutions, which began in 2012.

The focus of this summer’s visit will be two important sections of our archive—the “Paderewski Archive – Paso Robles Collection” and the “Zygmunt & Luisa Stojowski Collection”—with planned work including: continued archival organization Ndap.jpgand cataloguing, and preservation and preparation for digitalization. In addition to the gift of time and training with these highly skilled archivists, the State Archives will also provide new, archival-grade protective packaging material for those items in our collections most vulnerable to degradation.

The PMC thanks the General Director of the State Archives, Dr. Wojciech Woźniak, and his entire staff of the Head Office of the State Archives for their ongoing support of this cooperation.

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PADEREWSKI FESTIVAL 2017 PREVIEW

The 2017 Paderewski Festival in Paso Robles will be held from Thursday, November 2 through Sunday, November 5 in various venues around this beautiful wine country location once beloved by Ignacy Jan Paderewski.

The 2017 lineup of world class artists include:

  • NeoQuartet (above right) with Liliana Górska – mezzo soprano and Tomasz Jocz – piano, presenting a selection of Paderewski’s songs as well as film music and jazz improvisations

cracow_duo_no2.jpgCafeMusique.gif

  • Cracow Duo (above left) of Jan Kalinowski – cello and Marek Szlezer – piano, performing Paderewski, Tansman, Chopin and more
  • Café Musique (above right), a local ensemble combining gypsy, tango, folk and classical traditions

Other events will also include a recital of the 2017 winners of the Paderewski Festival Youth Competition, a piano master class, wine receptions and vineyard tours. The Paderewski Festival also welcomes its guests to attend a Symphony of the Vines concert featuring the Cracow Duo soloists in Beethoven’s Triple Concerto for Violin, Cello, Piano and Orchestra happening on Sunday afternoon, just after the Festival concludes.

NEWS

PREMIERE OF WOJTEK BLECHARZ: BODY-OPERA

blecharz-wojtekA new work by Wojtek Blecharz (left), Body-Opera is dedicated to the audience and questions the model of music perception based on mere sitting, listening and watching. This opera installation explores the relations between the human body and the ways we perceive sound, reminding us of its physical nature. If sound is frequency, or a vibration, it can “touch” not only our senses and emotions but our bodies too. It will be given its world premiere on the main stage of Warsaw’s Nowy Teatr on July 16-17, 2017.

After Transcryptum, commissioned by Teatr Wielki National Opera (2013), and Park-Opera, written for Teatr Powszechny (2016), Body-Opera is the third opera-installation that continues Blecharz's artistic mission and locates the viewer in a completely new musical and theatrical situation.

Body-Opera is a kind of a critique of institutions that for centuries have offered us the same model of listening to music, based on sitting, listening and watching. Nowadays, when we know that perception is connected with the entire body, experiencing music cannot be reduced to an abstract process involving only the brain, ears, and eyes. Sound is a frequency, vibration, a dynamic material that can touch our senses, emotions, but also the body.

Performers and crew for the premiere performance are: Karol Tymiński – dancer, Beltane Ruiz Molina – double bass, Alexandre Babel – percussion, VJ scenography, costumes – Ewa Śmigielska, and lighting design – Tadeusz Perkowski. It was produced by Nowy Teatr and co-produced by the Adam Mickiewicz Institute and the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, in partnership with the Body / Mind Foundation, as part of Performing Europe 2020.

July 16-17, 2017 | 8:00 p.m.
Premiere of Body-Opera by Wojtek Blecharz
Nowy Teatr – Main Stage
ul. Madalińskiego 10/16, 02-513 Warsaw
Tickets & Info: www.nowyteatr.org/en/event/body-opera

[Source: nowyteatr.org]

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MICHAŁ PEPOL: DŹWIĘK ODNALEZIONY

On July 5, 2017 at the Nowy Teatr in Warsaw, 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. For the project, Pepol performed the music of modern composers writing for solo cello, in cooperation with visual artist Paweł Bownik.

Inspired by his previous cooperation with theatre director Krzysztof Warlikowski’s The French, Pepol decided to broaden and modernize the formula of classical concert. Pepol stimulated the audience’s imaginations with unusual articulation techniques, such as: using fingers and hands instead of the bow, using electronics, and making vases from the body of instruments.

The concert was a set of individual works, however the repertoire combined to create an indivisible whole, presenting a coherent story of various characters. The visuals created by Bownik filled in the gaps between musical pieces.

