Polish Music Newsletter

March 2018, Vol. 23, No. 4. ISSN 1098-9188. Published monthly.
Los Angeles: Polish Music Center, University of Southern California

Anniversaries | Awards | Centenary | Discography | Festivals
News | Performances | PMC News

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The Polish Music Center's pioneering website has been serving musicians, scholars and the interested public worldwide since 1994. In 2017, we announced our intention to overhaul and update our antiquated web portal with a "Website Reboot" fundraising campaign, which was overwhelmingly supported from all corners of the globe, by small individual donors and large angel donors alike.

We would like to express our deepest gratitude for this widespread support with an announcement that our new portal is almost complete and ready for use! Utilizing a template set forth by the University of Southern California, we are now in compliance with our fellow departments and have added greater navigability for our users, while maintaining our unique voice as an important English-language, scholarly resource for all aspects of Polish music and culture.

Our new website will go live on March 24, 2018—the day of our spring concert (see next article for details). Please join us on that day and beyond at:


Please bookmark this new home for all of your Polish music news and information!


As part of Poland's 2018 Centennial Celebration, the Polish Music Center at USC presents a spring concert entitled “Młoda Polska: Towards Independence” on March 24 at USC in Los Angeles. The theme of the concert is music by composers of the Młoda Polska (Young Poland) generation whose works embody the modernist and neo-romantic aesthetic of pre-war occupied Poland.  Composers on the program will include such luminaries as Noskowski, Paderewski, Stojowski, Szymanowski, Zarębski and Żeleński.


The performers are members of the Polish Society of Chamber Musicians (SPMK), an active group of excellent young musicians who perform and educate around the world.

Saturday, March 24, 2018 | 4:00 pm
PMC Spring Concert – Młoda Polska: Towards Independence
Newman Recital Hall (AHF on the USC map)
3616 Trousdale Pkwy, Los Angeles, CA 90089
Parking: ($12) enter USC at McCarthy Way & Figueroa St. (PSX on the USC map)
FREE Admission
More info: music.usc.edu


Paso Pops—the annual Paderewski Festival-sponsored patriotic concert and Independence Day celebration in Paso Robles combining wine, beer, food, family-friendly activities, live music and fireworks—will be held on Wednesday, July 4, 2018. The event moves to the Main Stage at the Paso Robles Event Center with a three-year agreement as part of this venue and date change. 2018 tickets go on sale April 2.

The program for the Independence Day show is under development but will continue the popular patriotic theme of the past last two years, headlined by the San Luis Obispo Symphony and its new conductor Andrew Sewell. Paso Wineman Casey Biggs will be back to emcee Paso Pops. Additional new features include carnival rides for small children to enjoy before the show, along with shade and wind protection at the Paso Robles Event Center.

Food trucks again will be available but guests may also bring picnics. Wine and beer will be available for purchase; no outside alcohol will be permitted.

“We’re thrilled to be able to offer this spectacular event on July 4th – Independence Day,” said event founder Steve Cass. “The new location brings some changes and also opportunities – we get to produce a live Symphony show and fireworks right in Paso Robles! The community support over the past two years has been remarkable and underscores the community’s desire for Paso Pops to be an on-going July 4th event.”

Tickets range again from $20 for General Admission in the Event Center’s bleacher seats (no blankets or chairs needed) to $3,500 for sponsored President tables that include wine tasting, gourmet buffet, wine and beer, and VIP parking.  Vice President tables at $1,000 include wine tasting and VIP parking.  Discounts will again be provided to active and retired military with ID, students with ID and seniors over 60. Up to two children 12 and under are free with paid adult General Admission.

Festival organizers are excited to announce title sponsor Travel Paso, the 501c6 organization dedicated to promoting tourism to Paso Robles, and returning sponsors Cass Winery and Firestone Walker Brewing Company. These community sponsors, along with a team of dedicated volunteers, are the foundation for the annual event that will be back for a third year. 

Net proceeds from Paso Pops will benefit the Paderewski Festival’s Youth Piano Competition and Youth Cultural Exchange Program.

Additional Paso Pops information is available at www.pasopops.org. Information about Ignacy Jan Paderewski and the non-profit Paderewski Festival in Paso Robles can be found on the website www.paderewskifest.com.

[Source: press release]


mania_czytanie.jpgFrom Dr. Grzegorz Mania, president of the Polish Chamber Music Society [Stowarzyszenie Polskich Muzyków Kameralistów], we recevied the recently published volume, Czytanie a vista w szkole muzycznej II stopnia, Część I, authored by Dr. Mania and Dr. Monika Gardoń-Preinl. Issued by PWM Edition in Kraków, this publication contains much useful information as well as numerous exercises on how to teach pianists the essential skill of sight-reading.

Leszek Kułakowski, a prominent jazz pianist and professor at Gdańsk Music Academy sent us two more of his CDs, including “Code Numbers” with Ensemble Piccolo, a 2010 Music Vox Records release, and a DUX recording featuring his Piano Concerto and Sketches for Jazz Trio & Symphony Orchestra that showcase the Baltic Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of Szymon Bywalec with Bogdan Kułakowski as soloist in the Piano Concerto.

