Polish Music
Reference Center
June 1998, Vol. 4, no. 6
ISSN 1098-9188

Anniversaries * Awards * Books * Calendar
Director's Report * Discography * News
Recording of the Month * Recent Performances



Polish Singers Alliance of America announces the winners at the International Convention and Competition, held in Chicago, IL, on May 20-24, 1998. Choruses competed in three categories: mixed, female and male. The results are as follows:

The female chorus, Polonia Singers #329 was awarded the highest points over all competing choruses and took home not only the 1st Place trophy for their category, but also a traveling trophy and the PSAA’s highest award, the Hlond Trophy.

On Sunday, May 24th, a concert of the combined choruses of the PSAA with the aid of the recently formed Polish-American Symphony Orchestra of Chicago took place at the Medinah Temple under the musical direction of Andrzej Rozbicki, former General Choral Director of the PSAA. Polish composer and guest of honor, Wojciech Kilar was unable to attend the convention due to the unfortunate circumstance of his wife having suffered a heart attack a few days earlier. He addressed the singers and audience by tape broadcast during the concert. The concert boasted two American premiers by Kilar: Angelus, for soprano solo, mixed chorus and orchestra featuring guest soprano Brygida Bziukiewicz; and Krzesany, for orchestra and band of mountaineer musicians. Master and Mistress of Ceremony were the illustrious Bogusław Kaczynski, Polish TV Personality and Director of the Roma Musical Theater in Warsaw, and Lucyna Migała, Artistic Director and Coordinator of the Lira Singers #314, Chicago.

You can learn more about the Polish Singers Alliance of America by visiting their site: http://www.ivandv.com/psaa.


The Leopold Stokowsky Collection was transferred from the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia to the University of Pennsylvania Library. To celebrate this occasion an all-day program (symposium, exhibit, film and evening concert) was devoted to the famous maestro. Born in London to a Polish father Stokowsky was conductor of the Philadelphia Orchestra from 1912-38, transforming it into a world class orchestra.

Polish-American pianist Emanuel AX has just recorded a new way to hear Chopin. This time Sony selected an 1851 Erard piano for his rendition of Chopin's Piano Concerto no. 2, Fantasia on polish Airs and Andante spaniato & Grande Polonaise. Jed Distler calls it "a welcome issue" and discusses Ax's first encounter with a period instrument in the June issue of Gramophone.

Kurt MASUR, director of the New York Philharmonic, recently opened the International Silesian Festival of Music conducting the WOSPRiT Orchestra of Katowice. The festival was held in the town of Brzeg, located in Wrocław county, where the famous conductor was born.

Joanna Oledzka reported in the Nowy Dziennik on Stanisław SOJKA's concert for the benefit of the Museum of Natural History in Chicago. Music critic of the Smooth Jazz radio program called it the top event of the month. The Polish vocalist sang several versions (including his own arrangement) of Shakespeare's Sonnets, as well as old and newest highlights from his latest CD No. 17, which includes poetry of Nobel prize winner Wisława Szymborska.

POSITION AVAILABLE: St. Barbara Parish, 13534 Colson, Dearborn, MI 48126 (fax: 313-582-1581) searches for a qulified organist/choir director. The preference is for someone familiar with the Catholic music and liturgy, as well as with the Polish language. For more information please contact Fr. Zbigniew Grankowski, pastor, at the above address.


IRCR Historic Awards for 1998: Winner of the International Classical Record Collector, a quarterly magazine devoted to recordings from the past, in the instrumental category is The Complete Josef Hofmann. Vol. 5 Solo Recordings 1935-48. Marston mono 52004-2. His playing is described (Gramophone, June ‘98) as "imbued with a sense of classical poise and beauty of tone and there is some stunning finger technique( the cadenza in the second performance of Chopin's Op. 27 No. 2 is quite breathtaking." Among the nominations in the vocal awards we find Marcella Sembrich. Opera Arias (Romophone mono 810262).


The newest book by Polish music critic, Jerzy Waldorf, is hot off the press: Serce w płomieniach. Słowo o Szymanowskim. [Heart in flames. A word about Szymanowski.] The author concentrates on painting a picture of Szymanowski in the context of musical life in the Poland's capital city, Warsaw, during the years between the two world wars.