The recital started with The Map of Tenderness by Wojtek Blecharz. Music for Cello and One or More Amplified Vases by Alvin Lucier, a type of performance art rather than a classical piece, followed. After that the artist presented Modus, which includes the shaking and incredibly honest voice of composer Tomasz Sikorski, followed by the popular Spiegel im Spiegel by Arvo Pärt and Kartka z albumu by Paweł Mykietyn—the most theatrical and dramatic piece, featuring the voice of Sara Bernhardt reciting Fedra. The concert finished with Pepol’s arrangement of the song “Among Angels” by Kate Bush, and George Brecht’s Solo for Cello. Polishing.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017 | 8:00 pm
“Dźwięk odnaleziony” [Sound Regained] – Michał Pepol, cello
Nowy Teatr
ul. Madalińskiego 10/16, 02-513 Warsaw
Info: www.nowyteatr.org

[Sources: polmic.pl, nowyteatr.org]

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AGATA ZUBEL IN BALTIMORE

Polish singer and composer Agata Zubel will perform at the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra’s New Music Festival on July 13 and 15, both with the orchestra and in a late night solo performance. These events were organized in collaboration with the Adam Mickiewicz Institute as part of the Polska Music program

The Festival’s inaugural July 13 program will include her 2012 piece Labyrinth for voice and four instruments, written to the Nobel Prize-winning poet Wisława Szymborska’s words, which Zubel will perform with members of the BSO. Also on July 13, Zubel will give a solo performance in the lobby of the Boston Symphony Orchestra building, as part of the “BSO Late Night” series.

On July 15, Zubel will perform Chapter 13 (2015) for a soprano and instrumental ensemble to words by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry with the BSO, and the orchestra will also present its interpretation of Zubel’s In the Shade of an Unshed Tear.

Thursday, July 13, 2017 | 8:00 p.m.
Agata Zubel at the New Music Festival
Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Griswold Hall - Peabody Conservatory
1212 Cathedral St., Baltimore, MD 21201
Tickets & Info: www.bsomusic.org

Saturday, July 15, 2017 | 8:00 p.m.
Agata Zubel at the New Music Festival
Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall
1212 Cathedral St., Baltimore, MD 21201
Tickets & Info: www.bsomusic.org

[Source: culture.pl]

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POLISH SACRED CHORAL MUSIC IN BRAZIL

frankow-zelazny_agnieszka.jpgConducted by Agnieszka Franków-Żelazny (left), the Guri Youth Choir of Santa Marcelina will perform an all-Polish program in São Paulo, Brazil on July 22-23, 2017. Their repertoire of sacred choral music will include such composers as Łukasz Farcinkiewicz, Marcin Tadeusz Łukaszewski, Paweł Łukaszewski, Stanisław Moniuszko, Marek Raczyński, Józef Świder, Romuald Twardowski and Michał Zieliński.

The Guri Program provides musical education and social and cultural inclusion for 13,000 children and adolescents aged from 6 to 19 in ensembles located throughout Greater São Paulo. The Program was created in 2009 to integrate students from all areas and provide them with artistic and educational opportunities through group performance. In 2009, there were two ensembles: the Symphony Band and the Children and Youth Choir. As of 2013, there are now ten ensembles.

According to culture.pl:

The event is part of an educational project launched in May 2017 by Santa Marcelina Cultura in cooperation with the Adam Mickiewicz Institute, under its flagship brand Culture.pl. The project revolves around special music workshops for Brazilian musicians from the State Orchestra of São Paulo and the Guri Youth Choir conducted by Polish professionals.

From 16th July to 1st August, Agnieszka Franków-Żelazny, choirmaster and artistic director of the National Forum of Music Choir in Wrocław, will work with the young Brazilian musicians during special workshops. She will work on vocal training with the Guri Youth Choir and prepare them for concerts during which they will perform a Polish repertoire.

The first part of the project took place at the beginning of May 2017 and was a cooperation between students of the Tom Jobim Music School (Escola de Música do Estado de São Paulo Tom Jobim) and Polish maestro Michał Klauza and violinist Agata Szymczewska. The Polish [musicians] worked with Brazilian youth on symphonic music, violin playing techniques, choral studies and vocal training. The outcome of the cooperation between the Polish teachers and their Brazilian pupils were two performances on 6th May in Indaiatuba and the 7th May in São Paulo.

See our June 2017 Newsletter for a review of the concerts with Klauza and Szymczewska that kicked off this project in May.

Saturday, July 22, 2017 | 11:00 a.m.
Guri Youth Choir sings all-Polish program with Agnieszka Franków-Żelazny, cond.

Paróquia Nossa Senhora Auxiliadora
R. Dom Bôsco, 55 - Iguacu, Londrina - PR, 86060-340, Brazil
Info: gurisantamarcelina.org.br

Sunday, July 23, 2017 |4 :00 p.m.
Guri Youth Choir sings all-Polish program with Agnieszka Franków-Żelazny, cond.