Marek Żydowicz, director of the CAMERIMAGE Film Festival, donated to us a postcard with a portrait photograph of a young Ignacy Jan Paderewski. Taken around the time of his Paris debut in 1888, it shows the pianist seated on a Victorian-era chair and confidently staring into the camera lens. It will be added to the precious holdings in our Paderewski Archive.

Thank you to all of our donors and supporters!





A few weeks ago, the National Museum in Warsaw officially opened its Paderewski Exhibit, drawing on the extensive collection of papers, artwork, personal documents and other museum-quality objects deposited at the Museum well over 60 years ago. Coinciding with the celebrating 100 years of Poland’s regained independence, this exhibit is also accompanied by a series of concerts, lectures and guided tours running throughout the spring until May 20. Some of the highlights include the following programs:

  • March 11: Paweł Kaczmarczyk jazz trio concert, featuring arrangements of Paderewski’s compositions
  • March 25: guided tour with the Paderewski Exhibit Curator, Magdalena Pinker
  • April 14: Jan Zieliński’s lecture on Paderewski’s 40 years in Switzerland
  • Thursday at the Museum, lecture series, including:
    • Paderewski—the King of Pianists” by Małgorzata Waszak (March 22)
    • “Diplomacy by the World’s Most Famous Pianist” by Aleksander Laskowski (April 5)
    • “Artwork and Memorabilia from the Residence of Ignacy Jan and Helena Paderewski” by Anna Feliks and Mirosław Budzyński (April 19)
    • “Photographic History of a Musician who became Prime Minister” by Magdalena Hartwig (May 17).
  • Evenings at the Museum, 7:30 p.m. concert series, presenting:
    • Musical Voyages of Ignacy Jan and Helena Paderewski” by Anna Feliks and Mirosław Budzyński (March 16)
    • “Paderewski’s Circle of Friends” by Joanna Bojarska-Cieślik (April 13)
    • “Paderewski’s Two Million” by Karolina Zalewska (April 27)
    • “Artwork from Paderewski’s Residence” by Iwona Danielewicz (May 11)
  • Sunday Lectures about the items on exhibit (March 25, April 8, 22 and 29, May 13 and 20) with Przemysław Głowacki and Karolina Zalewska.
  • Various workshops, including one for teachers: “Paderewski as an Artist, Politician and Art Collector” (May 11) and two for families: “The Mysteries of Paderewski’s Baggage” (April 8) and “Madame Paderewska’s Dolls” (April 29).

Finally, the rich offering of programs also includes meetings for children and their chaperones on how to become a musician, workshops and tours for sight-impaired and hearing-impaired public as well as guided walks “in Paderewski’s footsteps” around Warsaw. All of these events are coordinated by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage, Embassies of the United States and Switzerland and other sponsors. Audio guides in Polish and English are available for the public as well.

For more information, visit: www.mnw.art.pl.

[Source: mnw.art.pl]


On March 17 at the University of Washington Club on the UW campus, the UW Polish Studies Endowment Committee (UWPSEC) will host a fundraiser celebrating the 100th anniversary of Poland’s Independence, featuring a lecture by PMC Director Marek Zebrowski.

This year, Poland celebrates the 100th anniversary of regaining independence after 123 years of partitions between its three neighbors. Pianist, composer and statesman Ignacy Jan Paderewski played a crucial role in this process. He was a favorite of concert audiences around the world and his fame opened access to diplomacy. He was the Prime Minister of Poland and Poland’s foreign minister in 1919 and represented Poland at the Paris Peace Conference in 1919.

Professor Marek Zebrowski—pianist, composer, lecturer, and author of books on music and film—currently serves as the Director of the Polish Music Center at the University of Southern California and the Artistic Director of the Paderewski Festival in Paso Robles.

The Fundraiser will benefit the UWPSEC funds. Tickets include sit-down dinner, wine and dessert.

March 17, 2018 | 5:30 PM
UW Polish Studies Endowment Committee Fundraiser
Tickets $100 ($40 tax-deductible) per person
Free parking on campus on Saturdays after 12:00PM
Info & Tickets: www.polishstudiesuw.org

[Sources: press release, polishstudiesuw.org]




The following are details on various premieres supported by the “Collections – Composing Commissions” program, which is funded by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage and managed by the Institute of Music and Dance (IMiT).


On March 10, the Radom Chamber Orchestra under the baton of Przemysław Zych presented a concert during which everything changes like in a kaleidoscope. From what is old to what is contemporary, from pre-premiere to music from old Polish serials.

During the concert, the world premiere of Wojciech Błażejczyk's composition will take place. He is one from the most interesting representatives of the young generation. He is a versatile artist, not only an excellent composer, but also a sound director, guitarist, improviser and inventor. He creates music for both acoustic and electroacoustic situations, and he also composes theater and film music.

Also on the program are T. Trojanowski – Pro Memoria, and works by H.M. Górecki – Three Pieces in the Oly Style for string orchestra, Concerto for piano and string orchestra, op.40., and music from Polish serials: Polskie drogi, Lalka, Janosik, and Czarne chmury. Soloists were Aleksandra Demowska-Madejska – viola, Adam Eljasiński – clarinet, Michał Drewnowski – piano and Wojciech Błażejczyk – electronics.

March 10, 2018 | 6:00 PM
Kaleidoscope Concert: premiere of a new work by Wojciech Błażejczyk

Radomska Orkiestra Kameralna
ul. Żeromskiego 53, 26-600 Radom, Poland
Tickets & Info: rok.art.pl


As part of the 47th edition of the “Poznań Musical Spring” Festival, which is produced by the Poznań branch of the Polish Composers’ Union (ZKP), the world premiere of a new work by Monika Kędziora will be given by the Sinfonietta Pomerania at the Music Academy in Poznań.

March 19, 2018 | 7:00 pm
“Poznań Musical Spring” Festival: Monika Kędziora premiere

Paderewski Music Academy in Poznań, Aula Nowa
ul. Święty Marcin 87, 61-808 Poznań, Poland
Info: zamowieniakompozytorskie.pl & amuz.edu.pl]


On March 21, the world premiere of Marian Borkowski’s Symphony (2017) will be performed by the University Symphony Orchestra, with Piotr Borkowski, cond., at the Chopin Music University in Warsaw. Also on the program are works by Aaron Copland and Samuel Barber.

March 21, 2018 | 7:00 pm
Marian Borkowski Premiere

Chopin Music University
Okólnik 2, 00-368 Warsaw
Info: zamowieniakompozytorskie.pl & bilety24.pl]


In a concert entitled “Little Known Polish Music,” pianist Beata Bilińska and the Kraków Wind Quintet will present the world premiere of Sextet Burlesca by Mikołaj Górecki on March 23 at the NOSPR Hall in Katowice. This new piece of music was dedicated to the musicians who will be featured. Also on the program are: Aleksander Tansman – La danse de la sorcière for wind quintet and piano; Artur Malawski – Morskie Oko from the cycle Żywioły Tatr for wind quintet; Marcel Chyrzyński – Three Preludes for clarinet; Krzesimir Dębski – Cantabile in h; and Zbigniew Bargielski – Fonoplasticon for wind quintet and piano.

March 23, 2018 | 7:30 pm
‘Little Known Polish Music’: Mikołaj Górecki premiere
plac Wojciecha Kilara 1, 40-202 Katowice, Poland
Tickets & Info: www.nospr.org.pl

[Sources: zamowieniakompozytorskie.pl, rok.art.pl, facebook.com]


On February 28, Chansons d’Apollon. Three songs for voice, cello and accordion (2017) by Dariusz Przybylski was given its world premiere at the Fryderyk Chopin University of Music in Warsaw by Anna Radziejewska – mezzo-soprano, Piotr Hausenplas – cello, Klaudiusz Baran – accordion. The program was entitled “Musical dedications - when the voice is inspiration...” and also included works by Antonio Vivaldi and Luciano Berio.

[Source: facebook.com]


Janusz Wawrowski

On February 9, violinist Janusz Wawrowski and the Zielona Góra Philharmonic Orchestra performed the world premiere of Ludomir Różycki’s Violin Concerto in the version reconstructed by Ryszard Bryła and the violinist himself, based on the original orchestration. Wawrowski plans to record the reconstructed Concerto by Różycki, a recording that will be released on Warner Classics.

[Sources: press release, wawrowski.com]


The premiere of Jerzy Maksymiuk's Fairy Dreams, dedicated to the Ignacy Jan Paderewski Pomeranian Philharmonic in Bydgoszcz, took place on March 9 at the Bydgoszcz Philharmonic. Outstanding guests performing an amazing program was the theme of the evening. Maestro Jerzy Maksymiuk was on the podium leading soloists from the Pomeranian Symphony Orchestra, to whom Maestro Maksymiuk dedicated this new work and with whom he has cooperated for many years. For example, in 2015 he led the inauguration of the 53rd Bydgoszcz Music Festival with Paderewski's "Polonia" Symphony and, in 2013, he recorded the same symphonic work together with the Bydgoszcz orchestra on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the Pomeranian Philharmonic (DUX).

The second special guest of the concert was Adam Makowicz – an outstanding pianist, jazz legend, and master of improvisation. In addition to typical jazz standards and works, the pianist's repertoire also includes classical music. In addition, he has composed over 100 works for string quartet and jazz trio, as well as many piano pieces, and he is the author of music for animated films and documentaries.

In the masterly interpretation of Makowicz, audiences also heard Gershwin's masterpiece Rhapsody in Blue, which was commissioned in 1924 by the contemporary "king of jazz," Paul Whiteman. The evening culminated with Stravinsky's famous ballet masterpiece, The Firebird. After the world premiere of this piece, critics wrote: "The Firebird is an intoxicating blend of oriental colors. It connects the brilliant orchestration of Rimsky-Korsakov with the dreamy melodies of Borodin, rising to the heights of expression."