Museu de Arte de São Paulo, Auditorium
Av. Paulista, 1578 - Bela Vista, São Paulo, Brazil
Info: gurisantamarcelina.org.br

[Sources: culture.pl, verzani.com.br, gurisantamarcelina.org.br]

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POLISH JAZZ IN CHINA

stanislaw slowinskiFrom July 6-14, the Stanisław Słowiński Quintet will tour China. The Quintet is comprised of Stanisław Słowiński – violin, Zbyszek Szwajdych – trumpet, Joachim Mencel – piano, Justyn Małodobry – double bass and Piotr Budniak – drums. Their concerts are part of the 4th edition of ‘Jazz Po Polsku,’ a series presenting a wide spectrum of Polish jazz & avant-garde musicians. Below is an excerpt of an article about the tour from culture.pl:

July will see the Stanisław Słowiński Quintet back on tour in China. The Kraków-based band will give seven concerts in Lanzhou, Beijing, Shanghai and Xi’an. The shows are a part of the Jazz Po Polsku project and the Season of Culture – a programme of the Chinese Ministry of Culture promoting the 16+1 initiative aimed at enhancing collaboration between China and Central and Eastern European countries, as well as the idea of the new Silk Road.

Stanisław Słowiński Quintet will arrive in China on 5th July. The tour will kick off in Lanzhou, a city by the Yellow River, the capital of Gansu Province situated in the north-western part of China. On 8th July, the Quintet will perform in the province’s largest venue: the Lanzhou Music Hall. The musicians will play a total of four shows at the China-CEEC Art Festival in Lanzhou. Next, the band will give concerts on 12th July in Xi’an (Meeting Jazz Club), on 13th July in Shanghai (JZ Club) and a day later in Beijing (DDC Club).

[…]

Stanisław Słowiński is one of the most active musicians on the Polish scene. As a frontman in his own projects, a sideman and a session musician, he gives over a hundred concerts a year, visiting club and festival scenes around the world, including Chile, China, South Korea, Iceland, Spain, Serbia and Hungary. He has won many awards, including the 39. Jazz Juniors Grand Prix and the Audience Prize at the 1st International Zbigniew Seifert Jazz Violin Competition. He debuted with Landscapes Too Easy To Explain, his own material recorded with the Quintet, which was granted international distribution through Hevhetia label. The album met an incredibly warm response from fans and critics alike. The Chinese tour will see the band performing for the first time the tracks from their upcoming album Visions | Between Love And Death.

The concerts are organised in collaboration with the Chinese Jazz Association (CJA), the Adam Mickiewicz Institute and the Polish Institute in Beijing.

July 6-14, 2017
Stanisław Słowiński Quintet Live in China 2017
Venues in China: Lanzhou, CEEC Art Festival (7/6-9); Xi’an, Meeting Jazz Club (7/12); Shanghai, JZ Club (7/13); Beijing, DDC Club (7/14)
Info: culture.pl

[Source: culture.pl]

AWARDS

INT’L COMPOSITION COMPETITION ‘SINFONIETTA PER SINFONIETTA’

sinfonietta-cracovia.JPG

The 2017 International Composition Competition “Sinfonietta per Sinfonietta,” held under the honorary patronage of prof. Krzysztof Penderecki, took place on June 18, 2017. The aim of the competition is to promote young composers and to broaden the repertoire for string orchestra. After careful analysis and evaluation of the anonymously submitted works, the Jury—comprised of Joanna Wnuk-Nazarowa, Eugeniusz Knapik, Jerzy Kornowicz, Marcel Chyrzyński, René Staar, Jurek Dybał, and Adam Wesołowski— awarded the following:

  • MAIN PRIZE: Mr. Drinor Zymberi (Kosovo) for Sinfonietta: Moving Landscapes
  • Honorable Mentions:
    • Mrs. Young Woo Yoo (South Korea) for Sinfonietta: Luminous
    • Mrs. Adrianna Furmanik-Celejewska (Poland) for Sinfonietta: Birds song

The premiere performance of the winning composition, accompanied by the ceremony of awarding the diplomas to the Competition’s winners, took place on June 30, 2017, during the inaugural concert of this year’s edition of the Sinfonietta Festival at the Gallery of 19th-Century Polish Art in The Sukiennice, 7:30pm).