March 9, 2018 | 7.00 p.m.
Premiere of Jerzy Maksymiuk's Fairy Dreams

Bydgoszcz Philharmonic
ul. Andrzeja Szwalbego 6
85-080 Bydgoszcz, Poland
Tickets & Info: www.filharmonia.bydgoszcz.pl

[Sources: polmic.pl, filharmonia.bydgoszcz.pl]


On March 14, the Academy of Music in Kraków hosts a concert in the "Mosty” [Bridges] series. "Bridges" is a series of concerts and presentations devoted to great musicians, educators, graduates and students associated with the Academy of Music in Krakow. The March 14 concert is dedicated to several outstanding figures in the Kraków musical world: Prof. Krystyna Moszumańska-Nazar, Prof. Maria Fieldorf and Prof. Zbigniew Szlezer.

Magdalena DługoszThe concert will present several world premieres by distinguished composers associated with the Academy:

  • dr hab. Magdalena Długosz (right) – Concertato na kanwie muzykimuzyki K. Moszumańskiej for percussion (2018)
  • prof. Anna Zawadzka-GołoszPoco divertimento for cello and piano (2018)
  • mgr. Kamil KrukZ powyginanych figur gobeliny for percussion, cello, piano for four hands, two saws and an electroacoustic layer (2018)

The pieces will be presented by drummers Jan Pilch and Tomasz Sobaniec, cellist Barbara Łypik-Sobaniec, and pianists Monika Wilińska-Tarcholik, Milena Kędra and Monika Płachta. In the second part of the concert, a group of students of the Music Academy under the direction of Stanisław Welanyk will perform Music for five by Krystyna Moszumańska-Nazar.

The project is organized by the Departments of Chamber Music, Composition and Theory, and Interpretation of Musical Works

Wednesday, March 14, 2018 | 6.30 p.m.
“Bridges” series: Premieres by
Magdalena Długosz, Anna Zawadzka-Gołosz and Kamil Kruk
Concert Hall – Academy of Music in Kraków
ul. Św. Tomasza 43, Kraków, Poland
FREE Admission
Info: www.amuz.krakow.pl

[Sources: polmic.pl, www.amuz.krakow.pl]


Soundscapes-of-Modernity_march2018.jpgThe Fifth Annual Polish Jewish Studies Workshop "Centering the Periphery: Polish Jewish Production Beyond the Capital” with the accompanying concert “Soundscapes of Modernity: Jews and Music in Polish Cities,” happened at Rutgers University on March 5-6, 2018. Taking place from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. both days, the 2018 Polish Jewish Studies Workshop focused on Jewish cultural production, but also on cultural collaborations and tensions between Christians and Jews in the years of Poland’s partitions and independence (1772-1939) in urban centers other than Warsaw— especially Wilno, Lwów, Kraków, and Łódź. For a full schedule, see the conference website:

The “Soundscapes of Modernity” concert took place on March 5 and explored how Jewish inhabitants of Polish cities, like their counterparts elsewhere, responded to the challenges of modernity in diverse ways, which included reshaping the musical soundscapes of their communities. This concert presented music of Polish Jews that is little known to American audiences—choral pieces from 19th-century progressive (“Reform”) congregations, compositions associated with Jewish music societies, and avant-garde works by Jewish composers. Composers included: Jakob Leopold Weiss (1825–1889), Abraham Ber Birnbaum (1865–1922), Paula Szalit (1886–1920), Henryk Cylkow (1866–1945), Paweł Anhalt (1910–?), Aleksander Tansman (1897–1986), Artur Gold (1897–1943), Zavel Zilberts (1881–1949), Józef Koffler (1896–1944), Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy (1809–1847), and Izrael Fajwiszys (1887–1943). Performers included the Rutgers Kirkpatrick Choir with Patrick Gardner, Director; Erin Schwab, Soprano; Lucy Lee, Viola; Enriqueta Somarriba, Piano; Jordan Enzinger, Cello; and Jihyang Seo, Violin.

Founded in 2013, the Polish Jewish Studies Initiative (PJSI) is an international, interdisciplinary forum for scholars involved in research and teaching at the intersection of Polish and Jewish studies. This collaboration has generated an annual Polish Jewish Studies Workshop (PJSW) that brings together scholars, public intellectuals, artists, and cultural workers to identify new theoretical and methodological developments in the field of Polish Jewish Studies; to help scholars keep abreast of each others’ work across linguistic and continental divides; and to consider new vocabularies and research strategies in a hybrid and transnational cultural landscape. The PJSI Advisory Committee welcomes inquiries from institutions and organizations interested in applying to host the annual international Polish Jewish Studies Workshop.