[Source: sinfonietta.pl]

 

FESTIVALS


FESTIVAL OF POLISH MUSIC

fmp2017.jpg

The 13th edition of the Polish Music Festival will be held from July 7-16, 2017 in Kraków. Organized since 2005, the festival aims to present valuable works by Polish composers, written from the Middle Ages to the present day, and to contrast them with the world's music and display them in various contexts. Audiences will hear both early and contemporary works by the greats—including Fryderyk Chopin, Mieczysław Karłowicz, Wojciech Kilar, Witold Lutosławski, Andrzej Panufnik, Karol Szymanowski, Aleksander Tansman and Henryk Wieniawski—all performed by outstanding soloists and ensembles from Poland and abroad. Some of the Festival highlights are as follows

The festival will be inaugurated with Karol Szymanowski’s opera Król Roger on July 7, in Kościół św. Katarzyny [St Catherine Church], which is in the historic district of Kazimierz. The concert performance will be given by the Wrocław Opera Choir and Orchestra, under the baton of Marcin Nałęcz-Niesiołowski. Baritone Valdis Jansons will take on the title role, with Wojciech Parchem as the Shepherd, Elżbieta Szmytka as Roxana, Aleksander Zuchowicz as Edrisi, Łukasz Konieczny as the Archbishop and Jadwiga Postrożna as the Deaconess.

On July 8, a performance of Szymanowski’s ballet Mandragora will feature the solo of tenor Michał Prószyński, a student of the Academy of Music in Kraków, performing with the AUKSO Chamber Orchestra of the City of Tychy, one of the best chamber orchestras in Europe. The concert will take place at the Kraków Philharmonic and will be conducted by eminent Polish conductor Marek Moś.

2017 marks the 145th anniversary of Stanisław Moniuszko’s death and thus the Festival will present Widma—a relatively unknown work composed to the text from Adam Mickiewicz’s Dziady. Widma will be performed on July 9 by Artur Janda, Maria Rozynek-Banaszak, Stanisław Kuflyuk, Katarzyna Mackiewicz, the Kraków Philharmonic Choir, and Sinfonia Iuventus, under the baton of Maciej Tworek.

On July 13, the audience will hear works by Paweł Mykietyn, including: 3 for 13, Double Concerto for two flutes and symphonic orchestra, and the Second Symphony. The performers of the concert are flutists Łukasz Długosz, Agata Kielar-Długosz, Sinfonia Varsovia Orchestra, led by Lebanese-Polish conductor Bassem Akiki at the Kraków Philharmonic Hall.

On July 16, acordonist Maciej Frąckiewicz will perform alongside pianist Marek Bracha, violinist Marią Sławek, and cellist Aleksandrą Lelek at the same venue. Frąckiewicz is considered one of the most famous Polish accordionists and has won many Polish and international competitions, including the prestigious Hiri Arrasate (Spain) in 2012 and more recently the coveted “Political Passport” Magazine Award in 2013.

The Festival will conclude on July 16 with compositions of Leos Janáček and again Szymanowski. The concert will feature acclaimed soloists from major European opera houses, alongside the Kraków Philharmonic Choir and the Janáček Philharmonic Orchestra, led by the artistic director of the Lublin Philharmonic—Wojciech Rodek.

July 7-16, 2017
Festival of Polish Music

Various venues in Kraków
Info: fmp.org.pl

[Source: polmic.pl, fmp.org.pl]

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SUMMER CONCERTS AT GROCHOWSKA

sinfonia-varsovia_grochowska2017.jpgThe 20th edition of the "Summer Concerts at Grochowska" series will take place from May 20 to August 27, 2017. Hosted by Sinfonia Varsovia at their hall on Grochowska St. in Warsaw, this festival is an intimate series of 28 free concerts featuring outstanding artists of the young generation. Performers include participants in the Sinfonia Varsovia Academy of Music and the Academy of Opera, as well as winners of such prestigious competitions as the I. J. Paderewski International Piano Competition, and many others.

The Festival began with a performance of Szymanowski’s Three fragments from the poems of Jan Kasprowicz, Op. 5, performed by the inimitable mezzo-soprano Urszula Kryger. This year's edition has many new features. Several concerts will be devoted to quartets, wherein the saxophone quartet ‘The Whoop Group,’ the clarinet quartet ‘Poco Leggero,’ the guitar ensemble ‘Erlendis Quartet’ and the piano quartet of Anna Maria Staśkiewicz (violin), Katarzyna Budnik-Gałazka (viola) and Marcel Markowski (cello) with pianist Piotr Kopczyński  will perform. For the first time in the series, the harpsichord will be featured. On the occasion of Children's Day, a concert dedicated to the youngest music lovers, entitled "Lutosławski, Tuwim. Songs not only for children,” will be presented by singer songwriter Dorota Miśkiewicz and Kwadrofonik.