Monday, March 5, 2018 | 7:30PM - 9:00PM
Soundscapes of Modernity Concert: Jews and Music in Polish Cities

Rutgers University – Kirkpatrick Chapel
81 Somerset Street, New Brunswick, NJ, USA
FREE Admission; FREE Parking Rutgers Lot 1

[Sources: press release, sas.rutgers.edu]


Forbidden Songs: Lost Music of Midcentury Poland”—a two-day festival exploring the fraught artistic and personal decisions confronted under repressive regimes—will be held on March 17-18 at Cornell University and March 22-23 at Swarthmore College. This festival features the world premiere of the English-subtitled version of the film Forbidden Songs (1946), which narrates everyday life in Warsaw through the lens of music banned during the Nazi occupation, and for which Roman Palester composed the score. The second day highlights U.S. premieres of songs and chamber works by Palester. Full details at forbiddensongs.org

3/17 at Cornell & 3/22 at Swarthmore:
The world premiere of the English-subtitled version of the film Forbidden Songs, which was the first feature film released in Poland after WWII. Conceived and written by Ludwik Starski, a Polish-Jewish survivor of the Holocaust, the film remarkably adopted the genre of light musical comedy to portray the diverse experiences of Warsaw's inhabitants during the period of Nazi occupation (1939–1945). The film’s score, created by Palester, draws heavily on authentic popular sources, notably satirical Polish “street songs” banned by the Nazis but nonetheless performed as expressions of resistance and a means of psychological sustenance during this time of deprivation and terror.

The world premiere of the film will be of great interest to anyone fascinated by European cinema and music, WWII history and politics, and Holocaust studies. “The film gives us a glimpse into the ways in which music helped Polish Jews and non-Jews alike to reclaim notions of community in the immediate postwar years,” explains Barbara Milewski, Associate Professor of Music at Swarthmore College, who will introduce the film at the screening.

3/18 at Cornell & 3/23 at Swarthmore:
The U.S. premieres of music by composer Roman Palester (1907–1989) is a major event for both concert audiences and scholars. Palester’s blend of neoclassical energy with a lyrical sensibility made him among the most distinctive composers of twentieth-century Poland. But his music was long banned there and has been almost completely forgotten. This program paints a broader picture of Palester’s compositional evolution. Beginning from his first, mature neoclassical works from the late 1930s, it will also highlight his later embrace of European avant-gardes in the 1960s and 70s.

Members of Cornell’s new music group, Ensemble X, will lead the premieres, including pianists Xak Bjerken, Andrew Zhou, and Ryan MacEvoy McCullough; soprano Lucy Fitz Gibbon; and violinists David Colwell and Susan Waterbury.

All events are free and open to the public; no tickets are required. Events at both Universities will also include lectures and introductions by the main organizers of the Festival, Barbara Milewski and Mackenzie Pierce.

Cosponsored by the Cornell Council for the Arts; the Society for the Humanities at Cornell; the Cornell Institute for European Studies, the Council for European Studies; and the Departments of Jewish Studies, Romance Studies, and Music.

March 17-18, 2018 | Various times
Forbidden Songs: Lost Music of Midcentury Poland

Cornell University – various venues
144 East Ave., Ithaca, NY 14853
FREE Admission
Info: forbiddensongsorg.wordpress.com/cornell-concert-details & events.cornell.edu

March 22-23, 2018 | Various times
Forbidden Songs: Lost Music of Midcentury Poland
Swarthmore College – various venues
500 College Avenue, Swarthmore, PA 19081
FREE Admission
Info: forbiddensongsorg.wordpress.com/swarthmore-concert-details & swatcentral.swarthmore.edu

[Sources: press release, forbiddensongsorg.wordpress.com, newmusicusa.org]


Much of the music in the deep treasury of forgotten Polish music—often discovered only after many years of non-existence—can still surprise us. The next symphonic concert from the cycle "Forgotten Polish Music" was held on March 9, 2018 at the Józef Elsner Philharmonic in Opole. During the concert, the Opole Philharmonic performed with violinist Szymon Krzeszowiec under the direction of maestra Monika Wolińska. The program included: Don Quichotte, a Symphonic Poem by Eugeniusz Morawski-Dąbrowa, Violin Concerto op. 70 by Ludomir Różycki, and Symphony No. 1 in A Major by Zygmunt Noskowski.

The concert was held under the patronage of the PWM Publishing House as a part of the TUTTI.pl project, promoting performances of Polish music.

March 9, 2018 at 7.00 p.m.
"Forgotten Polish Music" symphonic concert

Concert Hall – Opole Philharmonic
ul. Krakowska 24, 45-075 Opole
Tickets & Info: www.filharmonia.opole.pl

[Source: polmic.pl]


A symphonic concert commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the events of March 1968—during which an anti-semetic purge drove as many as 20,000 Jews from Poland—was held on March 6 at the Warsaw Philharmonic Concert Hall. The Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra performed with Danish-Israeli violinist Nikolaj Znaider, under the baton of Artistic Director Jacek Kaspszyk. The program included Violin Concerto No. 1 in G Minor, Op. 26 by Max Bruch and Symphony No. 4 in A minor, Op. 61 by Mieczysław Weinberg.

Co‑organizers of the concert were Internationellt Kulturforum Sweden, Zikaron – Memory – Pamięć, Social‑Cultural Association of Jews in Poland.

Max Bruch spent most of his life working as a teacher of conducting in several German cities (he was most closely associated with Berlin), as well as in Liverpool, where he spent several seasons as a guest conductor at the local philharmonic. Bruch’s relatively rich oeuvre attracted only lukewarm interest, as he, like Brahms, was rather conservative in his compositions, and preferred classical forms to new German modernism, which was favored by the critics. Nonetheless, at least one of his works has gone down in history: Violin Concerto in G Minor, which is admired for the perfect balance of its form, its virtuosity (the texture of the violin owes much to Bruch’s own consultations with the great Joseph Joachim) and its Romantic, post‑Mendelssohnian expressiveness, is now part of the violinist’s “canon”.