May 20 - August 27, 2017
‘Summer Concerts at Grochowska’ Festival
Sinfonia Varsovia Hall
Grochowska 272, Warsaw, Poland
FREE Admission
Info: www.sinfoniavarsovia.org

[Source: polmic.pl, sinfoniavarsovia.org]

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XVII MUSIC GARDENS FESTIVAL

Ogrodymuz.jpgAn event with 17 years of tradition, the Ogrody Muzyczne [Music Gardens] Festival will be held this year from July 1-26, 2017 in Warsaw’s Royal Castle.

For the last 10 years, the main guest of the festival has been the country that annually assumes the leadership of the Council of the European Union on July 1. This year that country is Estonia, which also celebrates its 100 anniversary of gaining independence in 2017. Concerts and other events of the festival are going to be held under the auspices of Estonian Embassy, and an official celebration program called #Estonia100. This year, guest performers from Estonia will include: the Estonian Piano Orchestra (8 pianists on 4 pianos), the Vox Clamantis Choir (2013 Grammy Award winners) and Sven Grünberg (a leader of Estonian electronic music and progressive rock).

The festival also will not miss Polish performers. In the final concert titled “Paganini Tour”, violinist Marcin Patyra and the Sinfonia Viva ensemble dir. by Tomasz Radiwonowicz will perform a program including the Concerto for Orchestra by Grażyna Bacewicz. Popular artists such as Stanisław Janicki (July 13) and Jolanta and Włodek Pawlik (July 7) will also be special guests.

July 1-26, 2017
Ogrody Muzyczne [Music Gardens] Festival

Royal Castle, Warsaw
Info: www.ogrodymuzyczne.pl

[Source: polmic.pl, ogrodymuzyczne.pl]

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KRAKÓW PHILHARMONIC MUSIC SUMMER FESTIVAL

As in previous years, during the summer months, the Kraków Philharmonic organizes a series of Philharmonic Music Summer concerts. This year's series of concerts will take place every Wednesday, from July 5 to August 30 at 6:30 pm, in a unique space—the Bishop Ciolek Palace, home of a branch of the National Museum in Kraków. Concerts will take place in the Hall of Virtues and the Palace courtyard, featuring musicians from around Poland. Programs will include Polish composers such as Witold Lutosławski, Aleksander Tansman, Zymunt Noskowski, Józef Nowakowski, and Ewa Fabiańska- Jelińska.

The idea of ​​organizing summer concerts outside the Philharmonic Hall at Zwierzyniecka came about due to the modernization and maintenance work being done on the Hall this summer. The Philharmonic and the Museum have truly combined forces for these concerts—the musical style will fit the aesthetics of this extraordinary environment, giving the audience an unforgettable experience

July 5 - August 30, 2017 | Wednesdays at 6:30 pm
Kraków Philharmonic Music Summer
Bishop Ciolek Palace, National Museum in Kraków
ul. Kanonicza 17, 31-002 Kraków

[Source: filharmonia.Kraków.pl,]

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SINFONIETTA FESTIVAL 2017

From June 30 - July 4, the 3rd edition of Sinfonietta Festival took place in Kraków. This year’s theme was “Sinfonietta is a woman.” This five day long musical marathon hosted by the Sinfonietta Cracovia was dedicated to female instrumentalists, composers and muses—not only the ones who are widely known and valued, but also the ones who are still waiting to establish their position in the pantheon of musical stars.

Performers included the world star of violin, Soyoung Yoon (winner of XIV Henryk Wieniawski Competition); young Polish violinist Amelia Maszońska (the winner of 4 special prizes at XV H. Wieniawski Competition, and winner of Sinfonietta Cracovia and TVP Kultura competitions); Orion Trio from Switzerland; Lethiec Trio from France; and opera stars Ewa Majcherczyk, as the lead in Rebeka Rota’s The Diary of Anne Frank, and Ulrike Helzel from Vienna.

Works performed included: Modlitwa dziewicy by Tekla Bądarzewska-Baranowska, String Quartet No 4 by Grażyna Bacewicz, Modlitwa Andrzeja by Roxanna Panufnik, Canzona di barocco by Henryk Czyż, and the premiere of the winner composition of the Sinfonietta per Sinfonietta International Composers Competition (see the Awards section for details).

June 30 - July 4, 2017
Sinfonietta Festival

Various venues throughout Kraków
Tickets & Info: sinfonietta.pl

[Sources: polmic.pl, sinfonietta.pl]

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‘SPHERE OF SILENCE’ FESTIVAL 2017

It is already the fifth edition of the Strefa Ciszy [Sphere of Silence] Festival, a special concert series organized in one of the most beautiful gardens of Warsaw. For five consecutive Saturdays in July, on five open-air stages, listeners will hear various genres of music, from classical music and jazz to folk. Concerts for the youngest music lovers will take place throughout the day, in the morning and in the afternoon.

The Sphere of Silence is organized in the Royal Łazienki Museum for the fourth time. Ryszard Kubiak, director and originator of the festival, says he could not think of any better place: “The concept of the festival was connected from the beginning with the Royal Łazienki Museum” he explains. “That place is our oasis of peace, beauty and nature in the middle of the rushing city. The Royal Łazienki Museum is the eponymous sphere of silence, that is, a zone where one may hear sounds inaudible and unnoticed in other places.”

The Sphere of Silence Festival is addressed not only to consummate music lovers. The organizers focus on quality and count on a universal message: “If I were to describe the artistic message of the Sphere of Silence in the shortest possible way, I would say: uncompromising quality in a nice friendly atmosphere” Tomasz Pokrzywiński explains. “We made the assumption that we will host only the best musicians and bands, and their performances will not be distorted by any sound amplification system, so our concerts will definitely satisfy [a] demanding audience. On the other hand, the atmosphere, and in some part also the repertoire, will tempt even the most chance passers-by.”

Organizers of the Sphere of Silence Festival include: the Royal Łazienki Museum, Music is for Everyone Foundation and Musical Gardens Foundation.

Saturdays, July 1-29, 2017 | all day
Strefa Ciszy [Sphere of Silence] Festival
Royal Łazienki Museum
FREE admission
Info: www.strefaciszyfestival.pl

[Source: polmic.pl, strefaciszyfestival.pl]

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2017 TAURON NOWA MUZYKA FESTIVAL

For 12 years the Tauron Nowa Muzyka Festival (July 6-9, 2017) has been combining post-industrial locations with futuristic sounds in Katowice. This Festival, which is considered to be one of the top musical events in Poland, presents the most interesting debuts and the greatest stars of modern electronic music, jazz, rock and hip hop every year. Since 2014 the festival has been held in Strefa Kultury in Katowice which was created on the revitalised area of KWK “Katowice” in the Bogucice district.

This year’s Festival will feature performances by Wacław Zimpel (a clarinet player specializing in improvising music who graduated from the Poznań Academy of Music and Hochschule für Musik und Theater w Hanover), Marcin Masecki (a pianist and a composer who is connected with publisher Lado ABC, he graduated from Berklee College of Music in Boston and is known for his unconventional approach to playing jazz and classical music) and the Polish Radio National Symphony Orchestra (NOSPR).

July 6-9, 2017
Tauron Nowa Muzyka Festival

Various venues around Katowice
Info & Tickets: festiwalnowamuzyka.pl

[Sources: polmic.pl, festiwalnowamuzyka.pl]

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LESSER KNOWN FESTIVALS

iamlogo_eng.jpgInterested in summer music listening opportunities that are more off the beaten path? The Adam Mickiewicz Institute has taken a look at some lesser-known festivals in Poland that are definitely worth your while.

Visit culture.pl/en/article/an-ultimate-guide-to-summer-music-festivals-in-poland to learn more.

[Source: culture.pl]

 


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DISCOGRAPHY
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ŁUKASZEWSKI ON WARNER

Paweł Łukaszewski: Motets
Paweł Łukaszewski: Motette; Adoramus Te, Christe; Pater Noster; Psalmus 120; Beatus Vir, Sanctus Adalbertus; Nunc dimittis; Beatus vir, Sanctus Martinus; Psalmus 129; Ave Maria; Ave Maris Stella; Regina Caeli; Alleluia; Pięć żałobnych pieśni kurpiowskich [Five funeral kurpian songs]; Adventgebet
Polish Chamber Choir, Jan Łukaszewski – cond.
Warner Classics 9029583639 (June 30, 2017)

“Łukaszewski’s reputation is growing rapidly, and rightly”
(BBC Music Magazine)

“True master of the art of a cappella writing”
(Gramophone about Paweł Łukaszewski)

This new Warner Classics album of motets by Polish composer Paweł Łukaszewski, which includes seven world premiere recordings, not only soothes the senses, but also provokes a deeper spiritual reflection and provides repose from the never-ending race of our daily lives. The leading Polish composer of his generation presents an album of intense, immersive beauty with these performances of his original works by the excellent Polish Chamber Choir under the baton of Jan Łukaszewski.

Although this music draws extensively on tradition, the result is fresh and authentic. Maestro Stephen Layton, director of Trinity College Choir Cambridge as well as Polyphony and The Holst Singers, to whom one of the pieces on the album is dedicated, has praised these choral works for their spiritual intensity, diversity of sound colour and sophistication, comparing Łukaszewski to Henryk Górecki and Arvo Pärt, composers known for their emblematic style and a universal message expressed in intimate but emotionally powerful music.