Mieczysław Weinberg was brought up in pre‑war Warsaw and it was here that he also began his musical education and work. At the beginning of the Second World War he settled in the USSR, where he developed his career (which was not easy, bearing in mind that oppressive regime’s ever changing policy on clemency), while in his home country he remained a forgotten figure for a long time. In 2014, the Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra made a critically acclaimed recording, which Jacek Kaspszyk, the conductor and artistic director of the Warsaw Philharmonic, advertized in an interview with the following words: “I was wondering what this album would be like. I decided that it should include not only Polish music, but Polish music that has not been fully exploited. We have observed a revival of Mieczysław Weinberg’s music in the world, and I believe that this is the right moment to begin precisely with him [...] Weinberg was Shostakovich’s protégé. The latter regarded him as one of the most brilliant composers of his generation. Of the more than twenty symphonies left by the composer, I would like to begin with the one most outstanding – Symphony No. 4.”

March 6, 2018 | 7:00 p.m.
50th Anniversary of March 1968 Commemoration Concert

Warsaw Philharmonic Concert Hall
Jasna 5, 00-950 Warsaw, Poland
Tickets & Info: filharmonia.pl

[Source: polmic.pl]



Marta Boberska, one of the soloists of Poland’s Royal Opera, and pianist Emilian Madey presented a recital of early romantic lieder at Warsaw’s Royal Castle on March 3. The program featured rarely performed repertoire for voice and piano by such composers as Ignacy Feliks Dobrzyński, Józef Elsner, Jan Kleczyński, Ignacy Krzyżanowski, Ignacy Marceli Komorowski, Michał Kleofas Ogiński, Antoni Radziwiłł, and Maria Szymanowska. According to the performers, their goal was to, “… promote the forgotten Polish composers of the romantic era as well to transport the audience to Poland in the 19th century, in order to discover the beauty of music created in a land that did not exist on any map of Europe but managed to preserve the continuity of culture as the foundation of nationhood.”

March 3, 2018 | 7:00 p.m.
Chamber Concert: Polish Romanticism in the Royal Castle

Grand Salon – Royal Castle in Warsaw
plac Zamkowy 4, 00-277 Warsaw
Info: operakrolewska.pl

[Source: operakrolewska.pl]


Presented in partnership with the Chopin Foundation of the United States, the Frost Chopin Academy will be held for pianists up to the age of 28 from June 24-30, 2018. Accepted applicants will be given room and board for one week at the state-of-the-art facilities of the Frost School of Music at the University of Miami. Participants will immerse themselves exclusively in the works of Frederic Chopin and learn first-hand from the world's most distinguished Chopin specialists, including Kevin Kenner, Katarzyna Popowa-Zydroń and Dang Thai Son. The Academy will prepare pianists for the 2020 National Chopin Competition, which has a Grand Prize of $100,000.

Applications are now available at www.frostchopinacademy.com.  Space is limited and applicants will be reviewed on a first-come-first-served basis.


The purpose of the Chopin Foundation Scholarship Program for Young Pianists is to support and encourage young, talented American pianists through up to four years of preparation for the National Chopin Piano Competition of the United States, which is held in Miami, Florida, every five years. The next Competition will be in 2020. The First Prize is $100,000

Renewable scholarships of $1,000 are awarded each year on a competitive basis to outstanding young American pianists who demonstrate a special affinity for the interpretation of Frédéric Chopin's music. In addition, the Scholarship Committee may grant half-awards in the amount of $500 to qualified applicants. See application here: app.getacceptd.com/chopin


For more information: call 305-868-0624 or email info@chopin.org.

[Sources: press releases, piano.frost.miami.edu]


Having toured Italy together last November, the world renowned pair of Polish pianist Krystian Zimerman and Polish conductor Grzegorz Nowak returned to that country on March 11 to reprise a similar program with the Orchestra del Teatro Carlo Felice in Genova. The concert featured Zimerman as soloist in Leonard Bernstein's Symphony No. 2, "Age of Anxiety" and he chose to dedicate the performance as an homage to Bernstein, celebrating the centenary of the composer's birth.

Sunday, March 11, 2018 | 4:00 p.m.
Nowak & Zimerman in Genova

Teatro Carlo Felice
Passo Eugenio Montale, 4-16121 Genova, Italy
Info & Tickets: www.carlofelicegenova.it

[Sources: press release, carlofelicegenova.it]


The aim of the Frédéric Chopin Institute in Switzerland is to promote the work of the greatest Polish composer and to organize musical events focused mainly on a young audience. In October 2018, the Institute will organize the first edition of the "Jeune Chopin" International Piano Competition for Children & Youth, which will take place at the Waddilove Fondation in Villeneuve in the Montreux Riviera area. Watch a trailer for the event here: www.youtube.com.

There are three age categories for the Competition:

  • Category I - for contestants under 12, /one stage/ born in 2006
  • Category II - for contestants under 15, /one stage/ born in 2003
  • Category III - for contestants under 18 /two stages/ born in 2000

If you are interested in participating in the competition:


Based on the presentation of video recordings, thirty candidates will be selected to meet in Montreux and present their pianistic skills in the front of an internationally renowned jury, including Martha Argerich, Ewa Poblocka, Akiko Ebi and Alexis Golovine. By taking part in the competition, laureates can prepare for the International Chopin Competition in Warsaw or the Clara Haskil Competition in Vevey.

This international event is held under the patronage of the National Fryderyk Chopin Institute (NIFC) in Warsaw, as well as the famous pianist Martha Argerich, who won the International Chopin Competition in Warsaw in her youth.

[Sources: press release, jeunechopin.com]


The Winter 2017 issue of Classical Guitar Magazine features the article “Lukasz Kuropaczewski Honors Poland’s Composers, Teaches Next Generation.” In it, author Steve Mann interviews Polish guitarist Dr. Łukasz Kuropaczewski and explores his quickly rising career. Although Kuropaczewski has studied and performed extensively abroad, his calling card in the crowded field of classical guitarists has been his dedication to guitar repertoire written by his fellow Poles. In fact, his latest recording (of six albums total), entitled Lukasz, features works by Alexandre Tansman and Witold Lutosławski, and he has often championed compositions by Krzysztof Penderecki.

Read the full article and hear Kuropaczewski play Penderecki’s Aria at classicalguitarmagazine.com.

[Source: classicalguitarmagazine.com]


Related to her recent performances as Prince Charming in Ottawa, Canada, mezzo-soprano Katarzyna Sądej gave an interview on February 16 that is available on www.youtube.com. Casual yet informative, her discussion of her career highlights is interspersed with excerpts of varied performances from around the world. She talks of her love of performing recitals of lesser know Polish song repertoire, including her current project to record the “Derwid” songs of Witold Lutosławski with pianist Basia Bochenek to be released in 2018, as well as her career performing recitals and operas worldwide.

Polish-Canadian Mezzo-soprano Katarzyna Sadej was born in Wrocław, Poland, and is based in Los Angeles. She sings internationally in concert, opera, chamber music, oratorio and recital. Katarzyna has performed numerous world premieres and has had over a dozen new works composed especially for her. Katarzyna specializes in recital performance, and has performed numerous recitals in Canada, USA, England, France, Ukraine, Romania, Croatia, Serbia, and Montenegro. Sądej has recently debuted with the LA Opera and San Diego Opera. She is the 2016 first prize winner of the Susan and Virginia Hawk Vocal Competition and the 2015 winner of the Marcella Kochańska Sembrich Competition.

[Sources: press release, youtube.com, katarzynasadej.com]




The 22nd annual Beethoven Festival will take place March 16-30 at the National Philharmonic in Warsaw and will feature a number of distinguished musicians and ensembles in thirteen orchestral concerts, three chamber music events and two solo recitals. Such world-class soloists as Rudolf Buchbinder, Steven Isserlis, Anne Sophie Mutter, and Krystian Zimerman will be joined by maestros Christoph Eschenbach, JoAnn Falletta, Lawrence Foster, and Leonard Slatkin, among others, with ensembles including Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, Israel Camerata Jerusalem, and Junge Deutsche Philharmonie.

This year’s Beethoven Festival will celebrate the centenary of Poland’s independence with a number of works by Polish composers on the program as well as recitals featuring young Polish pianists, including Krzysztof Książek, Łukasz Krupiński and Szymon Nehring. The concert repertoire will also pay homage to the centenary of Leonard Bernstein’s birth, the 85th birthdays of Krzysztof Penderecki and Henryk Mikołaj Górecki, and the 125th birthday of George Gershwin.

Maestro Jacek Kasprzyk and the National Philharmonic will inaugurate the Festival with Beethoven’s Third Symphony and Bernstein’s Second Symphony, “The Age of Anxiety,” with pianist Krystian Zimerman as soloist. Christoph Eschenbach will close the Festival with Antonin Dvořak’s Stabat Mater. Other events, such as an exhibit of music manuscripts from the Jagiellonian University Library, a music conference, and master classes with pianist Dmitry Alexeev will round off this year’s Beethoven Festival program.

March 16-30, 2018
22nd annual Beethoven Festival

Concert Hall – National Philharmonic
ul. Sienkiewicza 10, Warsaw
Tickets & Info: beethoven.org.pl

[Source: polmic.pl]





Violinist Janusz Wawrowski recorded his last album, Brillante (Warner Classics 0190295808440), with the Stuttgarter Philharmoniker and Daniel Raiskin, and it was released at the end of 2017. To date, the track of Wieniawski’s Violin Concerto No. 2 has already been listened to by 80,000 people on Spotify.

The album has also received great reviews:

  • Gramophone Magazine: “Wawrowski has a dark, luscious sweetness of sound, with warm vibrato in the gorgeous second-movement Romance”
  • 4 stars in BBC Music Magazine: “The rich-toned Wawrowski meets the virtuoso challenges of Wieniawski with aplomb...”