Emilia Dudkiewicz, musicologist and theologian at the Fryderyk Chopin University of Warsaw, also lauds the composer: “Łukaszewski’s Motets are like the light of dawn, like caramel melting in the mouth, and like the petals of a rose in bloom… or like the calm breath of a child whom we have helped dry their tears, and regain the wonderful joy of life. For some this music is a feast of sound and a source of comfort. For others – it is a spiritual journey. It inspires profound reflection and 'helps us explore the true meaning of the world, and of ourselves.”

“When after a concert people often tell me that my music has moved them – this is the most wonderful review that I can get (…) But I try to be genuine and I don’t want to manipulate anyone’s emotions,” said Paweł Łukaszewski in Presto – Music Film Art magazine. “You can tell a good composer by the way he or she can write for the human voice.”

[Source: warnerclassics.com, prestoclassical.co.uk]

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SWR PRESENTS ‘POLSKA’ FOR CHOIR

POLSKA : Choral Music - Szymanowski, K. / Penderecki, K. / Górecki, H. / Lutosławski, W.
Karol Szymanowski: Piesni kurpiowskie (Kurpie Songs); Krzysztof Penderecki: Veni creator; Song of Cherubim; Roman Haubenstock-Ramati: Madrigal; Henryk Mikołaj Górecki: Pięć Pieśni Kurpiowskich [5 Kurpian Songs], Op. 75; Witold Lutosławski: 10 Pieśni Ludowych Na Tematy Źołnierskie [10 Polish Folksongs on Soldiers' Themes) (excerpts)
South West German Radio Vocal Ensemble, Marcus Creed – cond.
SWR Classic SWR19017CD; Available on Amazon

Thematically, this collection of great Polish choral works turns between religion, war and Polish folk culture. The wide range and compositional depth of the pieces are simply spectacular.

 [Source: naxos.com]

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POLISH-AMERICAN COMPOSERS ON NAXOS

Discography/jul17/nowakowski_naxos.jpgNOWAKOWSKI, M.: Blood, Forgotten
Mark Nowakowski: String Quartet No. 1, "Songs of Forgiveness"; Blood, Forgotten; String Quartet No. 2, "Grandfather Songs"; A Usnijze mi, usnij [Lullaby: O Sleep for me, sleep]
NAXOS 8.559821 (June 9, 2017)

The people of Poland have lived through often impossible conditions over the last three centuries, and this album is Polish-American composer Mark Nowakowski’s tribute to their spirit of survival. Songs of Forgiveness is both a meditation on anger and grief and a lamentation on the stark realities of a society riven by tragedy. Blood, Forgotten is a multimedia memorial for the victims of Nazi and Soviet aggression during World War II, the electronic soundtrack using sounds from an instrument that survived one of the concentration camps. Partly written as a memorial for Henryk Górecki, Grandfather Songs also includes the surreal element of a recording of Nowakowski’s family singing the war song Hej Ulani.

A similar recording to know about…

Discography/jul17/muczynski_naxos.jpgMUCZYNSKI: Works for Flute (Complete)
Naxos 8559001

Considered one of the most distinguished American neo-Classical composers of his generation, Robert Muczynski (1929 – 2010) was a Polish-American born in Chicago. Muczynski studied composition with Alexander Tcherepnin at DePaul University in the late 1940s. Described by Fanfare as “…one of our country’s best composers,” he made his Carnegie Hall debut at 29, performing a program of his own compositions for piano. His Sonata for Flute and Piano received the Concours Internationale Prize in Nice, France, in 1961 and is now unanimously regarded by audiences, critics, and performers as an important addition to the flute repertoire.

[Source: naxosdirect.com, presser.com]

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LUTOSŁAWSKI AND OTHER DUOS FOR CELLO & VIOLIN

Duos for Violin & Cello: Staśkiewicz & Koziak
Zoltán Kodály: Duo op.7; Bohuslav Martinů: Duo nr.1, H.157; Witold Lutosławski: Bukoliki;  Maurice Ravel: Sonata
Sarton 026-2 (June 2017)

Two outstanding Polish musicians, Anna Maria Staśkiewicz and Bartosz Koziak, have prepared a program presenting the most interesting pieces written for rarely-heard duo: violin and cello. The album will be released with a support of the Polish Institute in Budapest and The Balassi Institute in Warsaw, among others. It features works by Witold Lutosławski as well as Zoltán Kodály, Bohuslav Martinů and Maurice Ravel that have been re-adapted by the artists. On June 29, the artists presented repertoire from the CD at the Budapest Music Center and one day later in Berlin.