[Sources: press release, warnerclassics.com]


Released on October 2017, “24 Preludes & Improvisations” is a 2 CD offering by the Polish pianist and composer Piotr Orzechowski (a.k.a. Pianohooligan), his fourth for the Decca label. The program of the album presents twenty four preludes composed by Orzechowski, each of them followed by an improvisation connected to the prelude. The preludes are sequenced in the order of the chromatic scale from C major to B minor.

Below is an excerpt of a review written by Adam Baruch for Polish Jazz:

The music beautifully portrays the two faces of Orzechowski's musical personality, rooted on one side in Classical Music ranging between Johann Sebastian Bach and Krzysztof Penderecki and on the opposite side in Jazz and Improvisation. Although perfectly capable to stand on its own, this music is much better understood when seen (or rather heard) in the full scope of Orzechowski's recordings, as presented on the abovementioned Decca albums.

But even for a person completely unaware of Orzechowski's background and recording legacy, it should be immediately apparent that this is a great Artist at work, both as a composer and as a performer. The scope of his imagination, intelligence, musical depth and aesthetic perfection is evident in every one of these forty eight miniatures. Listening to this music is a deep, almost spiritual experience, which should leave no music lover indifferent.

In spite of the seemingly serious and complex exterior of this music it is wondrously accessible to every open-minded listener, way beyond hard core Classical or Jazz listeners. The beauty of this music wins the listener over almost immediately and the fact that these pieces are short and diverse completely excludes any chance of boredom or tiredness. Personally I found this music so fascinating that the entire double album seemed to last but a few short moments to me.

[Sources: facebook.com, polish-jazz.blogspot.com]




  • 1 March 1810 - Fryderyk Chopin, virtuoso pianist, composer
  • 2 March 1927 - Witold Szalonek, composer (d. 2001)
  • 3 March 1922 - Kazimierz Serocki, composer, co-founder of the Warsaw Autumn Festival
  • 6 March 1785 - Karol Kurpinski, composer, father of national opera
  • 6 March 1835 - Ludwik Grossman, composer, pianist, and piano merchant (d. 1915)
  • 7 March 1911 - Stefan Kisielewski, composer, essayist, writer
  • 10 March 1937 - Bernadetta Matuszczak, composer
  • 14 March 1913 - Witold Rudzinski, composer
  • 17 March 1901 - Piotr Perkowski, composer
  • 17 March 1925 - Tadeusz Prejzner, composer, jazz pianist (d. 2010)
  • 18 March 1961 - Hanna Kulenty, composer
  • 21 March 1936 - Marek Stachowski, composer
  • 23 March 1933 - Andrzej Trzaskowski, composer, jazz pianist and conductor
  • 23 March 1888 - Lidia Kmitowa, violinist and teacher (d. 1980)
  • 27 March 1927 - Joachim Olkusnik, composer
  • 28 March 1954 - Pawel Szymanski, composer
  • 1 March 2004 - Janina Garscia, composer of music for children and teachers
  • 2 March 1887 - Wilhelm Troschel, singer and son of piano maker
  • 2 March 2010 - Wanda Tomczykowska, founder Polish Arts and Culture Foundation [PACF] of San Francisco (b. 29 August 1921)
  • 3 March 2011 - Bohdan Pociej, critic, musicologist, author
  • 4 March 1939 - Józef Sliwinski, pianist, composer (b. 1862)
  • 4 March 1925 - Maurycy (Moritz) Moszkowski, composer and pianist (b. 1854)
  • 4 March 1895 - Stanislaw Niedzielski, singer (baritone), choral conductor.
  • 14 March 1954 - Ludomir Rogowski (b. 3 Oct 1881)
  • 15 March 1883 - Karol Studzinski, violinist (b. 1828)
  • 15 March 1948 - Konrad Neuger, conductor, active in the U.S. since 1931 (b. 1890)
  • 16 March, 2010 - Tadeusz Prejzner, composer, jazz pianist (b.1925)
  • 19 March 1876 - Józef Stefani, composer, conductor, violinist, son of Jan (b. 1800)
  • 21 March 1973 - Antoni Szalowski, composer
  • 22 March 1893 - Adam Herman Hermanowski, cellist, child prodigy and virtuoso (b. 1836)
  • 29 March 1937 - Karol Szymanowski, composer, pianist (b. 1882)
  • 29 March 1959 - Zdzislaw Szulc, curator of music instruments museum in Poznan
  • 31 March 1880 - Henryk Wieniawski, composer, virtuoso violinist (b. 1835)
  • 31 March 1946 - Aleksandra Stromfeld-Klamzynska-Szuminska, soprano (b. 1859)


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Copyright 2018 by the Polish Music Center

Send your comments and inquiries to: polmusic@thornton.usc.edu
Newsletter Editor: Krysta Close
Layout Assistance: Charles Bragg
Translation Assistance: Marek Żebrowski

Contributions from:
Henryk Chrostek, Jadwiga Gewert, Halina Goldberg, Barbara Milewski, Grzegorz Nowak,
Katarzyna Sądej, Stanisław Suchora,Maja Trochimczyk, Brett Werb, 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, infochopin.pl, Ruch Muzyczny, Gazeta Wyborcza

Formatting by Krysta Close, March 13, 2018

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