[Source: press release, sway.com]

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CHOPIN ON ORFEO

CHOPIN, F.: Etudes, Opp. 10 and 25
Fryderyk Chopin: 12 Etudes, Op. 10; 12 Etudes, Op. 25
Amir Katz
Orfeo C922171A (May 12, 2017); Available on Amazon

Israeli pianist Amir Katz has been hailed by Pizzicato as “a pianist of intelligence and sensibility, and his set of Chopin Etudes is very personal, fresh and well sustained. It’s certainly a very honest interpretation, rewarding for anyone looking for new, yet acceptable ways for Chopin’s music.”

Amir Katz first began his piano studies with Hanna Shalgi at age eleven. At the age of fifteen, he was already playing with the Haifa Symphony Orchestra and the Israel Chamber Orchestra. After winning several national competitions and receiving a scholarship from the America-Israel Cultural Foundation and the Clairmont Award, Katz moved to Europe, supported by other fellowships. At the International Piano Academy on Lake Como, he had lessons with Leon Fleisher, Karl Ulrich Schnabel, and Murray Perahia. In four international competitions Amir Katz won first prize: Maria Canals in Barcelona, Robert Casadesus in Cleveland, Viotti Valsesia in Italy, and the Schubert Competition in Dortmund. Katz now receives concert invitations from orchestras and festivals around the world. He performs in the most distinguished halls in Europe, Asia and North America, such as the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris, the Rudolfinum in Prague, the Tonhalle Zürich, the Philharmonie in Berlin and the Lincoln Center New York.

[Source: naxos.com, prestoclassical.co.uk]

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PERFORMANCES
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PADEREWSKI MUSICAL MARATHON

ANNIVERSARIES
BORN THIS MONTH:
    • July 04, 1904 - Artur MALAWSKI, composer (d. 1957)
    • July 06, 1837 - Władysław ŻELEŃSKI, composer (also a doctor of philosophy, d.1921)
    • July 09, 1931 - Eugeniusz KNAPIK, composer
    • July 10, 1936 - Jan Wincenty HAWEL, composer and conductor
    • July 10, 1835 - Henryk WIENIAWSKI, violin virtuoso & composer (d. 1880, Moscow)
    • July 10, 1929 - Tadeusz STRUMIŁŁO, musicologist (d. 1956)
    • July 13, 1775 - Antoni Henryk RADZIWIŁŁ, composer, cellist, patron of arts (d. 1833)
    • July 14, 1926 - Jan KRENZ, conductor & composer
    • July 16, 1947 - Grażyna PSTROKOŃSKA-NAWRATIL, composer
    • July 17, 1932 - Wojciech KILAR, composer
    • July 22, 1930 - Leoncjusz CIUCIURA, composer
    • July 23, 1884 - Apolinary SZELUTO, composer, member of Młoda Polska [Young Poland] group (d. 1966)
    • July 26, 1928 - Tadeusz BAIRD, composer (d. 1982)
    • July 26, 1922 - Andrzej KOSZEWSKI, composer (choral music)
    • July 29, 1943 - Marta PTASZYŃSKA, composer & percussionist
    • July 31, 1810 - Julian FONTANA, close friend and musical associate of Chopin (d.1869)

DIED THIS MONTH:

    • July 1, 2001 - Halina CZERNY-STEFANSKA (b. 1922), pianist
    • July 6, 1911 - Kazimierz HOFMANN (b. 1842), pianist, composer, and father of the renowned virtuoso and director of Curtis Institute, Józef Hofmann
    • July 8, 1906 - Franciszek BORNIK (b. 1870), priest, conductor, writer
    • July 21, 1964 - Zygmunt SITOWSKI (b. 1906), musicologist
    • July 23, 1829 - Wojciech BOGUSŁAWSKI (b. 1757), the first theatre director in Poland, the author of several opera libretti (set by J. Stefani and J. Elsner)
    • July 23, 1909 - Zygmunt NOSKOWSKI (b. 1846), composer, pedagogue and conductor
    • July 25, 1831 - Maria SZYMANOWSKA (b. 1789), pianist and composer

Back to PMC Home Page PMC Newsletter Archive

Copyright 2017 by the Polish Music Center

Send your comments and inquiries to: polmusic@thornton.usc.edu
Newsletter Editor: Krysta Close
Layout Assistance: Charles Bragg, Thuy Le
Translation Assistance: Tomasz Fechner

Contributions from:
Mark Nowakowski, Stanisław Suchora, 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 Charles Bragg & Krysta Close, July 13, 2017


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